Even though we all have different needs and priorities, there are certain things that you should always consider when selecting hard drive recovery software:
There’s a good reason why Disk Drill occupies the top spot in this ranking of hard drive recovery software, and that reason is its one-click approach to data recovery. You simply need to install the software on your computer, select your hard drive, and begin the recovery process with a single click. Disk Drill will automatically run all recovery methods in the optimal order to discover as many lost files as possible.
Our experience with Recuva is largely positive because this data recovery software does only a few things but does them well. Obviously, it recovers lost pictures, music, documents, videos, emails, and other file types from hard drives, USB flash drives, and other storage devices. It can also securely delete sensitive files using military-standard deletion techniques, which can be useful when preparing a computer for sale or donation.
R-Studio doesn’t hide the fact that it’s geared toward professionals, offering them features such as recovery over network and built-in hex editor. Granted, some of these features are present only in more expensive versions, such as R-Studio Network and R-Studio Technician, but they share the same user interface with R-Studio FAT, R-Studio NTFS, and R-STUDIO.
There’s a lot to like about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. For starters, the application can recover over 1,000 file formats - a lot more than most of its competitors. Its data recovery process is straightforward, and its ability to repair damaged or corrupt JPEG/JPG photos can save the day when dealing with data loss caused by logical damage.
Open-source data recovery software applications are as rare as rocking horse droppings, so any such application whose performance matches or even exceeds proprietary applications deserves everyone’s full attention. TestDisk is without a doubt among them, pairing impressive data recovery capabilities with the ability to recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again.
DiskDigger looks, feels, and controls like a Windows application, featuring a prominent ribbon with all important options and control buttons. You can use it to recover data from hard disks using the FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32), NTFS, and exFAT file systems. Recoverable files can be filtered by name and size and sorted by name, size, date, and directory.
Lazesoft Data Recovery may not be the most modern hard disk data recovery tool out there, and it certainly doesn’t deliver the best data recovery results, but it has a different trick up its sleeve: unlimited free data recovery. That’s right, Lazesoft Data Recovery Home is completely free for non-commercial purposes, and you can use it to restore lost files after reformatting, accidental deletion, or malware attack.
During our testing, we wanted to find out whether DiskGenius can really do everything it claims. We started by thoroughly testing its data recovery capabilities by recovering multiple deleted files, including MP3 audio files and JPG images. The software recovered all but two files, and it didn’t take it too long to do so.
Active@ File Recovery is one of the most underappreciated HDD recovery tools out there. Yes, it recovers only around 150 file signatures, which isn’t too many compared with leading software like Disk Drill, but it makes up for this deficit with its extensive file system support (NTFS, ReFS, FAT, exFAT, HFS+, ApFS, XFS, JFS, UFS, Ext2/3/4, BtrFS).
MiniTool Power Data Recovery stands out with its generous free data recovery limit of 1 GB and the ability to recover only specific file location. By scanning only the folder where your lost files were located, you can save a lot of time, and that’s always a good thing when it comes to data recovery.
With so many hard drive recovery applications to choose from, we couldn’t possibly list every single solution that deserves your attention, describing their pros, cons, and data recovery performance. What we can do instead, however, is include them here in no particular order as honorable mentions.
Hard drive recovery software comes to the rescue whenever you lose important files from your hard drive. The best hard drive recovery applications can recover data even from a hard disk that has been accidentally formatted, improperly unmounted, badly partitioned, or otherwise damaged.
There are many hard drive recovery software applications that are easy enough to use even for complete beginners, and we’ve described several of them in this article. In most cases, all you need to do is select your hard drive, begin the recovery process, and then retrieve all lost files.