5 Best Alternatives to Recuva

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When searching for a data recovery solution, no doubt you’ve heard the name Recuva floating around. While Recuva is often mentioned to be a great free recovery tool, its recovery performance leaves a lot to be desired. In light of that, we’ve picked out the 5 best alternatives to Recuva for you to try.

Top Recuva Alternatives

Don’t have time to reach through our entire list? Here are our top 3 alternatives to Recuva. To find out more, we’ve discussed specifics for each tool further down.

Top pick
1. Disk Drill for Windows
The Windows version of Disk Drill empowers regular users to reliably recover all kinds of lost data with a few simple clicks. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows
Distributed as:  Freemium
2. PhotoRec for Windows
PhotoRec for Windows offers unbeatable value, but you need to overcome a steep learning curve to unlock it. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows Linux
Distributed as:  Free
3. R-Studio for Windows
R-Studio for Windows is a powerful data recovery software application, but regular home users may struggle to master it and put its capabilities to good use. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows Linux
Distributed as:  Freemium

What Is Recuva?

Recuva is a free data recovery tool released by Piriform Software, the same crowd who developed the popular hard drive cleaning tool, CCleaner. It’s popularly suggested as a free recovery tool for those who don’t have the budget (or desire) to invest in a paid one. It allows users to recover an unlimited amount of data and supports the recovery of photos, videos, documents, and music.

If you want access to additional features, you can upgrade to Recuva Pro. In addition to file recovery, Recuva Pro allows virtual hard drive support, automatic software updates, and priority customer support.

Recuva Logo

Why you might need an alternative to Recuva

#FeatureResultDescription
1exFAT partitions deep scan
Not supported
Cannot deep scan exFAT partitions.
2NTFS partitions deep scan
Not supported
Cannot deep scan NTFS partitions.
3The number of formats supported by deep scan
Decent
Compared to other recovery tools, the software doesn't support a lot of formats.
4Unmountable partitions scan
No
The software cannot scan unmountable partitions.
5Scan for lost partitions
No
The software is unable to scan for lost partitions on the drive.
6Modern user-friendly interface
No
The software uses an outdated user interface.
7Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
No
It's not possible to preview recoverable data without stopping the scan first.
8Corrupted video repair tool
No
The software cannot repair corrupted video files.
9Corrupted photo repair tool
No
The software cannot repair corrupted image files.
10Update frequency
Seldom
The software isn't updated regularly.
11Live chat
No
There is no live chat support channel.

It’s great that Recuva is distributed as a free data recovery solution for any Windows user to download, but our testing has shown that it only managed to produce mediocre recovery results. Furthermore, it has a very basic user interface that makes it challenging to use, and offers little in the way of customer support. For these reasons, we feel that it should only be used if you’ve exhausted all other options.

Top 5 Best Recuva Alternatives

Now that we’ve seen what Recuva can do (or rather, can’t do), let’s dive into the list of our top 5 best alternatives to Recuva, complete with a comparison for each tool.

disk drill windows icon

1. Disk Drill for Windows

3.84 • Best choice for Windows users – Disk Drill for Windows is among the best data recovery software applications available to Windows users.
Version
4.5.616
Last Release
4th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

Disk Drill sits at the top of our list of alternatives to Recuva as it’s a data recovery tool that ticks (almost) all the boxes. It has great recovery performance and it’s easy to use thanks to its intuitive interface. Better yet, all of the additional features, such as byte-to-byte drive backups and data protection, are available to use for free.

Read full Disk Drill for Windows review

The team behind Disk Drill keeps it updated regularly to ensure it supports modern file types that outdated tools may not be able to find. You can trial the software by recovering up to 500MB of data for free before needing to upgrade. During the recovery process, you can even preview the recoverable files and get an indication of each file’s chances of recovery.

The main differences between Disk Drill and Recuva

Overview of main differences
#FeatureRecuvaDisk Drill
1Starting price$0$89.00 / Perpetual
2exFAT partitions scan
3NTFS partitions scan
4Scan for lost partitions
5Unmountable partitions
6Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
7Mount recoverable items as disk
8Modern user-friendly interface
9Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
10Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms
11Convenient scan session management
12Auto-resuming scans of failing drives
13Data protection
14S.M.A.R.T.
15Update frequency
16Live chat

While free data recovery tools are great, they often fall short when compared to a paid solution. This is the case when you look at Recuva and Disk Drill. During our clever scan, Recuva was only able to scan our FAT32 partition. Even then, close to a quarter of the data on that partition wasn't found. Its deep scan only supports a small number of file formats too, making it less reliable in instances where a normal search doesn't yield the results you need.

In instances where you've lost an entire partition, Recuva is unable to detect them. Moreover, it cannot recover data from unmountable partitions. This can be a huge drawback, depending on the situation. On the other hand, Disk Drill is capable of searching your drive for lost partitions and recovering data from them.

Lastly, Recuva's usability could be improved greatly. As the scan proceeds, it's not possible to use any other part of the application, including file previews. It's also not possible to save scan sessions for later viewing and recovery. Both of these features are possible with Disk Drill, as well as the ability to pause and resume scans.

recuva icon disk drill windows icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full Disk Drill versus Recuva comparison

Disk Drill is a good alternative to Recuva because:

Great recovery performance.

Preview files while scanning.

Save scan results for later recovery.

Features are easy to access.

Scans for lost partitions.

Deep scan supports more file signatures.

Disk Drill is a poor alternative to Recuva because:

Does not have a data shredding feature.

Limited free recovery.

qphotorec icon

2. PhotoRec for Windows

2.29 • Intimidating but rewarding at the same time – PhotoRec may have a steeper learning curve than most commercial data recovery software applications, but the value it offers is hard to ignore, and its data recovery performance isn't bad either.
Version
7.2
Last Release
1st Sep, 2021
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows XP-10, 11 (unofficial support)

Overview

PhotoRec is a free open-source data recovery tool distributed under the GNU General Public License. It’s downloaded alongside its partition recovery brother, TestDisk. It’s supported on all major operating systems and allows the recovery of photos, videos, documents, and other files.

Read full PhotoRec for Windows review

The software was developed by Christophe GRENIER. Since its release in 2008, it has become a popularly recommended free data recovery tool as it offers great recovery performance using file signatures and has excellent compatibility with most operating systems.

The main differences between PhotoRec and Recuva

Overview of main differences
#FeatureRecuvaPhotoRec
1Is it free?
2The number of formats supported by deep scan
3Raw photo recovery
4Video formats recovery
5Document formats recovery
6Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
7Scan free space only
8FAT32 partitions scan
9Convenient source selection on start
10Partial file recovery
11Recovery chance prediction
12Easy-to-locate features
13Byte-to-byte device backups
14Secure data shredding

Despite also being a free solution, PhotoRec offers superior signature scanning capabilities, recovering a lot of file formats that Recuva doesn't support, such as ARW, CR3, ARI, INSV, and ACCDB. However, it is doesn't support recovery via the file system, giving Recuva a slight edge in that regard.

PhotoRec's list of recoverable file formats is much larger than Recuva's, making it much more useful in situations where you're working with lesser-known file types. Additionally, it allows users to start file recovery without interrupting the ongoing scan, which is especially useful in cases where you're scanning a large drive that could take a whole night to complete.

PhotoRec supports unmountable partitions, something Recuva does not. Moreover, it allows you to scan free space on the drive only to reduce excessive scan times. But, it doesn't allow byte-to-byte device backups or secure data shredding, both of which are available in Recuva.

recuva icon qphotorec icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full Photorec versus Recuva comparison

PhotoRec is a good alternative to Recuva because:

Free and open-source.

Great signature scanning abilities.

Support for unmountable partitions.

Recover files without stopping scan.

Portable application.

PhotoRec is a poor alternative to Recuva because:

Cannot scan by file system.

Doesn't allow partial file recovery.

No support for BitLocker-encrypted drives.

r-studio icon

3. R-Studio for Windows

3.08 • Empowering professionals; intimidating home users – This data recovery software offers a broad range of features to meet the needs of demanding data recovery professionals. 
Version
9.1.191029
Last Release
15th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 2000-11

Overview

R-Studio is a very powerful data recovery tool that’s primarily targeted at data recovery enthusiasts and professionals. It includes a range of advanced features that enable the user to effectively recover their data.

Read full R-Studio for Windows review

R-Studio is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Users can recover an unlimited number of data, so long as the files being recovered are under 256KB. Anything above this limit will require a purchase of one of the several available licenses.

The main differences between R-Studio and Recuva

Overview of main differences
#FeatureRecuvaR-Studio
1Starting price$0$49.99 / Perpetual
2NTFS partitions scan
3APFS partitions scan
4HFS+ partitions scan
5Document formats recovery
6Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
7RAID reconstructor
8Network recovery
9Bad sector management
10Forensic features
11Helpdesk support
12Easy-to-locate features
13Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items
14Windows shadow copies scanning
15Secure data shredding

There's no doubt that R-Studio is an extremely effective data recovery tool. In our quick scan tests, R-Studio was able to scan and recover data from all of our partitions with great success, which included HFS+, APFS, FAT32, ExFAT, NTFS, and EXT4. Recuva only had some success recovering data from our ExFAT, NTFS, and FAT32 partitions, with about a quarter of the data on our FAT32 partition not being found at all.

R-Studio also supports more file types than Recuva. Recuva was unable to recover MXF,  INSV, ACCDB, and FB2 file types, all of which were recoverable using R-Studio. Furthermore, R-Studio's deep scan resulted in the recovery of 98% of our data, whereas Recuva didn't recover any at all.

R-Studio can recover data from unmountable partitions and RAID arrays. It can scan for lost partitions, perform recovery over the network, and create bootable recovery drives. It's difficult to find something that R-Studio can't do that Recuva can. If you have important files that you need to recover and you're willing to invest money into a data recovery tool, choose R-Studio over Recuva.

recuva icon r-studio icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full R-Studio versus Recuva comparison

R-Studio is a good alternative to Recuva because:

Advanced recovery features.

Phone and helpdesk support.

Excellent recovery performance.

Supports RAID recovery.

Allows recovery over the network.

Fast scan times.

R-Studio is a poor alternative to Recuva because:

Not free.

Complicated.

easeus data recovery windows icon

4. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Windows

3.01 • Popular for its trial recovery capabilities – It's clear that EaseUS doesn't put as much effort into the Windows version of its data recovery software as it puts into the Mac version, but EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Windows is still still a solid product, especially thanks to its generous free data recovery limit.
Version
15.6
Last Release
17th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a very popular data recovery tool developed by CHENGDU Yiwo® Tech Development. It has been around since 2004 and continues tor receive regular updates. It’s capable of recovering your files on Windows and macOS.

Read full EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Windows review

The free version offers up to 2GB of free data recovery before needing an upgrade, which is quite generous. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is one recovery tool among many others that EaseUS offers, such as Partition Recovery, MS SQL Recovery, and Exchange Recovery.

The main differences between EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and Recuva

Overview of main differences
#FeatureRecuvaEaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
1Starting price$0$69.95 / 1 month
2NTFS partitions scan
3Raw photo recovery
4Video formats recovery
5Unmountable partitions
6Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
7Bootable recovery drive creation
8Recovery chance prediction
9Byte-to-byte device backups
10Windows shadow copies scanning
11Secure data shredding

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard offers great file signature recovery, as it supports more file formats than Recuva. It was able to recover several file types that Recuva was not, including SRW, RWL, SR2, X3F, INSV, and HEIC, among many others. During our clever scan tests, EaseUS was able to recover data from most of our partitions, except APFS and EXT4. Conversely, EaseUS only managed to recover some files from our FAT32 partition.

While some of the popularity of EaseUS can be attributed to its aggressive marketing, it is fairly reliable. It allows bootable recovery drive creation for when your operating system fails to boot and saves scan sessions for review at a later time. EaseUS also has a separate video repair tool that gives you a chance to fix any corrupted videos you manage to recover.

On top of all this, EaseUS has an appealing interface that's easy to use. All its features are easy to access and the recovery process is straightforward, making it an excellent choice for those who aren't familiar with recovering data. Users having trouble can always rely on the multiple support channels offered by EaseUS, whereas Recuva has very little.

recuva icon easeus data recovery windows icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full EaseUS versus Recuva comparison

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a good alternative to Recuva because:

Up to 2GB of free recovery.

Excellent customer support.

Recover files during scanning.

Create bootable USB drives.

Labeled results for easier recovery.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a poor alternative to Recuva because:

Not free.

Cannot make byte-to-byte backups.

No recovery chance prediction.

minitool icon

5. MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Windows

2.15 • Does it have the power to recover your files? – It makes the recovery process easy, but its recovery capabilities are outmatched by higher quality recovery tools on the market.
Version
11.3
Last Release
9th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

MiniTool Power Data Recovery was developed by MiniTool Software. Other recovery applications from the company include MiniTool Partition Wizard and MiniTool ShadowMaker. MiniTool Software has been present in the industry since 2001, creating new applications and maintaining existing ones.

Read full MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Windows review

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is available on Windows only. It can recover your data from many devices and serves as a data recovery solution for almost any data loss situation.

The main differences between MiniTool Power Data Recovery and Recuva

Overview of main differences
#FeatureRecuvaMiniTool Power Data Recovery
1Starting price$0$69.00 / 1 month
2exFAT partitions scan
3NTFS partitions scan
4Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
5Bootable recovery drive creation
6Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
7Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
8Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
9Phone support
10Byte-to-byte device backups
11Disk images: scan and recovery
12Recovery chance prediction
13Recovered files' labeling
14Secure data shredding
15Built-in updater

MiniTool Power Data Recovery outperformed Recuva in our clever and quick scan tests. Deep scan results show that it was able to recover 86.9% of our data, while Recuva was unable to recover any. During our real-life recovery challenge, it demonstrated its ability to recover more data thanks to its support for more file types, including MDB and TIFF.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery allows recovery from RAID arrays, something Recuva does not. It also supports unmountable partitions. When scanning, it also automatically runs other scan types to give you a higher chance of discovering additional lost data. In instances where your operating system is damaged, you can create a bootable recovery drive to use for recovery.

In terms of support, MiniTool offers an extensive knowledge base, alongside customer support channels such as helpdesk, live chat, and phone support. Recuva only offers limited support, seeing as it's a free application.

recuva icon minitool icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full MiniTool versus Recuva comparison

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a good alternative to Recuva because:

Bootable drive creation.

Recovery from soft RAID setups.

Better overall support for NTFS.

Perform recovery while scanning.

Corrupted video repair feature.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a poor alternative to Recuva because:

Costly licenses.

Cannot create byte-to-byte backups.

Wrapping Up

Recuva

1.75

Disk Drill

3.84 119%

R-Studio

3.08 76%

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

3.01 72%

PhotoRec

2.29 30%

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

2.15 22%

Overall, Disk Drill is your best option when choosing an alternative to Recuva. It's not only fast and effective at recovering your data, but it's also reliable and regularly updated to ensure it's capable of recovering even the latest file types.

Disk Drill for Windows

3.84 • The best choice – Although Disk Drill isn't free, rest assured knowing you're paying for superior recovery performance.

Version

4.5.616

Last Release

4th Aug, 2022

Platform

Windows

Requirements

Windows 7-11

Fancy yourself a recovery expert? R-Studio is a highly technical data recovery tool, complete with an impressive number of useful tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about Recuva that we found on the web. Check them out below.

Yes, Recuva can be used to recover an unlimited amount of data without needing to pay a cent. Optionally, you can upgrade to Recuva Pro and get access to virtual hard drive support, automatic software updates, and priority customer support

Our top pick is Disk Drill, as it gives you up to 500MB of free recovery and it has a high rate of success. If you’re looking for another completely free solution, try PhotoRec instead.

After going through rigorous testing, our test results show that PhotoRec scored a 2.29, whereas Recuva only scored 1.74. A big contribution to the higher score was PhotoRec’s signature recovery abilities.

It depends on what you’re looking for. Recuva is completely free, which many would consider their deciding factor. EaseUS, however, demonstrated better recovery performance.

PhotoRec is a completely free and open-source alternative to Recuva that’s compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Jordan Jamieson-Mane
Jordan Jamieson-Mane
Author

Jordan Jamieson-Mane is a content writer with a focus on technology-related content. He has spent much of his life studying and working with all types of technology. During his time as a writer, he has written countless articles in the field of data recovery, breaking down complex topics into articles that are easy to understand.

When he's not writing articles on data recovery, Jordan enjoys traveling the world, reading books, and building websites.

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Nikolay Lankevich
Nikolay Lankevich
Approver

Nikolay Lankevich has over 15 years of strong experience in various fields and platform includes Disaster Recovery, Windows XP/7. System analysis, design, application (Inter/Intranet) development, and testing. Provided technical supports on desktop and laptops on Win-XP and Macintosh for about 2000 employees.