Recuva Review: Popular but Flawed Windows Data Recovery Software

3.04

Out of 5 Total Score

No. 19 Among all Windows solutions

Price range $0...$49.95 • CCleaner • Windows

Last update:

Recuva offers a beginner-friendly approach to data recovery, with the added bonus of free unlimited recovery. But, how good could it really be if it’s free? We’ve taken an extensive look at everything Recuva has to offer in this full review.

Recuva – Gallery

Main Pros and Cons of Recuva

PROS

  • Completely free. Scan and restore unlimited files for free.
  • Chances of recovery. There are algorithms in the program that can give an estimate of the file's recovery.
  • Two operating modes. There are two operating modes - simple and advanced.
  • Secure file erase. Recuva can zeroize found files in 4 different ways so that they cannot be recovered later.
  • Multilingual capabilities. The program supports the largest number of languages among data recovery tools.
  • Scanner settings. You can set up exactly what to look for, what scanners to use, and what you see after the scan.
  • Integration into the system. Integration into the system context menu for fast search of deleted files.
  • Fast scanning. The program scans data fast and shows final results.
  • Resource-intensive. The program does not require powerful hardware to perform scans.
  • Small size. The installed application and the installation file take very little space.
  • Supports shadow copies. Scan a shadow copy of your system drive.
  • Runs multiple instances. You can run multiple instances of Recuva at the same time.
  • Partially restores file structure. Can partially restore structure and filenames of FAT32/NTFS partitions after deletion or formatting.

CONS

  • No Enterprise license. Recuva cannot be used commercially.
  • Scanning/creation of images. Scanning and creation of images is available only in the paid version.
  • Recovering structure and names. In general, scans that support restoring the folder trees and file names either do not work at all or have a large number of errors.
  • Recovery odds accuracy. The accuracy of recovery odds is inaccurate and often causes the application to crash.
  • Updating the list of drives. The program often does not update the list of drives in the system automatically and you have to restart it to see the newly mapped drive.
  • Scan the whole disk. The program can scan only partitions. No way to scan the whole disk.
  • Unmountable disks. Disks with a RAW filesystem or those which do not mount to the system cannot be scanned at all. The program always needs to have a file system to start scanning.
  • The project is abandoned. Recuva is no longer being developed and stopped updating a long time ago. The last update was in the 2016.
  • Interface. The interface is very outdated and in no way user-friendly.
  • Preview. Preview options are very limited. In most cases, it supports up to 5 formats that can be previewed.
  • Switching views. Switching the tree view of found files is not intuitive and is only found in the right-click context menu.
  • Limited signatures. The program has a very small set of signatures that it can detect. The signatures haven't been updated for a long time and cannot find modern video and photo file formats.
  • Convenient scanning. The application does not allow you to customize the scan to account for bad sectors. It is also unable to resume a scan that was started on removable media that has been disconnected then reconnected.
  • Additional functionality. Recuva doesn’t include any additional functionality that are commonly found in modern tools that aid in searching for deleted data.
  • Knowledge base. The program has a limited knowledge base on the site.
  • Support. There is no online chat or support phone number on the site. It also takes a little time to find how to contact the developer by mail.
  • Windows 11 support. Support for Windows 11 is not officially rated in the list of supported operating systems.
  • Crashes. Very often the scanning of modern digital data like photos or video causes the program to crash. The program may hang when calculating the chances of recovery and does not inform the user about what is happening.
  • Managed by CCleaner. There are a lot of promotions for CCleaner, which some find controversial as malware was found in the software in 2017.

Recuva Summary

👍 Worth a try

When searching for a free data recovery tool, Recuva will undoubtedly be one of the top results. Our findings show us that Recuva is a decent recovery tool, but not enough to tackle most data loss situations. While it does have the ability to recover some data, it would be a stretch to say that it could recover the majority. Its quick and clever scanning abilities were very disappointing and only supported Windows file systems. Its ability to recover files by signature alone wasn’t much better, only seeing marginal success with documents.

For a free data recovery solution, it does have some strengths. It’s very easy to use, especially for new users. It’s also very fast and lightweight, taking up only minimal disk space. But this is not enough for us to confidently recommend it as the ideal recovery solution in most cases, even amongst other free recovery tools. It’s good for quick, low-effort data recovery, but not enough to recover data that requires a higher chance of success.

TitleResult
Compatibility Good
Recovery Rate Good
Usability Good
File Type Support Good
Scan Speed Excellent
Free Trial Yes
Starting Price Free
Money-Back Guarantee No

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What is Recuva?

 #

Recuva is a widely recognized free file recovery program for Windows. It has only just started to receive very minor updates in 2022, but it hasn’t received a major update since way back in 2016. Even so, it is still fully functional on the latest version of Windows. It supports an impressive number of languages and comes with a small download size of just over 7 MB. Let’s take a brief look at what we know about Recuva before exploring everything it has to offer.

Recuva Factsheet

RequirementsWindows XP-10, 11 (unofficial support)
Latest version 1.53.2096 • Released 13th Jun, 2022
Download size7.28 MB
CategoryData Recovery Software
UI languagesAlbanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri (Latin), Bosnian, Brazilian Portuguese (Portugues do Brasil), Bulgarian, Catalan (Catala), Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech (Ceský), Danish, Dutch (Nederlands), English, Estonian, Finnish (Suomi), French (Français), Georgian, German (Deutsch), Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian (Magyar), Italian (Italiano), Japanese, Lithuanian (Lietuviu), Norwegian, Polish (Polski), Romanian (Romana), Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Espanol), Swedish (Svenska), Turkish (Türkçe), Ukrainian, Vietnamese.

How Much Does Recuva Cost?

Distributed as Freeware All features are provided free of charge without any limitations
Trial version availableTrial version available
Trial version limitations

With trial version you can:

  • Do advanced file recovery
Paid plans
  • Professional
  • Professional bundle
Price range $0...$49.95
License model Subscription + Lifetime
No credit card to tryNo credit card to try
Money back guaranteeMoney back guarantee

Recuva’s biggest appeal would arguably be its affordability. You can download it for free and immediately get access to its recovery features. It also has a Professional license that renews yearly, which gives you access to virtual hard drive support, automatic updates, and premium customer support. If you’re looking for a data recovery solution that allows unlimited recovery for free, Recuva is a great choice.

All Recuva Pricing Options

11 Year Premium Subscription $24.95
2Details
  • Advanced file recovery
  • Virtual hard drive support
  • Automatic updates
  • Premium support
11 Year subscription $49.95
2Details

Everything in Recuva Professional plus:

  • CCleaner Professional
  • Defraggler Professional
  • Speccy Professional

Discounts and coupons

DiscountDescriptionLink
-25%
Dealschief Promotional Offer

25% OFF Recuva Professional.

Get the Deal
Have you found a better discount coupon and would like to share it with our readers? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll update this section promptly.

Developer — Piriform Software Ltd.

Piriform Software is well-known for its inclination to provide quality tools at an affordable price. Popularly known for its cleaning tool, CCleaner, which is also available for free, Piriform Software strives to release software that’s simple but effective.

10% 697.3% than avg

Online market share

Reflects the share of online traffic within the niche occupied by data recovery software, based on data taken from ahrefs.com (from Google US search engine).

34000 1094% than avg

Brand name popularity

Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to ahrefs.com.

In 2017, Piriform Software Ltd. was acquired by Avast, the cybersecurity software company responsible for the popular antivirus tools Avast and AVG. Avast has a rich history in the technology sector and shares a common interest in developing accessible and high-quality software. 

Developer website ccleaner.com
Support email support@ccleaner.com
Founded

2004 • 20 years on the market

HQ location

110 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6JS, United Kingdom

Social media LinkedIn YouTube

Piriform is active on social media, often opting to use the name CCleaner since that is their most popular product. In addition to their online knowledge base, you can reach them by email for support. If you have a Professional license, you will receive priority support. The CCleaner Community Forums are also quite active if you want to ask for support from the community.

How to Use Recuva for Windows

Tested on: Windows 11 (version 21H2)

Before we jump into how well Recuva performs as a recovery tool, we’ve included some brief instructions on what the recovery process looks like, from installation to completion.

Step 1

Installation

Once you've downloaded the Recuva installation file, installation is fast and easy.

The first screen allows you to customize your installation. You will get the standard options of creating Desktop and Start Menu shortcuts, with two other options for adding recovery options to the context menu of the Recycle Bin and Explorer. Furthermore, you'll have the option of choosing where you want to install it.

Once you choose to install, the process is over in a few seconds. You'll be given the option to launch Recuva, as well as open the release notes to see what has been added.

Step 2

Source selection

Recuva has a slightly different approach when it comes to defining the parameters of your scan. It employs a wizard-like interface that guides you through selecting the type of files you want to scan for, as well as where they are located. This allows you to refine your search. On the final screen, you can choose to use a deep scan to pull as much data as possible.

This approach is great for users who aren't familiar with data recovery, as it takes you through step-by-step without filling the window with complicated jargon. If you're not a fan of being guided through this part of the process, you can click Cancel at any time to be taken straight into the main Recuva interface. 

Step 3

Scanning process

When the scan has started, you'll be given an estimation of how long it will take. However, this process is split into three stages. The estimated time you're given is only for a particular stage, meaning you're not given an expectation of how long the entire process will take.

As the scan progresses through each stage, it will give you an indication of how many files it has found and a percentage showing the total completion of that stage. Once finished, you will be taken straight to the window that shows all of the discovered files.

Step 4

Managing found files

Recuva has three modes you can view the discovered files in, which are List View, Tree View, and Thumbnails View (though these options are hidden in the right-click menu). You can sort results by name, path, last modified date, size, state, and comment.

This is also where you can make use of Recuva's secure delete feature, which overwrites selected data to decrease the chances of recovering it. This is useful if you want to effectively delete sensitive data and can be done simply by right-clicking a file and selecting Secure Overwrite Highlighted.

Using the advanced mode, you can use a search bar to filter through the results based on the file type. Additionally, this also allows access to the preview window which displays a small preview of the selected file if one is available.

You can mark files for recovery by checking the box next to each file. When ready, click Recover at the bottom-right of the window.

Step 5

Recovery and post-processing

The final recovery step is easy. After clicking Recover, you'll be asked to choose where you want the files to go. After the files are recovered, you'll be given an overview of how many files were recovered and how long it took to complete.

Is Recuva safe?

85%

Avg score Recuva is safe to use.

Safe and Trustworthy
👾 Malware
10/10

Recuva does not include any malware.

🔒 Privacy
8/10

Some data is collected as stipulated in the company's privacy policy.

📊 Data Integrity
8/10

The program does not employ non-intrusive read-only algorithms.

👨‍💻 Developer
8/10

The company has had issues with malware in the past.

SUMMARY

Recuva is a safe and trustworthy application, although this wasn't always the case. Back in 2017, Piriform was alerted by its parent company Avast that its software tool CCleaner was compromised. Despite the expeditious fix, Piriform estimates that 2.27 million users were affected. This has left a bad impression on the company, causing some users to question its safety even today. We performed a full malware scan on the latest version of the software and it came back clean. Piriform does process some personal data and specifies which data, as well as how it's used, in its General Privacy Policy. The software itself is ok at maintaining your data's integrity, but bear in mind hat it does not use non-intrusive read-only algorithms.

Recuva - Full Review and Analysis

Now, we break down Recuva and review it against the criteria we use to produce our final rating. We take an objective look at the different areas surrounding Recuva to determine how effective it is and what value it can bring to you alongside its ability to recover data.

53%

Karma

12 rating criteria

Recuva receives a Karma score that’s just above average. This metric is based on the below factors, including customer support, operating system support, and update frequency.

The lowest contributing areas are updates and customer support. Recuva hasn’t received any major updates since 2016. It started releasing minor updates again from 2022, but they’ve been relatively insignificant and only relate to data usage reporting, license delivery, and bug fixes. While the software is still usable, it shows users that Piriform isn’t actively working on it to optimize it or introduce new features. As for customer support, even if you have a Professional license, you’re limited to a single email channel.

#FeatureResult
1Update frequency More than 6 months
2Updated recently Yes
3Changelog available Available (View full update history)
4Latest Windows release supported Nope, Windows 10 and older
5Genuine or clone? Genuine
6Brand name popularity Popular
7Online market share Good
8Maturity Mature
9Extensive knowledge base Available
10Helpdesk support Not available
11Live chat Not available
12Phone support No
76%

Bang for the buck

8 rating criteria

We circle back to one of Recuva’s strongest benefits – the price. It scores a 76%, as it’s a free-to-use tool that allows you to perform unlimited recovery, forever. A Professional subscription-based license is available, though only with a few added benefits.

It loses a few points as it doesn’t come with any free upgrades (like access to other Piriform tools) with the subscription option and the free version can’t be used for commercial recovery. However, these two areas are minor when you consider it’s a full recovery solution without a price tag.

#FeatureResult
1Competitive pricing Yes
2Price-quality ratio Great
3Free trial Yes (unlimited recovery)
4Is it free? Yes
5Pricing policy Free + One subscription plan option
6Unlimited recovery in full version Yes
7Free upgrades No
8Commercial rights in the cheapest license No
61%

Usability

18 rating criteria

Usability refers to how user-intuitive Recuva’s recovery process is and what features are included that add to the overall quality of life. 

While Recuva gives you access to the basics like sorting through results, thumbnail previews, and searching for specific files, it uses a slightly outdated user interface and doesn’t support more advanced features like utilizing multiple scan modes without user input. Even so, it’s very easy to use and each step of the recovery process is easy to complete.

#FeatureResult
1Modern user-friendly interface No
2Dark mode No
3Easy-to-locate features Yes
4Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction No
5Auto-resuming scans of failing drives No
6Auto-resuming backups of failing drives No
7Convenient source selection on start So-so
8Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items Yes
9Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items So-so
10Mount recoverable items as disk No
11Built-in updater Yes
12Multiple view modes in scan results A few
13Hex view for recoverable items Limited
14Filter recoverable items by type Yes
15Search recoverable items by file names Yes
16Sort results Yes
17Multilingual UI Yes
18Simple deployment Yes
31%

Recovery performance

122 rating criteria

Following the recovery of our data, Recuva only scored a 31% in terms of performance. Its score is so low because it struggled to recover the majority of our lost data.

In our tests, we commonly found that the folder structure was corrupted upon recovery. This resulted in all files being clumped together without organization. Scan speeds were good, averaging between 100-200 MB/sec. The majority of our photos and videos were either not found or corrupted after recovery. Of all file types recovered, documents were the most successful, with a success rate of around 57%.

#FeatureResultDescription
1Quick scan FineYou cannot quickly recover recently deleted files from HFS+, APFS, or EXT4 partitions.
2Deep scan BadRecuva was only able to recover files from our formatted FAT32 partitions. The original folder structure was corrupted.
3Signature scan FinePhotos and videos were the least successful in terms of recovery. Documents were the most successful.
4Other types of scan FineRecuva cannot scan or recover lost partitions. However, it does allow you to mount and scan disk images for lost data.
5Device support FineHard drives, solid-state drives, flash drives and memory cards are supported, but not mobile devices or RAID configurations.
6Other notable recovery features BadThere aren't many additional features that stand out aside from Recuva's secure delete option.

Scan results

Summary of our scan results

This table presents a quick summary of the scan results we gathered when testing the data recovery software.

#FeatureQuick ScanRecovery of recently deleted filesDeep ScanThe ability to restore original folder structure and file names
1HFS+ partitions00
2APFS partitions00
3FAT32 partitions22
4exFAT partitions30
5NTFS partitions30
6EXT4 partitions00
36%

Every lost minute can significantly worsen the outcome of a data recovery attempt, and Quick scan certainly doesn’t waste your time because it’s designed to find as many recently deleted files as quickly as possible

Average Score

9%

Most consumer-oriented data recovery software applications can attempt to not only restore deleted files but also recover their original file names and folder structure

Average Score

#SignatureDescriptionScan Score
13FR

Hasselblad 3F RAW Image File

3
2ARW

Sony Alpha RAW File

0
3BMP

Bitmap Image File

5
4CR2

Canon RAW Version 2 File

4
5CR3

Canon RAW Version 3 File

0
6CRW

Canon RAW CIFF Image File

2
7DCR

Kodak Digital Camera RAW File

0
8DNG

Digital Negative Lossless RAW Image File

3
9CinemaDNG

Adobe Industry-wide Standard File Format for Digital Video Files

0
10ERF

Epson RAW File

5
11EXR

High Dynamic-range File Format

0
12FFF

Hasselblad RAW Image File

5
13GPR

GoPro RAW Format File

0
14HEIC

High Efficiency Image File Format

0
15IIQ

Intelligent Image Quality RAW File

0
16INSP

Panoramic Image Insta360 File

0
17JP2

Bitmap Image Format JPEG 2000 File

0
18JPG

Joint Photographic Experts Group Compressed Image File

5
19KDC

Kodak Digital Camera RAW Image File

0
20MEF

Mamiya RAW Image File

0
21MOS

Leaf and Mamiya RAW Image File

0
22MPO

Multi Picture Stereoscopic Object File

0
23MRW

Konica Minolta RAW Image Format File

0
24NEF

Nikon RAW Image File

4
25NRW

Nikon RAW Image File

4
26ORF

Olympus RAW Format File

0
27PEF

Pentax RAW Image File

3
28RAF

Fujifilm RAW Image File

0
29RAW

Native Digital Camera File

0
30RW2

Panasonic Lumix RAW Image File

0
31RWL

Leica RAW Image Format File

0
32SR2

Sony RAW 2 Image File

0
33SRF

Sony RAW File

0
34SRW

Samsung RAW Image File

0
35TIFF

Tag Image File Format

0
36X3F

Sigma Camera RAW Picture File

0
37X3I

Sigma Super Fine Detail Picture File

0
24%

Most modern digital cameras and increasingly many mobile devices let their users capture raw image data in a variety of raw file formats, so having the ability to recover them can be extremely helpful

Average Score

#SignatureDescriptionScan Score
1360

GoPRO 360 Degree Video File

4
2ARI

ARRI Professional Digital Video Camera File

0
3ARX

ARRI Professional Digital Video Camera File

0
4AVI

Audio Video Interleave Multimedia Container with GoPRO CineForm Intermediate Codec

2
5AVI

Audio Video Interleave Multimedia Container with MJPG, H.264, MSMPEG4 v2 Codecs

4
6BRAW

Blackmagic RAW Video File

3
7INSV

Insta360 Panoramic H.264 Video File

0
8INSV

Insta360 Panoramic HEVC or HVC1 Video File

0
9MOV

QuickTime File Format with Apple ProRes 422 Proxy, LT or HQ Codec

2
10MOV

QuickTime File Format with Apple ProRes 4444 Raw or HQ Codec

0
11MOV

QuickTime File Format with H.264 Codec

0
12MOV

QuickTime File Format with CineForm HD Codec

0
13MOV

QuickTime File Format with HEVC or HVC1 Codec

5
14MP4

Digital Multimedia Container Format with H.264 Codec

2
15MP4

Digital Multimedia Container Format with HEVC, HVC1 or Apple ProRes Codec

2
16MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with H.264 Codec

0
17MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with DVCPRO HD Codec

0
18MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with ARRI RAW or Apple ProRes Codec

0
19MXF

Material Exchange Format for Professional Digital Video and Audio Media with XDCAM HD422 or HD35 MPEG2 Codec

0
20R3D

Red Digital Camera Company RAW Video File

0
21WMV

Windows Media Video Image with Pro RAW 9 Codec

3
23%

Video file formats have evolved a lot during the last decade, and not all recovery software tools support modern formats used by the latest digital cameras, camcorders, and mobile devices

Average Score

#SignatureDescriptionScan Score
1ACCDB

Microsoft Access 2007+ Database File

0
2DJVU

Scanned Document File Format Intended For Scanned Images

0
3DOC

Microsoft Word 97 – 2003 Document File

5
4DOCX

Microsoft Word 2007+ Document File

4
5FB2

FictionBook 2.0 eBook File

0
6KEY

Apple Keynote Office Application File

3
7MDB

Microsoft Access 97 - 2003 Database File

0
8NUMBERS

Apple Numbers Office Application File

3
9ODP

OpenDocument Presentation File Format

3
10ODS

OpenDocument Spreadsheet File Format

5
11ODT

OpenDocument Text Document File Format

3
12PAGES

Apple Pages Office Application File

3
13PDF

Portable Document Format File

4
14PPT

Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - 2003 Presentation File

5
15PPTX

Microsoft Powerpoint 2007+ Presentation File

4
16RTF

Rich Text Format File

4
17XLS

Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 Spreadsheet File

3
18XLSX

Microsoft Excel 2007+ Spreadsheet File

3
57%

Documents are among the most commonly recovered file formats because their importance can be tremendous, especially when they're related to work or school. Because of how many document file formats exist these days, older and less developed data recovery software often struggle recovering and recognizing all of them

Average Score

Attention

Feeling puzzled by terms like "Quick scan" and "Deep scan"? This link explains the different scan modes and their specific purposes.

Recuva doesn’t have anything impressive to show in terms of recovery results. Its ability to recover recently deleted files is only supported on FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS partitions. Its deep scan is limited only to the FAT32 file system. Both of these scan types were very underwhelming and failed to recover most of our lost files.

Its ability to recover data by file signature isn’t much better. When it came to raw photo recovery, it was able to recover most of our lost BMP, CR2, ERF, FFF, JPG, NEF, and NRW files. Other image file types were either not supported, corrupted, or recovered in a different format. The results for video formats were similar, with some success with recovering 360, MOV, and some versions of AVI, while other formats were either corrupted upon recovery or remained undiscovered.

Documents were one area where it saw decent recovery performance, most notably with formats like DOC, DOCX, ODS, PDF, PPT, PPTX, and RTF. Other file types, such as KEY, NUMBERS, and ODP were still recoverable, but still not to a satisfactory level. 

Other scan types

Advanced scan types for solving complicated data loss situations Basic data recovery algorithms aimed at recovering recently deleted data cover only a small subset of the data loss issues users experience every day. That’s why developers also implement all kinds of advanced scan types
39%
Average Score
#FeatureScore
1The number of file types supported by signature scan1
2BitLocker support3
3Windows shadow copies scanning5
4Scan for lost partitions0
5Recovered files' labeling3
6Partial file recovery5
7Disk images: scan and recovery5

Recuva allows you to mount and scan disk images to preserve the state of your original drive. It also supports recovery from BitLocker-encrypted drives after a password is provided. However, it cannot scan for lost partitions and its deep scan feature only supports a limited number of file types.

Device Support

Supported internal and external storage devices Ideally, data recovery software applications should be able to recover from internal and external hard drives, external USB flash drives, memory cards, smartphones, and other commonly used storage devices
41%
Average Score
#FeatureScore
1Internal and external HDD5
2Internal and external SSD5
3USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices5
4Memory cards5
5iOS devices0
6Android devices0
7Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD0
8Unmountable partitions0
9Remote SSH (secure shell protocol) Linux based devices recovery0
10NAS (Network-attached storage) RAID devices0

Recuva supports recovery from hard drives and solid-state drives (internal and external), flash drives, and memory cards. It cannot recover data from mobile devices or RAID configurations.

Other notable recovery features

Additional recovery features and their performance These additional recovery features are what often separates average data recovery software solutions from those that can satisfy the needs of professionals and power users
29%
Average Score
#FeatureScore
1Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms0
2Network recovery0
3Effectively filters out corrupted scan results3
4Byte-to-byte device backups5
5Bootable recovery drive creation0
6Convenient scan session management0
7Bad sector management0
8Recovery chance prediction3
9RAID reconstructor0
10Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan0
11Data protection0
12Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices0
13Scan speed4
14Scan free space only0
15Start file recovery without interrupting the scan0
16Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan0
17Forensic features0

Recuva doesn’t have much else to offer. This isn’t surprising considering the low price point. Scan times are fast and you are given the option of creating byte-to-byte backups with the paid version. It also has a recovery chance indicator, though it is slightly inaccurate.

20%

Extras

10 rating criteria

The sole purpose of Recuva is data recovery. Piriform has developed other applications that would otherwise tick some of these boxes, but Recuva doesn’t come with a lot extra. While this does contribute to a smaller file size, it would be nice to see some small additions, like a S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring tool.

#FeatureResultDescription
1Disk space mapping NoNot supported.
2Disk clean up NoNot supported.
3Corrupted video repair tool NoNot supported.
4Corrupted photo repair tool NoNot supported.
5S.M.A.R.T. YesNot supported.
6Duplicate finder NoNot supported.
7Built-in disk space secure eraser NoNot supported.
8Disk cloning NoNot supported.
9Disk surface test NoNot supported.
10Secure data shredding YesSecure delete can overwrite sensitive data so there's less chance of recovery.

As long as Recuva remains a free tool, the inclusion of additional features in the future seems unlikely. But, the secure delete feature does deserve some praise, as it’s not a commonly seen feature among data recovery tools.

What Users Say about Recuva

When you delete a file let’s say on windows. The file is not deleted instantly what is actually deleted is the MFT index to the file on the drive that windows uses to access the file. So tools like recuva make use of that principle. But eventually those files that have MFT index

DZIIOG (twitter.com)

Spent all day on Friday painting 4 paintings for a video and then decided to transfer the footage yesterday, it got half way through the transfer and I casually went into the folder and deleted all the files before it completed and lost all of the footage, recuva didn't work.

Amanda (twitter.com)

Ultimately, Piriform Recuva is up there with the best data recovery programs we’ve tested. The free version is great for those who want to test the software before purchasing, and annual subscriptions are very competitively priced.

Daniel Blechynden (techradar.com)

We like Recuva for its low cost, its clear interface, and its ease of use, but it only recovered two-thirds of the deleted files on my test drive, and that kind of performance may not be good enough in a crisis.

Edward Mendelson (pcmag.com)

Video Resources for Recuva: Tutorials and Helpful Guides

To help you see the entire process, check out some of these insightful tutorials that cover the use of Recuva.

HOW TO RECOVER FILES FORMATTED CARD||recuva data recovery software

Here is a quickest way to recover your files from a formatted memory card, hard drive etc using recuva data recovery software.

Recover & Restore Deleted Files With Recuva

Accidentally deleted an important file? Lost files after a computer crash? No problem - Recuva recovers files from your Windows computer, recycle bin, digital camera card, or MP3 player!

Bottom line

If you’re strapped for cash and need a fully functional data recovery tool that offers unlimited recovery, Recuva definitely deserves consideration, though be sure to set your expectations accordingly.

When compared to other data recovery tools on the market, Recuva has a much lower success rate and fails to find uncommon file types. Of the data it recovered during our tests, a lot of it was damaged. Moreover, it was common for the folder structure to be corrupted, resulting in a huge list of unorganized files.

It deserves some recognition for its fast scan times, as well as its secure delete feature, which isn’t often seen in other tools. But, these features alone are not enough to disregard its shortcomings in other areas.

Overall, if you have nothing else, Recuva is worth trying. Although, in a real-world situation where success is imperative, we would place our trust in other tools that’ve proven their reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to commonly asked questions surrounding Recuva.

If you’ve deleted a file by accident that isn’t easily recovered from the Recycle Bin or a previously made backup, Recuva can scan your drive and effectively undelete the data.

In terms of performance, Recuva leaves a lot to be desired. During our tests, Recuva was unable to find a lot of the data we had deleted. Following recovery, a lot of files were also corrupted and the folder structure was lost in some instances.

While it definitely can recover data, it doesn’t perform quite as well as other paid alternatives on the market. But, since it’s free, it’s a good choice for those who want to try it out.

The time a deep scan takes in Recuva depends on the size of your drive and how old it is. Large drives that you’ve used heavily will contain a lot of data, resulting in a longer scan time. Typically, deep scans on large drives can take a few hours, with some taking up to 24 hours.

Recuva Professional is the paid subscription version of Recuva. It renews yearly and gives you the added benefit of premium support, virtual hard drive support, and automatic updates. 

Once you’ve finished recovering files using Recuva, you simply need to navigate to the specific output folder you chose when performing recovery. Unfortunately, Recuva doesn’t give you a shortcut following successful recovery, so you will need to navigate there manually.

Once there, you can open your files like normal. If your file has sustained some sort of damage, like corruption, the file may no longer be usable and may present an error message when opened.

We experienced crashes when using Recuva. We found that this occurred when scanning more modern photo and video file types. Recuva also hangs when calculating the chances of recovery. This could be attributed to Recuva’s age and lack of updates, seeing as it hasn’t received a major update since 2016.

👍 Worth a try

Recuva Review: Popular but Flawed Windows Data Recovery Software
3.04

Out of 5 Total score

No. 19 Among all Windows solutions

Recuva, despite it being a full recovery solution at zero cost, leaves a lot to be desired. Compared to other recovery tools, it’s sorely lacking in terms of recovery performance and features. However, if you’re in a pinch, it can serve as a quick and easy-to-use recovery solution.

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Jordan Jamieson-Mane
Author
  • 42 publishings
  • Auckland, New Zealand
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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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Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Approver

Yevgeniy Tolkunov is Hardware Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Yevgeniy has a Master's Degree in Physics, Information Technology; 15+ years of experience.

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