Best free file recovery and recovery software for Windows
Many free data recovery programs exist that can help recover accidentally deleted files. These file recovery programs can help you recover, or “recover” files on your computer.
Files you have deleted usually remain on your hard drive (or USB drive, media card, smartphone, etc.) and can be recovered using free data recovery software.
Important: Data recovery software is just one way to see How to recover deleted files for a complete guide, including how to avoid common mistakes in the recovery process file.
Remove files you think have been gone forever with any one of these freeware data recovery tools:
Recuva is the best free data recovery software available, hands down. It is very easy to use but also has many optional advanced features.
Recuva can recover files from hard drives, external drives (USB drives, etc.), BD / DVD / CD discs and memory cards. Recuva can even get back files from your iPod!
Undeleting a file with Recuva is as easy as deleting one! I highly recommend you to try Recuva first if you need to recover files.
Recuva will recover files in Windows 10, Windows 8 & 8.1, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008/2003, and older Windows versions like 2000, NT, ME and 98. 64-bit versions of Windows are also supported. There is also a 64-bit version of Recuva.
Piriform offers both an installable and a portable version of Recuva. I tested file recovery using Recuva v1.53.1087 using their portable version on Windows 8.1.
2. Puran File Recovery
Puran File Recovery is one of the better free data recovery programs I’ve seen. It is very easy to use, will scan any drives that Windows sees, and has many advanced options if you need them.
One special thing to note – Puran File Recovery identified more files on my test machine compared to most other tools, so make sure to make one more note for Recuva if it doesn’t find what you are finding.
Puran File Recovery will even recover lost partitions if they haven’t been overwritten.
Puran File Recovery works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. It’s also available in a portable model for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, so it doesn’t require installation.
3. Disk Drill
Disk Drill is a great free data recovery program not only because of its features but also because the design is so simple that it is almost impossible to get confused.
According to the Disk Drill website, it can recover data (up to 500 MB) from “almost any storage device”, such as internal and external hard drives, USB devices, cards memory and iPod.
Drill Drill features include the following features: * Automatically detect image files from your hard disk. the results so you can easily re-import them to recover deleted files later.
Drill works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as macOS.
Note: Pandora Recovery is a file recovery program but now it exists as Drill Drill. If you are looking for that program, you can find the latest version on Softpedia .
4. Glary Undelete
Glary Undelete is an excellent free file recovery program. It’s very easy to use and has one of the better UIs I’ve seen.
The biggest advantages of Glary Undelete include easy viewing of “Folders” folders, a Windows Explorer view of recoverable files and a prominent “State” sign for each file, indicating the how successful file recovery is.
One disadvantage of Glary Undelete is that the installation is needed before you can use it and it asks you to install a toolbar, which you can of course reduce. Besides these events, Glary Undelete was also rated the highest.
Glary Undelete can recover files from hard drives and any removable media you may have including memory cards, USB drives, etc.
Glary Undelete is said to work in Windows 7, Vista, and XP, but it also works fine in Windows 10, Windows 8, and earlier versions of Windows XP. I tested Glary Undelete v5.0 in Windows 7.
5. SoftPerfect File Recovery
SoftPerfect File Recovery is an excellent file recovery program. It is very easy to find recovered files. Anyone can use this program with very little trouble.
SoftPerfect File Recovery will recover files from hard drives, memory cards, etc. Any device on your computer where data is stored (except your CD / DVD drive) should be supported.
SoftPerfect File Recovery is a small, 500 KB, standalone file making the program very portable. You can run File Recovery from a USB drive or floppy disk. Scroll down a bit on the download page to find it.
Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008 & 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98 and 95 are all supported. According to SoftPerfect, 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems are also supported.
I tested SoftPerfect File Recovery v1.2 in Windows 10 without any problems.
6. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an excellent file recovery program. Recovery files are very easy with just a few clicks.
My favorite aspect about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the Windows Explorer-like structured user interface. While that might not be the ideal way for people to display files, it’s a very familiar interface that most people are comfortable with.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will recover files from hard drives, optical drives, memory cards, iOS devices, and anything else Windows views as a storage device. It also recovers partitions!
Please note that the Data Recovery Wizard will only recover a total of 500 MB of data before you need to upgrade. I have barely included this program because of that limitation but since most situations call for much less minification, I’ll let it slip.
Data Recovery Wizard supports Mac and Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Windows Server 2012, 2008 and 2003.
7. Wise Data Recovery
Wise Data Recovery is a free recovery program that is really simple to use.
The program installed very quickly and scanned my computer in record time. Wise Data Recovery can scan various USB devices like memory cards and other removal devices.
An instant search function makes it really quick and easy to search for deleted files that Wise Data Recovery has found. A recoverable column displays the likelihood of a file being recovered with Good, Poor, Very Poor, or Lost . Just right click to restore a file.
Wise Data Recovery works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. There is also a portable version available.
Recovery data recovery program is identical to the other free recovery apps on this list.
The thing I like most about Restoration is how simple it is to restore files. There are no mysterious buttons or complicated file recovery procedures – everything you need is on one, easy to understand windows program.
Recovery can recover files from hard drives, memory cards, USB drives and other external drives.
Like some of the other popular data recovery tools on this list, Restoration is small and doesn’t need to be installed, allowing it to run flexibly from a floppy disk or USB drive.
Recovery is said to support Windows Vista, XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98 and 95. I have successfully tested it with Windows 10 and Windows 7, and did not have any problems. However, v3.2.13 didn’t work for me in Windows 8.
FreeUndelete is self explanatory – it’s free and it undeletes files! It is very similar to the other recovery utilities around this ranking on my list.
The biggest advantage of FreeUndelete is the easy-to-use interface and the function of “directory drill” (eg files available for recovery are not displayed in a large, unmanageable list).
FreeUndelete will recover files from hard drives, memory cards and other similar storage devices in or connected to your computer.
FreeUndelete works on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
10. ADRC Data Recovery Tools
ADRC Data Recovery Tools is an excellent free file recovery program. File recovery with this program is uncomplicated and could possibly be done by the average computer user without any kind of documentation.
ADRC Data Recovery Tools will be able to retrieve files from any non-CD / DVD storage device such as memory cards and USB drives, as well as hard drives, of course.
ADRC Data Recovery Tools is a standalone, 132 KB program that makes it a very easy data recovery tool on any removable media you have.
The Data Recovery Tool officially supports Windows XP, 2000 and 95 but I have successfully tested data recovery with this program on Windows Vista and Windows 7.
I have also checked ADRC Data Recovery Tools v1.1 in Windows 8 and 10 but couldn’t get it to work.
11. CD Recovery Toolbox
CD Recovery Toolbox is a completely free and very unique file recovery program. CD Recovery Toolbox is designed to recover files from damaged or corrupted optical drives – CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, HD DVD, etc.
According to the publisher, CD Recovery Toolbox will help recover files from discs that are scratched, shoveled, or have surface stains.
One obvious child is the inability of CD Recovery Toolbox to recover files from hard drives or removable media. However, the program was not designed to do that so I didn’t hold that fact against it.
CD Recovery Toolbox works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003, 2000, NT, ME and 98. I have successfully tested CD Recovery Toolbox in Windows 7.
12. UndeleteMyFiles Pro
UndeleteMyFiles Pro is a free file recovery program. Don’t let the name fool you – it’s free even though it says “Pro”.
The tree view and theDetail View are two viewing views that you can choose from. You can also preview files, which sounds nice, but all it does is recover data to a temporary folder and then open it.
Emergency disk imaging is one of the tools included in UndeleteMyFiles Pro. This tool takes a picture of your entire computer, puts all the data in one file and then lets you work through that file to find the deleted data you want to recover. This is very handy because after the image file has been taken, you don’t need to worry that the new data written to your hard drive will replace any important deleted files.
There is a good search option in UndeleteMyFiles Pro that allows you to search by file location, type, size and properties.
Something I really don’t like about UndeleteMyFiles Pro is that the recovery process doesn’t tell you if a file is in a recoverable state like most other software on this list.
I tested UndeleteMyFiles Pro in Windows 8 and XP and it works as advertised, so it should work in other Windows versions as well. However, I also tested v3.1 in Windows 10 and found that it didn’t work as it should.
13. MiniTool Power Data Recovery
Unlike some other file recovery programs from this list, Power Data Recovery needs to be installed on your computer before you can use it. This is not the best way to work with this type of software as the settings may overwrite your deleted files and make them less likely to recover.
Another downside of Power Data Recovery is that you can only recover 1 GB of data before you have to upgrade to the paid version.
However, I like the fact that the program finds deleted files quickly and that you can recover files from both internal drives and USB devices. In addition, Power Data Recovery allows you to search among deleted data, recover more than one folder or file at once, export the list of deleted files to a TXT file, and filter the file by name, extension, size, and / or date.
Power Data Recovery works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Windows Server 2008/2003. I checked this version of Power Data Recover in Windows 7.
Note: The download page is full of red links that will take you to the sites where you can buy this program. Keep the link that says “Outside mirror 1” to download the free version.
14. TOKIWA DataRecovery
TOKIWA DataRecovery is an efficient data recovery program and very similar to many other programs on my list.
The best thing TOKIWA DataRecovery for is that it’s easy to use. It has a single program window where you can scan for files to recover, organize files, and retrieve them. There is no complicated procedure at all.
TOKIWA DataRecovery can recover files from hard drives, memory cards, USB drives, and other external drives.
TOKIWA DataRecovery is a standalone, 412 KB file, making it a completely portable tool suitable for a USB drive or floppy disk.
DataRecovery officially supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98 and 95. However, I tested TOKIWA DataRecovery with Windows 10 and Windows 8, and it works just as advertised.
15. PC Inspector File Recovery
PC Inspector File Recovery is a good free file recovery program with a “deeper” search for deleted files than other similar recovery programs.
PC Inspector File Recovery can recover files from most hard drives, external drives, and memory cards.
I recommend trying PC Inspector File Recovery only if another rated higher data recovery program didn’t do the job for you. The interface is not easy to use and the long hard drive scan time will help this file recovery app get rid of the Top 10.
Note: The download link is on the right side of the download page.
PC Inspector File Recovery officially supports Windows XP, 2000, NT, ME and 98. However, I tested PC Inspector File Recovery in Windows 8 and it ran as advertised. I also tested v4 in Windows 10 but it didn’t work correctly.
16.Orion File Recovery Software
Orion File Recovery Software is a free file recovery program from NCH Software that is essentially the same as most of the other programs on this list.
The nice wizard prompts you to scan for specific file types when launching the program, like documents, pictures, videos, music, or a custom file type. You can also scan your entire drive for all types of files.
Orion File Recovery Software can scan any attached hard drive, whether internal or external, flash drives, and memory cards for deleted data. You can then search through files with an instant search function, while easily identifying each file’s recovery potential.
A nice addition to the Orion File Recovery Software also functions as a data destruction program so you can scrub all the files it finds to make them irreversible for scans in future.
Note: The installation tool tries to install other NCH Software programs along with the file recovery tool, but just uncheck the options if you don’t want to install them.
Orion File Recovery Software works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
17. BPlan Data Recovery
BPlan Data Recovery is a file recovery program like the others on this list. It may not be as pretty as similar software, but it can recover many different types of deleted files.
I found BPlan Data Recovery to be a bit difficult to navigate around. It is hard to know what I am doing because of the result layout. That said, it still manages to find and recover photos, documents, videos, and other file types.
Note: While testing this program, I noticed the desktop shortcut that the installer created was incorrect and therefore failed to open BPlan Data Recovery. You may need to open ” bplan.exe ” in this folder to make it work: “C: Program Files (x86) BPlan recovery “.
BPlan Data Recovery works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. I tested BPlan Data Recovery in Windows XP.
The free PhotoRec file recovery tool does the job, but it’s not nearly as easy to use as the other programs on my list.
PhotoRec is limited by the command line interface and multi-step recovery process. However, my biggest problem with PhotoRec is that it is very difficult to avoid recovering all deleted files at once, not just the one or two files you are using.
PhotoRec can recover files from hard drives, optical drives, and memory cards. PhotoRec will be able to get back files from any storage device on your computer.
If another data recovery program doesn’t work, try PhotoRec. I don’t recommend picking it up at first.
Note: PhotoRec is downloaded as part of the TestDisk software but you still want to open the file named “photorec_win” (on Windows) to run it.
PhotoRec officially supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95, as well as macOS and Linux. I tested PhotoRec in Windows 7.
“Why do you only include 18 free data recovery programs?” Yes, there are many more file recovery programs than the ones listed above, but I only include the file recovery programs that really recover files can also get back many files.
I do not include file recovery programs as shareware / free trials, nor those that will not get back files of reasonable size.