5 FREE Data Recovery Software That Actually Work
OOPS! Did you just delete an entire week’s work by accident? Nothing to worry about, the 5 free file recovery software on this list can retrieve anything that’s been lost or corrupted. Don’t waste hundreds of dollars on data recovery at the shop. These programs cost nothing and are almost as good as having your own private IT department.
“Make sure to back up your data” – that boss you never listened to
READ FIRST: Data Recovery Software Basics
Maybe you forgot to back up an important file. Maybe the storm of the century left your office looking like Waterworld. Or maybe a cyber attack took everything you held dear.
Don’t worry, there are tools that can dig deep into the architecture of your lost universe and retrieve these sacred scrolls of knowledge. Or, ya know, just recover that photo of you and your team members out last week.
Jokes aside, data loss is a serious problem. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average lost data file (when containing sensitive information) costs $225. If your hard drive is physically damaged, it could cost up to $1,000 to recover ANY data. Don’t you wish you’d just scheduled a weekly data backup now?
These programs can retrieve just about anything from a hard drive, disk, flash drive, or any other storage device even if you have 0 clue what you’re doing. That’s why we had to share these 5 free file recovery software.
NOTE: These are all tools with FREE versions, but most offer premium versions with loads of upgraded features. Even if you pay for these tools, the cost pales in comparison to having a pro do it…or worse, never seeing that picture of your cute doggy again.
#1 – MiniTool Power Data Recovery FREE: The Best to Easily Recover Files FAST
The free version of Power Data Recovery 8.6 by MiniTool Power Recovery is hands-down #1 on this list of 5 free file recovery software. Install, scan, and recover any lost file, FAST, and with no fuss during installation advice and simple searchable scans.
Unlike basically every other entry on this list, you can have your data back in your hands in 3 easy steps. Select the location, scan it, and select the items you want to restore and it instantly saves them in a safe place. The scans are extremely fast and the results are easy to read.
The free version limits you to only 1GB of recovered data, though.
#2 – Disk Drill – The Runner Up
Disk Drill pops up on just about every software recovery list for good reason: It’s powerful and simple, and you don’t have to have a doctorate in theoretical physics to get your data back.
We love the simple and straightforward interface. Just scan a drive and you’ll be presented with recoverable options (for FREE). That way, you scan images or files and preview them to make sure you’re recovering the right file. They even give you a nice tutorial in the beginning.
It’s just as good as MiniTool but only gives you 500MB free, so we wouldn’t dare rank it above its more generous competitor.
TIP: Use Disk Drill if you prefer a simpler interface with less complex options. It’s great for quickly recovering an accidentally deleted file.
#3 – Recuva – Recover Anything From Anywhere
Need to get something off of a memory card, a USB stick, or even your iPod (if you still have one)?
Recuva is the answer.
It’s the super flexible, ultra deep scanning, do-it-all recovery tool that can recover anything from anywhere. The detailed interface is easy to use thanks to the recovery wizard. The deep scan takes you deep beneath the waves, trawling the depths of your lost data ocean and exposing you to rare and exotic species of data you had no idea existed.
If you don’t want to be whisked away to this fanciful world of imagination, you can limit the search to find something more specific. There’s a reason geeks love this tool—it’s the be all end all in recovery options.
We don’t recommend it for newbies, and be prepared to get YouTube-like ads every 3 minutes. Better ads then extortionist pricing, so it makes this list of 5 free file recovery software.
There are plenty of other great data recovery programs to undelete those important files. We’d be remiss if we didn’t give them a shout out!
#4 – UnDeleteMyFiles Pro
We couldn’t have a list about software that undeletes files if we didn’t mention a program called UndeleteMyFiles. This is actually one of the true FREE programs on the list.
It looks like it’s from 2004, but it has a lot of cool features like:
- Snapshot: Take a “snapshot” of your drive and retrieve files at your leisure.
- Secure file deletion: Delete files forever so nobody can recover them.
- Email recovery: Did you delete that email string with Grandma’s extreme political opinions? Time to bring back the horror!
A strong drawback is that there is no indication of the recoverability of the files.
#5 – EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
No options to configure? Everything basically taken care of for you?
Sign us up! We don’t know about you, but we don’t like to put in much work outside of our area of expertise. EaseUS presents you with scannable drives and gives you the option to preview all recoverable files from an Explorer-like window.
What irks us a bit is that we can’t see the recoverability of the file without previewing it and you only get 500MB of recovery by default (though it can be upgraded to 2GB within the program).
Fast, clean, simple, intuitive—what else could you ask for in a data recovery program?
Your files aren’t lost for good. Pick any of these 5 FREE file recovery software and get them back fast!
If you end up finding yourself recovering some PDFs, be sure to use Soda PDF to check them out.