If you have lost some important files on your PC or Mac and want to recover them quickly and easily, your only option is usually a data recovery program. There are very many of these data recovery tools in the business that it can sometimes be very hard to choose one. Some are costly and some are completely free to download and use. If it is your first time using a data recovery program and you understandably don't want to spend money on a program you not sure will work, you can try a free program. The following are the top 10 file recovery free programs you can choose from. Most of them are effective and one or two may even be the ideal program for your particular data problem.
Top 10 Free File Recovery Software
This is a completely free program that lets users perform low risk data recovery from a command prompt or DOS box. The program comes with a companion, PhotoRec which is ideal for photo recovery. Both of these programs run in a DOS box or from a command line and aside from data recovery, the program may also be quite useful in detecting and fixing common disk boot problems. It can be used to recover data from damaged hard drives.
- Because it operates on a Command Prompt or Dos level, it is possibly one of the safest data recovery tools
- It can be used to recover all types of files from a danged hard disk and even eternal storage devices
- It may fail to recognize some drives
This is a free data recovery program that works by scanning the drive to find the missing data. It can be used to recover data from a formatted drive or data that has been accidentally deleted and it is even useful in recovering data from an external storage device such as USB drives. It comes with a feature known as "Undelete Quick" that is very handy in recovering data that has been accidentally deleted very quickly.
- It comes with an easy to use interface that makes it easy to maneuver
- It comes with effective features for quick and easy data recovery
- It was unable to recover photos and videos
Despite the "Pro" in the name, it is completely free to use. It is also more than just a data recovery tool as it comes with a file wiping feature as well. It is also very easy to use. All you have to do is select the drive and the program will scan it for the missing data. It can recover data from internal hard drives as well as USB and SD cards and many other storage media.
- Quick, easy and intuitive user interface
- Allows users to preview files before recovery
- The scanned results didn't display file names
- It doesn't have a deep scan capability
If you have accidentally deleted some of the data on your device or have mistakenly emptied the Recycle Bin on your PC, this is the program for you. Pandora Recovery offers you the chance to get the data very quickly. You can use it to browse, search and preview the recovered files from any drive. It is even useful in recovering PhotoShop PSD and MS Outlook PST files.
- The user interface is easy to navigate
- There is a portable version of the program: Pandora Mobile that requires no installation
- It shows a percentage of files found after scanning. This is a great way to determine the recovered and unrecovered files
- It can freeze sometimes when recovering files
- Doesn't support obscure drives even if your system does
This data recovery program that allows users to recover data that has been accidentally deleted or lost due to a damaged drive or even virus attack. Despite the fact that it is free, this program is quite effective and even comes with features you would only find on some paid data recovery programs. It's user interface is clean and intuitive allowing you to easily navigate the program as you recover your missing files.
- It comes with a simple and user friendly interface
- Can be used to recover nearly all types of data
- It has advanced features that make data recovery even easier
- It cannot recover more than 1GB of data
- Sometimes it is difficult to recover data from external storage devices
This one is similar to Recuva in that both programs essentially "undelete" items from NTFS and FAT disks. It is very simple to operate; all you have to do is select the drive, scan it and then select the data you want to recover from the results presented. You can also use the preview function to locate the targeted items and then simply recover them.
- It is very quick to download and install, and comes with a clean and logical user interface
- It is the perfect tool to undelete items from the recycle bin or even external storage devices
- It comes with a preview feature to easily find the files you want to recover
- In the process of scanning for the missing files, the program also finds a lot of junk files that can be a bit overwhelming to go through
- Can't be used to recover data lost through drive formatting or a disk crash
This is a free program that lets users undelete files from both FAT and NTFS based volumes. It also comes with a great user interface and it is surprisingly quick when scanning the drive for data recovery. But the file organization after scanning is not that great, making it hard to find the files you want to recover easily.
- It is quick to download and install
- Scanning is also very fast
- It has uncomplicated buttons and options, making it very easy to use
- Found files are poorly organized and finding the files you want to recover is very easy
- Some drives on the computer may not be visible from within the program
If you are looking for a program to recover lost files very quickly, this is the program you should choose. It is a standalone application, which means it is very easy to install. It is also quite efficient, scanning and finding thousands of files in just a few minutes. All types of files can be found during the scanning process and the program claims to be able to recover documents, pictures, videos and even archived files.
- It comes with a portable version that doesn’t require installation to work
- It also has a deep scan feature that can be used to find even more files
- It also comes with a feature that allows users to wipe files permanently
- There is no documentation or settings to help the user learn how to use the program
- It doesn't have a preview feature
PhotoRec is a free and widely recognizable data recovery program. It works with almost every operating system. Despite the name, the program recovers over 599 different file formats not just photos and it is very easy to install and use. It is also quite effective and constantly evolving to include new and improved features.
- Works very well on multiple platforms
- It gets constant updates making it highly effective
- It has a powerful recovery capability and is very fast and easy to use
- It uses a command line tool interface and so not ideal for the novice user
This program comes with a very powerful set of features that are designed to make data recovery as a simple as possible. It works to recover nearly all types of data and works on all platforms including Mac and Linux as well as PC. It can be quite helpful for professional data recovery experts as it comes packed with features that allow the knowledgeable recover files easily and learn further strategies.
- It is highly capable in all types of data recovery
- It comes with highly advanced disk and file editing capabilities
- You can recover files in bulk
- It doesn't support HFS+ file systems
- It doesn't support for logical disk managers
- It didn't perform very well in RAID recovery
- It is way too advanced for the average user and such is not a good solution if you are looking to recover a small missing file