So what’s the best one out there to recover your lost data from your computer? There are plenty of freeware as well as paid ones that can dig out the data from memory cards, external hard disk, CD/DVD, etc, but if you are looking for only the free recovery software, this carefully reviewed and chosen list should be helpful to you. Free file recovery software have evolved over a period of time, and now they are advanced and can even rival paid ones.
Only Quality Freeware: As always, at TWP, my focus at freeware means 100% free and no-nag software. We don’t recommend programs that come bundled with several promotional software and adware. Some Recovery software come with limited size recovery capabilities for free, and then they nag you to upgrade to recover more data. We don’t include them either.
How is Data Recovery Possible?
When you delete any files from your computer by delete function and even after emptying the recycle bin, Windows (and most of OS) just marks the memory sector as re-writable. Your deleted file is still there invisible but Windows can’t read it directly. This applies to format too. Format doesn’t actually destroy the data. It will get destroyed only when the memory sector is overwritten by other data. So until it is over-written, there is high chance of recovering that file without damaging it. This is where the Data Recovery software becomes a useful tool to fish out those deleted and not damaged files. Therefore it makes sense to recover the data immediately when you came to know you lost it, else over a period of time Windows may overwrite it with other data, making recovery difficult.
Recuva comes from Piriform, the makers of the immensely popular trash cleaning tool Ccleaner. It has clean and sleek user interface and launches the recovery tool in the form of wizard style. It is advanced, powerful, and simple to use.
It can recover Pictures, Music, Documents, Videos, compressed archives, and even locally stored emails from the storage device. To be more specific, email recovery is compatible with Thunderbird, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Microsoft Outlook.
It can recover data from media card, iPod, CD, DVD and external hard disk. To save time for recovery process, you can specify a location where the file once belonged, of course if you remember, or simply let it scan the entire media. You can specify Recycle Bin too, so it will look for files deleted from it. There is a option for Deep Scan which takes lot of time, but very useful when dealing with file that was lost long time ago. Other options include ability to show securely overwritten files, hidden system folders, and a preview feature for viewing the image files before recovering them.
Recuva is 100% free program for personal use with no limits on amount for data recovery size. There is a upgrade option available, but it is for commercial purposes and technical support additions. Both – free and paid versions have same recovery abilities.
The user interface is simplistic and does come with preview window to see the image file before actually saving it. It is 100% free for personal use with no size limits for recovery data size. During our review, we found it clean and doesn’t install any promotional software.
Puran File RecoveryDownload
Puran File Recovery is yet another 100% free recovery utility which comes with a powerful recovering ability and supports FAT12/16/32 and NTFS only. User interface is simple and has the deep scan mode, preview window, and filtered mode. It can recover any file format, so each scan usually ends up with several thousands of files. But a filter mode helps you to filter Pictures, Music, Documents, Compressed Files, and Videos.
The program lets you save the recovered files with their path structure intact. Full Scan mode can detect deleted or lost partitions and lets you recover files from formatted drives. Other features include recovery from any media including Hard Disks, Flash Drives, Memory Cards, Smart Phones, and CD/DVDs.
Using it’s surface scan mode, you can recover data from the formatted disk or partitions. The program has the wizard mode that walk through’s the way to recover the files, if you prefer that way. It has quick view and search functionality. There is no preset filter mode to only list pictures, particular documents, videos, or music. You need to type wild characters yourself and look for the particular file formats. Other features include file name search, file size search, date filter, and sort files based on how much it is overwritten like not overwritten, partial, and completely overwritten.
Lazesoft Data Recovery FreeDownload
Lazesoft Data Recovery is another 100% free data recovery software for personal use. This program supports NTFS, FAT, FAT32, and HFS Plus file systems and can recover NTFS encrypted files (NTFS 5) and NTFS compressed files, apart from recovering deleted photos, music, documents, applications or other Windows files.
It can perform data recovery from damaged or deleted partitions and supports IDE, SATA, SCSI, SSD, USB, IPOD, IPhone, RAID Disk Array, etc. It has filter options, but kind of not straight forward. You need to click on ‘Options’ button and then use wildcard to search for the file types you want.