Everybody has two type of life: one physical and other digital. Now, somehow, digital life has become more important than physical. People are more concerned to protect their digital life. Data in your computer is part of your digital life. Losing your digital data is quite easy. Pressing one wrong key and data is gone from your computer. But worry not, we got you covered. You can use any of these best free data recovery software tools and get your lost data back from your computer.
The list of data recovery software has some famous names as well as some not so popular tools. I have used most of these tools. Some are in the list because my friends have used them and are satisfied.
Warning: Some of these free data recovery software tools may have some hidden risk-wares. Please, read carefully every step during installation. The most famous risk-ware is the installation of Yahoo as default search engine and its toolbar. There can be some other risk-ware. Just be carefull.
Recuva Data Recovery Software Tools (Windows)
Recuva might be the most trusted data recovery software out there. It is from the same company who created and distributed world’s most trustworthy PC optimizer Ccleaner. I have use it personally for a long time and recommend it to use before using any other tool.
Recuva can recover lost data from damaged disk as well as securely deleted data, or at least it can try. It can also an recover pictures, music, documents, videos, emails or any other file type you’ve lost. And it can recover from any re-writable media you have: memory cards, hard drives, USB sticks. There are two versions of Recuva available. I am talking about the free one.
Recuva supports Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP. Including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, but not RT tablet editions.
PhotoRec (Digital Camera, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X)
PhotoRec is an open source data recovery software can be used to recover data from hard disks, CD-ROMs, memory cards (CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital/SD, SmartMedia, Microdrive, MMC, etc.), USB memory drives, DD raw image, EnCase E01 image, etc.
PhotoRec can also be used to recover data from;
- Canon EOS 60D, 300D, 10D
- Casio Exilim EX-Z 750
- Fujifilm X-T10
- HP PhotoSmart 620, 850, 935
- Nikon CoolPix 775, 950, 5700
- Olympus C350N, C860L, Mju 400 Digital, Stylus 300
- Sony Alpha DSLR, DSC-P9, NEX-6
- Pentax K20D
- Praktica DCZ-3.4
PhotoRec supports DOS/Windows 9x, Windows NT 4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/10, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris and Mac OS X.
TestDisk (Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X)
TestDisk is the bigger picture of PhotoRec. It is also open source distributed under GNU General Public License (GPL v2+).
Do not underestimate TestDisk, it can do a lot of things like;
- Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
- Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
- Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
- Fix FAT tables
- Rebuild NTFS boot sector
- Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
- Fix MFT using MFT mirror
- Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock
- Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
- Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.
TestDisk supports DOS/Windows 9x, Windows NT 4/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/10, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris and Mac OS X.
R-Linux (Windows, Linux)
R-Linux data recovery has two variants: one for Linux and other for Windows. The both variants are for different platforms but do the same job.
R-Linux recovers files when:
- Removed by virus attack, power failure or system crash;
- After the partition with the files was re-formatted, damaged, or deleted;
- When the partition structure on a disk was changed or damaged. In this case, R-Linux can scan the disk trying to find previously existing partitions and restore files from found partitions.
- From disks with bad sectors. In this case, R-Linux can first copy the entire disk or its part into an image file and then process the image file. This is especially useful when new bad sectors are constantly appearing on the disk, and remaining information must be immediately saved.
The host OS for R-Linux should be:
Linux variant: Linux, kernel 2.6 and above
Windows variant: Win2000, XP, 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows Server 2008/2012
Wise Data Recovery (Windows)
Wise Data Recovery is also a free data recovery software. You have deleted some files by accident, formatted a drive or encountered a system crash and lost some files, It can get back lost files from hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, Memory card, digital camera, mobile phone, MP3 player and other storage media.
The feature I liked the most is Wise Data Recovery can tell you the possibility of recovery of the lost data. For example, if the data is marked with red circle, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to get it recovered fully or even partially.
Wise Data Recovery support supports Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Glary Undelete (Windows)
Glary Undelete is also a free data recovery software which is recommended. It is part of Glary Utilities but you do not need to download the whole package. Just download Glary Undelete as you only need it to recover your lost data.
This tool is very powerful since, apart from the internal hard drive, it can also perform data recovery on removable disks. This may relate to a USB key, flash drive, memory card, external hard disk and other removable media.
I do not know if it supports XP but it does support Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista.
iCare Data Recovery (Windows)
I am talking about iCare Data Recovery Free and not the paid one. It can recover word documents, emails, videos and audio files from almost any storage media including PC hard drive, digital camera, USB flash drive, SD memory card, removable media etc.
The problem is it may not recover any or all data from formatted disks. Instead of this, use Recuva.
The supported operating systems are Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1/10.
Kickass Undelete (Windows)
Funny name 🙂 Kickass Undelete is an open source data recovery tool for Windows computers. It might be the smallest in size the data recovery software I have seen so far. The file size is only 200kB maximum. Though very small installer but it has graphical user interface. You should give it a try.
Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition (Windows)
Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edt. is not just a simple data recovery tool but a lot more. It has Windows Recovery which does Windows system recovery and fix Windows boot problems, and has Data Recovery which does recover data from deleted, formatted, damaged disk/drive/partition, and has Recover My Password which does Windows password recovery, and has Disk Image & Clone to do Disk Backup, Clone and Partition Manager.
Pandora Recovery (Windows)
Pandora Recovery allows you to preview deleted files of certain type (images and text files) without performing recovery. This feature becomes really important if you are forced to recover deleted files to the same drive. Currently you can preview files having several image file types (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, ICO,TIF, TGA, PCX, WBMP, WMF, JP2, J2K, JBG, JPC, PGX, PNM, RAS, CUR) and several text file types (TXT, LOG, INI, BAT, RTF, XML, CSS). Quick Viewer allows you preview file contents as text if it cannot find appropriate viewer for it. To use quick viewer you can select deleted file and or click the Quick Viewer icon or right click on deleted file and select ‘Quick View’. Quick View will then display a preview of deleted file.
PartitionGuru Free (Windows)
PartitionGuru is the las in the list of Best Free Data Recovery Software Tools For 2017. It can recover lost, deleted and formatted files and partitions from PC’s hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, USB flash drive, memory card, RAID, virtual disk, etc. It recovers files from unallocated disk space or inaccessible partition with original filename and path. Besides it is able to construct virtual RAID and recover data from virtual RAID just like from local disks.
PartitionGuru Free can be used on Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, and Windows 10.
The list for Best Free Data Recovery Software Tools for Windows, Linux, Mac and Digital Camera could be bigger but I cut it short. I only discussed the important ones. One other reason to select only the mentioned tools was the unlimited data recovery option. There are other good tools but have limited data recovery in free versions so I cut them out.
If you know a good but free data recovery software, which is not mentioned in the list, let me know.