What software can I use to recover deleted video files?

When videos are deleted off of your computer, phone, camera, or other device, it can be devastating to lose that precious data. Whether it was a special home movie, an important video project for work, or other meaningful videos, recovering deleted files is possible in many cases with the right software tool.

Why Videos Get Deleted and Why Recovery is Possible

There are many common reasons videos get deleted accidentally. You may have emptied the trash or recycling bin where they were located. Perhaps you forgot to save project files before formatting a storage device. In the process of transferring files between devices or storage mediums, corruption or disconnect could have led to data loss. While the operating system removes pointers to the files after deletion, the actual video data still remains on the storage device until it gets overwritten by something new saving in that same spot.

As long as the original video files have not been overwritten, recovery software can scan storage devices and find the data that comprises the deleted files. Even if the file system information is gone, the software can piece the videos back together by analyzing the raw data patterns.

Choosing the Right Software for Different File Systems and Devices

The key criteria when choosing data recovery software for deleted videos is making sure it supports the file system and type of device or medium where the files were originally stored. Here are some of the most common file system and device scenarios for deleted videos:

Windows File Recovery

  • NTFS file system on internal and external hard disk drives
  • FAT16, FAT32, exFAT file systems on USB flash drives, SD cards, etc.

Mac File Recovery

  • APFS or HFS+ file systems on internal hard drives
  • ExFAT file system on external storage devices

Mobile Device and Camera File Recovery

  • Android phones and tablets
  • iOS devices including iPhone and iPad
  • GoPro, drones, digital cameras, camcorders

Top Software Choices for Recovering Deleted Videos

Here is a comparison of some top-rated data recovery programs to restore deleted video files for different needs:

Software Devices Supported File Systems Recovery Success Rate Ease of Use
Disk Drill Windows & Mac computers, external drives, SD cards, USB drives, cameras NTFS, FAT, exFAT, EXT, HFS+, APFS 92% Very easy
R-Studio Desktops and laptops, some mobile device file types NTFS, FAT, exFAT, EXT, HFS+, APFS 89% Moderate
Stellar Data Recovery Windows & Mac computers, external drives, SD cards, USB drives, cameras, mobile devices NTFS, FAT, exFAT, EXT, HFS+, APFS, iOS, Android 90% Easy to moderate
EaseUS Windows & Mac computers, external & mobile storage FAT, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT 92% Very easy
Recoverit by Wondershare Windows & Mac computers, most storage devices and file systems NTFS, FAT, exFAT, EXT, HFS+, APFS, mobile OS 92% Very easy

1. Disk Drill

Disk Drill is an excellent choice for deleted video recovery across many file systems and devices. It restores files from internal and external hard drives, SD cards, USB drives, cameras, and more. With a 92% recoverability rate, an intuitive interface, and fast scans, Disk Drill makes it easy for any level user to undelete their lost videos whether on Windows or Mac.

2. R-Studio

R-Studio offers solid video recovery capability with a recovery rate up to 89%. It supports major file systems like NTFS, FAT, HFS+, and EXT. The interface is a bit more complex than other software in this list, making it better suited for technical users. R-Studio is available for Windows and Mac operating systems.

3. Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery works across many devices and file systems, including mobile operating systems like iOS and Android. It can recover lost and deleted videos from Windows and Mac computers, external drives, SD cards, USB drives, and directly from digital cameras. With a 90% success rate, it’s easy enough for any user to restore their videos.

4. EaseUS

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard makes it simple to recover videos with a user-friendly interface and 92% recovery rate. It is able to restore deleted files from Windows and Mac PCs, external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, and certain mobile devices. EaseUS supports the main file systems for common storage devices and has versions for both Windows and Mac OS.

5. Recoverit by Wondershare

Recoverit offers a very high video recovery success rate of 92% across all major file systems and devices. It works seamlessly to restore deleted footage from hard drives, SD cards, USB drives, digital cameras, drones, Android devices, and iOS devices. The recovery wizard for both Windows and Mac makes it easy to get videos back after deletion or device formatting.

DIY Video Recovery Procedure

In most cases recovering deleted videos only requires a few steps. Here is a general procedure to follow when using recovery software:

  1. Select the disk drive or device where the files were originally located. Do not save any new data here that could overwrite your videos.
  2. Scan the drive or device for recoverable video file formats.
  3. Preview found video files and select those you want to recover.
  4. Choose a different safe storage location to save the recovered videos to avoid overwriting them again.
  5. Save the video files to the safe location on your system or a separate external device.

Some software offers more advanced options like deep scanning for more difficult recoveries and added file filtering for more precise results. But in general, DIY deleted video recovery just involves picking a trusted tool, selecting the original device, scanning, previewing, and saving.

Send Drive to a Professional Recovery Service

If your deleted videos are irreplaceable or DIY software cannot recover them, a professional data recovery lab is the most reliable option. Specialized technicians have advanced tools in cleanroom facilities to repair drives and recover any recoverable data. This is the best solution for valuable video files when software is unsuccessful. Expect a typical recovery cost of $300 to $1000 based on drive size and damage level.

Prevent Future Video Deletion Issues

To avoid needing file recovery again in the future, here are some tips to safeguard your important videos:

  • Configure your device to always send deleted files to the Recycle Bin or Trash so they are not permanently erased right away.
  • Set up an automatic backup system to regularly copy important videos to a secondary device or cloud storage.
  • Enable file history or versioning if supported on your device to restore previous versions of accidentally deleted or overwritten files.
  • Store video originals and working files on your internal drive rather than external devices which can become corrupted or disconnected.
  • Be wary of forcefully formatting drives or partitioning disks without first saving your files elsewhere.


Recovering deleted videos is often possible with the right data recovery solution. Software like Disk Drill, Stellar Data Recovery, EaseUS, and Recoverit allow you to restore videos easily on Windows and Mac computers as well as external devices. Just make sure to use a program designed for the file system and device where your videos were originally stored. With an average recovery rate around 90%, you stand an excellent chance of getting back your deleted movies and footage by using one of these trusted DIY recovery apps. And remember to be more careful managing your precious videos going forward once you get them back!

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