Which software will help you to recover the files?

Losing important files can be incredibly frustrating. Whether it’s personal photos, work documents, or any other data, having an accidental deletion occur or a hardware failure that causes file corruption can ruin your day. The good news is there are software tools available that can help you recover lost or damaged files. Knowing which file recovery software options exist and selecting the right one for your needs is key to getting your files back quickly and efficiently.

Quick Answers

What are some common causes of lost or corrupted files?
Some common causes include:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Hardware failure like a hard drive crash
  • Power outages
  • Software crashes or corruption
  • Virus or malware infection
  • Natural disasters

What types of files can file recovery software retrieve?
Most file recovery software can recover all common file types like documents, spreadsheets, photos, music, video, email files, databases, and more on many storage devices such as hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, etc.

What are the main features to look for in file recovery software?
Key features include:

  • Ability to recover lost or deleted files
  • Retrieve data from formatted or corrupted drives
  • Support for multiple file systems like NTFS, FAT32, exFAT
  • Flexibility for scanning specific folders or entire drives
  • Preview feature to selectively recover files

Does file recovery software work if a file was overwritten?
Unfortunately overwritten files are less likely to be recoverable. The sooner data recovery is attempted, the better the chances of retrieving overwritten files before they are fully replaced.

Choosing the Right Software for Your File Recovery Needs

When selecting file recovery software, it’s important to consider factors like:

  • Types of data loss situations: Choose a program that uses recovery methods suitable for how your files were lost or damaged like accidental deletion, formatting, corruption, hardware failure, etc.
  • Devices used: Make sure the software supports the types of storage devices you need to recover files from such as hard drives, external drives, flash drives, SD cards, etc.
  • Supported file systems: The software should be compatible with the file system your device uses like NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, HFS+, etc.
  • Ease of use: Look for an intuitive interface that makes it simple to scan for files and preview recoverable data.
  • File preview: Preview identified files before recovering them to avoid recovering unnecessary files.
  • Recovery success rate: Check reviews and product information for recovery success rates.
  • Customer support: Choose a provider with strong customer support in case issues arise during recovery.
  • Price: File recovery software ranges from free to over $100 depending on features.

Evaluating products against these criteria will help lead you to the right software for your specific file recovery needs.

Top File Recovery Software Options

Here are some top options to consider when choosing file recovery software:

1. Recuva

Recuva is user-friendly Windows software from Piriform with an interface that guides you through the recovery process. Key features include:

  • Recovers permanently deleted files and data on damaged or formatted drives
  • Supports Windows 10/8/7
  • Recovers files from hard drives, external drives, memory cards
  • Deep scan capability for more comprehensive searching
  • Secure overwrite feature to completely remove deleted files
  • Preview photos, documents and other file formats
  • Free version available with premium upgrade ($19.95) that adds features like automatic updates, virtual hard drive support, automatic updates, and assistance from data recovery experts

Recuva is a top choice for those needing an affordable and easy-to-use recovery solution for Windows systems.

2. Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery offers comprehensive cross-platform data recovery. Key features include:

  • Recovers data from all file systems and storage media including hard drives, RAID devices, SD cards, etc.
  • Supports Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Has a free version along with premium options ($79-$499 based on features)
  • Previews files before recovery
  • Remote recovery options for technicians assisting clients
  • Provides extensive filtering during scans to isolate target files faster
  • 24/7 support and data recovery services also available

Stellar Data Recovery is ideal for mixed operating system environments and critical business or personal data recovery needs.

3. Disk Drill

Disk Drill provides versatile recovery for Mac and Windows users. Key features include:

  • Recovers data lost to accidental deletion, formatting, corrupted partitions, system issues, viruses, and external drive failures
  • Allows users to protect data proactively with Recovery Vault and S.M.A.R.T. Monitoring capabilities
  • Scans and previews files before recovery
  • Supports over 200 different file formats
  • Free version with upgrade ($89) that adds faster scanning, free upgrades, and premium support
  • Mac and Windows version included in premium package

Disk Drill is a great choice for both Mac and Windows users looking for an affordable but full-featured recovery solution.

4. R-Studio

R-Studio from R-Tools Tech offers advanced capabilities, including RAID recovery, customizable scans, and hex editor. Key features:

  • Proprietary file recovery algorithms for complex data recovery cases
  • Recovers formatted or damaged partitions and hardware RAID arrays
  • File preview for selective recovery
  • Backups disk image files allowing recovery without risking original drive
  • Supports Windows and macOS
  • Free demo available, technician and corporate licenses ($80-$700) add features like email recovery, hardware RAID recovery, and advanced file recovery options

R-Studio stands apart with its heavy-duty data recovery capabilities making it suitable for technician use.

5. Photorec

Photorec focuses specifically on media recovery. Key features include:

  • Recovers photos, videos, documents, and other file formats from formatted, damaged, or infected storage devices
  • Works with hard disks, CD-ROMs, memory cards
  • Suitable for digital forensic recovery needs
  • Free open source utility included with the TestDisk suite
  • Command line interface only, no GUI
  • Requires technical knowledge to operate
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux versions available

Photorec is the right fit for technically experienced users with photo, video, or general media recovery needs.

When Do You Need Professional File Recovery Services?

While DIY file recovery software provides an accessible option for many data loss situations, there are times when enlisting professional file recovery services can increase your chances for successfully retrieving your files:

  • If DIY software can’t recover your files: Professional labs use specialized tools that may be able to salvage data when consumer software fails.
  • For mechanically failed drives: Clean room data recovery can physically repair drives and read platters to recover data.
  • To avoid further damage: Professionals have the experience needed to safely handle fragile failed drives.
  • For valuable or irreplaceable data: Service technicians may have higher recovery success rates for important data.
  • Data recovery certification: Certified specialists adhere to best practices for safely handling your drive.
  • Time savings: File recovery can take your computer out of commission for hours or days. Professionals can recover the data quickly without interrupting your productivity.

If DIY options don’t recover your important files, enlisting professional file recovery services could be your last resort for getting back lost data.

Tips for Maximizing Your Chances of File Recovery Success

Whether you use DIY software or professional data recovery services, following best practices can increase your chances of file recovery:

  • Act quickly: The sooner you attempt recovery, the better your chances. Avoid continued drive use or rewriting files you want to recover.
  • Create a clone: Use disk imaging software to create a cloned backup as a safe copy for file recovery.
  • Scan thoroughly: Use deep or thorough scan options and avoid quick or simple scans.
  • Try multiple tools: One program may recover items another misses.
  • Understand your recovery options: Know what recovery methods suit your type of data loss.
  • Leave disk repair to the professionals: Avoid DIY physical repair attempts that could damage the drive further.
  • Get help when needed: If DIY options fail, work with professional technicians for the best chance of recovery.

With preparation, research, and persistence, you can maximize your chances of getting back lost files.


Losing important data is upsetting but not necessarily permanently catastrophic thanks to file recovery software and services. With an understanding of different file recovery options, choosing a solution matched to your specific situation provides the greatest chance of retrieving your files successfully. Paying attention to criteria like supported devices, operating systems, pricing, and key features allows you to select effective software for your needs. Apps like Recuva, Stellar Data Recovery, Disk Drill, and R-Studio provide user-friendly DIY file recovery capabilities while utilities like Photorec offer media recovery power for advanced users. For critical data recovery that DIY tools can’t handle, turning to professional recovery services may get your files back when all else fails. With the right software or service, a bit of effort, and some luck, you stand an excellent chance of getting lost files back so you can breath that sigh of relief.