19 Free Data Recovery Software Tools

Reviews of the Best Free File Recovery & Undelete Software for Windows

Many free data recovery programs exist that can help recover your accidentally deleted files. These file recovery programs can help you recover, or "undelete" files on your computer.

Files you have deleted are often still present on your hard drive (or USB drive, or media card, smartphone, etc.) and can be recovered using free data recovery software.

Important: Data recovery software is just one way to go. See How to Recover Deleted Files for a complete tutorial, including how to avoid common pitfalls during the file recovery process.

Undelete files you thought were gone forever with any one of these freeware data recovery tools:


Screenshot of Recuva v1.52.1086 in Windows 7
Recuva v1.52.1086. © Piriform Ltd

Recuva is the very best free data recovery software tool available, hands down. It's very easy to use but has many optional advanced features as well.

Recuva can recover files from hard drives, external drives (USB drives, etc.), BD/DVD/CD discs, and memory cards. Recuva can even undelete files from your iPod!

Undeleting a file with Recuva is as easy as deleting one! I highly recommend that you try Recuva first if you need to recover a file.

Recuva v1.53.1087 Review and Free Download

Recuva will undelete files in Windows 10, Windows 8 & 8.1, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008/2003, and older Windows versions like 2000, NT, ME and 98. 64-bit Windows versions are also supported. There is also a 64-bit version Recuva available.

Piriform provides both an installable and a portable version of Recuva. I tested file recovery with Recuva v1.53.1087 using their portable version in Windows 8.1. More »

Puran File Recovery

Screenshot of Puran File Recovery in Windows 8
Puran File Recovery v1.2. © Puran Software

Puran File Recovery is one of the better free data recovery programs I've seen. It's very easy to use, will scan any drive that Windows sees, and has a lot of advanced options if you need them.

One particular thing to note - Puran File Recovery identified more files on my test machine than most other tools so be sure to give this one a shot in addition to Recuva if it didn't find what you were looking for.

Puran File Recovery will even recover lost partitions if they haven't been overwritten yet.

Puran File Recovery v1.2.1 Review and Free Download

Puran File Recovery works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. It's also available in portable form for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, so it doesn't require installation. More »

Disk Drill

Screenshot of Disk Drill v2.0 in Windows 8
Disk Drill v2.0.

Disk Drill is an excellent free data recovery program not only because of its features but also due to the very simple design, making it almost impossible to get confused.

The Disk Drill website says it can recover data from "virtually any storage device," such as internal and external hard drives, USB devices, memory cards, and iPods. 

Disk Drill can also preview image files before recovering them, pause scans and resume them later, perform partition recovery, back up an entire drive, filter files by date or size, run a quick scan versus a full scan for faster results, and save scan results so you can easily import them again to recovery deleted files at a later time.

Disk Drill v2.0 Review & Free Download

Disk Drill works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Mac OS X. More »

Glary Undelete

Screenshot of Glary Undelete v5 in Windows 7
Glary Undelete v5.0. © Glarysoft Ltd.

Glary Undelete is an excellent free file recovery program. It's very easy to use and has one of the better user interfaces that I've seen.

The biggest advantages in Glary Undelete include the easy "Folders" view, a Windows Explorer-style view of recoverable files, and a prominent "State" indication for each file, suggesting how likely a successful file recovery will be.

One disadvantage of Glary Undelete is that installation is required before you can use it and it asks you to install a toolbar, which you can of course decline. Aside from those facts, Glary Undelete is top notch.

Glary Undelete can recover files from hard drives and any removable media you might have including memory cards, USB drives, etc.

Glary Undelete v5.0 Review and Free Download

Glary Undelete is said to work in Windows 7, Vista, and XP, but it also works fine in Windows 10, Windows 8, and versions older than Windows XP. I tested Glary Undelete v5.0 in Windows 7. More »

Pandora Recovery

Screenshot of Pandora Recovery v2.2.1 in Windows 8
Pandora Recovery.

Pandora Recovery is another excellent free file recovery software program. It's super easy to use and has the best wizard to help you undelete files that I've seen in any file recovery app.

A more advanced "Surface Scan" is available in Pandora Recovery that should recover more files than the standard search as long as they are of a popular format.

Pandora Recovery will undelete files from hard drives, memory cards, etc. Nearly anything that stores files that you can also connect to your PC should be supported.

You will need to install Pandora Recovery to your hard drive which is a major reason I haven't ranked it higher than some other file recovery tools.

Pandora Recovery v2.2.1 Review and Free Download

Pandora Recovery lists support for Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003, and 2000 but it worked perfectly well for me in Windows 10, 8, and 7. More »

SoftPerfect File Recovery

Screenshot of SoftPerfect File Recovery in Windows 7
SoftPerfect File Recovery. © SoftPerfect Research

SoftPerfect File Recovery is another superb file undelete program. It's very easy to search for recoverable files. Anyone should be able to use this program with very little trouble.

SoftPerfect File Recovery will undelete files from hard drives, memory cards, etc. Any device on your PC that stores data (except for your CD/DVD drive) should be supported.

SoftPerfect File Recovery is a small, 500 KB, standalone file making the program very portable. Feel free to run File Recovery from a USB drive or floppy disk. Scroll down a bit on the download page to find it.

SoftPerfect File Recovery v1.2 Review & Free Download

Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008 & 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95 are all supported. According to SoftPerfect, 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems are also supported.

I tested SoftPerfect File Recovery v1.2 in Windows 10 without any issues. More »

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Screenshot of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard v9.8 in Windows 7
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard v9.8.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is another great file undelete program. Recovering files is very easy to do with just a few clicks.

My favorite aspect of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is that the user interface is structured much like Windows Explorer. While that may not be everyone's ideal way to display files, it's a very familiar interface that most people are comfortable with.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will undelete files from hard drives, optical drives, memory cards, and pretty much anything else that Windows sees as a storage device. It also does partition recovery!

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard v10.8 Review & Free Download

Please know that Data Recovery Wizard will only recover a total of 2 GB of data before you'll need to upgrade. I almost didn't include this program because of that limitation but since most situations call for undeleting much less than that, I'll let it slide.

Data Recovery Wizard supports Mac and Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Windows Server 2012, 2008, and 2003. More »

Wise Data Recovery

Screenshot of Wise Data Recovery in Windows
Wise Data Recovery. © WiseCleaner.com

Wise Data Recovery is a free undelete program that's really simple to use.

The program installed very quickly and scanned my PC in record time. Wise Data Recovery can scan various USB devices like memory cards and other removal devices.

An instant search function makes it really quick and easy to search for deleted files that Wise Data Recovery has found. A Recoverability column shows the likelihood of a file being recovered with Good, Poor, Very Poor, or Lost. Just right-click to restore a file.

Wise Data Recovery v3.86.204 Review & Free Download

Wise Data Recovery works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. There's also a portable version available. More »


Restoration File Recovery

The Restoration data recovery program is similar to the other free undelete apps on this list.

The thing I like most about Restoration is how incredibly simple it is to recover files. There are no cryptic buttons or complicated file recovery procedures - everything you need is on one, easy to understand program window.

Restoration can recover files from hard drives, memory cards, USB drives, and other external drives.

Like some of the other popular data recovery tools on this list, Restoration is small and does not need to be installed, giving it the flexibility to be run from a floppy disk or USB drive.

Restoration v3.2.13 Review & Free Download

Restoration is said to support Windows Vista, XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95. I successfully tested it with Windows 10 and Windows 7, and didn't run in to any problems. However, v3.2.13 didn't work for me in Windows 8. More »


FreeUndelete File Recovery
FreeUndelete. © Recoveronix Ltd

FreeUndelete is self explanatory - it's free and it undeletes files! FreeUndelete is another great file recovery tool, very similar to other undelete utilities around this rank in my list.

The major advantage of FreeUndelete is its easy to use interface and "folder drill down" functionality (i.e. files available for recovery are not shown in a big, unmanageable listing).

FreeUndelete will recover files from hard drives, memory cards, and other similar storage devices in, or connected to, your PC.

FreeUndelete v2.1 Review & Free Download

FreeUndelete works on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. More »

ADRC Data Recovery Tools

ADRC Data Recovery Tools File Recovery
ADRC Data Recovery Tools. © Adroit Data Recovery Centre Pte Ltd

ADRC Data Recovery Tools is another great, free file recovery program. File recovery with this program is uncomplicated and could probably be accomplished by the average computer user without any kind of documentation.

ADRC Data Recovery Tools should be able to undelete files from any non-CD/DVD storage device like memory cards and USB drives, as well as hard drives, of course.

ADRC Data Recovery Tools is a standalone, 132KB program making it a very portable data recovery tool that will easily fit on any removable media you might have.

ADRC Data Recovery Tools v1.1 Free Download

Data Recovery Tools officially supports Windows XP, 2000, and 95 but I successfully tested data recovery with this program on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

I also tested ADRC Data Recovery Tools v1.1 in Windows 8 and 10, but was unable to get it to work. More »

CD Recovery Toolbox

CD Recovery Toolbox File Recovery
CD Recovery Toolbox. © Recovery Toolbox

CD Recovery Toolbox is a completely free and very unique file recovery program. CD Recovery Toolbox is designed to recover files from damaged or corrupted optical drive discs - CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, HD DVD, etc.

According to the publisher, CD Recovery Toolbox should help recover files from discs that have been scratched, chipped, or have surface spotting.

One obvious con is the inability of CD Recovery Toolbox to recover files from hard drives or portable media drives. However, the program isn't designed to do that so I haven't held that fact against it.

CD Recovery Toolbox v2.2 Free Download

CD Recovery Toolbox works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003, 2000, NT, ME and 98. I tested CD Recovery Toolbox successfully in Windows 7. More »

UndeleteMyFiles Pro

UndeleteMyFiles Pro
UndeleteMyFiles Pro. © seriousbit.com

UndeleteMyFiles Pro is another free file recovery program. Don't let the name fool you - it's entirely free even though it says "Pro."

Tree View and Detailed View are the two viewing perspectives you can choose from. You can also preview files, which sounds nice, but all it does is restore the data to a temporary folder and then open it.

Emergency Disk Image is one of the included tools in UndeleteMyFiles Pro. This tool takes a snapshot of your entire computer, places all the data in one file, and then lets you work through that file to file deleted data that you want to restore. This is very handy because after the image file has been made, you don't need to worry that new data written to your hard drive will replace any important deleted files.

There's a nice search option in UndeleteMyFiles Pro that lets you search by file location, type, size, and attributes.

Something I really didn't like about UndeleteMyFiles Pro is that the recovery process doesn't tell you if a file is in a good state of being recoverable like most of the other software in this list.

UndeleteMyFiles Pro v3.1 Free Download

I tested UndeleteMyFiles Pro in Windows 8 and XP, and it worked as advertised, so it should also work in other versions of Windows. However, I also tested v3.1 in Windows 10 and found that it didn't work as it should. More »

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Screenshot of the free edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery in Windows 7
MiniTool Power Data Recovery. © MiniTool Solution Ltd.

Unlike some of the other file recovery programs from this list, Power Data Recovery needs to be installed to your computer before you're able to use it. This isn't the best way to work with this type of software because the install may overwrite your deleted files and make them less likely to be recoverable.

Another downside to Power Data Recovery is that you can only recover 1 GB of data before you have to upgrade to a paid version.

However, I do like the fact that the program finds deleted files quickly and that you can recover files from both internal drives and USB devices. Also, Power Data Recovery lets you search among the deleted data, recover more than one folder or file at once, export the list of deleted files to a TXT file, and filter the files by name, extension, size, and/or date.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery v7.0 Free Download

Power Data Recovery works in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and Windows Server 2008/2003. I tested this version of Power Data Recover in Windows 7. More »

TOKIWA DataRecovery

TOKIWA DataRecovery File Recovery
TOKIWA DataRecovery.

TOKIWA DataRecovery is an effective data recovery program and is very similar to many others on my list.

The best thing TOKIWA DataRecovery has going for it is its ease of use. It has a single program window where you can scan for files to recovery, sort the files, and undelete them. There are no complicated procedures at all.

TOKIWA DataRecovery can recover files from hard drives, memory cards, USB drives, and other external drives.

TOKIWA DataRecovery is a standalone, 412KB file making it a completely portable tool suitable for a USB drive or floppy disk.

TOKIWA DataRecovery v2.4.7 Free Download

DataRecovery supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95. I successfully tested TOKIWA DataRecovery with Windows 10 and Windows 8. More »

PC Inspector File Recovery

PC Inspector File Recovery
PC Inspector File Recovery.

PC Inspector File Recovery is another good free file recovery program with an arguably "deeper" search for deleted files than other similar undelete programs.

PC Inspector File Recovery can recover files from most hard drives, external drives, and memory cards.

I'd recommend trying PC Inspector File Recovery only if another, higher rated data recovery program didn't do the job for you. The not-so-easy-to-use interface and long hard drive scan times keep this file recovery app out of the Top 10.

PC Inspector File Recovery v4 Free Download

Note: The download link is to the right of the download page.

PC Inspector File Recovery supports Windows XP, 2000, NT, ME, and 98. I tested PC Inspector File Recover in Windows 8 and it ran as advertised. I also tested v4 in Windows 10, but it didn't work correctly. More »

Orion File Recovery Software

Screenshot of Orion File Recovery
Orion File Recovery. © NCH Software

Orion File Recovery Software is a free file recovery program from NCH Software that's basically the same as most of the other programs in this list.

A nice wizard prompts you to scan for specific file types at launch of the program, like documents, images, videos, music, or a custom file type. You can also scan the entire drive to search for all file types.

Orion File Recovery Software can scan any attached hard drive, whether internal or external, flash drives, and memory cards for deleted data. Then you can search through the files with an instant search function, while easily identifying the recovery potential of each file.

A nice addition to Orion File Recovery Software is also functions as a data destruction program, so you can scrub all the files it finds to make them unrecoverable for future scans.

Orion File Recovery Software v1.11 Free Download

Note: The installer tries to install other NCH Software programs during setup, but just deselect those options if you wish not to install them.

Orion File Recovery Software works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. More »

BPlan Data Recovery

BPlan Data Recovery
BPlan Data Recovery. © bplandatarecovery

BPlan Data Recovery is a file recovery program like the others in this list. It may not look as nice as similar software, but it can recovery many different types of deleted files.

I found BPlan Data Recovery to be a bit difficult to navigate around. It was hard to know what I was doing because of the layout of the results. That said, it still managed to find and recover images, documents, videos, and other file types.

BPlan Data Recovery v2.662 Free Download

Note: While testing this program, I noticed the desktop shortcut the installer created was incorrect, and therefore didn't open BPlan Data Recovery. You may need to open "bplan.exe" in this folder to make it work: "C:\Program Files (x86)\BPlan data recovery."

BPlan Data Recovery works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. I tested BPlan Data Recovery in Windows XP. More »


Screenshot of PhotoRec v7.0 in Windows 7
PhotoRec v7.0.

The free PhotoRec file recovery tool does the job but it isn't nearly as easy to use as other programs on my list.

PhotoRec is limited by its command-line interface and multiple step recovery process. However, my greatest problem with PhotoRec is that it's very difficult to avoid recovering all deleted files at once, not just the one or two you're after.

PhotoRec can recover files from hard drives, optical drives, and memory cards. PhotoRec should be able to undelete files from any storage device on your PC.

If another data recovery program hasn't worked, give PhotoRec a try. I just don't recommend making it your first pick.

PhotoRec v7.0 Free Download

Note: PhotoRec is downloaded as part of the TestDisk software, but you'll want to still open the file called "photorec_win" (on Windows) to run it.

PhotoRec officially supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95, as well as Max OS X and Linux. I tested PhotoRec in Windows 7. More »

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