Recuva v1.53.1087 Free Version

You can't go wrong with the Recuva free file recovery program

Screenshot of the Recuva v1.53.1087 file recovery program in Windows 8

At some point, everyone deletes something they shouldn't have deleted. Usually, the solution is to restore the file from the Recycle Bin, but what if you've already emptied the Recycle Bin? In that case, a file recovery program like Recuva can help.

Recuva is one of the best free file recovery software tools available. It's easy to use and is as effective as any other freeware or premium file recovery program on the market. It was developed by Piriform, the makers of CCleaner, another outstanding product.

The current version of Recuva is v1.53.1087, which was released June 08, 2016. It's available in a free version that does not include support or automatic updates like Recuva Professional.

Recuva Pros and Cons

There's a lot to like about Recuva. It comes in both installable and portable versions. It contains a simple wizard and advanced options, and it supports a wide range of Windows operating systems. It runs on Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista, and XP.

The cons are minimal. The download page is a little confusing, and the installer might try to add other programs to your computer.

Recuva Features

  • Recuva's easy-to-use wizard asks the important questions and does the hard work behind the scenes
  • Recuva is available in a portable version making installation unnecessary
  • A quick standard scan and an optional deep scan cover all the technological bases in the search for recoverable files
  • Recuva supports scanning inside files so that you can find documents that contain a particular text string
  • Recuva can recover files from hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, BD/DVD/ CDs, and MP3 players, even if they're damaged, corrupted, or recently reformatted
  • You can securely overwrite the files Recuva finds to ensure that nobody else can restore the files you see in the results. The overwrite methods include DoD 5220.22-M, NSA, Gutmann, and Secure Erase
  • If you enable the option in the settings, the folder structure can be restored along with the file
  • Both 32-bit and  64-bit versions of Recuva are available
  • Recuva supports drives as large as 3TB

Installing Recuva

To get started with Recuva, visit the program's website and download the version of Recuva you want. The best option for someone who already has files to recover is the portable download. The portable version of Recuva allows you to avoid installing anything after discovering that you need to recover a file. If you are downloading the program for future use and don't have any files to recover, the standard installable download is fine.

A file recovery program can only recover a file deleted from your computer if the same space on the hard drive hasn't already been used by another file. Every time something is saved or installed, the chance that your file will be recoverable decreases. Using the portable version of Recuva prevents it from overwriting anything during installation.

If you download the portable version of Recuva, you need to extract the program from the ZIP archive. Once you do so, run either recuva.exe or recuva64.exe, depending on whether you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. If you aren't sure, you can find out here.

Running Recuva

When Recuva starts, you're presented with a wizard where you choose the kind of file you're looking for, such as mail or music, and where it was last located, such as in a specific folder, drive, disc, or another device, if you have the information. You don't need to know its previous location, but it can help in the search for deleted files if you do.

You can choose All Files from the wizard to have Recuva search for all file types so that it doesn't limit the results to just specific ones like pictures, videos, emails or one of the other categories. You can see which file types are included in each category from their website. If you use the Deep Scan mode, only these file types are found.

After a quick scan, you're presented with a list of recoverable files. Recovering one of the deleted files is as easy as selecting it and clicking Recover.

At any time, you can switch to Advanced Mode, which reveals options and additional sorting abilities, such as to preview a file or read its header information.

If you need help searching Recuva for a specific file, using the wizard, or anything else, you can check out the official help docs.

If a file has gone missing from your mistake, a virus infection or a system crash, there is a good chance that the Recuva free file recovery program can find it. There's no guarantee that Recuva can successfully recovery any particular deleted file, but it's your best bet.