Wise Data Recovery v5.1.3.331

A Full Review of Wise Data Recovery, a Free File Recovery Tool

Wise Data Recovery is a free file recovery program that shows all your deleted files in a familiar folder structure just like in Windows Explorer, which makes is very easy to use.

Files can be undeleted from internal and external hard drives, MP3 players, cameras, USB devices, and more.

Wise Data Recovery Free version 5

This review is of Wise Data Recovery v5.1.3.331, which was released December 19, 2019. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

Keep reading this review to see what I like and dislike about Wise Data Recovery, or see How to Recover Deleted Files for a complete tutorial on restoring deleted files.

Wise Data Recovery Pros & Cons

Wise Data Recovery is a solid program for restoring files:

Pros

  • Very quick install
  • Simple to use
  • Can recover multiple files simultaneously
  • Supports quick and full scan
  • Has an advanced search utility
  • A portable version is available
  • Works with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows
  • Can auto-update to the latest software version

Cons

  • Individual files don't remain in their original folder structure
  • Only supports Windows XP through Windows 10 (not Mac or Linux)
  • Doesn't show the recoverability of a file

My Thoughts on Wise Data Recovery

The number one feature that catches my eye when I use Wise Data Recovery is how simple the user interface is. Everything is neatly organized and easy to access, and knowing how to use it just makes sense right off the bat.

It's also a huge plus that Wise Data Recovery can be used as a portable program. This means you can launch it from a drive other than the one you're restoring files from. For example, you could store the program on a flash drive to recover files from your main hard drive.

The alternative to this would be installing the program to the same drive that has your deleted files, after which the installation files could overwrite the files you're trying to recover, thus rendering them unable to be fully resurrected and used again. That would not be good.

Wise Data Recovery lets you search for deleted files by their name and extension. Clicking the small arrow next to the search box lets you choose presets for images, music, videos, documents, compressed files, and email files, which will auto-fill the search with common extensions in those categories, like MP3, WMA, and WAV for the audio selection.

I also like the advanced search feature because you can put in multiple custom file extensions at once even if the preset options don't include them, such as PSD, TXT, and MKV, which, in this case, allows me to mix image, document, and video files into one search.

I say above that when you undelete individual files with Wise Data Recovery that the folder structure isn't retained. This means if you recover several files from different folders, they will all be saved back into just one single location. This can make it hard to know where these files were originally.

However, recovering a deleted folder will recover its subfolders in the same structure they were in when they were deleted.

Something I used to like about Wise Data Recovery but that was removed with the release of version 5, was the recoverability indicator. There used to be a green circle next to the files with a "Good" recoverability status, which meant that the file hadn't been overwritten and could be restored normally. Other files would have an orange or red circle, meaning that they were marked as "Very Poor" or "Lost," respectively, and would likely have no chance of being fully readable. Unfortunately, this feature is no longer available, at least in this free edition.

The portable version of Wise Data Recovery is also available at Softpedia.