Data recovery is the process of retrieving inaccessible, lost or corrupt data from secondary storage, removable files, or media.
You can't afford to use your essential data. However, with the rising incidence of cyber-crimes, losing your data is pretty common these days, so recovering and backing up your data is more important than ever.
For example, in cases of attacks like ransomware, you can recover only 97% of data.
And the 3% lost data in such cases can have extreme repercussions on the long-term stability of your business.
That's why you need to use the best data recovery software available.
These tools help you retrieve your lost data and, at the same time, help you move your data from its original database or place of storage to preserve integrity.
Some of the conventional devices to store data are:
- Hard disks
- Solid-state drives
- CD and DVD
- Magnetic tapes
- Smartphone memory chips
Today, I curated a list of some of the best data recovery tools and reviewed them based on the ease of use, data recovery capabilities, pricing, and more.
What is the Best Data Recovery Software?
Here are my top picks for the best data recovery software to use this year.
1. Cleverfiles Disk Drill Data Recovery.
Disk Drill Data Recovery is an impressive data recovery tool for both Windows and Mac. It's a user-friendly tool used to retrieve data from a plethora of devices with the help of highly advanced scanning algorithms. The good news is that it's a holistic DIY data recovery app, which means that it's suitable for a beginner as well.
It's most suitable for technicians and IT specialists for recovering lost or encrypted client files, either remotely or on-premise.
- Complete data recovery - Provides holistic data recovery, irrespective of the cause of data loss.
- Comprehensive file system recovery - It can recover data from file systems like NTFS, FAT32, HFS+, EXT, and more.
- Multiple scan option - Allows you to use scan options like quick scan, deep scan, and more.
- Premium data protection - Doesn't wait for your data to get lost. Instead, it starts protecting your entire data round the clock.
- Recovery Vault feature - Protect your existing files and prevent data loss with this feature.
- Offers a freemium plan albeit with minimal features
- Provides extensive customer support
- Offers recovery file thumbnail preview
- S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring
- Supports all Windows versions
- Deep Scan feature recognizes more than 350 file types
- Performs high-speed scans
- Comprehensive knowledge database and FAQs for training
- Recover file from empty Recycle Bins
- Easy to use and intuitive user-interface
- Pause/save/restart scan feature at your preferred timings
- Provides an option to backup recovered data into DMG/ISO
Disk Drill offers three pricing plans, namely 'Free,"Pro,' and the 'Enterprise' plans. The latter two cost $89 and $499, respectively.
Get started with Disk Drill Data Recovery software for Windows here.
Get started with Disk Drill Data Recovery software for Mac here.
EaseUS is one of the most reliable data recovery tools used in 160 countries by over 530 million users. It helps you recover lost files in a few clicks and is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Its user-friendliness and rich features make it ideal for professional use as well as individual use. Professionally, it's most suitable for consultants, technicians, IT specialists, and other service providers.
- Robust backup methods - Provides plenty of backup methods, including scheduled, incremental, differential, and full backups.
- Central management - Offers a holistic and centralized management console.
- Disk management - All-in-one disk management optimizes your disk usage and helps you make the best use of storage.
- Multiple-support - Supports MBR & GPT disk, hardware RAID, UEFI boot, WinPE bootable disk, NAS, and more.
- Bootable media - Recover data even when your system cannot boot.
- Offers a free trial period and a 30-day money-back guarantee for paid plans
- Provides a 24*7 extensive customer support
- Offers email backup & recovery, along with cloud backups
- Allows you to restore files in new devices
- In-built Image Reserve Strategy to free up disk space
- Smart backup tools can track file changes and schedule timely backups
- Provides a low turnaround time
- Recovery capacity of 16TB
- EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is very intuitive
- Offers other unique features, including disk & partition cloning, 4K alignment available, and more
- 100% 256-bit encrypted payment
- Bootable media needs separate purchase
- Deep scan is time-consuming
- Doesn't offer a freemium plan
It offers different pricing plans based on your OS and requirements. Other than this, you also get a bundled package consisting of Partition Master Server, Todo Backup server, and Data Recovery Wizard Pro for $268.77.
3. Stellar Data Recovery.
Stellar Data Recovery is a secure & easy-to-use software that is available for both Windows and Mac. It can help you recover data, photos, videos, files, emails, and other documents from internal hard disk drives and all detachable data storage devices.
It's a suitable tool for IT professionals working to recover lost files from their systems. The good news is that you can use Stellar Data Recovery even if you're a beginner.
- Video retrieval - Can retrieve data from DSLR, drones, digicam, camera, and your mobile phones.
- Formatted drive recovery - Supports data recovery from NTFS, FAT, FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT file systems
- RAW recovery - You can use this module if you're unable to retrieve data after other normal and advanced scan options.
- Deep scan - This feature comes in handy when you're unable to find the desired partition even after scanning the entire hard disk.
- Powerful enough to recover files from encrypted hard drives
- 'Can't Find Drive' option under 'Other Locations' in the Select Location screen lets you select and scan the hard drive for missing partitions lost due to corruption
- Recover data by hard disk image creation
- Performs extremely high-speed scans
- 100% safe and secure data recovery
- In-built feature to monitor hard disk health to warn against disk failures
- Free product download
- Provides a 30-day money-back guarantee
- 'No recovery no charge' only for customer indicated files in MAF form
- Doesn't provide customer support over the weekend
- The free version has limited data recovery capacity of 1 GB
- Doesn't offer a “no recovery no charge” policy for mobiles, tablets or iPhones
Stellar Data Recovery is available in 4 modules, namely Data Recovery, Photo Recovery, iPhone Recovery, and Video Repair. The prices start from $39.99 and range up to $199.
4. Kernel Data Recovery.
Kernel is one of the best data recovery tools that offer a wide range of data migration and recovery solutions. Its intuitive interface and user-friendliness make it the first choice for all types of industries, whether it's a small-scale business or a large enterprise.
It's an excellent data recovery tool for professionals from all walks of life, whether you're a beginner or an expert technician.
- Holistic database recovery - It can repair and access inaccessible files of SQL, Access, SharePoint, MySQL, Paradox
- File recovery - It allows you to fix and recover issues related to MS Office
- Calc repair - It's an efficient tool to recover inaccessible ODS file data such as rows, columns, cell data, images, charts
- Video repair tool - Specific tool for repairing corrupt and damaged video files
- Virtual disk recovery - A tool to recover data from corrupt or damaged VHD/ VHDX files
- Provides a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free trial period
- 24*7 live chat customer support
- Can repair corrupted DBF files
- Repairs PST files, reduces and manages PST size, and can recover PST passwords
- Provides multi-language customer support and services
- Can recover data from audio, video, word documents, photos, music files, and more
- Can repair MyISAM database
- You can fix almost all database issues and recover permanently deleted files
- Repair Word documents in all formats, including .doc, .docx, .dot, .docm, .dotx, and more
- Can recover MDB and ACCDB files
- Price is on the higher side
- The user interface is a bit outdated
- All plans are quote-based
- Customer support needs improvement
The pricing is quote-based and can vary from business to business. You'd have to get in touch with the sales representative to know the actual cost based on your requirements.
DoYourData is one of the most powerful and easy-to-use data recovery tools to recover formatted, lost, and deleted data. It's compatible with operating systems like Windows 10, Vista, and Mac OS, and provides 100% security to its users. Moreover, the tool emphasizes DIY data recovery, so you don't necessarily need prior technical experience.
The tool is most suitable for enterprise-level security experts with data recovery and erasure requirements.
- Raw recovery - You can recover damaged files generated by raw hard disks, system crashes, distribution loss, and more.
- Deleted file recovery - This feature helps you retrieve files deleted by the 'Shift + del' function and those deleted from the Recycle Bin.
- Deep scan - This advanced feature can retrieve corrupted files not accessible by quick scans.
- Flexible options - You can import/export data recovery results, pause/stop scans, and quickly locate files.
- Provides 24*7 customer support
- Allows you to recover photos, videos, emails, audio, documents, folders, archives, and other data files
- You can recover data from desktop, laptops, HDD, memory card, digital cameras, and more
- Provides access to free lifetime updates
- Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- It uses read-only scanning process that ensures no overwriting
- Can backup files to solid-state drives (SSD), USB flash drives, and other storage media
- It doesn't scan on the specific folder-to-folder basis
- The free trial version has limited functionality
- Advanced deep scan feature can be time-consuming
There's a basic free version for minimal features. After that, the paid plans start from $19.00 based on your requirements and the type of device you're using. For instance, the 'professional' plan for iPhone with lifetime license would cost you $79.00.
PhotoRec is a free and open-source data recovery software that can help you retrieve video and audio files, documents, texts, archives, and pictures. It's especially useful for retrieval related to a digital camera and provides the best results even in the case of a damaged or corrupted target system.
This tool is suitable for professional photographers and creative artists who deal with digital cameras and DSLR photographs. It's also great for both professional and personal users who are on a budget.
- Read-only access - This type of access, while handling target devices, helps you avoid rewriting or overwriting.
- Extensive file format recovery - Recovers numerous formats like ZIP, Office, PDF, HTML, JPEG, and more.
- Add custom file signature - This can help detect and retrieve lesser-known files.
- File carving - The tool utilizes this method and reassembles files from fragments when metadata isn't available.
- Highly customizable since it's an open-source tool
- Unlimited free recovery
- Can recover files with more than 480 file extensions or 300 file families
- Compatible with ARM, Windows, Mac, SunOS, Linux, and more
- The 'paranoid' mode also allows the choice of saving corrupted files
- Supports FAT, NTFS, exFAT, ext2, ext3 & ext4, and HFS+ file systems
- Can work with hard-drives and CD-ROMs
- It uses time information metadata when available in the file header to set file modification time
- Highly technical that's why it can be difficult to use for novices
- Scanning speed needs improvement over the current estimate of 500 MB/hour
- There's no option to preview files
- Outdated command-line interface with data command-line prompt
- Customer support needs improvement
PhotoRec comes with two recovery modes, namely 'Paranoid' and 'Expert.' Both are free for use.
7. UNDELETE 360.
UNDELETE 360 is a great tool that retrieves and restores accidentally deleted files from your computer, Recycle Bin, digital camera, flash drive, and more. Its efficient algorithm covers accidental deletions, virus attacks, software, and computer failures.
UNDELETE 360 is most suitable for technicians or IT specialists who need to get a lot of work done within a limited time. It's also useful for professionals in specific teams as well as for the enterprise-wide deployment.
- Entry grading - Whenever you enter a file for recovery, it's graded according to the chance of data recovery.
- Excellent filter feature - The filter feature helps you pinpoint the exact location of your files of photos, videos, and word docs.
- Pop-up advice - Even if you don't take the initiative, pop-ups request configuration of desired recovery options.
- File recovery tools - It helps you open files that are difficult to open and access.
- It's entirely free for use
- Can recover data from hard drives, USBs, floppies, digital cameras, ZIP files, and more
- Recover deleted files from Recycle Bin
- Recover large files from the Recycle Bin that's directly deleted by Windows
- Comes with a blue tone and ribbon-style toolbar
- Enables you to view the status of every file under consideration as 'Very good' or 'overwritten'
- Recovers wide range of file types like doc, XLS, PDF, HTML, CSV, JPEG, JPG, PNG, MP3, and more
- Supports file systems like NTFS, NTFS5, FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32
- Manual selection of data to be deleted is difficult
- There's no guarantee that you'll be able to access 100% of the recovered data
- Customer support should be better
It's entirely free of cost.
8. Remo Recover.
Remo Recover is another outstanding tool on this list, available for both Windows and Mac. It's capable of retrieving data from a wide range of devices. Moreover, the interactive interface of the tool helps you recover all the data pretty easily.
It's best for IT technicians working in a professional setup. Other than this, it's also suitable for individuals as well as large business enterprises.
- Holistic file systems compatibility - It can recover data from file systems like FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5, and exFAT
- Image disk creation - Helps you create a disk image of your hard disk bypassing the bad sectors.
- Multiple array compatibility - Can recover files from formatted/deleted/corrupted partitions from arrays like RAID0, RAID1, and RAID5.
- Recover data from all kind of hard drives like SATA/SCSI/IDE
- Can recognize multiple file types, including photos, audio, and video
- Provides fast and efficient customer support
- Save and access recovery sessions at a later date
- The software is intuitive and decidedly easy to use
- Comes with an option to preview deleted or lost data
- Choose and recover lost files using RAW signature search
- Recover files emptied from Recycle Bin
- Recover files even after 'Shift + Del'
- Recover data from re-partitioned drives for Pro plan users of both OS
- The basic version should have more features
- It can be challenging to locate files after recovery since the files lose names and are assigned numbers instead
- Doesn't offer a freemium plan
There are different versions for Windows, Mac, and Android. The plans start from $39.97 and range up to $179.97.
Recuva is user-friendly and one of the most affordable data recovery tools on this list. Its focus is on efficiency and faster use, and it can restore any file type. The good news is that you don't necessarily need to install it, which makes it one of the most flexible options. However, it runs only on Windows OS.
The basic version is great for personal use. The other versions are excellent for use professionally by software engineers and technical consultants.
- Deep scan - This feature scours your device for any trace of deleted or lost files.
- Secure overwrite feature - Their military-standard deletion techniques ensure that files stay deleted.
- Damaged file recovery software - It can recover files from damaged and newly formatted drives. It also allows you to access file previews and access your recovered files
- Wizard Recovery mode - Specific mode to help novice users retrieve data.
- Can recover pictures, music, documents, email, video
- Recover data from memory cards, external hard drives, USB drives
- Retrieve files from Recycle Bin and after computer crashes
- All the paid plans provide automatic updates, virtual hard drive support, and advanced file recovery
- Provides a choice between direct installation or downloading a portable one
- Offers service in over 30 languages
- Create shortcut features like 'scan for deleted files'
- Supports file systems like exFAT, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5, NTFS + EFS
- User-friendly and intuitive user interface
- Supports a variety of file types like JPG, JPEG, PDF, GIF, Doc, PPT, PDF, XLS
- Offers a free plan, albeit with minimal features
- It isn't compatible with Mac
- Some recoverable file formats may appear unrecoverable in specific instances
- The free version offers limited functionalities
It offers three pricing plans, the 'Free,"Professional,' and 'CCleaner Professional bundle.' The paid plans cost $19.95 and $29.95, respectively.
Jihosoft is a data recovery tool compatible only with android devices. However, it can run on Windows and Mac systems for data retrieval. Moreover, it supports more than 6000 android phones and tablets and works best in Android OS v2.1 to v9.0.
It's apt for smartphone repair and IT technicians who face the problem of data recovery from android systems often. It's also ideal for SMEs, start-ups, and freelancers.
- Holistic data retrieval - You can retrieve a wide range of data like contacts, photos, audio, video, call history, Whatsapp, and Viber data.
- Scan & preview - Allows you to scan and preview all recoverable files, and selectively recover them.
- Multiple scenario recovery - You can easily recover data in cases of factory reset, malware attacks, and more.
- You don't require any technical knowledge to get started with Jihosoft
- Extremely lightweight and user-friendly
- Compatible with all the Android devices
- Allows you to preview files before recovery
- Supports multiple data formats and files
- Can recover data from internal storage and external SD card
- It can recover data only from working devices
- Device rooting is mandatory to use this tool
- Scanning and recovery process is time-consuming
There are 2 editions available for use, namely 'Personal' and 'Family' editions. They cost $49.95 for 1 PC and one android device, and $99.99 for 5 devices and five PCs, respectively.
Just like PhotoRec, TestDisk is also open-source and powerful data recovery software. It helps you recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks bootable again. Plus, it can retrieve data quite effectively in case of faulty software, human error, or virus attacks.
This tool is suitable for IT technicians, SMEs, and freelancing, particularly due to its open-source nature.
- File-system & partition support - You can recover many different file-systems and partition schemes.
- Multiple disk partition recognition - Can recognize schemes like Intel Partition Table, Apple Partition Map, Sun Solaris Slice, GUID Partition Table, and more.
- Open-source - Ensures the tool has high customizability and is entirely free of cost.
- Provides support to restore FAT32 boot sector from backup
- Allows you to rebuild the boot sector like FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32
- You can rebuild the NTFS boot sector and recover it from backup
- Enables you to restore files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS, and ext2 file systems
- Can copy files from deleted partitions
- Easy and efficient partition table recovery
- Compatible with a wide range of OS like DOS, Linux, Windows
- You can collect information about a non-booting drive and even send it for further analysis
- Can recover data from hard drive, USB, memory cards, and more
- Support recovery of files in a photo, video, audio, document files types, and more
- Runs on all versions of Windows OS
- Outdated command-line interface with data command-line prompt
- Can be difficult for use by novices
- Doesn't perform disk editing of the raw disk
Since it's an open-source platform, it's entirely free of cost. However, you can donate for maintenance and improvements.
12. R Studio.
Enriched by the latest data recovery technologies, R Studio is one of the most comprehensive and advanced data recovery solutions. Moreover, it's intuitive and user friendly and works as a great weapon against the uncertainty of periodic data loss.
It's a bit technical, and a beginner might find it a bit challenging to use. It's more suitable for experts to take care of client data in an enterprise-level environment.
- Raw file recovery - Specific retrieval mode for damaged or unknown file systems.
- Holistic functionality - Can function on local and network disks, even if such partitions are formatted, damaged, or deleted.
- Flexible parameter settings - It gives you absolute control over data recovery.
- Advanced data recovery algorithm - It increases the quality of the file recovery in cases of undamaged files. It also helps you recover files that you can't recognize otherwise in file system metadata.
- Integration with DeepSpar Disk Imager - Specifically provides integration with DeepSpar for data recovery from hard drives with hardware issues.
- Can recover deleted files from Recycle Bin
- Recover data deleted due to virus attacks or power outages, and from hard disk with bad sectors
- Support for MBR, GPT, BSD, APM (Apple Partition Map) partition schemes
- Supports file systems like NTFS, HFS+, ext2/3/4 FS/UFS
- Has extended file search and mask capability
- Offers unique features like damaged RAID recovery, S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, in-built pro hex editor, and more
- Support for Apple software RAIDs, CoreStorage, File Vault, and Fusion Drive
- Accurate estimation of recovery of file successfully
- Multi-language user interface
- Recover files from HD, CD, DVD, floppies, USBs, ZIP drive and more
- Doesn't offer a pause button
The price for the tool starts from $49.99 and can go up to $79.99.
13. Paragon Software.
Paragon Software is one of the best data recovery solutions available. It's a holistic tool that helps you keep your data safe from threats and incidents like hardware failure, defective hard disks, system errors, system crashes, ransomware, etc. Moreover, it's a user-friendly, intuitive tool used by more than 6 million people worldwide.
It's an excellent choice for novices just starting their jobs in an SME or start-up. It's good for small-scale as well as large-scale use by seasoned experts who are a bit tight on budget.
- Emergency rescue - Create a WinPE recovery environment while starting, in case of any emergency. You can access your PC and hard drives and restore sessions even if Windows isn't booting.
- Automated backups - Set and take backups automatically at predefined time intervals.
- Instant restoration - You can quickly restore your OS, installed programs, and settings in case of hardware failure.
- Disk space management - Allows you to delete old backup images automatically.
- Provides a great range of automation and selective backup options
- Comprehensive encryption
- Very easy to download, install, and use
- Easy to create partitions of Windows systems
- Offers an extensive customer support
- Provides an option of incremental backups
- Service available in English and Polish
- Supports file types like HTML, PDF, CSV, XML, Doc, Text, MP4
- Also supports file types like FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HFS, HFS+, exFAT
- Doesn't offer a free trial
- It isn't compatible with Mac
- Doesn't offer phone support
For up to licenses, the price is $29.95, and $20.95 per license in case of 3 licenses. For business purposes, you have to use the 'Hard Disk Manager' version, where the plans start from $99 and range up to $899.
Note: Other tools not yet on this list include Prosoft Data Rescue 5, MiniTool Power Data Recovery, Wise Data Recovery, and Piriform CCleaner.
What is Data Recovery Software?
To put it simply, data recovery software backs up and restores your data.
These tools are capable of reviewing, identifying, scanning, and extracting usable copies from corrupt, formatted, or deleted data in a reusable form.
Sometimes, data recovery tools can also help you recover information from a system that was a victim of cyber-crime or espionage. In such cases, in-built mechanisms hide the data which you can no longer access normally. These tools help break down the data encryption to access and retrieve the files.
Most of the data recovery tools also have capabilities to reverse actions like deletion from Recycle Bin and deletion using the 'Shift + del' function. It takes care of accidental deletions as well.
How Do You Use Data Recovery Software?
The use of data recovery software starts with the corruption or deletion of data from a hard disk.
If you fail to take proper care while retrieving data, you may end up losing it forever. That's why usually, experts handle most data recovery work in business setups.
But how do you use such a tool if you're a novice?
Here are some steps:
- Most of these tools offer a limited trial version. It's a great idea to try your hand with free data recovery software or a trial version before making your final purchase.
- Test unknown waters with the trial version and try to recover some damaged files.
- Try to evaluate the user-friendliness, the dashboard specifics, the speed, interface intuitiveness.
- Decide whether the features of the tool align with your business requirements.
- If you think that the trial version meets your expectations and is reasonably powerful, you can make the purchase.
- If you like the demo version, the chances are that you'll like the paid version too.
What Should You Look for in Data Recovery Software?
What type of data recovery software you want could vary according to your business requirements.
But some of the essential features that you should have are:
- Retention of folder hierarchy - The tool should maintain the on-disk folder hierarchy so that you can trace every directory to its original format after completion of recovery.
- Search option for a specific file location - This option can help locate a particular file by a simple search, to ease the task of the users.
- Arrangement of recovered items by name & size - The option to sort files the way you want can help save precious time and effort. It becomes extremely tedious otherwise.
- Retrieve files from empty Recycle Bin - Sometimes, you need to bring back the files deleted from the recycle bin. That's why it's always handy to have this feature in your data recovery software.
- Recover data from formatted & raw partition - It can help you against accidental or sometimes intentional formatting and restore all data.
- Restore corrupted multimedia files - It enables you to restore corrupted multimedia files like photos, audios, music files, and more in case you need them later.
Other than that, you might also want features like preview options, FAT & NTFS partition recovery, and more.
To fight against cyber-criminals and those with malicious intent, data recovery tools are more important now than ever.
And there are plenty of data recovery tools to choose from. However, it's essential that you choose according to your business needs and keeping your budget in mind.
In the end, choose the tool that aligns the best with your business requirements, personal preferences, and database software.