External Hard Drive Recovery Software: Top 10 in 2024

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Key notes

  • If you're looking for hard drive recovery software for your external hard drive, then one of these apps might be perfect for you.
  • When picking the recovery software, it's important to select the one that supports different types of storage devices.
  • A number of supported file formats is also crucial, so use the software that works with wide array of formats.
external hard drive recovery software

Hard drives are external storage solutions designed to serve as backup points for computer files, programs, settings, and documents. A typical hard drive often serves as the convenient backup storage medium keeping files safe in the event of a computer system crash and subsequent data loss.

So, what do you do if some or all of the files are lost from this backup option as well? This post provides you with some of the best external hard drive recovery software, to facilitate the recovery of lost files.

Data loss in computer systems is quite common. However, it is not as common on external hard drives.

Nevertheless, it happens. Usually, this is the result of accidental deletion or formatting, damage, or corruption. In this case, swift recovery becomes essential.

Read on to get a good grip on some of the best available tools, which can easily be employed to run such recoveries.

How can I recover data from a hard drive that won’t boot?

To recover data from a hard drive that can’t boot, it’s advised to use recovery software for the damaged hard drive.

In fact, many of these applications have been mentioned in this guide, so keep on reading to find out what are the best tools for this task.

What are the best external hard drive recovery tools for Windows 10 & 11?

Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery is a data recovery tool, specially designed for Windows PCs, ranging from Windows 10 to Windows XP. It is arguably the most popular external hard drive recovery software in the market.

The software is a product of Stellarinfo, a renowned software repair solution provider.

It hosts advanced data recovery features, which make it suitable for recovering various types of files, ranging from videos to audio files to documents.

Furthermore, the software is a versatile recovery tool that can be employed to recover deleted or damaged files from internal storage, external hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and more.

In fact, it can also recover lost Windows partitions. Basically, Stellar supports various file modules; including NTFS, FAT, FAT16, FAT32, and ExFAT.

Stellar Data Recovery offers a form of freemium license package to users. This means there is the free version, as well as the premium (paid) version.

The free package (with 1GB storage) is essentially designed for home or personal use, while the premium package, which offers more advanced features, is designed for professional use (with unlimited recovery-storage capacity).

Stellar Data Recovery

Recover lost or deleted data from all types of Windows devices and storage media with this all-in-one tool.
Check price Visit website

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Lost data from external hard drives can be retrieved for free instantly with EaseUS Backup & Data Recovery. This powerful data recovery software is reliable for Windows desktops, laptops, hard drives, USB flash drives, and other devices. 

A useful tool for dealing with data loss circumstances such as format, virus attack, unintentional file deletion, abrupt system breakdown, and unexpected power outage, that can really make things go smoothly.

There are several methods for successfully retrieving required files.

With EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free you are able to restore 2GB of deleted files with a  preview for desired files to recover. 

Pro version offers you assistance one-on-one so you can get back unlimited files with a preview for desired files plus one license for 1 PC, – monthly, yearly, or lifetime access. 

The Technician bundle is great if you run an online business and want to reclaim unlimited data lost with assistance throughout the recovery process, get one license for multiple computers, – 1 year, 2 years, or lifetime access – and enable service providers to help your customers with technical issues.

Partition Recovery supports FAT, NTFS, Ext2, and Ext3 volumes in Windows.

MS SQL recovery covers servers 2019,  2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008, and older versions and exchange recovery helps you reclaim lost files through email servers. These functions are enabled to recover more than 1000 types of data.  

With EaseUS Todo Backup you can backup and restore your system including files within, and on external hard drives. 

As further processes, the software provides a program for disk imaging at home, with the system cloning in-built solution. 

Should you consider using EaseUS Todo Backup for business purposes, you are able to take advantage of personalized solutions for each individual company such as reducing downtime and protecting corporate data on Windows servers, MS SQL databases, and email databases.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Create backup tasks on a schedule, have them run automatically to produce duplicates, and cope with data loss scenarios!
Free trial Visit website

MiniTool DataRecovery

If you need to recover accidentally deleted files, then this software might be just what you need. The application is simple but powerful and can recover files from SD cards, USB drives, HDDs, and SSDs.

The software is incredibly simple to use, and you just need to select the drive you wish to scan. Once the scan is finished, preview the recovered files and select the ones that you would like to save.

Regarding the supported file types, the software works with 70 different file types, so it should be able to recover most file types without any issues.

As for practical use, the application can be helpful if you want to restore accidentally deleted files or files that have been corrupted due to malware or hard drive damage.

Overall, MiniTool DataRecovery is a simple but powerful tool that is worth checking out.

MiniTool DataRecovery

With more than 70 different supported file types, MiniTool DataRecovery is a perfect choice for data recovery from any type of drive.
Free trial Visit website

Disk Drill

This software works on multiple platforms, and it can recover files on any version of Windows, or even on Mac computers.

Regarding the supported devices, this application works with SD/CF cards, digital cameras, and USB drives. You can also use it to recover files from HDDs or SSDs that have the TRIM feature disabled.

It’s important to mention that the software works with any brand and it can recover more than 220 file types with ease. Almost every file type you can think of is supported by Disk Drill.

You can use the application to recover accidentally deleted files, and files from formatted external drives. It’s also possible to restore files from crashed drives or lost partitions, so be sure to give this software a try.

Disk Drill

Recover more than 200 different file types from any drive easily with Disk Drill software.
Free trial Visit website

Wise Data Recovery

Recovering your lost files doesn’t have to be hard, and if you want to do that, you can use software such as Wise Data Recovery. This application supports more than 1000 different file types, so it can recover almost any file format.

Regarding the supported devices, you can use this application with HDDs, SSDs, external drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, digital cameras, and almost any other storage device.

It’s important to mention that the most popular file systems are supported allowing you to rescue data from FAT, NTFS, HFS, HFS+, HFSX, Ext2, and Ext3 drives.

The software is incredibly fast, allowing you to easily recover deleted files. To top it off, it’s also portable, so you can run it from a flash drive on any PC.

If you need fast, reliable, and portable software for external hard drive recovery, then this might be the perfect choice for you.

Wise Data Recovery

Recover more than 1000 different file types with ease from any drive with Wise Data Recovery.
Free trial Visit website

Paragon Backup & Recovery 17

Paragon Backup & Recovery is designed to recover lost, corrupted or deleted files from hard drives and other file storage hubs.

At present, the external hard drive recovery software is the primary data backup and recovery tool of over six million people across the globe.

Basically, the software supports 64-bit Windows versions, ranging from Windows Vista to Windows 10. This makes it an ideal backup software for Windows, as its 64-bit support enables it to handle a large amount of RAM.

Also, it hosts various backup and recovery features like WinPE-based recovery media, disk backup, flexible restore, and more.

Furthermore, the software is versatile and can support a variety of hard drives (SSD, HDD, AFD), USB drives, storage disks, memory cards, and other storage media.

Also, it hosts a flexible design that supports all file systems, including FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS, ReFS, and more.

This makes Paragon Backup & Recovery one of the best available recovery (and backup) tools.

Paragon Backup & Recovery 17

Create new backup strategies using custom backup parameters such as backup type, frequency/scheduling, retention, and scenario-based backup tasks.
Check price Visit website

RecoverIT by Wondershare

recoverit by wondershare

If you want a tool that can recover almost any file type, then you should consider RecoverIT software. This application can recover more than 1000 different file formats, making it perfect for both basic and advanced users alike.

Regarding the supported devices, both hard drives and SSDs are supported, along with external and USB flash drives. You can also recover data from all types of cameras and SD cards as well.

You can use this software to recover data that has been accidentally deleted, or you can recover files from a formatted drive. Data recovery from corrupted drives is also possible, which makes this tool perfect for advanced users.

The software is optimized for video recovery, and it can recover and repair video files from different camera types with ease. Overall, it’s great recovery software, so make sure you give it a try.


With support for all types of storage devices, RecoverIT is one of the best tools for recovering data from cameras and external drives.
Free trial Visit website


Recuva is a product of Piriform, a globally known software repair/solution provider. It is one of the most employed external hard drive recovery software in the market, and it is especially suitable for Windows PCs. The software is supported on Windows versions, from XP to Windows 10.

Recuva is basically a delete-recovery tool i.e. it is equipped to undelete deleted files on both internal and external storage media.

Hence, it is especially suitable for recovering accidentally deleted files from computers, external hard drives, pen drives, memory cards and so on.

Also, like most data recovery tools, Recuva works perfectly well with all FAT and NTSF (file) platforms, and it is able to recover audio files, videos, photos, documents and other file types (and formats). In fact, it is equipped to run deep scans, and retrieve or at least, identify every file you’ve ever deleted on your hard drive.

Furthermore, Recuva, despite being an undelete tool, is designed to permanently erase any file you want to delete from your hard drive or computer.

So a Recuva-deleted file is technically irrecoverable, as the software ensures every trace of such file is completely and permanently erased from your hard drive.

On a final note, Recuva offers a freemium package to users, albeit with limited features. For the full features, you’ll have to go for the premium version (Recuva Pro).


Recuva allows you to recover files accidentally erased from memory cards, external hard drives, USB sticks, and other storage devices.

Kernel Data Recovery

Kernel Data Recovery is yet another tool that you can use to recover all your lost files and folders, containing your valuable data.

The tool uses a three-step process: first, it scans the Windows system drives for the lost data, then it allows you to preview the recovered file, and, finally, it retrieves the file.

Besides the recovery option, the program will also fix issues in FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and NTFS5 partitions – be it corruption in hard disk/ Windows File system, or even a virus attack.

There’s no file size limitation when it comes to the search and scanning process; plus, your files are recovered in their original form, with no alternations in quality, size, or data.

The tool can perform the same action on removable drives as well, including USB, IDE, EIDE, SCSI, SATA, PEN, or ZIP drives.

Kernel Data Recovery

The perfect tool to recover lost, deleted, and inaccessible data from any system partition or storage media.
Free trial Visit website

Hetman Partition Recovery

Hetman Partition Recovery is one of the leading external hard drive recovery software today. It hosts an advanced set of features that makes it suitable for recovering lost data and partitions from Windows PCs (and a host of other desktop brands).

It has relatively low system requirements. Hence, it is supported on virtually all Windows versions, from the old Windows NT to the latest Windows 10.

Like most external hard drive recovery software, Hetman Partition Recovery supports virtually all file system variants, specifically NTSF and FAT (including FAT 16 and FAT 32).

The tool is able to recover video files (MP4, 3gp, and others), audio files (MP3), photographs (PNG & JPEG) documents (docx, PDF, Excel, PPT), and so on. In fact, it is able to recover archive files like zip files, .iso, .cab, and others.

In addition, the recovery software’s applicability is not specific to hard drives. It can also be employed to recover corrupted files and formatted partitions from other external storage media like Flash drives, SD cards, disk drives, and others.

Interestingly, it has the capability to run up to a 100% recovery rate on all files. Also, it hosts a set of sophisticated algorithms, which enable it to recover files that are lost to malware or virus attack(s).

Furthermore, the software is fairly easy to use, as it hosts an in-built recovery wizard that provides simple, start-to-finish, guidelines on data recovery.

Hence, anyone, irrespective of technical know-how, can employ the software to recover lost, damaged, or corrupted files from external hard drives.

It also presents files in read-only format, which makes it uneditable, thereby ensuring the original contents are intact upon recovery.

Hetman Partition Recovery

Get back every piece of data from your hard drive, SSD, memory card, or USB drive. With this software, you recover all your partitions missing data in minutes.
Check price Visit website

Can an external hard drive be recovered?

Yes, an external hard drive can be recovered, but the success rate depends on the type of software that you are using.

All the solutions presented in this guide have been tested, and they offer a great success rate when it comes to file recovery, so be sure to try any of them.

Data loss is practically inevitable, as there are innumerable ways a file can be lost. These could range from accidental deletion or formatting to malware or virus infection. Hence, backing up files is highly essential to file/data safety.

However, at times, due to a host of factors, backed-up files (on external hard drives) could be lost or simply inaccessible.

In such events, this article has provided some of the best external hard drive recovery software available, which can easily be employed to facilitate the recovery of such files.

Feel free to tell us which one you liked best or which one has worked for you. Use the comments section below.

More about the topics: recovery software