9 best file recovery software for PC [2021 Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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This nightmare can happen to anyone: we’re working on some extremely important files when suddenly the files accidentally get deleted, corrupted, the PC dies, or anything of this sort. There are loads of unfortunate events that can keep us from gaining access to our file(s).

Not having a backup for these files – this is the true apocalypse.

However,  you should know that in such cases you’re not really deleting or losing your data. The system marks the specific area where those files reside as a reusable area and it removes that file from the index.

This means that there is a certain period of time in which you are still able to restore that file.

In order to help you with your data loss dilemmas, we have gathered a collection of data recovery tools for Windows 10 which will become your best friends during the harsh moment of data loss. These can truly help you in areas ranging from simple file recovery to a more complex total partition rescue.

Note: We’ve talked about other open-source file recovery data here.

What are the best data recovery tools I can find?

  • Recover deleted data from HDDs, SD cards, USBs, cameras, and formatted partitions
  • Recover all types of files: videos, photos, and documents, email data files, and more
  • Easy two-step recovery
  • Recover up to 1 GB data for free
  • Price tag

Home users are usually left out when it comes to the design and development of data recovery tools. However, that isn’t the case with Stellar Data Recovery.

It was designed with efficiency and accessibility in mind. This means anyone can use it, and you don’t need to be an expert to use it efficiently. Of course, the tools it uses are extremely advanced and well-thought, as they allow even hidden files to be discovered and recovered.


MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software

  • Supports Dynamic Volume
  • Deep scans hard drives, memory cards, SSDs
  • Supports 100+ file formats
  • Might need several scans to find the lost files

This program ca be best summarized as “easy-to-use” because of the way it looks, feel, and how it handles data recovery.

Of course, this doesn’t make it a second-hand program, since it is perfectly capable of recovering file systems such as FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS.

Any type of data recovery is done via a 4-step method where you scan the location of the dat athat needs recovered, select the type of data you want, preview the file sthat you need, and performing the actual data recovery.

It supports Dynamic Volume: Simple Volume, Spanned Volume, Stripe Volume, Mirror Volume,Raid-5 Volume, and it can resume the last recovery result.


Recoverit

  • Recover over 700 unique file formats.
  • User friendly
  • Supports 8 different data lost scenarios
  • Price tag

The best word that can be used to describe Recoverit would be “universal”. This is because this tool is perfectly capable of recovering over 700 unique file formats, which include documents, emails, photos, videos, audio files and more.

Another reason this program is so versatile is that it supports 8 different file-loss recovery types, each being a direct counter to some of the most common file loss causes:

  • Deleted files recovery
  • Recycle bin recovery
  • Formatted drive recovery
  • Lost partition recovery
  • External device data recovery
  • Virus attack data recovery
  • System crash recovery
  • All-around recovery

This may make the program seem a bit too complicated for the casual user, but rest assured that running it is extremely simple, as it is guided by a wizard-like setup where you just have to make 2 or 3 choices and press “Next” most of the times.

The recovery times are equally fast, the only variable being the amount of data that needs recovery, and the way it was lost in the first place.


Recuva

  • Recover files from damaged or formatted drives
  • Recovers pictures, music, documents, videos, emails
  • Deep scan
  • None

This tool features a very simple wizard and it offers deep scans, being essential in case of emergency.

This software makes things as easy and as stress-free as possible as you are able to target your search to a specific location. You can also search all your drives, and opt for a quick or a full scan.

The Pro version gives you access to updates, premium support and virtual HDD support.


Wondershare Data Recovery

  • Recovers over 550 unique file formats
  • Recover 100MB files for free
  • 3-step recovery tool
  • Doesn't have a Mac version

This software is able to recover files in more than 550 formats from both computer storage and external storage devices. It also features the Resume Recovery feature.

The best part about this specific tool is the fact that it lays out all the complicated data in an easy way. The tool offers lots of useful tutorials and professional customer service.


DMDE Free Edition

This tool is unfortunately often overlooked and it’s a pity because it is capable of recovering data from a huge array of drives, including 2 TB+ drives which have been rescued from a fried external drive. It’s one of the most effective tools out there.

The tools is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.

Download DMDE


PhotoRec

Photorec recovery tools

Using this software, you can recover files from any storage media in various file formats (over 200). Despite its name, you can recover more than just photos. It works with a vast range of file systems and media, from hard drives to CDs or DVDs and also USB flash drives and memory cards.

Download PhotoRec


Remo Recover

best file recovery tools

This sophisticated data recovery software is perfect for recovering lost data from hard disk partitions. Remo also supports a large number of devices including the old school CD/DVD. Its three options listed on the main interface (Recover Files, Recover Photos, Recover Drives) are very intuitive.

Download Remo Recover


Paragon Rescue Kit Free Edition

Paragon recovery kit free

In case you’re not able to boot to Windows anymore, you won’t lose everything thanks to the excellent Paragon Rescue kit.

So it will recover data when your operating system crashes and fails to start.

Note that you can only use the kit as a trial, not as a permanent solution.

The best time to install this tool is while your PC is still running, otherwise you’re going to have to use a working PC. Then, you’ll need a blank CD or DVD or flash drive and the setup wizard will do all the hard work. You just have to insert the disc or the flash media into the non-booting PC and restart. Select the media from the boot menu. You’ll have tons of options for fixing boot issues.

In case everything else fails, this tool will turn out to be your lifesaver.

Check Paragon Rescue Kit


We hope that at least one of these tool has proved helpful in your particula situation.

If so, we’d like to hear your feedback, so feel free to use the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about file recovery tools

  • How does file recovery work?

The file recovery process usually begins by scanning your system (deep scan or partition scan) and retrieving all deleted, corrupted, or lost files.

  • How can I recover data from a corrupted hard drive?

You can safely use dedicated data recovery software that can access this type of data.

  • How much does it cost to retrieve data from a hard drive?

It depends whether you’re taking your device to a shop or try to use HDD data recovery software first.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2017 and was revamped and updated in December 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.