Top 11 file recovery software for PC [2020 Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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data recovery software

This nightmare can happen to anyone: we’re working on some extremely important files when suddenly disaster strikes upon us! The files accidentally get deleted, corrupted, the PC dies, anything can happen. 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.

File recovery can be quite an expensive business and this is the exact reason for why it’s not the best suited substitute for backing up key documents, photos and more data on a regular basis. But let’s face it, if you do backup your data, you’ll be able to save yourself from feeling that aching stomach that comes alongside data loss.

Getting your data back

You can lose critical files due to virus infections, human error, or hardware failure; there are many reasons for which the horrible thing could happen. As soon as you become aware of the loss of data, it’s extremely important that you immediately stop using the drive that has been affected. Whether you have simply deleted a file accidentally, or the drive itself is failing, this is that special golden moment when you may still be able to get your data back before it’s gone forever.

Yes, you can recover deleted files

Don’t freak out just yet, as it is possible to recover deleted files. Let’s say that you accidentally delete a file. Well, you should know that you’re not really deleting it. The system marks the specific area where that files resides as a reusable area and it removes that file from the index.

This whole thing 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 for you a collection of 10 data recovery tools for Windows 10 which we guarantee 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. We’ve talked about other open-source file recovery data here.

Important criteria when choosing file recovery software

When you choose the file recovery program you’d like to use, it’s recommended that you have some proper criteria in mind, and we’ll show you the most important things that you should focus on. Here they are:

  • Security

Be aware of potential malware!

This is the most important thing you should check to make sure that the program does not include malicious processes. We made sure that the software from our collection is clean and neat, so don’t worry.

Does it perform safe operations?

The program should be tested to see whether it performs read-only procedures during the scanning processes. This is important because no one wants third party software writing extra data to the disk drive from which you’re planning on recovering the files. Again, we made sure that the software we’ll introduce you to is safe.

  • Quality

It’s also essential that the software supports the file recovery types that you need and also the storage devices. Remember that some data recovery programs don’t support external devices, so they’re useless, if you plan on getting back data from a flash drive.

The time required to complete the scan is also important and you should take into consideration the file preview and recovery quality as well.

  • Ease of use

Data recovery software should be easy to use and it doesn’t have to be decorated with fancy icons in order to be able to offer a decent UX. Data recovery has a complex nature therefore this issue is important.

  • Windows Compatibility

This factor reflects the best if the developer company keeps updating its software. An outdated program will have compatibility issues running on the latest OS aka Windows 10 and it also might have security issues. The best data recovery software should be compatible with Windows operating system, including Windows 10.

  • Tech support

Data recovery is pretty hard and it involves lots of advanced computer expertise. It’s not uncommon to have all kinds of questions and issues regarding the use of data recovery software, and in such cases it’s best to turn to the developer himself. As a conclusion, we value the software for data recovery that offers phone support, email inquiries or troubleshooting tutorials.

The best data recovery tools

1. Stellar Data Recoverystellar data recioery

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. Like all other software tools from the same developer, Stellar Data Recovery

Its design 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.

Main features:

  • Recovers deleted data from hard drives, SD cards, USBs, cameras, and formatted partitions
  • Recovers all types of files, from videos, photos, and office documents, to email data files, and more
  • Offers an easy two-step recovery
  •  Previews the recoverable data with option to select specific files before saving
  • Try before you buy by recovering up to 1 GB data for free

Download Stellar Data Recovery

2. MiniTool Power Data Recovery SoftwareMiniTool Power Data Recovery Software

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.

Download MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software

3. Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery (recommended)

stellar phoenix windows data recovery soft

This particular software is one of the most powerful tools out there as it features recovery of almost 300 file types from any NTFS, FAT, and ExFAT based storage devices. When using Stellar, you can save and resume a scan image, in other words, you don’t have to waste your time in front of the PC waiting for the program to complete scanning you huge 1 TB external drive. The software also offers great tech support.

4. Recoveritrecoverit

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.

Download Recoverit

5. Recuva (suggested)

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.

Download Recuva Pro