From the maker of CCleaner, Piriform Recuva is a software solution established in its own right for recovering deleted data from your PC. It’s helpful for retrieving files that you lost or accidentally removed, whether we are talking about private photos, important work documents, family videos, your favorite music, or anything else.
The data recovery tool delivers great results when the files were removed from Recycle Bin or deleted with the Shift + Delete key combination. It also promises to work with formatted or corrupt disks, whether they were damaged physically or digitally.
- Speedy and effective data recovery tool
- Intuitive wizard and advanced options
- Deep scans and support for formatted drives
- Securely overwrite files beyond recovery
- Forever-free version
- Doesn't deliver good results while scanning formatted drives
- Additional, unsolicited offers during setup
- Portable version no longer available
- No recent updates
Before checking out our review, let’s find out about system requirements, editions, installation mode, and set of features that comes with Recuva.
Piriform Recuva system requirements
There are no minimal RAM or hardware requirements for using this application. However, make sure that you’re using one of the following Windows editions and drive file systems:
- Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows XP (64-bit only)
- Windows 2003, 2000, 2008 Server
- NTFS, FAT, and exFAT
Piriform Recuva free version
The data recovery software solution is available for home and business users. The main difference is that the business edition can be used to make a profit out of recovering lost data. Furthermore, it’s supposed to have a better detection rate, which translates to a better chance of finding forgotten files.
How to install Piriform Recuva
Since it’s wrapped in a small-sized package, you can swiftly download Recuva, even if you don’t have a stable Internet connection. However, you should pay attention when deploying the installer because it also offers to install CCleaner (they share the same developer), unless you already have it.
Furthermore, it’s possible to configure install options by disabling shortcuts, auto-update checkups, and context menu integration for quickly scanning Recycle Bin or File Explorer for deleted files. The remaining setup is almost instant.
How to use Piriform Recuva
When first launching the software utility, Recuva offers to help you quickly identify lost files by going through each step of the wizard. You get started by telling Recuva which kinds of files it should look for, such as pictures, music, documents, videos, archives, or emails. Otherwise, it will scan for all file types.
Next, you can tell Recuva where you last saw those files: in My Documents or Recycle Bin, on a specific location on the hard drive, on a media card or iPod, or on a CD or DVD. But it’s okay to proceed even if you don’t know. All that’s left now is to trigger the scanning operation by clicking the Start button.
Advanced and deep scans
If you don’t opt for the user-friendly wizard, you can tinker with the scan settings in the main application window. It may call itself advanced, but it’s still incredibly easy to use. In addition to the scan folder and file name or path, you can filter scans by extension, in order to find only files of a specific format.
In case Recuva returns no results, it offers to run a deep scan to thoroughly check your hard drive for the deleted files. But this can take a considerable amount of time, during which it’s advisable to not work in other desktop applications.
Inspect scan results and recover files
As soon as you have a list of scan results, you can inspect the odds of successfully recovering a file by taking a look at its color (red for minimal, yellow for partial, green for great). It’s also possible to preview image thumbnails and file headers if that helps you determine what the right file is.
To recover one or more files, you just have to make a selection, click the Recover button, and select a folder to save the extracted files. Preferably, the new location should be in a different drive than the source.
Wipe files to make them unrecoverable
Another good reason for using Recuva is not for recovering files but for seeing if they can be recovered by someone else that might be using Recuva or another similar application. For instance, this could be a real concern if you plan on selling your computer, because your private documents could be recovered from the disk, even after formatting it.
As such, you should prepare for every conceivable scenario and use Recuva to find and securely overwrite files to make sure they can’t be recovered again, whether by using this program or a more powerful one.
What is Piriform Recuva?
Piriform Recuva runs scans quickly while remaining light on system resources consumption. In addition to great scan speed, it returns excellent results when it comes to the detection rate, particularly when using the deep scan mode.
If you want to force Recuva to look for files from corrupt or damaged partitions, you just have to instruct it to scan for non-deleted items. The application is intuitive for all types of users, requiring no kind of help documentation although you can find one online.
Piriform Recuva FAQ
- Is Recuva software free?
Yes, Recuva is free for personal use, although it doesn’t benefit from some advanced features found in the professional edition. To be more accurate, Recuva is freemium because it keeps the core functionality unlocked but also has some restricted features that can only be opened by purchasing the full version.
- Is Recuva software safe?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to use Recuva for recovering your lost or deleted files. Although it offers additional applications during its setup, those are not malware.
- Can I recover a file that has been shredded?
Unfortunately, not even Recuva can recover such content. Once a file has been shredded (or an HDD has been wiped), that content is gone for good.