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The best free data recovery software we recommend using

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro with Photo and Video Repair | For Windows PC , 1 Year |
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Best data recovery for SSDs
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Recuva Professional
Recuva
Best unlimited data recovery
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Stellar Data Recovery Premium
Stellar Data Recovery
Best photo and video recovery tools
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Disk Drill Pro
Disk Drill
Best lifetime data recovery software
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Wise Data Recovery Pro
Wise Data Recovery
Best multi-computer data recovery app
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hard drives ssds disks whats best fit disk
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If you've recently lost files on a storage drive, you might be able to get them back with free data recovery software. It's all too easy to accidentally delete files when you select more than one at a time. Malware attacks and drive malfunctions can also cause data loss.

While that information might be inaccessible to Windows or macOS, data recovery apps perform deep scans and have advanced methods of restoring files. Even free solutions can help you get your data back from hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and external USB drives.

ease us data recovery wizard pro review the app appears on a pc monitor
Alan Truly / Digital Trends

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Best data recovery for SSDs

Pros
  • Excellent recovery of HDD files
  • Restored a lost partition and files from thumb drive
  • Recovered SSD files in some cases
  • Quick file previews even with a slow drive
  • Offers a good free version and weekly subscription
Cons
  • Doesn't always recover SSD files

I reviewed EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro, the paid version, and was impressed by its ability to restore all my HDD files and even some from my SSD. SSD recovery is much more difficult.

EaseUS also offers a free app that includes the same features but lacks live support and restricts the amount of data you can restore. After you've recovered files that total a combined size of 500MB, EaseUS will prompt you to share the app on social media to unlock another 1.5GB worth of files.

That sounds like a reasonable request for free use of one of the best data recovery apps available for Windows and macOS.

Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro with Photo and Video Repair | For Windows PC , 1 Year |
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Best data recovery for SSDs
recuva professional review the data recovery app is shown on a pc monitor
Alan Truly / Digital Trends

Recuva

Best unlimited data recovery

Pros
  • Incredibly affordable
  • One-year subscription
  • Easy to use
  • Good HDD recovery
Cons
  • Failed to restore SSD files
  • Support is via email

Recuva is a free data recovery app for Windows that lets you restore all your files with no limitations on the size, number, or type of data. It works with HDDs, SSDs, and external drives.

I reviewed the subscription version, Recuva Professional, which can also access drives for virtual machines. I found it to work best for HDDs, but it also found a lost partition on a thumb drive. It's not as good as some other data recovery software, missing a few files in my HDD tests and restoring none of my SSD files.

The free Recuva app is just as fast and easy to use as the paid version. If you need help with data recovery, it's worth upgrading to Recuva Professional since it only costs $25 for a full year and lets you email support with about a one-day response time.

Download Recuva

Recuva Professional
Recuva
Best unlimited data recovery
stellar data recovery premium review appears on a pc monitor
Alan Truly / Digital Trends

Stellar Data Recovery

Best photo and video recovery tools

Pros
  • Excellent recovery of HDD files
  • Quick file previews even with a slow drive
  • Live support 24 hours a day on weekdays
  • Offers a free version
Cons
  • Couldn't restore a lost partition from thumb drive
  • Couldn't recover SSD files
  • Small app window

Stellar Data Recovery is the free version of this advanced data recovery software. It includes the same features as the Standard subscription plan that can restore lost HDD files with ease. The free app limits data recovery to 1GB, but that might be all you need.

In my review of Stellar Data Recovery Premium, it restored all my HDD files. If you like the look of the free app, upgrading to a paid subscription removes the 1GB recovery cap and provides advanced photo and video repair tools.

Stellar Data Recovery couldn't restore any SSD files, but that's a common problem. While SSDs are faster than HDDs, the potential to lose files forever means hard drives will continue to be useful for backing up data.

Stellar offers a free app for Windows and macOS.

Download Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Data Recovery Premium
Stellar Data Recovery
Best photo and video recovery tools

Disk Drill

Best lifetime data recovery software

Pros
  • Recovery Vault stores metadata for easier recovery
  • Paid version is a one-time payment
  • Low-cost lifetime upgrade option
  • Supports up to three computers
  • Includes Windows and macOS apps
Cons
  • Free Windows app is limited to 500MB
  • Free Mac app scans but can't restore

Disk Drill has a unique feature called the Recovery Vault. If it's installed prior to your data loss, it can help restore files that might otherwise be unrecoverable.

The Recovery Vault isn't a complete backup. It saves a small piece of metadata for each file you delete. While that feature only helps with future data loss, Disk Drill can often recover files without that extra metadata.

Disk Drill for Windows can recover 500MB of data for free. After that, you have to buy the app. The Mac version is more restrictive, only letting you scan to find lost files, but requiring payment before you can restore any files.

The price sounds high at $89, but it's a one-time payment that includes apps for both Windows and macOS. A lifetime upgrade option adds $19 to the cost.

Download Disk Drill

Disk Drill Pro
Disk Drill
Best lifetime data recovery software

Wise Data Recovery

Best multi-computer data recovery app

Pros
  • Free version restores up to 2GB
  • Low-cost subscription
  • $10 more to add two more PCs
Cons
  • Free version might not work on older files
  • No Mac version

Wise Data Recovery is a free app for Windows that lets you restore up to 2GB of files. That's a generous amount of data, but videos and large photos might use it up quickly. Wise says its free app works best with recently deleted files that it can find with a quick scan.

If you need more, the paid version does deep scans. A one computer subscription plan is affordable, starting at $40 per year. However, Wise Data Recovery Pro really stands out as a nice option if you want to use this app on more than one computer. It's only $10 more to add two more PCs.

The website shows a Mac version but notes it's made by Stellar, the data recovery app mentioned above.

Download Wise Data Recovery

Wise Data Recovery Pro
Wise Data Recovery
Best multi-computer data recovery app

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don't free apps get customer service?

Most app subscriptions include priority service, sometimes via live chat but most often by email. Data recovery software developers must pay employees or outsource to respond to customer requests. That's why paying customers enjoy the best support.

That doesn't mean free users have no way to get help. Most company websites have a support center where you can find answers to the most common problems. You can also look in community forums or do an internet search to find solutions for the app you're using.

Command line data recovery tools

TestDisk and PhotoRec are free, open-source command line tools that help restore lost files. TestDisk can take care of lost partitions, undelete files, and rebuild boot sectors on Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.

PhotoRec specializes in restoring photos and videos, but it works with other filetypes also. The combination of these two apps can let you get your missing data back from your PC or Mac terminal app.

Linux users will feel right at home with this app, but it might feel strange typing commands to interact with the app from a Windows or Mac computer.

Download TestDisk and PhotoRec

If the free apps mentioned above don't work or you've restored as many files as you can for free, it's time to check out premium services with unlimited data recovery and more advanced features. Paid solutions can get data from computers that can't boot up, restore files from lost partitions, access RAID arrays, and repair damaged photos and videos.

Our guides to the best data recovery software for Windows PCs and the best data recovery apps for your Mac and MacBook will help you find the tools you need at an affordable price.

Alan Truly

Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is new and what is next. With over 30 years experience in computer, video and photo equipment, you can expect useful tips and insights in his writing. Alan has a degree in programming, many years focused on design, editing, and animation. A period of managing logistics and e-commerce operations for a mobile accessories company rounds out a diverse background. Alan is a true jack of all digital trades in this ever-changing computer-enriched world. To stay flexible in mind and in body, he practices yoga, light cardio, and eats a whole food diet, based on minimally processed plants.

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