Best free data recovery tools

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Losing your files and other data can be very frustrating. To help you combat such situations, we have compiled a list of the best data recovery tools out there, which should help you recover anything you lost with ease.

All of these tools are able to restore documents and photos, but some can even repair audio or video files on your computer or on broken CDs and DVDs. These tools are able to go through computer hard drives and external hard drives, and some can even work with CDs, DVDs, iPods, cameras, and flash drives. 

If you accidentally deleted a file, check out our guide on how to recover deleted files. If the problem is bigger, and your whole hard drive is on the fritz, refer to our guide on hard drive recovery before panicking. Once things are working again, make sure you are regularly backing up things with our guide here

Recuva (Windows)

Recuva can recover files from a computer, iPod, camera, and Flash Drive. It can bring back files on seemingly broken disks, recover lost emails, and retrieve unsaved Word documents. The software can also delete things permanently.


There are two options for recovery: the Quick Wizard and the Deep Scan. The first swiftly brings back anything that has recently been deleted, and the latter will take you step by step through the things that have been deleted over the past few days. Recuva is generally easy to use, and should be able to handle all of your recovery needs.

CD Recovery Toolbox (Windows)

This program deals specifically with recovering data from CD and DVD disks. This is a great tool to use if you have disks that are scratched or damaged and you’re worried about losing the data that’s on them.

CD Recovery Toolbox

The program does warn that it may not be able to recover all of the information on a disk. It may run into issues with data recovery from parts of your disks that are damaged.

UndeleteMyFiles Pro (Windows/Mac OS X)

UndeleteMyFiles Pro is a well-rounded tool. Though it has many of the same characteristics as Recuva, it makes it easier to look for specific items to recover.

UnDelete MyFiles Pro

This speeds up the process if your main concern is the recovery of a single file.  It also has a preview function that allows you to view the contents of a file before you attempt to recover it. One of the most impressive features of UndeleteMyFiles Pro is that it takes a picture of the deleted files, and puts that into one big file. This way, you can work through to find the stuff you want without having to spend time working from the hard drive.

Photorec (Windows/Mac OS X)

Though this tool can be used to recover many different kinds of files, it focuses on photos. Photorec is like a spelunker for your hard drive. It goes to the depths of the deleted information and snoops around, making copies without touching anything else in the drive. It then delivers the information to you.


Orion File Recovery Software (Windows)

Like the star it’s named after, Orion File Recovery Software will lead you through the darkness that is your broken hard drive, and shine lights on lost files. This program is pretty similar to the others on this list, but it’s included because it provides a step by step guide on how to find files, delete files, and save files on other drives.

Orion File Recovery Software

This is a good option for someone who doesn’t have much experience with computers and is nervous about digging through damaged drives. Orion’s guides essentially hold your hand through the file recovery process.

What do you think of our roundup of the best free data recovery tools we can find? Sound off in the comments below.