20 Free Data Recovery Software (2018): Totally Free, No Catch!
(Last update: Dec. 19, 2017 | It may sound a bit unreal that I'm updating this post on holiday seasons 🙂 Just wanted to show my deep appreciation to those amazing developers who made those data recovery utilities available and offered them for free. Note: programs crossed out mean they are no longer free.)
So, you just found that you had deleted or lost some files? Maybe on your computer hard drive or an external storage device.
And you also learned that there are free data recovery software might help recover the files.
There's more than meets the eye, though. Some of the file recovery programs are good, some are not. Some claim to be free -- but when you try to use them, you find out you have to purchase a license to fully recover or save your files.
Seriously, I hate that trick! Yes, I call it a "trick".
How do you tell good, solid data recovery software from wallet-sucking fraudulent programs?
Here's your answer: I've personally downloaded, tested 50+ data recovery programs on my Windows 10 based PC and macOS based MacBook Pro, sorted out the best free data recovery tools and put them all in one place.
The apps listed below are 100% free, or open source, or freeware, which means there's no cache and you can use them to scan, recover and save your files without any restrictions. No need to purchase a license!
Before you read the list though, check out these practical data recovery tips to increase your chances of recovering the data. Adding any data to the disk drive in question could overwrite your deleted data, making it difficult to restore your lost information.
- Stop using the computer or device (or SD card, flash drive, etc.) where your lost files located.
- Try not to install a data recovery program on the same drive you want to recover files from.
- Once you are ready to export the recovered files, save them on a different drive from the one that has the lost data.
Pro tip: most of the tools listed below are compatible with Microsoft Windows operating system, I'll point out in the bracket if an application is specifically for macOS. Also, If I don't put a bracket after the program name, it means that program is for Windows only.
Which Free Recovery Software Is The Best?
So, what do you think of this list? Have you tried some of them? Did it work to retrieve your lost files?
I'd like to know your stories. For me, I really like Recuva for Windows and Exit Untrasher for Mac because they helped me pull back some of my deleted items.
Also, if you found another free data recovery software that I missed, please leave the comment below and let me know. I'd be happy to test it out and may feature it here as well. Thanks for reading, and I hope you best of luck getting back the lost data.
Don't forget to backup your computer and hard drive! I just did so with my MacBook, see my recent post: how to backup Mac to an external drive.
Anyways, look forward to hearing from you and helping you out if needed.