10 Best Free Data Recovery Software [2020 Edition]

Best data recovery software for Windows 10, 8.1, 7, XP, Linux, and macOS

Some data recovery software FAQs:

Why do we end up losing our data?

Just like people say, stuff happens. You can end up losing your data due to many reasons. It could be your own carelessness, an accidental deletion, buggy update, malware attack, etc. Just when you become aware of the fact that something has been lost, stop what you’re doing. Whenever you delete a file, all your PC does is marking the space on your hard drive available for rewriting. So, by doing as little computing as possible, you decrease the chances of your files getting overwritten.

Are data recovery software effective?

It goes without saying that no software can guarantee 100% data recovery. However, by choosing the right tool like Recuva, you can increase your chances of getting back the data. In case you’re lucky enough to not have overwritten the data, your chances of recovery increases even more. Trying to find the real cause of data deletion also makes the whole exercise easier.

How old files I’ll be able to recover with a software?

As explained above, a file recovery software can only get back the files that haven’t been overwritten on your storage drive. That’s why it’s recommended to attempt the recovery as soon as possible to increase your chances.

How does data recovery work?

In the past we’ve written an article telling differences between data deletion, shredding, wiping, etc; it can give you a pretty good idea of file deletion works. Having told you that, any file that’s “deleted” from your disk remains on it until it’s replaced by some other file. The file recovery software make use of this concept and look for different information that can help them find the exact location where that particular file was stored. That’s why it’s recommended to stop performing any operation or saving new data on your computer when you realize that a file is lost and you need to recover the same.

How to choose a data recovery company?

Here are some points and features that one should keep in mind while going ahead and choosing the best data recovery company for his/her need:

  • Support for several file types
  • File preview option before recovery
  • Regular updates and support
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Option to recover files in external media
  • Option to recover files from external storage and electronic media

How long does data recovery take?

If any software is telling you that it can recover any file in “X hours/minutes,” don’t let it fool you. The paid/free data recovery process is dependent on many factors like size and speed of hard disk from which you’re attempting to undelete data. Many software show an estimated remaining time while the scan is running, which could give you a pretty good idea of the time for scanning and recovery.

I haven’t deleted any data but my SD Card/USB Drive/Hard drive is corrupted?

If you’re facing such issue, follow the steps mentioned in our SD Card and hard drive repair articles.