There are many reasons why we can lose our personal files . For example, a hard drive failure, a virus, a Windows bug, even human error. We always recommend having backup copies of our most important data so that. if something happens, we can recover them quickly and do not lose that material that, although it may not have economic value, has great sentimental value. However, when a misfortune occurs, and we do not have data backup, that is when forensic programs come into play to recover data .
Most of the time that a file disappears from our computer, it has not actually been completely eliminated, but the space it occupies has been marked as “available” for a reason and is waiting for other data to occupy it. But the data is still there.
File recovery programs take advantage of this. Instead of reading the index of the hard disk, they do a complete scan of its surface and record all the files and folders that are created on them. Thus we will find all the files that we can see, and all those that, for some reason, have disappeared. And, based on that data, they allow us to make a copy of it to recover it.
On the Internet we can find a large number of data recovery programs, both free and paid. Next, we are going to see which ones are the best for Windows so that, if we find ourselves in this situation and we do not have a backup, we can recover our data.
Important things to consider before recovering data
Using these programs does not guarantee that we can recover your data. Just as not all programs are equally accurate since it depends on the algorithms they use. If the data has just been deleted, and we have not used the computer at all, the probability of recovering it is quite high. However, the more time passes and the more we use the computer, this probability decreases, since it is very likely that sectors will be overwritten with parts of the file that we want to recover.
It is important to remember that the recovery program must be installed on a different hard drive than the one with the data to be recovered. If we install it on the same hard drive or on the same drive, it is likely that we will overwrite the data that we are precisely trying to recover.
The same happens when we find the data that we want to recover. It is very important that, when saving them, we do it on a USB or on a different hard disk than the one that originally had the data . This will reduce the probability of overwriting the sectors and losing any opportunity to recover the data.
Analysis and recovery processes are generally very slow. They depend on the type of hard drive or SSD and its size. You need a lot of patience to be successful in data recovery.
Best paid programs to recover deleted data
Many of the free programs that we have just seen in the previous point have their corresponding paid versions. These are usually much more complete and professional than the previous ones, and also eliminate some of the restrictions (for example, size) that we can run into.
In addition to them, there are also other much more professional programs, exclusively paid, that will allow us to save the situation when everything else fails.
Stellar Data Recovery
Stellar Data Recovery is one of the programs to recover deleted data from our hard drives that we can download and use for free or paid, in its Pro version. This program is compatible with all types of storage units and is capable of detecting and recover practically any type of file. One more alternative to consider when others, for some reason, do not work or do not allow us to recover the data.
As soon as we install it on the PC, we find an intuitive user interface with various commonly used file formats. In this way we will have the possibility to select the one on which we want to search and recover. Among these we find Office documents , photos, music files, folders in general, emails, or videos. It is evident that at the same time we can mark all of them so that the program, Stellar Data Recovery, performs a complete scan of the disk drives. In this way and in a simple way we will have the possibility of recovering everything that we accidentally lost, either due to our failure, or due to a defective disk, for example.
We can download Stellar Data Recovery from its official website, we can also download a version for macOS.
Disk Drill Pro
Disk Drill Pro is one of the most advanced and professional programs that we can find to recover deleted data from hard drives. It supports a wide variety of file systems, from typical Windows such as FAT, exFAT, and NTFS, to HFS and EXT.
This program can easily read mechanical hard drives, SSD drives, USB sticks, SD cards and any other storage device. Its algorithms are capable of detecting practically any file of which there is the slightest trace on our hard drive, and it has functions that even allow us to pause and resume data searches according to needs.
We can buy Disk Drill Pro from the following link . We also have it available for macOS.
This software allows us to recover any type of file deleted from almost any type of drive, be it classic hard drives, SSD, memory cards, USB and much more. It has a “Ribbon” style interface that is very easy to understand, and the entire process is correctly explained and guided so that we do not have problems when retrieving the information.
This program can be downloaded for free, but it is quite limited and shows a very annoying message to activate it every time we try to use it. Therefore, we have decided to put it in the paid category, since it is where it really shows its potential.
We can download this software, and purchase its license, from its main website .
Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery
Another of the most powerful and complete payment programs that we can find to recover our files. This Wondershare alternative is capable of reading practically any file system on Windows, macOS and even Linux and detecting and recovering any file found on it.
Its strengths are, on the one hand, the possibility of generating a preview of the files before recovering them, the ease of using this program and, above all, the speed with which it analyzes the hard drives and recovers the data. In addition, it is compatible with all types of files.
We can buy Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery from the link below . It is also available for macOS.
Active File Recovery
This program is, broadly speaking, similar to the previous ones. It has support for the main file systems and is capable of detecting deleted files with great precision. However, it wants to differentiate itself from the other alternatives by offering users a much cheaper alternative than others, thanks to a subscription license system.
This program has two scanning options (Quickscan and Superscan) that allow each user to adapt searches according to their needs and the time they have, as well as allowing data to be recovered even when Windows does not start.
We can buy Active File Recovery from the following link .
R-Studio is another commercial forensic data recovery program. This program is characterized by offering advanced users a large number of options and technical tools for a much more efficient and precise search and recovery. This program is compatible with all used file systems and can even recover data from RAW drives.
We can buy R-Studio from the following link .
Any Data Recovery
Any Data Recovery brings users a very clean and easy-to-use interface so that anyone can take full advantage of a data recovery tool. This program supports all major file systems, such as FAT, NTFS, HFS, and APFS, as well as supporting searching for more than 550 different file types.
Among its main features we must highlight above all its excellent system to preview the data before saving it.
We can buy Any Data Recovery from the following link . We can also buy this program for macOS.
This program is also one of the most veteran when it comes to helping us recover data that has been deleted or has disappeared from the hard drive. This software specializes in recovering data from FAT and NTFS drives, being able to recover the information when the partition table, the boot or the MFT has been damaged. This software is capable of recovering data even when Windows cannot recognize the faulty hard drive or drive.
Data recovery is very simple and fast, and we are guided at all times by a simple wizard. Although it is paid (the license guarantees us updates for life) we can try it for free to find out, before going through the checkout, if the program will be able to recover our data.
We can download GetDataBack from their website .
Best free programs to recover deleted data
Surely we have ever heard of Ccleaner, the Windows cleaning and optimization software. Recuva is a free program created by the same company, Piriform (which is currently owned by Avast).
This program has a very easy-to-follow interface that guides us through each step to analyze our hard drives, find the files that have been deleted and allow us to recover them. In addition to having a very clear wizard, it allows us to recover all types of files, even emails that we have deleted from our PC or Word documents that we have not saved in time.
It has simple and fast recovery functions and a deep scan mode to search for data that has been deleted from the disk and is not detected during the initial scan. It is compatible with Windows, and it is also capable of scanning external drives, including iPod, and damaged and formatted hard drives.
We can download Recuva from the following link .
In this case we find another powerful program that allows us to restore files deleted accidentally or by mistake. As we mentioned before, thanks to this software, this is something that we can carry out completely free of charge and that is compatible with all types of storage units. Here we have at our disposal a fast and efficient algorithm to search and recover deleted files and folders.
Of course, through the user interface that it presents, once the contents deleted by accident are located, we will also have the possibility of recovering them. For all this that we discuss, the program as such analyzes the storage unit that we want and searches for all its residual files. In turn, Undelete 360 allows us to establish a series of filters for the possible visible results. So we can filter by date, file type or size. We have a preview of the localized content before its final recovery. To say that for all this, we have the possibility of downloading the program from this link.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is another of the most popular data recovery programs that we can find for Windows. This program has one of the most accurate algorithms when it comes to analyzing drives and detecting and recovering data.
It allows you to recover from data that has been deleted from the recycle bin by mistake to files on formatted drives. It features a fast hard drive scan mode, followed by a very deep scan mode for the most difficult data to delete. It even has flexible recovery methods depending on the type of files we are trying to recover.
We can download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from the following link .
Testdisk and PhotoRec
When we have a problem with a partition or with the format of a hard drive (for example, if the hard drive has gone RAW), Testdisk is one of the best programs that we can turn to. This program does not recover data like the others, but focuses on reading the structure of the hard disk and regenerating the partition table from scratch. In this way the data is once again available and accessible from the computer.
If we need a forensic recovery software, next to Testdisk we can find PhotoRec. Initially created as a camera photo recovery software, today it is a powerful software that allows us to recover any type of file deleted from the computer. It has a wide variety of formats and compatible file types, it is cross-platform and, in addition, it is completely free and open source. A software that, without a doubt, can save us from a good one.
We can download Testdisk and PhotoRec from the following link .
MiniTool Power Data Recovery
Another free alternative to recover deleted files from our computer is MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software. This program has a wide variety of tools that allow us to analyze our hard drive, both superficially and in depth, until we find the files that we have lost.
Some of the best features that this MiniTool program offers us are, for example, the possibility of recovering files that were using NTFS compression, support for all types of hard drives, storage units and even USB memories, specialization at the time to find and retrieve photos and an excellent analysis and recovery engine that increases the probability of success.
We can download MiniTool Power Data Recovery from the following link .
PC Inspector File Recovery
This program is another of the simplest and fastest when it comes to recovering deleted files from our hard drives. The main characteristics of this alternative are, on the one hand, that it is capable of finding deleted FAT partitions and recovering them as is, with all their data (although this does not work with NTFS). And on the other hand, it is capable of recovering the date stamp of deleted files. This allows us, mainly, to copy them to network drives (such as a NAS, a USB on our router, or another computer) without problems.
We can download PC Inspector File Recovery from the following link .
Wise Data Recovery
This program works in a similar way to the previous ones. When we run it, Wise Data Recovery analyzes the entire structure of the hard drive to find all the data that has been deleted or has disappeared in order to recover it. It is compatible with the main Windows file systems (FAT, exFAT and NTFS), and has a very easy to use interface. In addition, it has a search option that will help us find data much faster than other programs.
We can download Wise Data Recovery from the following link . Furthermore, this program is also available for macOS.
If we are familiar with other Glarysoft software, then we are sure to give Glary Undelete a try. This is another program for recovering data deleted from hard drives, free and very easy to use, that can save us from a problem.
This program is compatible with Microsoft file systems, such as NTFS, Fat and exFAT, and it has all kinds of functions and features that will help us when it comes to recovering data from our drives. It has a file browser and a large number of filters that will allow us to find the files we are looking for much more quickly.
We can download Glary Undelete from the following link . Another of its characteristics is that it is compatible with all versions of Windows, from XP onwards.
Puran File Recovery
There is not much else to add to this program. Yet another free alternative, with different algorithms, to help us recover deleted files from our computer. It is compatible with the main Windows file systems, and it is also capable of analyzing and recovering data from any type of storage, be it hard disk, SSD, flash memory and even CD and DVD.
It has a deep analysis system to detect and recover the most hidden files and even allows you to recover entire partitions. It also detects format changes based on patterns in the code of certain files, useful when files have disappeared due to a virus.
We can download Puran File Recovery from the following link .
Although it has not been updated for a long time, this program is still another excellent alternative to recover deleted or deleted data from any computer. ADRC supports a large number of file systems and has complex functions for the detection and recovery of this data. The program’s interface is very clear and easy to use, as well as having all kinds of tools that allow, for example, to generate the system startup when it fails.
We can download ADRC from the following link .
For those looking for a powerful and open source alternative for Windows, Kickass Undelete is one of the programs that should not be overlooked. This software is compatible with FAT and NTFS and allows us to recover data without problems. It has a simple and powerful search engine to find specific files, a very simple to use and intuitive interface and filters so that we do not waste a second in the exploration.
We can download this software for free from SourceForge .
Lazesoft Recovery Suite
This program is not just one more software to recover data, but it is a complete recovery suite that will allow us from recovering our data to making a PC that does not boot restart again. This software allows us to start a Live environment from RAM (before Windows) and, from it, to carry out all the repairs we need.
In addition to analyzing the disks and allowing us to recover data, this program also allows us to recover entire partitions that may have been damaged or corrupted for whatever reason.
We can download this data recovery software from its website .
RePicvid Free Photo Recovery
RePicvid is a software specialized in recovering photos deleted or deleted by mistake from any storage medium. This program does not have time or size limitations, so it is an ideal software to always have on your PC, for when we may need it.
With it we will be able to recover all kinds of photos and videos from hard drives and memory cards. It has a very simple wizard that will guide us through the process until the file is safe on our computer. Besides photos, you can also recover other types of files, although not with such precision.
We can download this program for free from here .