Having the best data recovery software can mean the difference between losing essential data or saving it. With data recovery software, you can save files that were accidentally deleted, corrupted by a bad hard drive, or have become inaccessible due to cybercrime.
Recovering lost data is never guaranteed, but you’d be amazed at what top data recovery software platforms can accomplish. This type of software can scrape hard drives for the ghostly remnants of deleted files, help you recover a lost partition on your hard drive, or even generate renewed versions of files that have been infected with a virus.
Of course, data recovery software isn’t a replacement for having the best cloud storage service or another data backup solution. Ultimately, data recovery software should be just one piece of a broader data management strategy. However, when all else fails, having the ability to recover your data is critical.
In this guide, we’ll review the eight best data recovery software programs we’ve seen in 2022 and explain how to find the best data recovery software for your specific needs.
What is the best data recovery software?
Based on our reviews, we think AnyRecover is the best data recovery software for most users. It supports most major file systems and more than 1,000 file types, and you can scan your system before buying the software.
If you want to recover data on external drives, Stellar Data Recovery makes it easy to scan USB flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards, smartphones, and more. For all-in-one hard drive management, including disk cloning and cleanup tools, we recommend Disk Drill. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is one of the most user-friendly data recovery tools, while Ontrack EasyRecovery offers advanced capabilities for RAID drives and other complex drive systems.
Our list of the top data recovery software is rounded out by PhotoRec, iBeesoft, and Wondershare Recoverit. PhotoRec is completely free, while iBeesoft offers affordable pricing for businesses, and Wondershare Recoverit is ideal for recovering high-resolution video files.
The best data recovery software you can buy today
Overall best data recovery software
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, Mac, iOS, AndroidSupported file systems: FAT16, NTFS, FAT32, APFS, HFS+, HFS X, exFATExternal drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Supports 1,000+ file types+Can scan partitioned hard drives+Preview recovered files+Run a full scan before you buy
Reasons to avoid-Must pay to recover files
AnyRecover is a do-it-all data recovery software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. The platform can recover more than 1,000 different file types and has the ability to scan everything from partitioned disks to external hard drives to SD cards.
What really makes AnyRecover stand out is how fast it is. The software can scan a 100GB hard drive in minutes. If you want to take a break, you can pause the scan and return to it later. A built-in file previewer makes it easy to see what’s been recovered so you can decide which files to restore.
AnyRecover offers a free trial that lets you scan, but not restore. If the software is able to recover the files you’re after, you can purchase the software for $49.95 per month or $79.95 for a lifetime license.
Stellar Data Recovery
Best for recovering external drives
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, Mac, iOSSupported file systems: NTFS, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT HFS, HFS+, APFSExternal drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Recovers USB drives, SD cards, and more+Wide variety of file systems supported+Search and filter scan results+Free versions for Windows and Mac
Reasons to avoid-Software options and pricing are confusing-Deep scan can be very slow
Stellar Data Recovery is a powerful data recovery software that specializes in recovering media from external devices. That includes external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, and connected mobile devices. All you have to do is plug the device into your computer and Stellar Data Recovery can scan it.
The software offers two ways to scan: quick scan and deep scan. Running a deep scan can be slow, especially for larger drives, but it does an incredible job of detecting deleted file remnants and corrupted files. Once your scan is finished, you can take advantage of Stellar Data Recovery’s search and filtering tools to quickly find the data you need.
One thing to note is that Stellar Data Recovery isn’t just a single software program. Instead, it’s a suite of different software packages for Windows, Mac, mobile devices, and more, all with unique pricing options. This can make figuring out what software you need a little tricky. At the very least, however, you can try out the Windows and Mac software programs for free.
All-in-one hard drive management
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, Mac, iOS, AndroidSupported file systems: FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, EXT3, EXT4External drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Includes partitioning, cloning, and cleanup tools+Quick and deep scan options+Scan your drive for free
Reasons to avoid-Limited number of file systems supported
Disk Drill is more than just a data recovery software. This platform includes tools for every aspect of managing your hard drive, such as disk cleanup, disk cloning, and partitioning. It’s a great option if you’re just diving into data protection and want an all-in-one solution for backing up and recovering data.
The drawback to Disk Drill is that it doesn’t offer the same breadth of support for data recovery as other software we reviewed. The software only supports FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, and EXT4 file systems, and it’s limited to detecting around 200 file types. For most users, this is more than enough support, but Disk Drill may not work if you need to recover very unique data.
On the plus side, the software is easy to use, and you can preview photos and videos before restoring files. It’s free to scan your drive with Disk Drill, but you’ll need to upgrade for $89 before you can restore data.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Most user-friendly data recovery software
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, MacSupported file systems: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, EXT2, EXT3, HFS+, ReFSExternal drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Very easy to use+Supports most file systems and file types+Restore crashed RAID drives+Free version offers 2GB of restored data
Reasons to avoid-Expensive-Doesn’t support iOS or Android devices
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard simplifies the data recovery process with an easy-to-use wizard interface. It walks you through choosing which drive you want to scan and how to scan. You can preview files and restore them with just a few clicks. If you need help, paid users have access to one-on-one support.
Another thing we like about this software is that it’s capable of restoring just about anything. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard supports 10 different file systems and more than 1,000 different file types.
It can also restore crashed RAID drives, which isn’t a feature you’ll find on most comparably priced software. The software won’t work on iOS or Android operating systems, but EaseUS has additional software for those devices.
The biggest drawback to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is that it’s a little bit pricey. A monthly subscription costs $69.95 per month, while a lifetime license costs $149.95. However, the free version does enable you to recover up to 2GB of data.
Most powerful data recovery software
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, MacSupported file systems: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, HFS+, APFSExternal drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Supports recovery from SSD and RAID drives+Quick and deep scan options+Preview and filter recovered files+Relatively affordable
Reasons to avoid-Cloning and cleanup tools cost extra
Ontrack EasyRecovery is one of the most powerful data recovery programs on the market right now. With this software, you can recover data from SSDs, external drives, and even CDs. It’s also capable of repairing corrupted photos and videos and piecing together data from reformatted RAID drives. If you’ve got a complicated data management system, Ontrack EasyRecovery is your best bet for getting your data back.
Ontrack EasyRecovery isn’t quite as easy to use as some of the other software we tested, but it’s fairly straightforward. You can choose between a quick scan or a deep scan, and you have the option to pause and resume your scans at any time. The software supports file previews for more than 200 common file types.
The free version of Ontrack EasyRecovery lets you restore up to 1GB of data. Thankfully, upgrading isn’t prohibitively expensive. You can get unlimited data restoration for a one-time $79.95 fee.
Best free data recovery software
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, MacSupported file systems: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, HFS+External drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Completely free to use+Supports 300+ file types+Works with Windows and Mac computers+No limit on restored data
Reasons to avoid-Uses your computer’s command-line interface-No file previews
PhotoRec is a completely free data recovery software developed by CG Security. It’s surprisingly capable, offering support for a wide range of Windows and Mac file systems and more than 300 file types. It can recover data from external hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards.
As you might expect, this free software doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles of other data recovery software. The tools are accessed from your computer’s command-line interface, so you’ll need to be comfortable reading information in the command line. This also means that there are no file previews, so it’s hard to know what you’ve recovered until you restore the files.
PhotoRec won’t be right for everyone. But if you’re trying to recover non-essential data and don’t want to pay for data recovery software, this is one of the only free recovery tools that doesn’t limit the amount of data you can restore.
Inexpensive data recovery for businesses
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, Mac, iOS, AndroidSupported file systems: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, EXT2, EXT3, HFS+External drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Inexpensive license for unlimited computers+Supports 1,000+ file types+Quick and deep scan capabilities
Reasons to avoid-Doesn’t restore RAID drives
iBeesoft is an inexpensive option for businesses that need an unlimited number of data recovery software licenses. Whereas many other software providers charge on a per-computer basis, iBeesoft offers a company-wide license for just $299.95. If you need to recover data from dozens of computers following a virus infection or hack, this is one of the cheapest options available.
Despite its affordable pricing, iBeesoft is nearly as powerful as our top-rated data recovery software programs. It can run both quick and deep scans and offers the ability to preview and filter discovered files before you restore them. It also works on external drives, USB drives, SD cards, and smartphones. iBeesoft supports more than 1,000 file types, including documents, audio files, email files, and database files.
The biggest limitation we found is that iBeesoft isn’t able to restore data from reformatted RAID drives. However, it can restore partitions on individual hard drives and SSDs.
Best for recovering video files
SpecificationsDevices: Windows, MacSupported file systems: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, EXT2, EXT3, HFS+, APFSExternal drives supported: YesFree version: Yes
Reasons to buy+Recovers 4K and 8K video+Stitch together video fragments+Supports video file previews+All paid plans include 24/7 support
Reasons to avoid-Expensive-No support for iOS or Android devices
Wondershare Recoverit is another powerful data recovery software that especially stands out for its video recovery capabilities. This software can recover 4K and 8K video files without losing resolution. It can also repair corrupted video files and automatically stitch together file fragments that represent frames from a single video.
You can also use this software to restore files on your camera, including any drone or action camera that connects to your computer via USB. There are quick and advanced repair modes, which make the software suitable for both beginner and advanced users. Of course, you can preview all your recovered files, including video files, inside Wondershare Recoverit.
Wondershare Recoverit offers a free trial with 100MB of data restoration, and paid plans start at $119.99 for a lifetime license. For all video restoration features, however, you’ll need a more expensive Premium license, which costs $159.99 for a lifetime license.
How to choose the best data recovery software for you
There are a few important things to consider when choosing data recovery software.
First, it’s important to check which file systems the hard drives or other media you want to recover your files from are using. Most Windows computers and Windows-formatted drives use FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS file systems. Most Mac computers and Mac-formatted drives use HFS, HFS+, or APFS file systems. The majority of data recovery software programs cover all of these, but some, like Disk Drill, can only scan certain file systems.
Second, you need to think about what types of data you might need to recover. This is especially important if you use graphic design software or photo and video editing software that produces uncommon file types. Software like AnyRecover, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and iBeesoft each support more than 1,000 file types, so they may be able to recover software-specific data files.
Finally, it’s worth thinking about how many devices you have and what you’re willing to pay. Most data recovery software that we reviewed offers either one-month, annual, or perpetual licenses, but only for a single computer. If you only need to recover a few files, you may be able to use a 2GB free trial from EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. If you have a business with many computers, then iBeesoft’s perpetual company-wide software license may be a good option.