Rating of Programs for Recovering Deleted Files

Published: November 17, 2022

Last Modified: March 15, 2023

Rating of Programs for Recovering Deleted Files

Anyone who has encountered the need to recover data accidentally or intentionally erased from a hard drive or other media knows that such an operation can be performed using standard operating system tools, but its success is far from guaranteed. Of course, storing files in the recycle bin or its equivalent allows you to reanimate them at any time, but it is enough to empty it, and this data may be lost. but not irrevocably. at least until the moment when new information is written about the place they occupy. But even after formatting the media, there is still a chance of recovering files; specialized utilities that can work with the file system at a low level do a good job of this task.

Today you will get acquainted with the best programs for recovering deleted files. There are free, shareware, paid, and combined options available, as well as versions for Windows, Linux-like OS, Mac OS, and even Android. The functionality of some is limited to the usual recovery of files marked as deleted but present on the disk physically intact. Others can do the rather difficult job of analyzing the disk structure for a specific file system and recovering files of a certain type even after formatting the drive. Some utilities are available as executable files, while others are available as boot disk images.

ATTENTION. If critical data has been deleted from a disk or disk array, it is better to entrust its recovery to professionals; any erroneous actions during self-restoration can lead to permanent loss of information.

So, get acquainted with the best representatives of programs for recovering deleted data.


Of the free utilities in this niche, this one is the most famous. And while download statistics are the best evidence of this fact, we don’t dare call it the most effective one; it tops the rating due to its extraordinary popularity and, of course, the presence of a free option. However, looking at the manufacturer’s website, you can be sure that there is a paid version; however, in terms of its functionality, it is no better than the free version. The difference lies only in the availability of technical support.

So, about the functionality of the program: It is intended for use by anyone, regardless of experience level, making it simple to recover deleted files from any source (memory card, flash drive, hard drive).

If the media on which the files were deleted was rarely used, that is, if the erased data was practically not overwritten, Recuva copes with this task relatively easily. A flash drive formatted in a different file system is less recoverable. If the operating system claims that “the disk is not formatted,” the chances of recovering information are completely slim.

The program is able to work with certain types of data, for example, photographs of the most common formats, databases, etc.

The Recuva interface is simple and clear; there is a wizard that helps beginners with no skills, and with little experience you can work in manual mode. Among the available languages, there is also Russian. There is an installer and a portable version of the program.


One of the best free utilities for recovering deleted photos can handle many other types of files using the original algorithm. It is difficult to say whether it is worse or better than its competitors, but the program restores data really well. In addition to NTFS and FAT32 file systems, PhotoRec understands the structure of Linux ext2/3/4 partitions.

The first versions of the utility were exclusively console-based, which limited the circle of admirers for the program, but with the release of the seventh generation, the program acquired a graphical interface, which had an impact on its popularity.

However, the utility does not know how to restore bad or deleted sectors and partitions, but the developer has separate software for these purposes.


The DM Disk Editor utility takes the third place in our rating for nothing since it is focused on such types of data loss as accidentally formatted media as well as file system corruption. The Russian-language interface makes it easy to use the utility, but, frankly, it is difficult for inexperienced users, who should better read the instructions and other training materials before using DMDE.

Most of the features work in the free version for home use, but some are only available in the paid version.


If we talk about paid utilities for recovering deleted files, the top of the list is confidently headed by R-Studio, which uses its own algorithms and can work with almost all common file systems. This well-known developer in its niche also has a free version of the program called R-Undelete, but it only allows you to work with drives formatted in FAT32.

The functionality of the utility is quite extensive.

  • Data recovery from any media, including hard drives, SSDs, memory cards, optical drives, flash drives, and even floppy disks;
  • recovery of lost or deleted data from RAID arrays;
  • recovery of drives with physical defects;
  • restoring partitions that have undergone a formatting operation;
  • support for Windows file systems, modern versions of Linux, and Mac OS;
  • There is an installer as well as an image that enables you to run the program from bootable media (flash drives, floppy disks, DVDs, and CDs).
  • the ability to create drive images to work with images rather than physical drives.

It can be safely attributed to professional tools that provide the ability to recover information lost for various reasons, from deleting files and the appearance of bad sectors to formatting the drive. The loss of information in the boot sector when the OS reports that the disk is not formatted is not critical for R-Studio; the program can be run from a USB flash drive if the operating system does not boot for the above reason, and it can restore boot partitions.

Disk Drill

a paid utility that owners of computers with Mac OS X are well familiar with, but now a version for Windows is also available for download, both in paid and free versions.

With an intuitive interface, the program is robust and can both recover deleted files, especially certain types, and create disk images without working directly with drives. It can be argued that for OS X, this is definitely one of the best options, but for Windows 7–10, the utility is not bad, and if you have used only free programs, you should try this one as well.

Transcend RecoveRx

The Transcend brand is known as a manufacturer of removable media such as memory cards and flash drives. This does not mean that the free RecoveRx program for recovering deleted files can only work with this type of storage media; it successfully copes with typical tasks on both hard drives and SSD drives.

The utility has been russified and is simple to use. As testing has shown, deleted files, as well as formatted media, are restored with fairly good performance.

Puran File Recovery

Although in narrow circles this utility is not as well known as the leaders of the rating and exists only in a version that was released relatively long ago, it does its job perfectly. even in cases where the disk on which the files were deleted has already been worked on. The program has been completely russified; it can recover data from almost any type of media, including flash drives and hard drives.

File Scavenger

Compared to other file recovery utilities, File Scavenger excels at handling formatted and overwritten drives. True, the best results were demonstrated for relatively small drives (flash drives); for hard drives, and even more so with RAID arrays, the results were worse, and the time spent on recovery was too long.

But if the use of other tools did not allow you to recover the lost information, File Scavenger may be the straw that you should definitely grab onto.

Among the additional advantages of the utility is the ability to work with images, which is very good if there is a risk of damage to the physical drive. Yes, the utility is paid, and it costs a lot, but this is if you need full functionality. The free version isn’t as good, but it does a lot. In any case, it’s definitely worth a try.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

For the Power Data Recovery utility, recovering deleted files is a routine task that it does well on any type of media, from HDD or SSD to CD or DVD and memory cards. In addition, the program is able to restore damaged partitions on hard drives, working at the physical level with all common interfaces (IDE/EIDE, SkyZi, SATA, and, of course, USB). Unlike the paid version of the utility, its free counterpart can recover files with a limited volume (up to 1 GB), so we are not talking about recovering movies or large databases, but otherwise the functionality is the same.

Power Data Recovery is a fairly versatile program that can search for certain types of files and lost disk partitions. There is a function to create an image of physical media, which allows you to increase the security of manipulations with the file system. If the computer does not boot due to file system damage, you can make a bootable USB flash drive with the utility and work with the media from it.

Finally, one cannot fail to note such a feature as a preview of deleted but detected files, while the utility tries to display the original file names as much as possible.

Stellar Data Recovery

Although this utility is able to work with all major types of media, including optical ones, the ability to restore RAID arrays is not provided. However, for ordinary users, this is not essential since this type of drive is not always present, even in the commercial sector.

The program, like many competitors, can create an image of a recoverable drive, which allows you to increase the security and speed of the recovery operation.

Among the benefits of Stellar Data Recovery is the ability to preview the list of files that can be recovered, as well as display the disk structure in a tree-like hierarchical representation.

The program is suitable for inexperienced users; there is a wizard that offers three modes of operation: HDD recovery, working with optical media, and restoring deleted photos. The master does all further manipulations on his own, reporting the results of the work after the procedure is completed.

Data Rescue

Among the best programs designed to recover deleted data, we also note Data Rescue, which can be used on an inoperative computer since it can be launched from optical or flash media.

The program can work with files of the most common types, restore deleted or damaged partitions, recognize data on formatted drives, and work with RAID arrays (requires the installation of additional components). The program has a simple interface and does not cause difficulties in use despite its extensive functionality.

active file recovery

Our rating is completed by a paid utility, moreover, without a Russian-language interface. But on the other hand, she knows how to work with all operating systems, including Mac OS, allowing you to carry out recovery operations with all types of file systems.

The free version of the program can be used to test how the utility can handle your problem.


We have provided a far from comprehensive list of such programs; all hard drive manufacturers have such utilities, but we did not consider them due to their narrow specialization. Many of the best software and utilities for recovering deleted information have video instructions to help you learn the basics of this specific task. However, it would be better if such a need did not arise. But since no one is immune from this, we hope that our rating will be useful. What programs do you use? Share your own valuable file recovery experience in the comments.

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