5 Best Free Data Recovery Software in 2021

If you need to recover data from a device or hard drive, you may wonder what the best tool for the job is. The good news is that there are some free data recovery tools available for download that can help you recover your data if you have accidentally deleted it.

In this article, we have pinpointed the best free data recovery apps for restoring deleted files and folders on a Windows PC or Mac, and external devices such as hard drives, SD cards, USB sticks, cameras, and even Android and iOS devices

What is the best free data recovery software?

Here's a quick rundown of the best data recovery software that doesn't cost a penny! To find out more about each provider, keep on reading for our in-depth analysis.

  1. EaseUS - The best free data recovery software. You can recover 2GB of data free and works on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  2. Stellar - A great free data recovery service for Windows and Mac. Recover 1GB of data for free in their easy to use software.
  3. Disk Drill - A great free data recovery tool. It's available for Windows and Mac and allows up to 500MB of data recovery before paying.
  4. Recoverit - A clever data recovery app. It's available for Mac and Windows and allows up to 100MB of free data recovery.
  5. Recuva - A simple data recovery solution for Windows users. It offers a completely version which is a great option for Windows users.

All of the free data software listed above provide the following features:

Why are they the best free data recovery apps?

Losing data is always extremely frustrating, which is why software for recovering accidentally deleted files and folders is such a godsend. Below, we have pinpointed the very best free applications for recovering software from a range of devices.

Each summary will provide details on the features that the data recovery software has – and which platforms it is best suited for. This will help you to pick the right free data recovery software for your particular needs.

EaseUS is the best free data recovery software. It's easy to use, allows 2GB of data recovery and works on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

  • Free option

    Yes

EaseUs is an easy-to-use application that has a Wizard for recovering files from a wide variety of devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android devices, and USB sticks or external hard drives.


The free recovery wizards can be used to recover data lost due to various data loss situations – including formatting, virus or malware attack, accidental file deletion, sudden system crash, or unexpected power off.


For free, EaseUs can be used to recover up to 2GB of data, and they can even preview data before recovering it. Beyond that, paid plans are available that permit users to recover an unlimited amount of data. Those plans can be used either on one computer or for recovery from multiple devices.


Stellar is a fantastic free data recovery service. You can recover up to 1GB of data for free using this software, it has great apps for Windows and Mac, and it's easy to use.

  • Free option

    Yes

Stellar is a data recovery application that is available for both Windows and Mac. It is an efficient and simple application that requires no prior knowledge about data recovery. It can be used to recover photos, videos, audio files, contacts, messages, calendar entries, office documents, emails, and presentations.


With Stellar you can recover up to 1GB of lost data for free on either Windows or Mac. Beyond that you can pay for either standard or Premium depending on the level of recovery that you need. The platform is great for recovering data from internal and external devices and hard drives, including iOS phones.


For $49 per year, we find the Standard plan to be extremely good value for money. And Stellar even has a specialist photo repair function that can be used to repair corrupted photos you thought you'd never get to see again!


Disk Drill is an excellent free data recovery service. You are able to recover 500MB of data for free on both Windows and Mac, also can be used on external hard drives and USBs.

  • Free option

    Yes

Disk Drill is a useful data recovery tool that is available for both Windows and macOS. It has a free plan that permits people to recover up to 500 MB of data on a Windows machine. Beyond that (or on macOS), you will need to pay for the premium subscription which starts at $89.


The service is both easy-to-use and good at its job. It uses a variety of techniques to recover files from external and internal hard drives, memory cards, and just about any media. And you can use it to recover documents, videos, archives, music, or photos.


Recoverit is a smart data recovery app compatible for Windows and Mac machines. Offers 100MB of free data recovery for free and recover lost data from formatted, RAW, or damaged partitions

  • Free option

    Yes

Recoverit is a smart and simple data recovery app that is available for both Mac and Windows. It can recover deleted or lost files from internal and external hard drives, USB sticks, SD cards, etc. And the software can be used to recover lost data from formatted, RAW, or damaged partitions.


Recoverit has a limited free plan that is available on both macOS and Windows. it will allow you to recover up to 100 MB of files without any subscription requirements, which is great.


We love that the service requires no previous knowledge of data recovery to use and allows you to preview files to check what they are before you restore them.


Recuva is a completely free data recovery solution for Windows users. It's completely free and can be used to restore accidentally deleted files on Windows Machines.

  • Free option

    Yes

Recuva is a simple data recovery solution for Windows users, and best of all it is freeware, which means that you can take advantage of it on a PC or laptop without paying a dime.


Although the software is extremely lightweight, and missing some of the more advanced features you get with the recommendations above, it is still a worthwhile option for people in need of recovering data on a Windows machine.


Recuva can be used to restore accidentally deleted files such as photos, music files, and documents. It can recover that data from a wide variety of storage devices – including external hard drives, memory cards, and USB sticks. It can even recover data from damaged or formatted drives.


Plus, it also has a feature for securely deleting files so that they are no longer recoverable! Pretty impressive for a completely free application.


How does data recovery software work?

Data recovery software works by scanning your device for the remnants of files and folders that are no longer outwardly available via the file manager or finder. 

When you delete something from your device, it is not always deleted right away. Instead, the operating system may pencil that file (or folder) in for deletion once space on the hard drive becomes necessary. This creates a window of opportunity for restoring a deleted file or folder before it is gone forever. 

This is why it is also vital to take certain steps to properly wipe a device's hard drive before selling it on – as failure to do so could allow the next owner to access your personal information.

Prevent data loss by backing up your data

By backing up your data securely to the cloud, you ensure that your data can be recovered in the easiest possible way. The best cloud storage services can be used to automatically back up your device's files and folders.

This will ensure that your photos, videos, text files, app data, contacts, messages, etc, are always safely uploaded to servers on the internet.

Most cloud storage providers even have file versioning – which means that you can access older versions of files if you happen to alter or delete the contents of a file accidentally – and want to access the previous version.

Some cloud storage services even permit users to create snapshots of their device at a certain point in time, which allows the users to recover their device to that point if data or apps are lost or deleted for some reason. 

Backing up data to the cloud is much easier than recovering data from a device using data recovery software, which is why this is a great pro-active approach to preventing data loss. 

Check out our free cloud backups page for a list of the services without paying a dime.

Conclusion

So, if you're looking to prevent your data from getting lost, without the cost, then here's a reminder of our top picks for free data recovery apps:

  1. EaseUS - The best free data recovery software. You can recover 2GB of data free and works on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  2. Stellar - A great free data recovery service for Windows and Mac. Recover 1GB of data for free in their easy to use software.
  3. Disk Drill - A great free data recovery tool. It's available for Windows and Mac and allows up to 500MB of data recovery before paying.
  4. Recoverit - A clever data recovery app. It's available for Mac and Windows and allows up to 100MB of free data recovery.
  5. Recuva - A simple data recovery solution for Windows users. It offers a completely version which is a great option for Windows users.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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