5 Best Free Data Recovery Programs

Computers have limitless uses and as technology evolves, computers take care of more and more aspects of our lives. However, leaning so much on technology makes us dependent and many people would be devastated if their computers were to crash. Luckily, the same Internet we use to find all of our information is also becoming the best place to store it. Effective online file storage  is the new hope in data security. It moves sensitive documents online and out of harm’s way. However, if a user does accidentally delete data it can still be recovered. There are tons of programs that assist in data recovery–here are some of the most popular:


Test Disk

This is powerful open source software. This is a command line tool, meaning that there isn’t a GUI and is for more advanced users but it comes with a strong step-by-step guide explaining recovery options.  It can perform basic file recovery as well as several other features. Users can recover boot sectors from a backup, restore DE type partitions, rebuild a boot sector, fix an MFT, find the ex2/ex3 backup SuperBlock, fix FAT tables and copy deleted files all without needing to install the product.

Download/Try: Test Disk Download.



Recuva is a somewhat limited Windows-based tool.  While Recuva is only good for straightforward recoveries it is very powerful at its job and is extremely user friendly. This can retrieve files emptied from the recycle bin as well as files from camera memory cards and MP3 players. Its wizard allows you to narrow your files search to .docs, pictures, etc. Recuva also has a wipe feature for users that what to make absolutely sure something can’t be brought back.

Learn more/Download: Recuva.



Restoration for Windows is extremely simple to operate. Its design is straightforward and the program is one of the smallest on the market. Restoration is small enough to be run from a USB drive—no need to install. The size seems to make no claims on its productivity, however. It’s still very efficient. Restoration supports Windows Vista, XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98, and 95.

Download: Restoration.


Free Undelete

Free Undelete is a freeware version of Undelete Plus for Windows. It communicates to the user the likelihood of being able to find data based on how damaged the file appears to be. You can keep file structures intact as you filter your results by time, size and type. Free Undelete can recover things taken out by a Command Prompt, the Recycle Bin and the Shift + Delete keys. It can also retrieve files lost from hard drives, memory cards and other like portable storage devices. However, Free Undelete does require download and installation.

Download: Free Undelete.


Pandora Recovery

Pandora Recovery assists you in recovering deleted files from NTFS-formatted volumes despite their type. As long as the files are a popular format Pandora Recovery should be able to find them. Pandora Recovery works with windows products and can recover files from external drives as well memory cards, UBS, etc. It is 2.12 MB in size, however, and requires you to install.

Download: Pandora Recovery.

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