The best free data recovery software 2018

by Linas Kiguolis - -

Restore lost or deleted files with the free file recovery tools

Pick the best free data recovery tool of 2018

Almost all users have lost essential files at some point in their life. While some of them suffered this loss just because they accidentally deleted their data or had their computers' hardware crashed, others were unfortunate enough to get infected with ransomware[1] which encrypts the most valuable files on the system. Data loss is a threat to everyone who does not store backups,[2] so, if you are one of them, you might be in need for specific software.

For this reason, we decided to dedicate some time to find the best free data recovery software of 2018. These programs are real life savers if the deleted files are still on the system. Thus, it is important to stop using the computer shortly after you became aware that you have lost vital documents.

This is the moment when you might still be able to retrieve lost or deleted file with one of the recovery tools below. Note that while all of them are free, developers offer premium versions to access all features of the software. Likewise, you can switch from free to premium anytime. 

1. A lightweight ParetoLogic Data Recovery Pro software

Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro by ParetoLogic is one of the greatest software which can help to retrieve lost documents, digital photos, MP3 files, emails on the computer as well as on a mobile phone, iPod or another external device. Users can use three scanning options for compromised data — Quick, Full and Guided scan.

While the Quick scan simply searches for easily recoverable files on the device, Data Recovery Pro's Full scan checks your computer together will all external devices connected. However, it might take some time, so you might need to be patient. Additionally, the Guided scan allows the user to select the files and monitor the recovery process which is a definite advantage.

Furthermore, Data Recovery Pro doesn't occupy much of your computer's space and resources. Also, its design is well-organized and easy to understand for those who are not experienced in the IT field. The setup is not complex either, so this recovery tool if a perfect choice for inexperienced computer users.

ParetoLogic Data Recovery Pro software is compatible with:

  • Windows XP;
  • Windows Vista.
Pros Cons Conclusion
Can efficiently recover files and emails on the computer as well as on external devices Scanning might be time-consuming Data Recovery Pro software is an effective tool which is irreplaceable for novice computer users. However, sophisticated programs or files require more time for recovery.
Displays preview of most of the files    
Has Quick, Full and Guided scan modes    

2. Recuva by Piniform offers free file recovery features

Piniform Recuva software

Recuva is a free file recovery software mostly appreciated for its simplistic design. Developers offer a free version of the tool. However, advanced features are only available in the premium version. Despite that, regular computer users can quickly recover most of the lost files with this software.

Once installed, users are welcomed by the Recuva Wizard which saves the time and trouble of navigating through complex menus. Instead, people can instantly select the files they are willing to recover — all data, pictures, videos, compressed documents, emails or music. 

Recuva software also offers its users an option to run a Quick or Full scan for the lost data. Keep in mind that while simple files can be restored by Quick scan, more complex data might require more in-depth analysis. Additionally, users can take advantage of the ability of this tool to scan external devices as well.

Recuva by Piniform is supported by the following operating systems:

  • Windows Vista;
  • Windows XP;
  • Windows 7.
Pros Cons Conclusion
Free for all users Might not always recover sophisticated files Recuva software is a great tool which is completely free. Although, it might not retrieve all files during the scan.
Easy-to-use design    
Offers Quick and Full scan modes    
Allows to preview files    

3. Puran File Recovery tool allows previewing files before recovering

Puran file recovery software

Free Puran File Recovery software has a very simplistic interface[3] which even offers the ability to show files in tree and list views to make it even easier. This tool supports FAT and NTFS file systems, so users can quickly recover numerous common file types. 

Additionally, they are allowed to use Quick and Full scan features to make the most of the software. External drives and devices can also be scanned using the recovery tool. People can back the access to pictures, videos, music, documents, compressed files and preview them before recovering. 

Another great feature of Puran File Recovery is that it retrieves a file to the same place where it was located before. Users can quickly navigate through the software wizard and select the options and features they need. This grants an excellent experience while getting back lost data.

Puran File Recovery can be employed by users with the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP;
  • Windows 2003;
  • Windows Vista;
  • Windows 2008;
  • Windows 7;
  • Windows 8;
  • Windows 10.
Pros Cons Conclusion
Displays file's condition and size Full scan mode might take a while Puran File Recovery offers an extraordinary simplistic interface which helps the users to easily navigate through the software options
Allows tree and list views    
Recovers files to the original locations    

4. CleverFiles offer Disk Drill software for both, Mac and Windows users

Disk Drill program helps to retrieve files

Disk Drill is another great software which can help users to get back the lost files on both, Mac and Windows OS. Additionally, it offers a vast of other useful features such as an ability to clean up your disk, remove duplicate files, monitor your disk health and data protection functions. 

Disk Drill is able to recover files from many storage devices, including external hard drives, cameras, iPods, iPads, iPhones Android devices and many other. This software is great for beginners as well since it helps to learn how to use the tool with a quick step-by-step guide in the beginning. 

Users can also choose between Quick and Full scan by Disk Drill. Easily recoverable files only require running a quick scan while others might take some time and be better recovered by examining the device with full scan mode. However, if the functions are used by their purpose, this software can recover almost all lost files for sure.

Disk Drill is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7;
  • Windows 8;
  • Windows 10;
  • Windows XP;
  • Windows Vista;
  • Mac OS X 10.8.5 or later.
Pros Cons Conclusion
Available for both, Mac and Windows OS Some of the offered additional features are not as useful as it might seem Disk Drill can not only successfully retrieve lost file but also help to optimize your system.
Allows to run Quick and Full scan    
Includes such features as data protection, duplicate finder, cleanup, etc.    
Easy to use for inexperienced users    

5. Glary Undelete software supports multiple file systems

Glary Undelete tool

Glary Undelete recovery tool a robust, yet simple tool which can be used to recover files from multiple file systems, including FAT[4], NTFS, NTFS + EFS, etc. Users can take advantage of this software not only when they have deleted compressed or fragmented files but also if they have been encrypted on NTFS. 

Developers allow the users of Glary Undelete to filter their files by name, date, size, and state of the recovery. Likewise, people can quickly determine the possibilities of a successful recovery as well as find the data they have been searching for. Additionally, it scans external devices, like USB drives, memory cards, etc. 

Glary Undelete is a free and easy-to-use yet powerful file undelete solution for FAT and NTFS file systems.

This recovery software is compatible with: 

  • Windows 7;
  • Windows 8;
  • Windows 10;
  • Windows Vista;
  • Windows XP and older operating systems. 
Pros Cons Conclusion
Free for everyone Suggests to install a toolbar together with the software Glary Undelete offers excellent free file recovery services as well as makes it easy to use
Supports multiple file systems    
Filtering feature makes it simple    

BONUS. Try Reimage not only for data recovery but also to fix issues related to Windows

Reimage software

Our bonus suggestion is Reimage — the software which has multiple features in one. Users can scan their systems for, hardware, security and stability problems. The recovery tool not only detects malicious or damaged files but also replace them from a continuously updated database. 

Reimage can fix corrupted DLLs[5], unwanted Windows errors, damaged made by a dangerous virus and improve your computer's performance. This is one of the greatest Windows recovery tools of 2018 which is irreplaceable for novice computer users. 

Reimage is compatible with:

  • Windows 7;
  • Windows 8;
  • Windows XP;
  • Windows Vista.

A great idea. That could revolutionize the computer repair industry. I thought they'd never be able to build it… but look and behold: they did! “(Chip Reaves, CEO at www.comptroub.com)

Pros Cons Conclusion
Repairs and rebuilds Windows Some features are only available at premium version Reimage is the greatest software for Windows users which can not only eliminate various computer threats but also fix the damage they have made
Fixes damage made by a virus    
Significantly improves computer's performace    

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

Linas Kiguolis is one of News Editors and also the Social Media Manager of 2spyware project. He is an Applied Computer Science professional whose expertise in cyber security is a valuable addition to the team.

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