12 Best Free USB Recovery Software for Mac/Windows: Recover Files from a USB Drive

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on Sep 25, 2022 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

The USB flash drive is highly shock-resistant, has a large storage capacity, and is safe and reliable. Therefore, it is the best choice for you to carry important information. But, losing essential files on a flash drive can be a nightmare, whether it's work documents, family photos, or cherished music files. Because you might lose them permanently or you must create new ones from scratch.

When you encounter such situations, please take deep breaths and calm down. You haven't come to a dead end yet. The good news is that plenty of free flash drive recovery software for Mac and Windows 11/10/8/7 is out there to help with this! In the following article, we introduce 12 different flavors with free tools that will recover files lost from a flash drive within seconds, giving back what was once yours after just a few clicks of completion. You can read on for more details.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. How to Choose the Right USB Data Recovery Software Free for You
Part 2. 12 Best Free USB Recovery Software on Mac/Windows PC in 2022
Part 3. Frequently Asked Questions

Part 1. How to Choose the Right USB Data Recovery Software Free for You

Many USB recovery tool free options are available on the internet, and it can be hard to know which one to choose. Quality and security measures vary between programs; some may even damage lost data further, making them impossible to recover. So how to choose them may be your current trouble. Don't worry. We've collected some filters to help you.

By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to choose the best USB flash drive recovery tool for your needs.

12 Best Free USB Recovery Software on Mac/Windows PC in 2022

  1. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
  2. Recuva
  3. EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard
  4. PhotoRec
  5. DiskDrill
  6. TestDisk
  7. Pandora Recovery
  8. Undelete 360
  9. Wise Data Recovery
  10. SoftPerfect File Recovery
  11. Tokiwa
  12. PC Inspector File recovery

iBeesoft Free Data Recovery

iBeesoft Free Data Recovery is a famous free USB data recovery software for Windows 11, 10, 7, and macOS. Though new, it is developed with the most advanced data recovery algorithm and data repair technology. It has helped thousands of people worldwide widely rescue data in emergencies. You can preview to check the integrity of the content.

Advantages
The file recovery for USB flash drives rate is 99.65%;
It supports 1000+ file types, covering all daily used file types with different extensions;
Restore files lost in 500 data loss scenarios;
Repair corrupted videos, pictures, and documents.
Limitations
The free version can recover 2GB of data
Deep scan mode is time-consuming

Recuva

Recuva is a powerful, free USB file data recovery software compatible with all Windows platforms. It is easy to use and has many optional advanced features. Recuva has always been at the top of the best disk recovery software list, and the tool is divided into free and paid versions.

Advantages
Excellent file recovery;
Advanced deep scan mode;
Using industry and military standard secure data removal techniques;
Simple user interface.
Limitations
Works only on Windows PCs
No continuous version updates

EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard

EaseUS data recovery has a free version and paid version. The free wizard is distributed in 160 countries and regions worldwide, and the recovery rate of EaseUS is very high among the free USB recovery software for Mac or Windows PC. The software's quick and deep scanning methods can search for lost data more comprehensively and restore while scanning without waiting for the entire scanning process to be completed, and the [Filter] function that comes with it can quickly find the files you need.

Advantages
The scanning speed is fast, and the file recovery rate is high.
Good at retrieving data from formatted USB flash drives or memory cards.
The file preview feature helps identify lost items to recover.
It is available in Windows and Mac versions.
Limitations
The free version can recover 1GB of data
The full version is expensive

PhotoRec

Created by Christophe Grenier, PhotoRec is a free and open-source USB file recovery program that works well on almost all operating systems. PhotoRec is not just a photo recovery tool (don't be fooled by its name). This powerful software can find nearly 500 file formats from hard disks or removable media. However, it has no GUI, and using the command-line interface requires professional knowledge.

Advantages
Available on multiple platforms (Windows, macOS, and Linux).
The developers regularly update it.
It is open-source (source code released).
Limitations
The command line interface is unacceptable
Cannot preview recoverable files

DiskDrill

DiskDrill is a professionally designed USB data recovery software free for Windows 10, 11, and macOS. It is available in its paid and free versions. With the forensic file recovery method, this software retrieves & reconstructs data from over 200 file types. It also uses multiple ways to get files back from any storage device within a minute.

Advantages
Multiple powerful scanning algorithms have been used for data recovery.
Data preview & protection feature is available.
It provides "Time machine" backup or snapshot recovery.
Limitations
The free version of this software gives a maximum of 500 MB of data to recover.
The scan result doesn't show the file condition or quality.

TestDisk

TestDisk is similar to PhotoRec's, a potent partition recovery tool designed to help discover deleted/lost partitions, make crashed disks bootable again, and much more. TestDisk is like an experienced doctor who can solve most problems related to computer hard drives and USB flash drives.

Advantages
Free, open-source, secure free USB data recovery software
It can also repair the partition table and recover deleted partitions.
Rescue data from problematic partitions caused by software glitches, certain types of viruses, or human error.
Limitations
The user interface is not friendly
No high file recovery rate

Pandora Recovery

Pandora Recovery is a powerful tool to recover deleted files in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and XP. It supports all major file formats, including NTFS, FAT, and NTFS/EFS, and is compatible with local and network drives. The software is easy to use and provides various options for recovering files. Overall, Pandora Recovery is an excellent choice for anyone needing reliable and free USB recovery software.

Advantages
Ability to recover deleted files from NTFS and FAT formatted volumes;
Preview certain types of deleted files (pictures and text files) without performing recovery;
Surface scanning (allowing you to get data back from formatted drives) and the ability to retrieve archived, hidden, encrypted, and compressed files.
Limitations
It cannot rescue some files without a deep scan mode
Outdated interface

Undelete 360

Undelete 360 looks like a typical Office application and uses a fast and efficient algorithm that enables users to resume files. It supports all storage drives, including USB flash drives, computer hard drives, digital cameras, memory cards, and more. And it's easy to use - just choose the drive you want to scan and Undelete 360 will do the rest. Whether a casual or power user, it is an essential tool for anyone who wants to protect their data.

Advantages
Available in multiple languages.
The file tree is beneficial in finding the target project.
Includes a wipe tool that securely removes unrecoverable files.
Limitations
Poor format recovery
It can't preview before recovery

Wise Data Recovery

The WiseClean family of freeware is excellent, and the USB data recovery software free is no exception. It's intuitive: select the drive to scan, then browse the project tree to check your precious files. The software can help you recover files and folders from various devices, and it's an essential tool for anyone who relies on flash devices for storage. The software is easy to use and free, so there's no reason not to try it.

Advantages
Easy to set up and use.
Fast scanning process.
Available in multiple languages.
Limitations
Poor recovery from SSD
Some storage devices are not recognized

SoftPerfect File Recovery

The primary purpose of SoftPerfect File Recovery is to help you rescue accidentally deleted data from USB flash drives, SD and CF cards, etc. It supports popular file systems like FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and NTFS5 with compression and encryption. The undelete or unformat USB program runs from Windows XP to Windows 10.

Advantages
Portable, no installation required.
Very easy to use - no unnecessary settings and screens required.
Ability to restore files using "path."
Limitations
No portable version
File recovery is incomplete

Tokiwa

The Tokiwa is an excellent tool for anyone who needs to recover lost or deleted data. The installation process is swift and easy, and the software can retrieve and erase documents, archives, pictures, videos, and more from traditional storage media. The program also includes a built-in tool for creating backups of your data. Overall, this free USB data recovery software is a useful program that can help you find lost or deleted files.

Advantages
Fast scanning process.
The deep scan function is available after the simple scan.
Ability to permanently erase files.
Limitations
No macOS version
Poor recovery on drives with FAT file system

PC Inspector File recovery

When removing a file from the USB drive, the data isn't actually erased immediately. Instead, the space the information occupies is simply marked as available for new files to be written. As a result, it's often possible to get it back using a USB recovery tool free. One such program is PC Inspector File recovery. It can help you recover deleted files from a USB drive, even if the boot sector has been wiped or damaged. However, if the disk drive fails mechanically, the program won't help. In other words, this program can be a helpful tool for recovering lost data, but it has its limitations.

Advantages
Assertive, able to detect logical drives that other USB recovery software free cannot.
Organizing recovered files is easier because it automatically puts them into the correct file structure.
Multiple languages are supported.
Limitations
Scanning is slow
Poor data recovery ability

Conclusion

USB drives are convenient, but they can also be very fragile. If you've lost data from a flash drive, there's no need to panic. Many free USB recovery software for Mac or Windows PC can help you find your files. No matter for what reason you lost the files. Just pick the right program for your drive and follow the instructions to get your files back.

Frequently Asked Questions