Top 12 Free Hard Drive Recovery Software for Windows/Mac to Get Lost Files Back

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Nancy on Sep 19, 2022 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

Data recovery is the process of retrieving damaged, lost, accidentally deleted, or inaccessible data. The most typical use is data recovery from internal or external storage media such as USB drives, hard disc drives (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD), floppy discs, memory cards, and other data storage devices. Data recovery services are covered, including retrieving data from a backup to a laptop, desktop, external storage device, or server. However, data recovery services always ask you to wait for a long time for file recovery, which might cause data permanently lost.

As computer technology develops, there are many easy-to-use Windows and Mac hard disk recovery software tools available for individuals to recover data from hard disks right away, letting people know whether they can get their files back or not and whether it is wise to make a remedy. Here in the following, let’s look at the top 12 free hard disk recovery software which let you recover files from the hard disk for free.

Part 1. How to pick up free hard disk recovery software? What are the criteria?

In the marketplace, there are a lot of options available to use when it comes to choosing a free hard drive data recovery software for Mac and Windows PC. You can take the following into consideration.

The above-mentioned are the crucial things, you are always required to keep in mind before going for the best free hard drive recovery software for Mac/Windows. Here in the coming part of this article, we have gathered a few top free hard drive recovery software:

Part 2. Top 12 free Hard Drive Recovery Software in Windows and macOS

By using the best free hard drive recovery software, you may retrieve your crucial information and documents. File loss is a common issue that everyone faces in daily life, and these data recovery programs might come in handy. In 2022, we've compiled a list of the best hard disk recovery software freeware. These programs are simple to use, and having a basic grasp of how to install and run software on a computer can help you obtain the best results. Let's get started then.

  1. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
  2. Recuva
  3. Stellar Data Recovery
  4. Disk Drill
  5. Undelete 360
  6. EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard
  7. Data Rescue 6
  8. R-Studio Data Recovery Software
  9. PhotoRec
  10. PC Inspector File Recovery
  11. FonePaw Data Recovery
  12. Lazesoft Data Recovery

iBeesoft Free Data Recovery

The iBeesoft file recovery freeware is really easy to use. It is free of advertisements and uncomplicated to use. On the start screen, you may pick a hard disc or folder to restore files from, or you can choose the Desktop or Recycle Bin. According to the website, it supports over 1000 file types, it has all of the popular files you'll need to retrieve. It can recover information from a variety of devices other than hard discs, including cameras, memory cards, and music players.

Furthermore, iBeesoft Free data recovery is also available in Windows and Mac, allowing you to resume files from your computer's internal hard disc, external hard drive, and iPhone.

The free hard disk data recovery is prepared to save your files regardless of how they were lost, including deletion, device factory reset, system crash, virus attack, format, or any other type of data loss scenario.

Features:
Allow its users to recover up to 2GB of data information for free.
Help you to preview your images, videos, documents, and many more before recovering so that you can only get those files back which you actually want.
User-friendly interface that shows all recoverable files, including those that have been erased and hidden files.
Recovery is possible for images, audio, videos, documents, archives, and other file formats.
It features a path, time, and kind filter for sorting scanned results.
Pros:
The hard disk repair software can fix corrupted files during recovery.
Great for beginner users
Supports pause/resume
Search by category (like archives or docs).
Quick search
Cons:
Free only up to 2 GB of data retrieval. For more files, need to update to the full version.
No portable version is available

Recuva

It is a freeware data retrieval tool with a simple interface. The program was easy to install and quickly scanned our test machine. It has the ability to scan a wide range of USB devices, including memory cards and other removable media. An instant search feature makes it exceptionally quick and easy to check for deleted data that Recuva has detected, and you can choose between a speedy or comprehensive scan depending on how thorough you want to go.

Furthermore, the free hard disk recovery software can also recover files in the case of a system crash, formatted CDs, or an unintentional recovery. It might be used with a hard drive, an external hard drive, a USB drive, a memory card, a digital camera, a desktop or laptop computer, a mobile phone, an MP3 player, or any other storage medium. It works with FAT, exFAT, and NTFS file systems.

Features:
By utilizing advanced algorithms, it scans at a quick rate.
Offer you a clear interface.
Promises convenient filters.
Data quality indicators.
Pros:
Portable option available
Scans for recoverable files fast
Cons:
The recovered file can be corrupted
No preview option is available

Stellar Data Recovery

A distinctive aspect of this program is the preview option provided while the scan is in progress. Before the scan is completed, you may view which files the application finds in real-time. Another feature we like about Stellar's free hard drive recovery software for Mac/Windows PC is that you can save the list of deleted files when you exit the results screen so you may continue retrieving them later.

This multi-functional data retrieval tool lives up to its name with outstanding performance and design. It is a high-end, user-friendly data recovery application that comes in several flavors.

Features:
Photos, Videos, and audio files can be recovered from an SD card, hard drives, USBs, or any other media.
For video repair, it works with DSLR, drones, digicam, surveillance cameras, and Phones.
It can perform with your iDevices to find deleted photos, videos, contacts, messages, calendars, and call histories.
Pros:
Steps you through a wizard
Preview available documents and images before retrieval
Installs quickly
Allows you to choose where to restore the data
Cons:
Doesn’t support as many file formats as other free hard disk data recovery software
Sometimes lists files as retrievable even though they are not

Disk Drill

It is a wonderful hard drive data recovery freeware not just for its functionality, but also for its simple and direct design, which makes it nearly hard to get lost in. It can also preview data before recovering it, pause and resume scans, recover partitions, back up an entire drive, filter files by date or size, do a quick scan rather than a full scan for faster results, and save scan findings to import later to get back lost files. It will increase recovery quality and allow you to recover files from a hard drive that have been archived, hidden, compressed, or encrypted.

Features:
Supports all file formats during retrieval.
It allows you to recover any storage device which is damaged.
Provides full support for NTFS, HFS+, EXT4, and FAT.
Able to retrieve documents, archives, photos, music, or videos.
Pros:
Modern user interface
Quick scanning with the option to stop/resume
Supports hundreds of file formats
Retrieve files from all generally used file systems
Cons:
Has to be installed on the HDD (no portable version)
Allows you to retrieve only 500 MB of data
No preview available before retrieval

Undelete 360

Undelete 360 for Windows is one of the finest free hard drive data recovery programs available. Its Office 2010-inspired user interface may be outdated, but it at least looks familiar and is simple to use. It can also retrieve data from the recycle bin, your computer, your digital camera, and your flash drive. Hard disc drives, digital cameras, floppy disc drives, and USB flash drives are all supported. It is capable of recovering files and directories.

Features
It provides the ability to retrieve files from the command line that have been deleted.
Files created and deleted by some programs can also be recovered.
It can get data back from both Windows network shares and USB memory sticks.
It is also possible to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 using the Shift+Delete keys.
Pros
Retrieves most common file formats
Totally free
Allows you to preview files before retrieval
Cons
Outdated user interface
Below-average data retrieval performance
Left by its developers

EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard

EaseUS is such a well software company, and their free hard drive recovery solution does not let you down, with solid data recovery performance and the ability to recover a wide range of file types and storage devices. This is another fantastic file recovery program. Obtaining files is as simple as a few mouse clicks. It can restore files from pen drive, hard drives, optical drives, memory cards, iOS devices, cameras, and almost any other storage device recognized by Windows. It also has the ability to recover partitions.

Furthermore, recovery from accidental deletes, formatting, malware attacks, hard drive damage, recycle bin empty data, OS crash, lost partition, and RAW Partition is all included in EaseUS Data Recovery.

Features:
It has the ability to find data from a wide range of disasters.
This procedure may be used to retrieve files, images, documents, videos, and other types of data.
It may also resume data after deletions, formatting difficulties, partition losses, operating system failures, and virus attacks, to name a few scenarios.
Documents, videos, audio, photos, emails, and other file types may all be handled by this tool.
FAT, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2/ext3, HFS+, and ReFS are among the file systems it supports.
Pros:
Quick deep-scan algorithm
Retrieves a large number of file formats
Supports over 1,000 file formats
Trustworthy data recovery performance
Cons:
Includes unrecoverable files alongside recoverable files
Expensive paid licenses

Data Rescue 6

Data Rescue 6 is the best hard disk recovery tool for Mac and Windows PC to get back your lost data or file from any storage device in the most effective way. For example, when the "Preview" option lets you select what you want to recover from the lost file list, the "Clone" option provides "add files destination check."

Features
There is a lot of aid available for retrieving various types of lost data.
Data can be recovered from digital camera memory cards, external hard drives, flash discs, PCs, and other storage devices that have been lost.
Pros
With "Secure Erase," it shows the device path & repairs the dark mode UI.
It repairs Recovery Progress UI crash on lousy disk or file names.
In "Reconstructed files," it shows all cross references.
It provides CR2 & CR3 files to retrieve Canon RAW files.
Cons
The paid version is expensive.

R-Studio Data Recovery Software

R-Studio is a commercial data recovery software program that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It was created with data recovery professionals in mind, but it has evolved into a user-friendly solution that anybody can use. It can also recover data from local discs, portable discs, heavily damaged discs, unbootable discs, and LAN and Internet clients. This free hard drive recovery tool is excellent for recovering little too large quantities of data.

Features:
It supports a wide range of file systems.
It makes use of an advanced recovery algorithm.
The most common partition schemes are supported.
Pros:
Demo version available
Offers a simplified version of the tool called R-Undelete
Cross-platform support for multiple operating systems
Customizable known file types
Retrieves data over a network
Cons:
Comparatively expensive
The interface is a little complicated.

PhotoRec

It is a free data recovery software for AVCHD sd card, disk, and another drive that runs on practically any operating system. It can find over 300 file format families, despite its name, making it a great option for anybody trying to recover erased data for free. The following operating systems are supported by PhotoRec: Windows, DOS, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Sun Solaris, and Mac OS. It can restore data even if the device's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

Simply, if another free hard disk recovery software has failed to help you, try this one. We just don't recommend it as a first choice.

Features:
This program can retrieve movies, archives, and documents.
It will still assist you in recovering lost images from your digital camera's memory.
This is applicable to both hard drives and CD-ROMs.
Pros:
Recover files from all types of storage devices
Cross-platform application
Open-source and totally free
Supports more than 300 file formats
Cons:
Too easy to retrieve files you don't want to undelete
No graphical user interface
Recovers all files automatically

PC Inspector File Recovery

This software may not have the most powerful features we've encountered, but for a free product, it's not bad. the free hard drive data recovery software supports the FAT and NTFS file systems, for starters. It's designed to restore files with as much original data as possible, including names, time and date stamps, and so on.

Furthermore, partitions may be discovered automatically while using PC Inspector File Recovery, even if the information is missing. The application is compatible with external hard discs and USB sticks, and the files recovered may be saved to network devices.

Features:
Even if the boot sector or FAT is damaged or deleted, partitions are automatically detected.
Getting a file back that has the original date and time stamp.
It will allow you to store the files you've rescued on network drives.
Pros:
Freeware
Easy to download and set up
Cons:
Confusing user interface
No graphical user interface
Doesn’t support data recovery from an external hard drive

FonePaw Data Recovery

The user interface of FonePaw Data Recovery is simple. Even the most knowledgeable and experienced users may find the majority of recovery software user interfaces perplexing. All data recovery options will be available through the main interface. All of your selections and menus will guide you smoothly through the recovery procedure. FonePaw Data Recovery should be downloaded on a CD that does not include any lost files and then used to locate your deleted files.

Furthermore, strong software can retrieve a wide variety of file kinds, including images, videos, audio files, and even your instant messenger chat history. All of the operational approaches are simple enough that even non-techies may restore their lost data with ease.

Features
Preview the file before attempting to recover it.
For swiftly identifying misplaced files, the Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes are beneficial.
Pros
Comes with 2 scan modes
You can easily recover various file formats
Recover files from smartphones, external drives, SD cards, digital cameras, etc.
Affordable price
Free trial available
Easy to use
Cons
A deep scan can take a very long time
Can't scan individual folders
You will not be able to retrieve very big files

Lazesoft Data Recovery

Lazesoft Data Recovery is another useful hard drive recovery software for Windows 10/11 and macOS to recover deleted data from any file system like HFS, HFS+, NTFS, or others. It recovers files even if the drive disk partition is formatted, deleted, or damaged. From scanning non-mounted disks to selective scanning options, this software has multiple data recovery features.

Features:
Even if the header entry is missing, this tool can recover files.
It can play a variety of disc formats, including ARJ, AVI, CDR, and others.
Pros:
It recovers data from iPod Nano, Shuffle & Classic.
It supports the exFAT file system.
Cons:
The latest version of this software is still outdated & the recovery file size is a maximum of 50 MB.
No graphical user interface
You can select only three search signatures in settings.

Part 3. About Free Hard Disk Data Recovery Software Questions

How can I recover my hard drive for free?

To resume data from a disk for free, you must use a free hard drive data recovery software for Mac/Windows. Otherwise, you can’t do the data recovery at all. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery is a great option for hard drive data recovery. Here are the simple steps.

  1. Download and install iBeesoft Free Data Recovery on your computer. And launch it.
  2. Click the "Scan" button beside the hard drive you want to recover data for free.
  3. Wait for the scanning process to finish. Check the found recoverable files by previewing them.
  4. Select needed files and click "Recover" to save them to a new folder on your computer.

Is there any free software for data recovery?

For sure, there is a list of free data recovery software tools, like iBeesoft Free Data Recovery, Disk Drill, PhotoRec, Undelete 360, etc.

Which is the best free hard disk recovery software?

It’s hard to tell which is the best free data recovery software for Windows 11, 10, 7, and Mac since the features for each tool might differ from each other. For me, choosing a comprehensive one, like iBeesoft Free Data Recovery which is able to recover 1000+ file types, retrieve files from 2000+ devices, and support 500 data loss scenarios, as well as repair corrupted videos and images, could be a good choice.

Is EaseUS really free?

EaseUS data recovery free wizard only offers 500MB file recovery for free. For 500MB to 2GB recovery for free, you must share the software to your Facebook, and Twitter to get the offer. For more file recovery, you need to purchase a plan.