Free Unformat | Unformat Hard Drive/USB Flash Drive

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips Updated by Nancy on June 12, 2024 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

Formatting is an operation that initializes storage devices such as hard disks, memory cards, and USB drives, but it also means all your data saved to the drive is gone without a trace. Sometimes, you may lose important files due to intentional or accidental formatting. It is good news if you are in such a situation and desperately looking for any way to undo the format. This article will help you understand what unformat is and recover files after formatting free.

What is Unformat?

Before understanding unformat, you need to know the meaning and type of formatting. Different classes will determine your chances of unformat hard drives, SD cards, and more. Formatting has two methods to erase data and reorganize the drive. They are:

When you understand formatting, it should be easy to understand what unformat means. It is all about undoing everything in the formatting process and restoring the data on the drive. Next, we will help you through the process for free.

Top 6 Free Unformat Software You Need to Know

It can be frustrating to find out that valuable files are lost due to formatting. Don't worry; many tools can help you undo format hard disk, SD card, USB drive, etc. Below we have compiled six famous unformat software free.

  1. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery
  2. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery is an excellent tool for getting lost files. It provides users with various versatile recovery options to recover almost any data. The best free unformat software for Windows 11, 10 and macOS can scan multiple storage devices, including hard drives, USB sticks, and flash memory cards. With iBeesoft's sophisticated algorithms and deep scanning technology, you can rest assured that the app will find all information that can be retrieved from the various storage devices.

    User-friendly interface and simple instructions
    Repair files corrupted during the formatting process
    Without any functional limitations
    Deep scan takes more time
  3. Recuva
  4. Recuva for Mac or Windows is a powerful yet free file recovery software that helps you find deleted, lost, and inaccessible data. It supports over 500 data types and 20 file systems. Thanks to its intuitive design, you can use this tool to unformat hard drive and external storage devices in a few quick steps.

    Easy-to-use wizard mode
    Scanning is fast
    There are functional limitations
    Does not perform well with large file recovery
  5. Glarysoft File Recovery Free
  6. Have you ever formatted your hard drive accidentally and lost important data? With Glarysoft File Recovery Free, it is now easy to recover files from formatted USB drive, HDD/SSD, and memory card for free. This free unformat tool can restore various file types, such as images, videos, emails, documents, etc.

    Advanced filters
    Support encrypted hard disk/partition
    May install other programs
    No portable version
  7. Disk Drill
  8. Disk Drill is an essential tool for anyone looking to protect their data. Its robust features allow it to quickly locate and recover files from your computer's hard drive, USB flash drive, memory card, or any other external drive. The free format recovery software can extract almost any file from most storage devices, even if damaged.

    The advanced recovery engine
    Provides additional utility options
    Paid version is expensive
    There is an additional cost to upgrade
  9. Wise Data Recovery
  10. Wise Data Recovery is an effective tool that can help you find lost files and folders in no time. With its powerful search engine, you can quickly resume what your need even when it has been previously deleted or formatted. So if you require a reliable and free unformat solution, it is an ideal choice.

    A very user-friendly interface
    Supports multiple file types
    Slow scan
    Cannot preserve the directory structure
  11. PhotoRec
  12. PhotoRec is a free, open-source software tool to recover formatted or deleted files. The application analyzes the media's content and then extracts any potential information it finds. With its robust scanning and extraction capabilities, this unformat app has become an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to protect their digital memories from accidental loss.

    Completely free
    Supports most file systems
    Can't preview found files
    The command line interface is not for novices

How to Unformat Hard Drive/USB Flash Drive Free with Best Tool

Recovering files from a formatted disk, USB drive, SD card, and more can seem daunting, but with the help of the best free unformat software, it doesn't have to be. Here you can rely on the iBeesoft free data recovery tool; all you have to do is follow its prompts, and within minutes, you should be able to restore all of your formatted files in their original condition.

Download for Windows Download for macOS
  1. Download and install iBeesoft free unformat software.
  2. Launch it and select the formatted drive to scan.
  3. After completing the progress, select the found file to preview
  4. Finally, choose your formatted data and click "Recover" to save it.

Tip: The scan time depends on the size of your drive and the number of files. If your target files are found during the unformat process, click the "Pause" button and check and save them.

How to Avoid the Situation of Having to Format a Drive and Keep Your Data Safe

The Inevitable formatting of your drive can be scary as it involves losing all the precious data stored on it. Fortunately, following these tips can prevent formatting your drive and losing your data.

Following these tips and using best practices for regular maintenance, you can avoid formatting your drive and save time and energy.

Frequently Asked Questions


Unformatting a disk, partition, USB drive, or SD card can be daunting, but it is entirely possible with the proper free unformat tool for Mac or Windows. The most crucial point to remember is that you should act quickly to get the best chance of recovering your formatted files; once data has been overwritten, the possibility of undo format significantly decreases. Overall, drive formatting does not mean you have to forever say goodbye to all your data!