How to Use TestDisk

TestDisk Data Recovery – How to Use TestDisk Recover Files

Home > HowTos > Software Reviews Updated by Nancy on June 3, 2024 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

TestDisk is an open-source data recovery tool. It can run on almost any desktop operating system: Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and even NetBSD. It's easy to use and doesn't require any installation. Herefore, it is favored by many users. Apart from being file recovery software, you can also use it for some relevant tasks that include the following:

As the list shows, TestDisk has many excellent features, but it only has a command line interface. Therefore, many users may be confused when using it. Don't worry. Next, we will guide you on how to use TestDisk and choose the best alternatives.

Advantages of TestDisk

Many great things about TestDisk make it a tremendous and beneficial tool for most people. Here are some of the key benefits that you can expect to get from it:

Disadvantages of TestDisk

Being a tool of this caliber could potentially put TestDisk recover files in a tight spot. However, this software works incredibly well, and for the average user, there is only one disadvantage.

This is especially true when there are just as capable tools available now that can perform the same level of functionality while also offering a much more user-friendly and intuitive application interface.

In the next section, we will show you use TestDisk to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11, 10, 7, and Mac.

How to Recover Files with TestDisk

Getting back deleted files using TestDisk is not as easy as many other tools may make it. However, the TestDisk undelete feature can effectively do its job if done correctly. Here, we are sharing the TestDisk data recovery tutorial with you here. Go through them carefully and make sure you do not miss anything.

  1. To begin the TestDisk recover deleted files process, run it and select 'Append.'
  2. You will see a list of disks; select the one you want to recover deleted files from, and then choose the 'Proceed' option.
  3. Please select the partition table type and ress Enter when done.
  4. Choose the 'Advanced' option > select the target partition > choose the 'Undelete' option at the bottom of the screen.
  5. TestDisk will now show all the deleted files on your selected partition. Scroll through the list and select the file that you want to recover. Press 'C' to copy the selected file.
  6. Next, you will be asked to select the destination where you want to paste the TestDisk recover files. After confirming, click 'C.'
  7. Finally, open the folder where the saved data is to check for missing files.

An important thing to remember in this TestDisk data recovery tutorial is that you must keep the partition you are recovering from entirely untouched. Any overwriting on the disk can drastically reduce your chances of recovering data. It is true not only for TestDisk photo recovery and other files but also for any other software out there as well. If you cannot find your photos using TestDisk photo recovery, then the developers recommend trying PhotoRec for improved success.

5 Best Alternatives to TestDisk

There is no doubt that TestDisk offers a great variety of recovery options. You can use it to restore deleted partitions and recover deleted files from Windows 10, 11, and more. However, the lack of a proper UI alone can be frustrating enough to lead them away for many users. If you tried TestDisk and did not get the results you were looking for, then you are in luck. Many great alternatives exist for TestDisk. We are sharing a list of our top five choices here for you to consider.

1. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery

Topping our list is software that has shown its capacity to satisfy novice users and professionals. iBeesoft Free Data Recovery supports hundreds of file formats, so even the most can quickly recover the most hidden files. It also works well with all major file systems and can be a solid alternative to TestDisk recover files Windows when supporting different types of storage media.

Highly intuitive and easy-to-use application
Free recovery up to 2GB
It can also automatically repair damaged files while extracting lost data.
The best data recovery software for Windows 11, 10, and macOS also offers a preview feature that lets you select the files you want to recover in case you try to minimize your system load or stay within the free recovery limit.
The deep scanning process can take a long time

2. EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard

Another great TestDisk recover files windows alternative is the EaseUS Data Recovery Free Wizard. It supports all the major file systems and can recover almost any commonly used file format and some uncommon ones. The recovery speed on this tool is perfect, which can be critical in some scenarios. You can also use it for recovering mailbox data as well as for recovering databases. For anyone looking to find help, their website offers a comprehensive set of support documentation to make the use process even more accessible.

Intuitive UI with a straightforward design and good support documentation
1GB recovery free, 2GB of files can be recovered for free after sharing to social platforms
Recovery speed is better than most other tools in the market
The biggest drawback with this service is that if you need to recover more than 2GB, you must pay a hefty amount, either as a subscription fee or as a large one-time payment.

3. Undeletemyfiles

As far as free hard drive recovery software go, Undeletemyfiles Pro comes out as one of the best options out there, thanks to its relatively better UI design and a combination of free features. Depending on your selection, the tool offers recovery of individual files and complete partitions. The preview feature is handy when selecting individual files for recovery. The recovery process is also decent, and you get good results for the most part. Having other features to go with the recovery process, like mail rescue and disc image creation, can make it a decent all-in-one solution for many users. The only major drawback with this software is that the development is no longer running for it, and you cannot get any updates or support.

A great option for file recovery among free tools
A combination of features makes it a jack-of-all-trades
Quick scan brings up the most common files easily
You can use it to recover emails as well
No deep scan option or custom scanning feature is available

4. MiniTool Data Recovery Software Free

It is another excellent tool for recovering files from any popular storage media. MiniTool Power Data Recovery supports all the formats that most people would expect to recover files for and can do it quickly. You can also easily find files from connected internal and external drives. The scan process also provides a preview function that helps to decide which files you need to recover. It can be helpful if you want to restore limited data and use the free recovery option.

Well-designed software with an easy-to-understand interface
It comes with the option to perform recovery as bootable media
You can use it to restore media from DVDs and CDs
The tool offers up to 1GB of free data recovery before you need to make any purchasing decision.
Software window does not minimize when performing recovery

5. Stellar Free Data Recovery

It is the tool you should look at when dealing with the most challenging recovery scenarios, like completely crashed devices and file systems. It has a high success rate and can deal with even the most hopeless cases effectively. The broad device support means you can connect practically any commonly used media storage and device to it and have a good chance of recovering your files. Things are also made easier by the plain and intuitive UI design, which makes navigation and recovery super easy.

Excellent track record of recovery, even in the most challenging scenarios
Intuitive UI design makes navigation and recovery easy, even for the most novice users
File previewing option available for selective file recovery
Free Restore up to 1 GB of data on the Windows PC
Recovery speed is relatively slow.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • TestDisk offers users the ability to recover lost partitions which can be used as an option to recover your windows drive.

  • To restore an entire folder, you will need to identify the partition where it is located, let the program search for the deleted files, and then copy the files that belong to the folder you wanted to recover to your destination drive.

  • Yes, TestDisk is entirely free of charge.

  • Yes, TestDisk is compatible with Windows 10. It also works on macOS, Linux, DOS, and other operating systems.

  • Follow these steps to recover files from a formatted hard drive free:

    1. Run TestDisk on your computer as Administrator
    2. Create a log file if you want
    3. Select the hard drive you want to recover files from on the next screen
    4. Select the partition table type (the default option will be highlighted, so select that)
    5. Select the 'Advanced' option on the next screen
    6. Highlight the 'Undelete' option on the next screen using arrow keys
    7. Let the app display all the recoverable files, and then navigate through them to select the file you want to recover.
    8. Press 'c' on the highlighted file to copy it
    9. Please select the destination folder in the next screen to paste the selected file to it

    You can repeat this process as often as possible until you have recovered all the files. Ensure to avoid recovery failure and not overwrite the formatted hard drive.