Losing all of your data because of a hard drive failure is probably one of the scariest things for many people. It is followed quickly by deleting an important file by accident.
These are everyday occurrences in a society increasingly dependent on electronic storage and can cause massive damage. One of the solutions is to make regular backups, preferably on one of the cloud solutions. There are several free ones, like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. But even if you back up your files religiously, a mistake can happen and that all-important document you have been working on all night can end up deleted.
Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the world. There are many data recovery solutions on the market that can help you bring your files back in no time and with a minimal amount of fuss. Below, we have presented six best such programs.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is probably one of the easiest to use software on our list. It combines user-friendly features with plenty of options for advanced users. You can start recovering your files with just one click. As soon as you open the program, you will see a list of available drives.
Select the one you want to save and click scan. EaseUS will do the rest. Or, if you know what you are doing, you can tinker with some of the more advanced features, although in our experience, the program will do just fine on default settings. Still, if you need something more complicated, it can handle that as well.
You can see a list of these features at easeus.com. A free version will allow you to recover up to 2 GB of data, while a pro one will cost you $89.95. There is also a Pro + Win PE version that comes with a bootable WinPE, in case of a system crash. That is the most expensive one and will set you back $149.99.
The word pro in the title is a tad misleading since the program is free. There is no premium or pro version available. Despite that, it is a very capable piece of software.
However, it has its limitations. There are no advanced options. You can only specify the file type you want to find, so you can get faster results. The recovery process also can be a bit iffy at times. The program doesn’t indicate the state of the recovered files, so you just have to roll the dice and hope for the best.
Sometimes, all you get is a corrupt file that can’t be used. Where it shines is its disk snapshot tool. It is essentially a backup tool for your hard drive that lets you recover any file that was on the drive in time when the snapshot was taken.
CleverFiles Disk Drill
One of its biggest selling points is that it works with over 200 file types. In practice, that means that it can recover pretty much any file you have on your hard drive. It is a multi-platform tool and will work on windows machines, as well as iOS and Android devices.
The interface is intuitive and easy to use. It only takes minutes to set it up and start working. The actual scan can take a bit longer, depending on the size of the drive. The program can also be used on cameras and USB flash drives, as well as e-readers and memory cards.
It is designed as an all-in-one solution for your every need. The free version does have some limitations, but you can buy a pro one. It will cost you $89 and you can install it on three different devices, making it ideal for home or small office use.
Active File Recovery
Active File Recovery is the cheapest solution on our list It cost just $29.95, which is highly affordable, considering how much other data recovery programs cost. But don’t let the price fool you, it is a very powerful program. It can recover both deleted and damaged files, even if your system can’t boot up.
People have managed to restore files damaged by power outing and cyber-attacks. The developers even claim that it can fully restore formatted drives. They also say that it can recover files placed in the recycle bin and deleted from it. It supports almost all Windows versions, including Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Windows Server. This makes it a great tool for network administrators.
Developers describe OnTrack EasyRecovery as a “comprehensive and do it yourself solution” for data recovery. It works on both Windows and Mac machines and on hard drives, SSD, optical media, USB flash drives, and RAID drives.
Apart from the recovery of deleted files, the program offers repair function for damaged or corrupt files, regardless of the cause. It can also repair damaged rives, a rare function with this kind of software. It supports all major file systems like FAT, Ex-FAT, NTFS, HFS, and HFS+. Another rare option is that you can pause the recovery process. If for some reason you want to stop it, it is easy to do with just one click.
You can resume it whenever you want. OnTrack EasyRecovery comes in three versions: free, Home Edition costing $79, and Professional Edition that will set you back $139.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery
MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free is a great tool to use in a pinch. The free version lacks the bells and whistles of a paid one, but it will do the job just fine.
You are, however, limited to just 1 Gb od data you can recover, so if you need to retrieve larger files, you might want to look for a different solution. You also can’t save scan results, so you have to finish the recovery process in one go. It does allow you to specify a data type, which will speed up the process immensely.
It will also recover files from a drive you can’t even see on your system. All in all, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a very handy tool.