22 Free Data Recovery Tools For Windows And Mac

Updated: April 12, 2019 / Home » Desktop Computer Software » Data Recovery and Backup Software

There are 2 types of data recovery method, bootable and non-bootable. Bootable recovery consists of a boot-able operating system, usually Linux. All you have to do is download the Bootable files and burn it to a CD, DVD or USB, restart computer and boot up from the removable storage media and you have an operating system loaded onto your RAM. From there onwards, you perform your data recovery via other software that runs on Linux.

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Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery for Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows is a complete solution to recover data from formatted partitions, corrupt hard drives, inaccessible optical media drives, and unbootable systems. With the help of this tool, you can recover data from all FAT, exFAT, and NTFS based volumes. It also helps you recover lost, missing or deleted files & folders from Mac Hard drives and other removable media. You can recover all file types including documents, emails, photo, music and videos after almost all instances of data loss. This comprehensive software restores lost data from volumes that are corrupt, damaged, deleted and even reformatted.

Top 15 Free Data Recovery Software for Windows and Mac

Alternatively, Microsoft has Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), it is a minimal Win32 operating system with limited services, built on the Windows Vista kernel. You are better off by booting into the much friendlier ‘Safe Mode (F8)’ and run 3rd party software from there to recover un-bootable operating system. TestDisk is the only freeware that repairs and make non-booting hard disks bootable again, you’ll need to run it on a bootable OS.

Remember, if the data is important; always seek professional data recovery service if money is not an issue. The chances of salvaging data from damaged, failed, corrupted, or inaccessible secondary storage media when it cannot be accessed normally is higher from these data recovery center, this is because they have the incentive to recover as much as they can as they charge for every GB of data recovered.

22 Freeware & Software Files On Data Recovery

Works on Linux, Ubuntu, RedHat, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Mac OSX

 LicenseOSBootableRecovers and Rescue


Free-Live CDLinux and Windows Hard Disk


Free-Live CDWindows Hard Disk


Memory Cards
Hard Drive


Free-Live CD
Live USB
Linux and Windows Hard Disk


Free-Live DOSLinux and Windows Hard Disk


Free-Live CD
Live USB
Linux and Windows Hard Disk

Trinity Rescue Kit

FreeLive CDWindows Hard Disk


(Included in Windows)
-Live CD
Live USB
Windows Hard Disk

Ultimate Boot CD

FreeLive CDWindows Hard Disk


TrialWindows-CD / DVD

EASIS Data Recovery

Memory Cards
Hard Drive

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

Memory Cards
Hard Drive

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free

Free recovery for the first 1GB of dataWindows-USB
Memory Cards
Hard Drive

DiskDrill Pro

Memory Cards
Hard Drive

DiskDrill Free

Free, scan only with no recovery optionMac-USB
Memory Cards
Hard Drive


CD / DVD / Blu-ray


$80Mac-All medium in Mac OS X - Hard disk, SD, CD, DVD, Flash, iPhone, iPod and more.


$85Mac-Recover all media files - video, audio, photo, Mac Office files, iPod Recovery, Digital Photo Recovery and more.


$70 (FAT)
$80 (NTFS)
Windows-Windows Hard Disk

ISO Buster

$40Windows-Floppy, CD, DVD, Hard Drive, USB Stick, Flash Drive, Memory Card, SD or on another type of media or format.

Norton Utilities

$50Windows-Windows Hard Disk


-Video and Photos on CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Secure Digital/SD, SmartMedia, Microdrive, MMC, etc.

Recover My Files

$70Windows-External and internal hard disks, in the FAT and the NTFS and HFS file systems


FreeWindows-Windows Hard Disk and all storage media


-Recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again. Run TestDisk on a bootable OS from a USB.


$45Windows-Windows Hard Disk

TuneUp Utilities

$50Windows-Windows Hard Disk

Data Recovery Free

FreeMac-The free edition only can recover external drive

PC Inspector File Recovery

FreeWindows-The "Special Recovery Function" supports the following disk formats: ARJ, AVI, BMP, CDR, DOC, DXF, DBF, XLS, EXE, GIF, HLP, HTML, HTM, JPG, LZH, MID, MOV, MP3, PDF, PNG, RTF, TAR, TIF, WAV, ZIP

Pandora Recovery

FreeWindows-Windows FAT32 or NTFS file system Hard Disk

TOKIWA DataRecovery

FreeWindows-Windows Hard Disk


FreeWindows-Windows Hard Disk

Wise Data Recovery

FreeWindows-Windows Hard Disk

Lazesoft Recovery Suite

FreeWindows-Recover data from deleted, formatted, damaged partition, clone or backup disk, reset your forgotten Windows password.

Eassos Recovery Free

FreeWindows-Recover lost data resulted from deletion, formatting, RAW drive, missing partition, virus, etc.

Puran File Recovery

FreeWindows-Recover deleted/lost files/partitions be it Hard Disks, Pen Drives, Memory Cards, Mobile Phones, CDs, DVDs, basically any storage medium.


FreeWindows-Restore files accidentally deleted from your Computer, Recycle Bin, digital camera, flash drive.
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5 Professional Data Recovery Service

Tips – Things to Know before Performing the Recovery

  • Are data recovery utilities safe to use? Yes and No, it really depends on luck, hardware and configuration. The is a possibility that the software might cause a permanent data loss.
  • Can I recover my files (Adobe Photoshop PSD, AutoCAD DWG, Microsoft Office Doc) ? Again, it depends on many factors, if it is physical hardware damage due to a drop or water, sending it to a proper data recovery center is a better option. Using software to recover physically damaged disk will cause even more damage.

computer data recovery infographic

Tips – Hard Disk Lifespan

Hard disk has a pretty decent lifespan; also, avoid replacing your internal hard disk with the cheaper external hard disk. The quality of the external disk is not as durable as the one made for internal although they use the same connector. Reason being that external hard disk is meant for occasional access whereas internal hard disk is designed to read and write operating system cache for months and years (servers) nonstop. Portable external hard disk cannot take such abuses. Remember, backup your data on a monthly basis and always go for branded hard disk. Our favorite are Western Digital and Seagate.

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storage media hard disk lifespan

21 comments on “22 Free Data Recovery Tools For Windows And Mac

  1. Gravatar
    Tim Fisher [ Reply ]

    ADRC Data Recovery Tools is another great, free file recovery program.

    • Gravatar
      Wikipedia [ Reply ]

      Seagate Recovery Services can help you get your files back quickly and efficiently

  2. Gravatar
    Alan Henry [ Reply ]

    Made by the same folks behind CCleaner, Recuva makes data recovery simple and easy

    • Gravatar
      gameboy [ Reply ]

      data recovery software mac free download full version

  3. Gravatar
    Pinola [ Reply ]

    Easeus Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition recovers deleted files, even if you’ve emptied the Recycling Bin or deleted them directly

    • Gravatar

      Data Recovery for Mac is an easy yet powerful Mac file recovery program

  4. Gravatar
    Melanie [ Reply ]

    Orange County Data Recovery Service for RAID, Hard Drives, and more. InterData Recovery has industry leading success rates, FREE Evaluations

  5. Gravatar
    KimJun [ Reply ]

    thanks for the open source data recovery list

    • Gravatar

      Even if you cannot access Windows, there is still a chance you can recover your data

  6. Gravatar
    Data Recovery [ Reply ]

    Kroll Ontrack’s forensic data recovery software recovers data from any type of failed media while preserving evidence or metadata for litigation and investigation.

    • Gravatar

      Best NTFS Data Recovery Software and Tool to recover deleted documents

  7. Gravatar
    KoolKool [ Reply ]

    how about the ioSafe SoloPRO Data Recovery Service (DRS)?

  8. Gravatar
    CorruptFilesMac [ Reply ]

    Where to Download Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery for Mac?

  9. Gravatar

    Buy LaCie Data Recovery Insurance Level 3 features Protection Against Data Loss

  10. Gravatar
    Dave Taylor [ Reply ]

    One of the biggest challenges with data recovery is that the program can’t trust the file system information tables

  11. Gravatar
    Kent Gash [ Reply ]

    Yes I am little late at replying to your query but if END good then ALL good. Well, I have used this software and also tried free demo version. This software is compatible with OS X Yosemite too and you can download it from here to recover the data lost either by drive formatting or even deleted from Trash bin.

  12. Gravatar
    Steven Lee [ Reply ]

    Thanks for this list about data recovery software. I also tried on Mac data recovery software called uFlysoft Data Recovery for Mac on uFlysoft studio. You can read this technical post about the problem “how to recover lost files on Mac” to get more details about Mac data recovery.

  13. Gravatar

    I have a hitachi 500gb 5400rpm 2.5″ internal hard disk HDD.which I was using externally with a USB enclosure (terabyte). The hard disk got corrupt while ejecting.(I was trying the eject option, but it did not eject saying to close all files first some files running. I had closed all the files still it said.I logged out and then logged in still it said the same. The hard disk had data which was also shown in my computer window. Then I restarted the computer (dell, windows 8) and then ejected ,it safely removed. But when I plugged it back now it says file system error and asks to format the disk. The disk is not shown to be accessible in my computer window. I could not understand the cause of the problem and any precaution for it. I connected the disk to another computer(windows 7) but it did not work again the same message appears regarding file system error and need to format the disk before use. Since my data is inside ,I don’t want to format it. (If I format it I might not be able to recover it 100%) can you please suggest me how to deal with this issue.

  14. Gravatar

    Thank you very much for your nice post. And, your data recovery freeware really helped me a lot and I tried several ones, like Recuva, iCare Data Recovery Free and PC Inspector Recovery and more when 16 GB Toshiba USB was formatted accidentally. And luckily, these 100% free data recovery options really helped retrieved nearly 85% of my lost pictures, music and documents.
    Thanks for your nice suggestions.

  15. Gravatar
    Garrywood [ Reply ]

    Excellent data recovery software to recover lost files. When I loose hope to recover all my childhood images from one of my external hard drives. This software successfully recovered all images in the quick interval of time.

  16. Gravatar
    Mack John [ Reply ]

    Very nice article but I think the author forgets to add SysTools Data Recovery Software on this list. The tool is available at low price i.e 39$. Also FREE demo version is available.

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