Programs for recovering deleted files

Any PC user sooner or later faces the need to recover a file accidentally deleted from the trash or past the trash after a virus or system crash attack. Resuscitation programs (reactivators) can help you with this task. There are a lot of them, both paid and free of charge. If you remember on which disk the missing file was stored, refrain from installing the recorder on this disk.

It should be remembered that data recovery programs do not work miracles and are unlikely to bring back to life an object deleted long before the utility is installed. The higher the likelihood of reanimating the information, the sooner the user grasps it and decides to use a miracle tool. Although miracles happen when it comes to recovering files deleted even a few years ago. But when you actively rewrite information to your hard drive and portable memory cards, you shouldn’t count on it to last.

Hetman Partition Recovery

Hetman Partition Recovery is a paid software, but it is not a shame to pay reasonable money for it.  You can restore any data from formatted, corrupted or damaged PC partitions, flash drives or mobile phones in no time using the built-in step-by-step wizard.  Hetman Partition Recovery does not require the integrity of FAT, NTFS. A RAW partition with a corrupted MBR will also be read. The only condition is the physical condition of the hardware.

Features of the program:

  • Very user-friendly interface;
  • Support for all Sata/ATA and USB media connected via bus;
  • Restore files and photos after cleaning the “Recycle Bin” or deleting them without using “Shift” + “Del”;
  • Recover data lost after formatting, crashing or deleting a logical FAT or NTFS partition;
  • The high percentage of success in dealing with corrupted partitions;
  • Compatible with all Windows desktops: 98 to 10;
  • Active search by scan results;
  • Directory recovery while maintaining the hierarchy;
  • Ability to export results to an image, immediately transfer to FTP;
  • The huge amount of Russian documentation, instructions, good support.


Unlike most of the tools that provide access only to FAT and NTFS file systems, this utility will allow you to work with other popular among users: Apple Mac OS, FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux. Only the best programs can do this. The tool for file recovery has very powerful functionality, so, of course, it costs money. In the demo version, you can try to bring back to life files up to 64 Kb (small text documents).

Features of the program:

  • Restore files based on their service information;
  • Working with data arrays;
  • Ability to work on searching for information remote from the computer via the network;
  • Additional option – the creation of autoloading disk;
  • Formation of a virtual image of a physical disk or its certain part;
  • Wide possibilities of adjustment of search options (for their use it is desirable to possess special knowledge);
  • It is a complex of recovery and auxiliary utilities;

Wondershare Data Recovery

Let Wondershare Data Recovery be a bit inferior to its closest competitors, but in terms of usability and quality of execution, the utility wins. It costs less than the famous German R-studio, scans faster, but finds even more lost files. The English-language interface is not an obstacle here. The path from application launch to results output takes 5 clicks. A step-by-step wizard will do everything for you. I would also like to note the non-standard sorting of the found objects. They are grouped by format and as a folder tree.

Key features of Wondershare Data Recovery:

  • Convenience and high speed of scanning;
  • Search of files, folders, partitions with saving the structure;
  • Supports all possible media up to and including camera memory;
  • Two algorithms to choose from;
  • Ability to preview;
  • Unusual but comfortable grouping of objects;
  • Low cost of the licensed copy.


At the moment and for the last decade Recuva has been the most popular and favorite utility for recovering deleted files. Even the novice user will understand its interface.

It features:

  • It will allow you to recover files from hard drives, various memory sticks and USB flash drives;
  • Suitable for Windows 7 and Windows 8, still popular until now XP, as well as the operating system even earlier versions;
  • Designed to recover information lost as a result of manual accidental deletion of a file to the trash, system crash or unexpected error;
  • Works within FAT, NTFS file systems;
  • There is a search function by name;
  • Easy to use recovery utility is available for download in the usual version and in the portable version. That is, it can be brought with you on a flash drive, run and restore data on any computer without clogging its registry;
  • Allows you to configure the functionality. It will simplify work to the users having at least the minimum skills of application of similar programs and wishing to reduce search time.

Pandora Recovery

Pandora Recovery allows you to recover files deleted in NTFS and FAT file systems. Like Recuva, it is free. Very convenient function of previewing text files and images before starting their resuscitation. This is important if the information is to be written to the same medium.

Key benefits of the utility:

  • Gives you advanced options for recovering deleted data. Allows you to access information from disks after reformatting, deleting from a hard drive with a damaged file system. It is very likely that you will be able to resume recently deleted files, which MFT-records were reused by the system;
  • Allows you to search for information using filters (by name, date of creation or last access, file size) or to select a file from a table;
  • Restores archived and compressed files;
  • Allows you to analyze the possibility of restoring information sent for deletion accidentally, taking into account clusters to which it was written, used or not used by the system again.

PC INSPECTOR File Recovery

If the above programs are intended for different storage media, PC INSPECTOR will recover files only from the hard disk, including after its formatting. Well, recovers damaged boot sectors or file table violations (relevant for FAT).

Main features of the utility:

  • Good for different types of drives (SATA-HDD, IDE);
  • It works equally well in NTFS and FAT 12/16/32 file systems;
  • Allows you to exchange data with network drives (restore from their clusters and write there reanimated information);
  • Unique for this type of programs is the Special Recovery function for recovering deleted data from files to which there are no links from the directory;
  • Wide range of file types and documents that can be brought back to life (AVI, BMP, CDR, DOC, XLS, EXE, HTML, JPG, MID, MOV, MP3, PDF, PNG, RTF, TIF, WAV, ZIP, other common and specialized).

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

It’s a paid utility, but sometimes it’s free of charge. Free-variant is limited by the volume of 1 Gb – that’s how much information it will allow to recover at a time. If you haven’t accidentally deleted the video archive, it will be enough.

The program is equally good for getting information from hard disk partitions or portable SD memory cards, as well as flash drives.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery has such characteristics:

  • Allows you to restore manually deleted data, as well as lost after formatting. It will find the information from the disks attacked by viruses, hard drives with the broken Boot-sector, after application of program FDISK (disk partitioning), other actions and the arisen problems;
  • Will help with physical damage to the device;
  • Suitable not only for hard disks but also for other media, memory cards, USB drives, compressed disks, CDs and DVDs. This will help you recover data in the form of photos and videos from your camera cards;
  • Relevant for file systems FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTS;
  • It allows not only to recover data but also to clean up the broken partitions of hard disks.

Recover My Files

Next, we will consider paid or conditionally free utilities. Recover My Files has more powerful features than the ones listed above. It is available in the demo version, which will show the list of found files and let you know whether you should hope for successful resuscitation of data damaged for various reasons. If the free version shows the lost files, it makes sense to fight for them. A paid version is available in three versions and allows you to save previously deleted or lost information from any medium.

Recover My Files features:

  • It will help to restore deleted files, as well as those lost under the influence of almost any reason (formatting of the hard drive and reinstallation of the operating system, the devastating effects of the virus, a sudden shutdown of the PC or software hangs);
  • Carries out a search taking into account the peculiarities of the structure of damaged files;
  • Relevant for search and return of text documents, images, multimedia, archives, e-mail files;
  • Suitable for FAT, NTFS file systems.


Just like the previous utility, GetDataBack is available in the demo version to search for files and access them in reading mode. You will have to buy a paid variant for the full work. If you need a fast data recovery program over the network, this variant will do fine. Allows you to recover files deleted accidentally or intentionally via a remote computer connection.

Key features of the program:

  • Recovers files from hard drives (IDE, SCSI, SATA), disk images, dynamic disks, removable hard drives, flash drives, old-fashioned floppy disks, Smart Media, SD cards, iPod;
  • It works well even in cases of damaged boot sector and hard disk partition table, after viruses, reformatting, rewriting and other troubles;
  • Works with long names;
  • Unique feature – supports non-standard encodings;
  • Allows you to create an image of a physical disk or part of it;
  • Available in two separate versions – for FAT and NTFS;
  • Unfortunately, there is no Russian interface at the moment.

Free Recuva Recovery or a similar simple Pandora Recovery program is perfect for home use. More powerful is the paid Recover My Files utility. It is suitable for offices where large amounts of data are being handled.

PC INSPECTOR File Recovery can help you professionally recover data exclusively from hard drives. The program is suitable for network administrators who want to recover corrupted data on a network drive, but work from home or from their PC. GetDataBack is also very convenient for working on a remote computer.

Hetman Partition Recovery can be recommended to both professionals and frank kettles. The application wins over the competitors with a large gap in all parameters: the ease of managing the quality of scanning, the convenience of saving the result. It is probably impossible to come up with a better, simpler and more reliable solution.

If you do not trust domestic developers, try the western analogue of utility from Hetman – Wondershare Data Recovery. It deserves attention due to the originality of the execution and well thought out cataloguing system. Besides, scanning of the disk surface here passes a little faster.

On a special place among the tools considered today is MiniTool Power Data Recovery, suitable for photographers and professional workshops. The program will help to restore deleted photos from digital cameras and other media, photo archives and other archives from many small files. For those who prefer not to install proprietary operating systems on their PCs, as well as for Macbook fans, R-Studio data recovery software is the right choice.

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