Best Free Data Recovery Tools

In this technological age the majority of people store a large percentage of their important data digitally, from personal things like pictures and music to valuable company documents and school or University work. Digital storage is a quick and easy way of keeping all your things in one place.

However, it can just as easily be lost whether by accident, in the case of computer failure or, more commonly, if your system is under attack from malware or a virus. It is, therefore, more important than ever to ensure that you have backed up your data. This is a relatively easy task and not doing it will only cause problems later.

What is data recovery? Once you have backed everything up on your computer you can recover it at any time. If, for example, a virus attack wipes everything, or your documents become corrupted or damaged, or if your system fails altogether. Data recovery is a process which is essential when relying on computer storage.

There are many ways in which you can back up your data, ranging from expensive to inexpensive. Here are some of the best data recovery tools which are available completely free of charge:

Recuva for Windows

If you have Windows, Recuva is an easy to use data recovery tool. It can recover files from your computer, digital camera card, iPod, MP3 player and even your recycle bin. If you delete a file by mistake, it is easy to recover with Recuva. It also has some extra features, such as Word document recover and email deletion recovery and is available to download for both business and home purposes.

PC Inspector File Recovery

PC Inspector File Recovery is award-winning free software, which, in most cases, is capable of recovering your files, with the original date stamp and time intact. It can recover files which do not have a header entry and supports a large array of disk formats. Please note the software has not yet been updated to be compatible with Windows Vista.


An incredibly simple yet effective recovery tool, Restoration is one of the most user-friendly pieces of software. As no installation is required there is no worry about it taking up space on your computer. All you need to do to recover any lost or deleted files is to identify the source drive and use Restoration’s Search Deleted Files button.

TOKIWA DataRecovery

TOKIWA DataRecovery prides itself on its portability, meaning it can run from a USB or floppy disk. It supports Windows 7 and can undelete all kinds of files, including those in the recycle bin. Bear in mind that whilst this is free it is a very limited software which is incompatible with anything other than the aforementioned Windows system.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

This is free for up to 1GB of data, so if you have sizeable documents stored on your computer it is worth upgrading to ensure that you have everything under protection. MiniTool Power Data Recovery5 is an all –in-one piece of software which recovers formatted, lost or damaged partitions, CD and DVD disks, photos, music and flash memory cards amongst others, making it the ultimate solution to meet most recovery needs. It can also retrieve items you accidentally send to the recycle bin, and is available for Windows and Mac.

Test Disk

Test Disk6 can run under most operating systems, including Windows, MacOS X and Linux and focuses on the recovery of hard drive disks and the fixing of disks which will not boot up. It is suitable for both amateurs and experts, although it is somewhat more difficult to navigate than most other free software.