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If you accidentally delete important files or photos, all hope is seemingly lost. Fortunately, if you lost or accidentally deleted files due to a failed hard drive, data recovery applications can help you recover them.
Before you download and run any recovery software, stop using the failed drive if possible. The only time you should be using it – especially if it is about to fail – you’ll need to back it up on a secondary drive.
Also, contact a professional data recovery company because if your drive fails, no software will work. The same is true if you lose data from a modern SSD that is known to be difficult to recover from.
The best recovery software at a glance
Stellar data recovery
Compatible with internal and external storage, physical media and even cameras,is considered by many to be the best data recovery tool available today. It can recover lost partitions and data from encrypted drives, clone entire hard drives, and even create a system boot CD if your system won’t start.
Stellar Data Recovery is available for macOS and Windows 10 and has a free version that can recover up to 1 GB of data like deleted photos, videos and important files. It supports the partition formats NTFS, exFAT and FAT (16/32). However, for additional features and unlimited data recovery, you need a premium version. Prices start at $ 80 for the Professional version up to $ 100 for Premium. If you want to restore RAID data, the Technician version will give you back $ 200.
Stellar Data Recovery may not be the cheapest option available, but you can best recover anything from virtually any storage device.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
EaseUS may have many different uses but all of them are storage related. Whether files are backed up preventively or restored later, the focus is on the security of your data. The company’s Data Recovery Assistant is one of the best tools that can help you find lost files.
With the ability to recover files after hard drive damage, lost partitions, virus attack, etc., more than 1,000 different file types can be recovered. Whatever you’ve lost, there’s a good chance you can get it back.
If you just want to restore a small amount of data or try it before you go for a paid option, try the free version. The Pro version will bring you back $ 150, but it will give you unlimited data recovery and free technical support for life, as well as upgrades to new versions of the software as soon as it is released.
Prosoft Data Rescue 6
Data Rescue 6 continues to improve on the already excellent Data Rescue service, a perfect option for Windows 10 and macOS home users who need to recover a lot of data.
The software offers a very intuitive interface with several basic options: scan a drive to recover files, do a preview scan to make sure you have everything, and manage your drives to save the data. The software also includes a handy file preview option that lets you make sure the file is correct or in a readable state before downloading it. You also have the option to receive email notifications when a scan is complete.
Data Rescue 6 is great for those who are unsure of where to start. Experienced users will appreciate advanced search options and Time Machine compatibility. You can get a free demo to test the software on a minor recovery. However, the standard license starts at $ 19 per year, while the full license costs a whopping $ 428 per year.
KLDiscovery is a company that provides a professional data recovery service that should be real proof of the effectiveness of their Ontrack data recovery software.
Considered a more professional tool than others on this list, it is comprehensive and incredibly fast at recovering files from all types of file volumes. It’s compatible with both Windows and macOS, and you can even start and stop file recovery when it suits you.
The basic free version gives you a 1GB recovery version while the $ 79 home version gives you unlimited recovery and most of the core features. For advanced features like raw recovery and disk cloning, you’ll need the Professional Edition or higher, which starts at $ 109. RAID recovery requires the Technician version, which costs a whopping $ 499.
Regardless of the version you choose, you can also order a CD backup of your recovery software for $ 10 in case your affected system is having startup problems.
Clever Files Disk Drill
Clever Files Disk Drill is another popular file recovery tool that comes in both free and paid versions. It supports internal and external drives, memory cards, cameras with internal storage, etc. It can restore almost any type of file you can think of on Windows 10 and macOS PCs.
A fascinating feature is the ability to protect files from loss. The “Recovery Vault” stores information about files that you delete and acts as a secondary recycle bin. If you delete these files permanently, Disk Drill can help you recover them without completely saving the file.
The free version limits you to 500MB of file recovery for byte-level backups. However, you can preview any number of files to get an idea of what can possibly be recovered before paying for the Pro version. It starts at $ 89 (with a lifetime upgrade for an additional $ 20) and offers a user the option to recover from up to three devices and an enterprise version for $ 499. However, you can save 50% on this price if you already own a comparable product from a competitor or if you are upgrading from an older version. There is a 20% discount for educators, government organizations and nonprofits.