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12 Best Photo Recovery Software Options (Recover Your Lost Photos ASAP!)

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Your heart stops and your stomach sinks. Your blood runs cold. You can’t catch your breath. It’s a combination of panic and disbelief.

If you’ve ever lost your digital files, this is a familiar feeling. Maybe you’ve deleted photos by accident. Or perhaps some files have simply disappeared. No matter how it happens, it’s heartbreaking.

The story doesn’t need to have a sad and sorry ending, though. There are now many different brands of photo recovery software that can save the day. With the click of a few buttons, you can recover lost photos and deleted files.

a photographer is upset she lost all her files
Photo by Elisa Ventur

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Why You Need Photo Recovery Software

If you’re working in the creative industries these days, you’re handling a lot of digital files. Photographers, videographers, and graphic designers. Let’s face it, we’re all at risk of data loss.

Digital technology is unpredictable and hardware can crash at any moment. You can click the wrong button or pull the wrong cable. Or your cat might walk across your keyboard.

No matter how it happens, losing your photos is tragic. You’ve lost time and treasured memories. You could even lose your job.

Accidents happen. That’s a fact of life. But we no longer need to live in fear. There is photo recovery software available that can recover lost data. This software can retrieve deleted photos and lost files.

the feeling you have when you lose all of your photographs
Photo by Claudia Wolff

12 Best Photo Recovery Software

We’ve created a list of the best data recovery software so you can find the one that best suits your needs. There are data recovery options for freelancers as well as larger companies. We even have free photo recovery software options for those on a budget.

12. Puran File Recovery

a screenshot of the Puran photo recovery software user interface

Puran File Recovery is data recovery software that’s available for download only on Windows systems. Only being available for Windows is a disadvantage, but it is free to download.

It’s basic photo recovery software, but it covers a lot of bases. You can recover files and lost data from your computer and any external storage devices you connect to it.

The scanning time is quick and the interface is very easy to use. If you’re trying to recover lost photos, it can reclaim 50 different file formats. You don’t need to worry if they’re JPGs or RAW.

The recovery time is a bit slow and user options are limited, but it’s free. For Windows users on a budget, Puran is a good data recovery software option.

11. Acronis

the Acronis photo recovery software's website home page

Acronis is another data recovery software exclusive to Windows. This acts as cyber protection software with file recovery software built in.

Acronis offers a cloud system where you can easily backup your systems. It means you can recover deleted files and transfer them to other devices.

In terms of data recovery, it’s capable of doing a deep scan. And the recovery time isn’t too bad. It evens recognises localised names. The problem is that it’s not very easy to use. It’s a bit techie, and it isn’t free.

The cheapest subscription package (essentials) isn’t too expensive, but the package is very basic. And there is quite a jump in price to the next subscription level.

10. MiniTool Data Recovery

screenshot of a advertisement

MiniTool is photo recovery software available for both Windows and Mac. They’ve recently updated the app with a brand new interface. It’s now super easy to navigate.

If you’ve lost photos, this image recovery software can recover files lost due to various causes. If you’ve accidentally deleted photos, or if they’ve been lost to a virus attach, MiniTool can get them back.

It can recover deleted photos from external storage devices like USB sticks and hard drives. And it will recover most multimedia files.

MiniTool has a free version, but this is essentially a trial. To get the best photo recovery from MiniTool, you have to upgrade to the paid version.

9. Mac Data Recovery Guru

screenshot of Mac data recovery guru user interface

Mac Data Recovery Guru is image recovery software exclusive to Mac systems. It can recover photos and files that have recently been deleted.

The Guru performs a thorough system scan. And it can find more than just photos. The Guru can recover file formats such as MP3, .doc, and PDF.

If you’re accustomed to the Mac interface, the Guru is intuitive to follow. The functions are basic, but it’s easy to use.

The Guru has a free trial version, but it only allows the scan procedure. You get to see which files it can recover, but you’ll need to pay to actually recover them. And if you’re going to pay, there are better options for Mac users.

8. PhotoRec

photorec's complicated command-based user interface for file recovery

PhotoRec is OpenSource photo recovery software. Not only is it available for Windows and Mac, you can use it on Linux too. And it works well on older operating systems.

Because it’s OpenSource, it’s completely free. Not just as a free trial, the whole program is free to use.

It will recover all the commonly used image file formats. It can recover permanently deleted photos and even corrupted photo files. It’s also capable of retrieving audio and video files.

The main problem with PhotoRec is its usability. It has a command-based functionality, so you have to be fairly computer savvy to use it. But if you have the know-how, PhotoRec is a fast, reliable, and free photo recovery software.

7. Undelete 360 Photo Recovery

screenshot of undelete360 photo recovery software's easy to use user interface

Undelete 360 Photo Recovery is another data recovery program exclusive to Windows. It’s not the most powerful photo recovery software for Windows, but it’s a simple low-budget option.

It doesn’t have the deep scan capabilities of some of the other recovery software. But Undelete is a free photo recovery software with unlimited image recovery.

One downside is that it can only recover the most common file formats. It can do audio and video files, but not RAW files.

The application is easy to use, even for beginners. And the scan results are displayed in a way that are easy to understand.

Undelete 360 isn’t the best data recovery software, especially if you’re running a business. But if you want to recover deleted photos, it’s a decent free option. It’s for casual users, but it will get your photos back safely.

6. Disk Drill

digital graphic of disk drill advertisement

Disk Drill is data recovery software from Cleverfiles. It’s available for Windows and Macs. And it’s a popular choice amongst professionals.

Disk Drill can recover all the common file formats, including video and audio files. Disk Drill will also recover documents like .docs and PDFs.

The Disk Drill interface isn’t overly complicated. The program organises files into categories and filters the results by size and format. It’s easy to find the deleted files you want to recover.

There is a free version of Disk Drill which scans and recovers deleted images. But this version has a limit of 500MB. If you want to recover more data, you have to upgrade and pay.

5. Recuva

screenshot of the Recuva photo recovery software's simple user interface

Recuva is one of the best photo recovery software options if you’re on a budget. The free version isn’t just for scanning. It gives you full file and photo recovery powers.

There’s a deep scan option for buried files. And Recuva will recover all kinds of lost files, including photos, audio, and video. You can scan any kind of external device to recover photos.

Even if your storage device is damaged, Recuva can recover your lost images and files. This includes recently formatted drives, such as memory cards.

Recuva also has the option to clean your drives. The software uses industry-standard techniques to securely delete files permanently. It’s ideal if you want to create space and have files gone for good.

It might be the best free photo recovery software for individuals. The free version functions well and allows you to recover lost files. You can get more options by subscribing to the professional plan. The paid software is still very good value for money.

4. TestDisk

screenshot of testdisk photo recovery software's complicated user interface

TestDisk is another OpenSource photo recovery software. And like PhotoRec, it’s completely free. You can run TestDisk on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It’s one of the most powerful and thorough programs to recover photos and files. It will reclaim pretty much any file type there is. If you need to recover images or any other media files, TestDisk can handle it.

The main issue with TestDisk is the command-based interface. It’s not for beginners. You do need to be a bit of an expert to fully understand it.

If you can use it, it’s some of the best photo recovery software you can find. And it’s totally free to use. No features are hidden behind a paywall.

3. Wise Data Recovery

wise data recovery tools graphic image advertisement

Wise is one of the leading choices of photo recovery software on the market. It’s popular among professionals and businesses alike.

Wise can recover over 1000 different file types. So no matter what field of work you’re in, Wise will come to the rescue. It can scan any storage device you have, including CDs and DVDs. It can even scan floppy disks if you still use them.

There is a free version of Wise. But it can only recover recently deleted photos and files. For casual users, this might be enough. But you can also opt for Wise Data Recovery Pro.

The pro version gives you deep scan capabilities. And you can use it on different computers. And the price for a one-year subscription is good value.

2. Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar data recovery software website homepage

Stellar Data Recovery offers some of the best value for money recovery software right now. It’s available for Windows and Mac computers.

No matter what business you’re in, Stellar can recover your deleted or lost files. For lost photos, it can recover everything from JPEG to RAW files. It can also recover video and audio files, making it a great choice for photographers and videographers.

Stellar Photo Recovery software can recover and repair corrupted media files. Stellar can still recover your lost files even if your storage device has suffered a cyber attack or a malfunction.

There is a free trial option that will let you recover 1GB of data. But they have three paid subscription levels. They are standard, professional, and premium.

Stellar Photo Recovery is reliable and easy to use. And there is a subscription level to suit everyone. Stellar photo recovery software is one of the best programs of its kind.

1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS data recovery wizard advertisement

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best software to recover deleted photos and lost files. It’s professional-grade software that can rescue and retrieve files thought to be gone forever.

It restores all media files to their original quality. And it covers pretty much any file format you can think of. It will scan storage devices and can recover photos from your crashed memory card.

Email recovery also comes as part of the package. It’s one of those things you don’t think you need until you need it. It can prove to be a real life-saver. EaseUS can also repair damaged photos and videos.

EaseUS is supported on both Windows and Mac. You have the Professional option for individuals. The Technician service is suited for companies. It isn’t the cheapest photo recovery software. But the yearly subscription offers excellent value for money.

a happy photographer after recovering his lost files
Photo by Brooke Cagle


Losing your digital files can be one of the biggest problems for professionals today. It doesn’t matter if you’re a photographer or an accountant, losing your data is heartbreaking.

But the story doesn’t have to have a sad ending. All of the photo recovery software on our list can solve your data recovery problems. And they can save you money too.

No matter what your budget, there is data recovery software or even a smartphone app that is right for you. Whether you’re a professional or an enthusiast, you no longer need to lose sleep over data loss.

You just recovered some long lost photos. You realize you never got the chance to edit them before they were lost. Now is a perfect time! Our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course is a step-by-step guide to achieving magazine quality photos.


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