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.
[ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]
24 Best Free 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.
Let’s take a look at the best free recovery software you can download on your computer! If you’re looking for smartphone apps, you can check out our list of best photo recovery apps!
1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (PC & Mac) and MobiSaver (Android & iOS)
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a photo recovery software that can help you restore up to 1000 file formats. It retrieves deleted, formatted, or lost photos from Windows and Mac devices.
That includes computer hard drives and removable devices. This user-friendly tool comes with a data recovery wizard. This feature helps you get your files back quickly in only a few steps.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you recover up to 2GB of data for free. The software offers its Pro version if you need to restore more data.
This recovery software enables you to filter the scanned files by file type. Also, you can preview them before restoring the lost data.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you restore deleted photos with their original data. Lost data includes their file names, file paths, and creation dates. This works on SD cards and USB flash drives.
This free photo recovery software is also available for Android and iOS devices through your PC or Mac.
Puran File Recovery is an excellent recovery software for windows. It can help you quickly recover lost photos, files, and partitions.
The program supports hard disks, memory cards, formatted disks, and mobile phones. It also works with CDs, DVDs, and any other storage media.
This recovery software comes with a user-friendly interface. It features a robust recovery engine that can retrieve over 50 file formats at high speed.
Puran File Recovery offers three recovery methods:
- Quick Scan works by listing deleted files in only a few seconds.
- Deep Scan can examine a device precisely. It can identify a higher number of deleted and lost files.
- Full Scan can detect deleted or lost partitions. It is also effective for restoring lost files from formatted devices.
Puran File Recovery helps restore lost files with their path structure intact. This feature will make your life easier as you can organize them just as they were before deletion.
Puran File Recovery also comes with a Maintenance Wizard option. This can help you optimize your computer’s performance. It also offers a Batch Fix feature that keeps your system clean and error-free.
This software is available for Windows users and provides support in many languages.
PC Inspector File Recovery is a freeware recovery program. It helps you to retrieve deleted files or partitions from Windows devices. It supports over 25 file formats, including HTML, JPEG, MP3, and ZIP.
This free photo recovery software comes in seven languages. It also offers a step-by-step guide to recover photos and files in seconds.
PC Inspector File Recovery will help you save your hard disk from a system crash. Plus, it is helpful in case of a virus or hardware failure.
This software can recover your files with their original date and time data. And this program is entirely free. All features are available without a license.
7-Data Recovery is a photo recovery tool that helps you retrieve lost data. It is an excellent photo recovery software for Windows users.
The program allows you to restore data up to 1GB. You can retrieve photos, audio, video, emails, and document file formats.
The software is not only able to recover files. It also fixes SD card issues, partition errors, or corrupted files.
It comes with four recovery modes for restoring different types of data. The selected mode depends on how you lost the data:
- Deleted Recovery mode retrieves files deleted from the recycle bin. It also works with files permanently deleted from storage.
- Complete Recovery mode helps restore files from a formatted or corrupted volume.
- Lost Partition Recovery mode works with deleted partitions in various circumstances. Two examples are crashed hard drives or disk repartitioning.
- The Digital Media Recovery mode fetches media files like images, music, or videos.
7-Data Recovery supports hard drives, SD cards, cameras, USB drives, and other memory cards. It can restore files from local drives and mobile storage devices.
5. Undelete 360
Undelete 360 is free and available for Windows users. It is a data recovery tool that enables you to recover your lost files quickly.
It retrieves deleted photos from memory cards, smartphones, and USB drives. It also works with floppy drives and computer hard drives.
This photo recovery software works with an efficient algorithm. It helps you browse, search, and restore files with ease.
Undelete 360 can help you restore photos deleted due to a virus attack, an accident, software failure, or an unexpected system shutdown.
This recovery software allows you to preview the lost files before restoring them. It shows the scanned results in both file type and a folder view.
Also, the program comes with a filter feature. It allows the users to scan specific files instead of the whole device, saving them time.
iCare Data Recovery is a free photo recovery software for Windows. The software helps you recover permanently deleted photos from virus attacks, hard-drive formatting, or software crashes.
iCare Data Recovery supports more than 600 file types. That includes images, documents, audio files, videos, and emails.
This recovery software can scan hard drives, removable hard drives, SD cards, or micro SD cards. It includes as well USB flash drives and digital cameras.
iCare Data Recovery can help you quickly recover deleted photos. The software works as long as your device is not physically damaged.
Windows File Recovery is a great tool created by Microsoft. It helps you to recover photos and files from Windows 10 devices.
This program is entirely free. It helps you retrieve deleted photos, videos, documents, and many other file formats. It allows you to search for the deleted files by name, extension, or keywords.
This data recovery software works on various storage devices. Some are solid-state drives, hard drive disks, memory cards, and USB memory drives.
Windows File Recovery comes with two file recovery modes—Regular and Extensive. Also, it comes with a Data Recovery Signature mode that recovers files from a camera or SD card.
The Regular mode helps you to recover recently deleted files. It supports hard drives, solid-state drives, and flash drives with over 4GB of data. This recovery mood is quick but not 100% effective.
The Extensive mode can recover files from reformatted drives or corrupted disks. The scanning in this mode takes much longer. But the chance of restoring the files is higher!
8. Disk Drill
This recovery software can help you recover “permanently deleted” photos. It works with flash drives, hard drives, and memory cards.
It is capable of scanning and recovering over 200 file types. Also, it allows you to restore up to 500MB of data for free.
Its interface is modern and user-friendly. It helps you to identify and recover deleted files through filtering options. You can also preview your lost photos and files before recovery.
This software can help you retrieve lost files using various recovery methods. The method depends on the particular recovery situation. A couple of options are “partition search” or “deep scan.”
Disk drill is a good option for users looking for all-in-one data recovery software.
9. Remo Recover
Remo Recover is a basic yet powerful recovery software for Windows and Mac users. It helps you retrieve photos from any computer, including crashed ones. It also restores files from damaged or formatted hard drives.
This software allows you to preview deleted photos and files before recovery. It comes with a fast data recovery tool and a powerful scan.
Remo Recover helps you restore lost photos and files in four simple steps:
- Select the drive to recover.
- Scan for lost or deleted files.
- Preview and recover the data.
It can help you restore lost data due to accidental deletion or formatting of storage devices. It also works if your files are deleted by a virus attack or improper handling of a device.
Wise Data Recovery is another sound, free photo recovery software for Windows and macOS platforms. It helps you restore your files from accidental and permanent deletion.
This recovery software allows you to filter the type of file lost before scanning. You can recover deleted photos, videos, documents, emails, and other file formats.
This tool supports data recovery from hard-drive disks and external hard disks. It also works with memory cards, digital cameras, USB drives, or other storage devices.
Wise data recovery comes with a portable version that helps you recover files without installation!
PhoneRescue by iMobie is one of the best photo recovery software for smartphones. It enables you to restore deleted files from iOS and Android devices.
This data recovery software supports up to 31 file formats. It allows you to preview documents, photos, contacts, messages, and more.
PhoneRescue comes with an intuitive user interface and step-by-step wizard. This makes it an excellent option for inexperienced users.
iMobie PhoneRescue not only recovers photos and files. If you lose your password, this software will also help you recover it. It can also help you save your device’s system when it crashes.
Easy Digital is an excellent photo recovery software available for Windows download. It can help you restore lost images from a hard drive, memory card, or flash disk.
This data recovery tool uses a modern algorithm. This allows the software to recover files with great speed and simplicity. It restores deleted or formatted files.
Easy Digital Photo Recovery enables you to filter your search by parameters. Also, it allows you to preview the lost photos before recovery.
Easy Digital Photo Recovery is one of the best photo recovery software for Windows devices.
Glarysoft File Recovery Free is an excellent photo recovery software. It works on a Windows operating system.
This image recovery software is easy to use. It can help you restore permanently deleted files in only two steps.
It works by scanning and previewing the lost files. Then, it sorts them according to the size, name, file type, and creation date.
The software works with a deep recovery algorithm, which increases the success rate. Also, it can restore fragmented, compressed, or encrypted files.
This photo recovery software offers a free and paid version. The free version allows you to restore a limited number of files.
And Glarysoft File Recovery offers free professional support. A group of experts is reachable 24/7 via live chat and email.
AnyRecover is a data recovery tool for Windows and macOS users. It enables you to recover files from hard drives, virtual disks, or USB drives. Some other devices are memory cards, SD, or microSD cards.
This recovery software operates by running a deep scan on your device. Its advanced search function allows users to restore photos and files effortlessly.
The software comes with an intuitive interface and an optimized algorithm. These features make it easy to operate for both advanced and inexperienced users.
AnyRecover Data Recovery free version restores up to eight files for free, whatever their size. Although the free version comes with limitations, it is a good tool for one-time use.
iBoysoft Data Recovery Free is a recovery software for Windows and macOS. It enables you to retrieve lost data from a hard drive disk, SD card, memory card, USB drive, or PC.
This data recovery tool can restore over 1000 file formats and types. Some are photos, office files, videos, audio, emails, and more.
The software helps restore lost data due to a virus attack, system crash, or lost partition. It also works if you don’t know why the data got lost or deleted.
This photo recovery software allows you to restore up to 1GB of data in three steps:
- Select a recovery mode.
- Choose the drive to start scanning.
- Review and recover your deleted files by clicking the Recover button.
The software’s free version enables you to select a location with ease. It allows you to preview the deleted files before restoring them. Plus, it comes with deep and quick scan options for different situations and needs.
DiskDigger is recovery software for Windows and Linux platforms that restores lost photos and files. It works with hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and floppy disks. It also helps you retrieve files from corrupted or damaged DVD and CD-ROM media.
This software allows you to preview the lost data before the recovery process. During the scanning, you can easily pause and resume the process.
The software features two recovery moods:
- Dig Deep mode is an effective tool for files that have been deleted recently. It works by scanning the file system and previewing the lost files. Then, it restores them as regular files again.
- Dig Deeper mode scans every sector on the disk, independent of the file system. This process takes much longer to complete. But it can examine areas that a basic scan cannot do.
This photo recovery tool cannot restore data from Android or iOS devices. Yet, there is a DiskDigger photo recovery app available for mobile devices.
DiskDigger is easy to use and works on Windows and Linux operating systems.
Recuva is one of the best free photo recovery software for Windows users. It can retrieve deleted photos on your hard drive, even if they are damaged or formatted.
It comes with an automatic scan system that searches for lost files on the entire disk. It runs this scan according to your search criteria. And it can restore the file’s name, location, and size.
All you have to do is select the disk you want to scan to use this recovery software. Then, select the folder where you want the recovered files saved.
This photo recovery software comes with a “deep scan” mode. This feature helps you track down deleted files with ease. It also retrieves lost files from memory cards, floppy disks, or MP3 players.
This software also helps you restore unsaved word documents and emails. And it can prevent data loss from damaged disks. Recuva is available in 40 languages.
Stellar is one of the best photo recovery software for Windows and Mac users. It helps you retrieve deleted files from solid-state drives, USBs, and hard drives.
This tool can help you retrieve deleted photos, emails, audio, videos, and more. It can recover up to 1GB of deleted files. And it can help you to recover files from an encrypted drive or crashed system.
Stellar comes with a user-friendly interface. The program also comes with interactive options that make the recovery process smoother.
You can select various views to display the scanned files. And you can add file headers to the list of supported file types or search for specific folders.
Stellar Photo Recovery’s paid version offers support and a 30-day guarantee. So you can give the full version a try and see if you need the extra options.
19. IObit Undelete
IObit Undelete is one of the best photo recovery software for Windows users. It helps you recover deleted photos, videos, documents, and music with only a few clicks.
This data recovery software allows you to search for deleted files with name, extension, and size. Then, it scans the device and recovers them with ease.
IObit Undelete performs a “deep scan” to recover deleted files. The scan helps retrieve files even if they have been lost for years.
Also, IObit Undelete evaluates the status of the files before recovery. This tool lets you find out whether you can restore the file or if it’s been overwritten.
We recommend this data recovery program if you want an easy-to-use interface.
PhotoRec is one of the best recovery software to restore deleted files securely. This recovery software is a partner of Disk Drill (below) and supports Windows, macOS, Linux, and DOS platforms.
This data recovery tool uses read-only access to handle the storage device you are using. But you shouldn’t resave photos or files to that memory device when using this software. Otherwise, the lost data can be overwritten and be impossible to recover.
PhotoRec recovers files from severely damaged or formatted devices. It works with hard disks, memory cards, or USB memory drives. CD-ROMs and portable media players are also supported.
PhotoRec is an entirely free and open-source data recovery software. It doesn’t have a user-friendly graphic interface. But the old-school setup is functional and reliable.
Download: All Platforms
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo-recovery software will always be a lifesaver in many situations. It can help you to restore important data that you thought you lost.
If you’re like me, I’m sure you own a device with hundreds of photos from many years ago. If that’s the case, you must have good recovery software to restore your images in case of an accident.
We hope our list helps you find the best free photo recovery software that meets your needs!
Try out our Photography Unlocked e-book for a simple solution to master taking pictures!