The best data recovery software in 2024

The logos of three of the best data recovery software options
(Image credit: Future / Stellar / EaseUS / Disk Drill)

Data loss is something none of us want to have to encounter, but you would be surprised at how unexpectedly it can strike, whether due to accidental deletion, hardware failure, system crashes or other types of irredeemable corruption in files structures or software systems. Few of us are prepared for such an eventuality, but with some forethought, you can take precautions for a range of eventualities in case the worst should happen.

Our contributors have tested out a range of data recovery software for their own daily work. These tools are designed to navigate the labyrinthine layers of storage devices, locating fragments of lost data and reassembling them into coherent files. In this article we've taken a look at the best data recovery software solutions on the market to help you make an informed choice. We present the pros and cons of each software, highlighting their key features and limitations. For more storage solutions, see our pick of the best external hard drives and the best cloud storage for creatives.


What is data recovery software?

Data recovery software are programs that use your data backups to restore deleted, corrupted or inaccessible files and systems to an uncompromised state. It scours a storage device to look for recoverable data that may have been deleted, corrupted or formatted. Note that the results vary depending on the type of storage device, operating system and the reason why
recovery is needed. No data recovery software is perfect  - if a file has been partially overwritten there are high chances that usable recovery may not be possible, but if it hasn’t been so long since you deleted the file, there are much better chances that the data is recoverable. 

How should I choose the best data recovery software?

There are a few things to look out for when considering data recovery software as a safety net for your precious files - firstly, think about what kind of data you’d be looking to recover - documents and files can sometimes be easier to relocate than larger files such as photos and videos, so have a look at each of the software’s individual capabilities to look at it’s capabilities to recover a large range of different file formats. It’s also worth having a think about the interface you’ll use to recover such files, as well as its general usability and your own technical know-how - there are some distinctly easier to use versions than others.

How we chose the best data recovery software for this list

Creative Bloq has over a decade of experience in reviewing and testing software and hardware for creatives, from laptops, tablets and storage solutions to software for illustration, video editing and more. As part of that, we have reviewed a range of data recovery solutions. We've based our choices for this guide on our own reviews, recommendations from contributors a detailed comparison of stated specs and customer reviews available online.

Jacob Little is a UK-based photographer and journalist with a particular interest in travel. 

With contributions from