These days you can find quite a few programs that promise to help you recover accidentally deleted files. It is great to have lots of options but, which programs are really good at recovering deleted files? Which of them deliver on their promise? To find out, we tested some of the most popular applications in this niche, all of which are free for personal use. Let’s see what we discovered.
The Testing Procedure
We took a USB memory stick and formatted it, to make sure there’s nothing left on it. Then we copied a wide range of file formats to it, 67 files in all, including: pdf, doc, docx, rtf, epub, azw3 (Kindle eBooks), iso, mp3, jpg, nef, pptx, exe, avi, mp4, 7z, tar and zip. The total size of all the files was 3.44 GB.
Next we deleted those files with Shift+Delete and added 10 new files on the memory stick, to see how good each program would be at recovering files when there are chances of having some deleted files partially overwritten by others. Since the deleted files were on a USB stick, we recovered the files to our test computer’s hard drive.
Then it was time to test the data recovery programs we planned to review. We chose the programs you see below, because, at this moment, they are the most popular programs in the niche. We also wanted to restrict this review only to free programs, without any kind of limitations, because most people are not keen on purchasing a lot of software.