Download Recuva


Version 1.53.1087

If you've lost or deleted a file from a hard drive, SD card, USB stick or other storage media, Piriform's free recovery software can help you get it back.

5, 005, 515 Downloads

  • High-speed download
  • Checked for viruses
  • Free


Cat Ellis

Recuva fulfils its promise of recovering lost data, whatever the source. There’s even a Secure Overwrite option to allow you to delete files so that even Recuva can’t get them back. Be careful with that one!

Cat Ellis



Recuva is a free app that can recover deleted files from a hard drive, SD card, USB stick or other storage media. It can be a real lifesaver, and is an essential part of any emergency toolkit.


Why you need Recuva

When you delete a file, it isn't erased immediately. Instead, the space it occupies is marked as available to be overwritten, which means it can be restored using recovery software. Whether your files have been deleted accidentally, wiped by a virus, or lost due to damage to the drive, all is not lost.

There's no guarantee you'll be able to recover everything, but Recuva's powerful scans and flexibility give you the best possible chance.

Recuva can restore any kind of files, including text documents, images and emails. There's a simple wizard to get you started, with more advanced options available if you can't find what you need. The more information you can provide (such as the file type, name, date deleted and place it was stored), the faster Recuva will be able to perform its scan, but you can also perform a deep scan for all deleted files.

Once it's scanned your system, Recuva uses a traffic light system to indicate how likely it is that each file it's found can be restored. Files with a green light have a good chance of recovery, but it's always worth trying amber or red files as well in case any damage can be repaired.

Installing new software after you've lost files could result in the data being overwritten, so install Recuva now and be prepared before disaster strikes.


Recuva review

There are a few ways to use Recuva, and the easiest option is to make use of the wizard. This guides you through every steps of the recovery process, although it does mean missing out on some of the program's options.

The first stage of the wizard asks you to specify the type of files you want to track down. You can search for any recoverable file, or you can speed up the process by limiting the search to just, say, image files. Searchescan be restricted to individual folders or drives - including memory cards and CDs/DVDs. Alternatively, you can check everywhere - just be prepared for a lengthy search (it can take over an hour to scan a large drive).

Switching to Advanced mode may not appear to unlock a huge selection of additional options, but it does provide you will much more information about files that are found and the state they are in. For any files that are determined to be recoverable, Recuva uses a traffic light system to indicate the quality of the data.

As well as the main program interface, Recuva can also be accessed through Windows' context menu. This means that searching for deleted files is as simple as right clicking on a folder or the Recycle Bin. This is handy if you know you have deleted a file from a particular folder, as it saves having to manually launch the program.

Once it's scoured your selected drive, Recuva displays what it's found. The traffic light icons indicate how likely it is that the file can be recovered successfully.


We like

Recuva is delightfully easy to use and is a refreshing alternative to the selection of commercial recovery tools vying for attention. It's a great piece of software to have installed just in case you need it further down the line, but it can also be installed as a portable app so you can pop it onto a USB drive and use on multiple computers.

If you find that your computer has a lot of recoverable files, you can home in on the specific documents you're looking for by filtering by type, or even searching for strings of text you know exist in the files.


We dislike

It is not made clear enough that by installing Recuva, you could inadvertently overwrite data that would otherwise have been recoverable. Remember, that if you want to recover data from a drive and don't already have Recuva installed, you really need to install the software to a different drive, or use the portable version.

You might be feel pressed by the website into parting with your cash to upgrade to the Professional edition of the program, but you don't need to. Hang onto your money and stick with the free version.


Final verdict

Fast, effective and free, this is the data recovery tool you probably thought didn't exist. Recuva is a hidden gem in the software world.


Other versions

Recuva Portable


Latest updates

The latest version of Recuva includes improved partition scanning, enhanced drive and partition detection, and several other improvements and bug fixes.

Having trouble downloading this program? Check out the developer's site (linked on the right). If this doesn't help, please send a description of the problem to and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that this download is for Windows only.

  • High-speed download
  • Checked for viruses
  • Free

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