Best USB Recovery Software

7 Best USB Recovery Software Tools to Consider

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Written by Robert Agar Robert Agar Staff Writer • 49 articles Robert Agar, a staff writer at Handy Recovery, specializes in data recovery and data management topics, with a particular affinity for macOS and iOS. He played a key role in the founding of our team and project back in 2017, and is notably responsible for authoring much of the initial content that graced our website. Robert brings over 30 years of experience in data storage, security, compliance, backup, and recovery to the Handy Recovery team. LinkedIn Edited by Jordan Jamieson-Mane Jordan Jamieson-Mane Staff Writer • 45 articles Jordan Jamieson-Mane, a data recovery and Windows troubleshooting expert, joined Handy Recovery Advisor in 2021. Starting as a contributing writer, he quickly established himself as a skilled technical writer and researcher, earning his current staff writer position. LinkedIn Approved by Andrey Vasilyev Andrey Vasilyev Editor Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team. LinkedIn

Data loss can strike your USB drive at any moment. In an instant, some or all of your files can disappear, leaving you frozen in shock trying to figure out what happened. So, what options do you have if you need to recover data from your flash drive, stick drive, or pen drive?

Your next step is to use data recovery software to get that data back. Choosing the right one can be difficult though, as each recovery tool has specific strengths and weaknesses to consider for your home system and storage needs. To make this choice easier, we’ve extensively tested, analyzed, and hand-picked the best USB recovery software you can try for free.

Before we delve into our comprehensive rating, here's a quick recap of our editors' top picks for USB recovery software. Please vote for the software you believe is the best.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best USB Data Recovery Software

🧭 Recovery capabilities

The biggest appeal of any recovery tool is its recovery capabilities. When creating this list, we were sure to focus on tools that demonstrated the ability to thoroughly recover files from USB drives using a mixture of advanced scanning algorithms. This ensures you can recover recently deleted files, and also keeps you covered in more complex cases, like when you need to recover data from damaged, formatted, or corrupted drives that may suffer from file system corruption.

💻 Compatibility

In addition to what operating systems each program can be installed on, we paid close attention to what file systems are supported by each tool. Much like in the way that some operating systems are incompatible with certain file systems (E.g. Windows cannot natively read an APFS-formatted USB drive), not all data recovery tools support all file systems. Therefore, it’s imperative that you use a recovery tool that supports a range of file systems to simplify the data recovery process.

🖱️ User experience

Unlike before, data recovery can be done from the comfort of your home. As such, data recovery software should be usable by users of any level. Ease of use, scan speed, and customer support were all factors we took into account when making our decisions.

🛒 Availability of trial version

Trial versions allow you to test, first-hand, what the software is capable of. While each program will have its own trial limitations, being able to try before you buy is a good way to build accurate expectations. Therefore, we took this into consideration when making our top picks.

💵 Сost-effectiveness

Price is undoubtedly a leading factor that goes into deciding which tool to use. After all, why pay more when you can get the same results for less? Our decisions were carefully made based on each tool’s capabilities in comparison to how much they cost to ensure you don’t invest more than you need to.


When evaluating this guide's choices, we looked at these considerations to develop the best options to consider for your personal or professional needs.

Top 7 Best USB Data Recovery Software Tools

Let’s see which software applications made it to our ranking.

1. Disk Drill (Windows & Mac)

Disk drill usb data recovery software

Disk Drill provides a comprehensive flash drive recovery solution. It allows you to quickly recover deleted files from a USB flash drive before it’s too late. When you use Disk Drill, you can rest easy knowing its complex all-in-on scanner will find any lost partitions or files and prepare them for recovery in no time.

Disk Drill Pros:

  • Cross-platform recovery features.
  • The user-friendly interface offers a straightforward design that helps you find your missing information.
  • It delivers above-average speed when scanning and restoring information.
  • The program is available on Windows and macOS and supports the scanning of all major file systems, including NTFS, FAT32, APFS, HFS+, and EXT4.
  • It comes with a comprehensive suite of additional tools to use for other data restoration and recovery needs.
  • Allows you to perform a free scan to preview recoverable data. Windows users get up to 500 MB of free data recovery.

Disk Drill Cons:

  • The program doesn’t include any built-in features for video or photo repair.
  • Should you need some direct help, customer service is through email or chat instead of a toll-free line.

Download Disk Drill

User Experience

Disk Drill is available for Windows and macOS. It has great support for all major file systems, including NTFS, FAT32, APFS, exFAT, and EXT4, as well as RAW USB drives. In terms of USB data recovery, Disk Drill provides you with everything you need to get your data back quickly and easily.

The program uses an all-in-one scanning algorithm that combines quick, clever, and signature scan modes into one simple click. This advanced scanning method is fast and efficient, ensuring you recover as many documents, images, and videos from your USB drive as possible. Additionally, since it’s cross-platform, you can start your scan on one OS and finish it on another.

As it’s designed for regular users and professionals alike, anyone can download the application and complete recovery in just a few clicks thanks to its optimized user interface. All features are easily accessible and the program makes it clear what your next step is, no matter what you’re doing.

Any user can download the program for free and perform a free scan to see if their data is recoverable. Windows users also get up to 500 MB of free recovery to see what the program can do. In addition to this, you can access its other features for free, such as Drive Backup and Data Protection. You can get a lifetime Disk Drill license for $89, which will unlock unlimited data recovery in addition to everything you get with the free version.


More information is available at this website: and in our Disk Drill review.

2. DiskGenius (Windows)

The DiskGenius interface.

DiskGenius serves two functions: data recovery and disk management. Even as a multipurpose application, it has proven that it’s a capable recovery solution that does a good job of recovering your deleted photos, videos, and documents from USB drives.

DiskGenius Pros:

  • The program has very quick scan times, reducing overall recovery time.
  • You can clone damaged or failing USB storage devices.
  • The free version allows you to recover any USB files below 64 KB and gives you access to many of its additional features.
  • It is competitively priced and doesn’t use a subscription-based pricing model.

DiskGenius Cons:

  • It can only be installed on Windows machines.
  • The user interface is quite technical and challenging to use.
  • Its quick and clever scan modes do not support macOS file systems.

Download DiskGenius

User Experience

The results of our tests show that DiskGenius can handle the recovery of your files from your USB drive, be it working or otherwise. Its swift scan times minimize how much time is spent waiting around, and the application allows for recovery during the scan, making it ideal for those with time constraints.

DiskGenius offers quick, clever, and signature scanning methods. The quick and clever scans work best for Windows systems, as it was unable to scan any of our macOS drives. Additionally, the only Linux file system it supported was EXT4 with its clever scan. Even so, the results from supported file systems were great. Its signature scan, however, yielded mixed results.

When it comes to usability, DiskGenius has room for improvement if it’s trying to cater to a broader user base. Its abundance of features is undoubtedly a plus, but because the UI is poorly optimized, it results in the interface being very technical and hard to navigate. Even figuring out how to scan the USB can feel like a mission.

Overall, it’s an aptly priced data recovery solution that can recover your lost USB data. Just bear in mind its shortcomings, particularly that it’s exclusive to Windows machines and doesn’t support as many file formats as you might like.


DiskGenius licenses start at $69.90. Learn more about the program at, or check out our DiskGenius review.

3. DMDE (Windows, Mac, & Linux)

DMDE user interface.

DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software) is an advanced recovery solution that, despite not being popular amongst regular users, remains a go-to for many recovery experts due to its abundance of forensic features and capabilities.

DMDE Pros:

  • The program is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Licenses are very affordable.
  • You can test its recovery abilities with recovery from the current panel with up to 4,000 files per operation.
  • The program does an excellent job of recovering your data with its original file names and folder structure.

DMDE Cons:

  • It can be difficult to perform recovery due to the complex user interface.
  • The signature scanner doesn’t offer much support for modern file formats.
  • It could do more in the way of convenience, like session management and preview or recovery during scanning.

Download DMDE

User Experience

DMDE is an advanced recovery solution that’s primarily marketed to professionals, but it has a lot to offer the average user too. In terms of USB recovery specifically, it has some very notable benefits.

DMDE’s quick and clever scans support Windows, macOS, and Linux-based file systems. While some file systems produced mixed results, the overall recoverability was good across all systems. The signature scan doesn’t support many modern file formats by default, but the program allows you to manually add custom file signatures to circumvent this.

The application is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, and does an excellent job of recovering USB data with its original file names and folder structure. Unfortunately, the complex user interface is very difficult to use for regular users, resulting in a learning curve that must be overcome before you can recover your data.


DMDE licenses start at $20 on a yearly subscription or $48 for a lifetime Standard license. For more information, visit, or check out our DMDE review.

4. PhotoRec/TestDisk (Windows, Mac, & Linux)

TestDisk user interface.

PhotoRec and TestDisk are often mentioned as two of the best free USB recovery solutions on various online data recovery forums. To our surprise, these open-source recovery tools actually do come with recovery capabilities that are worthy of recognition. But, the recovery methods they use are different.

PhotoRec/TestDisk Pros:

  • Both tools are completely free and open-source.
  • No installation is required since the programs are portable.
  • Both work with RAW USB drives.
  • TestDisk can restore all files by restoring the underlying file system.
  • Doesn’t use a lot of resources.

PhotoRec/TestDisk Cons:

  • No quick or clever scanning options - files can only be recovered by signature.
  • The user interface is extremely basic.
  • There are no direct support options for PhotoRec or TestDisk. Instead, you must rely on help from the community in the forum.
  • TestDisk scan and recovery times are slow, sometimes taking more than 24 hours on larger disks.

Download PhotoRec/TestDisk

User Experience

PhotoRec is offered alongside TestDisk, another free data recovery application. While you can use both tools for recovery, most of the time you’re going to choose one of the other based on your specific data loss scenario because of how each one handles data recovery.

TestDisk and PhotoRec each have their own recovery methods. TestDisk attempts to recover your data by repairing the damage that has caused your data to become inaccessible (like a corrupted file system or damaged partition table). PhotoRec on the other hand, automatically assumes the file system is beyond repair. As a result, it is only able to recover data using its signature scanner. Our tests show that its signature scanner is very impressive, but the lack of any other scan modes guarantees that your recovered data will not retain its original file names or folder structure.

The fact that these tools are available for free may raise some eyebrows, as free solutions often beg users to question their effectiveness and trustworthiness. Rest assured, PhotoRec and TestDisk have been around long enough to build a very trustworthy reputation, especially since the code is all open-source and available to the public.

Both tools are offered as a packaged solution and executed through a CLI, though PhotoRec has received an update that provides a very basic GUI. TestDisk can be pretty intimidating at first (even with guided instructions) since making a mistake could cause more damage than it fixes. And, PhotoRec doesn’t warn users against restoring data to the source drive, leaving room for error when used by inexperienced users who aren’t aware of the risks.


Learn more about PhotoRec at and in our PhotoRec review. You can also learn more about TestDisk at or by reading our TestDisk review.

5. Active@ File Recovery (Windows)

Active File Recovery

If your primary desire is to recover a missing file from your USB drive, this downloadable solution delivers precise results. Although it doesn’t come with expansive features, it performs its primary purpose exceptionally well.

Active@ File Recovery Pros:

  • The download occurs quickly to create a fast installation.
  • It comes with a Superscan feature to find information that the quick-scanning components might not discover.
  • The speed at which it finds missing files is above-average for the industry today.

Active@ File Recovery Cons:

  • It is an incomplete solution at the moment, as the developer is still working on an expanded set of capabilities.
  • Although the scanning process is straightforward, the recovery work is somewhat complicated.
  • The best features are hidden with several layers of menu choices, making them a bit challenging to find.
  • Some file types are not recoverable with this program.

Download Active@ File Recovery

User Experience

We’d recommend using this file recovery program for USB if you have long names to find. It does an excellent job of locating those sometimes problematic elements that some deep scans can miss.

You’ll also appreciate the capabilities of this USB recovery solution if you save file names in languages other than English. It has more native support on the back end than most other applications so that you can navigate through your scans efficiently.

It is a Windows-only solution, although you can operate it on Apple systems using an emulator. If you have a partitioned drive instead, you’ll want to ensure your USB port is readable through that method before proceeding with a download.

The user interface is quite basic. Everything you need is readily available, but the recovery process isn’t very intuitive off the bat. A demo version is available for download that will allow you to scan your USB drive for recoverable data and recover any files below 65 KB. Anything above this limit will require a paid license.


Prices start at $29.95 with this tool, delivering unlimited product use for up to three installations. More information about this top choice is available here:

6. Stellar Data Recovery (Windows & Mac)

Stellar Data Recovery

Most USB recovery solutions focus on accidental deletion. Stellar Data Recovery provides a comprehensive solution that addresses data lost due to a deleted partition or drive corruption.

Stellar Data Recovery Pros:

  • You can use this software to recover files and data from almost any portable storage device that connects through your USB port.
  • Any file extension is potentially recoverable when using this resource.
  • The developer offers a complete online walkthrough for the software so that you can learn how to use it almost immediately.
  • You have the option to repair corrupted photographs and video files on your USB drive.

Stellar Data Recovery Cons:

  • If you want to repair corrupted image or video files, you must purchase the premium version of this recovery tool.
  • Your download is system-specific, which means you need two licenses to manage individual computers at home.
  • Your system needs 8 GB RAM to bring out the full functionality of the software.
  • Recover up to 1 GB of deleted data on Windows for free.

Download Stellar Data Recovery

User Experience

We like this USB recovery software option because of the convenience it offers. You’ll get plenty of functionality, ease of use, and straightforward commands. This benefit comes with a price since you’ll pay up to three times more than most competitive products. But, at least you get to trial the software on Windows, with up to 1 GB of free data recovery.

Even though the application is available on Windows and Mac systems, we found that its quick and clever scan abilities were sorely lacking. When put to the test, the application crashed every time we tried to scan any file system (HFS+, APFS, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, and EXT4). As a result, the only recovery results we could gather were of its signature scan, which even that didn’t show much promise.

Although the application is very easy to use and navigate, its recovery capabilities make it hard to justify the price. Regardless, it remains an option for recovering files from your USB drive by signature, so long as they’re in a supported format.


More information is available here: and in our Stellar Data Recovery review.

7. CrashPlan (Windows & Mac)

crashplan usb recovery solution

If you want instant recovery solutions for problematic USB files, the best solution might be a third-party backup plan. When you use CrashPlan, your information gets updated in real-time to your account with this provider so that you have immediate access to your data.

CrashPlan Pros:

  • It provides competitive pricing with traditional USB recovery solutions without requiring scanning or corruption repair.
  • You receive a data backup solution simultaneously with your restoration needs.
  • It stores files you’ve already deleted until your capacity or age limit definitions get reached.
  • Your information is fully encrypted for an additional security layer.

CrashPlan cons:

  • It takes an image of your entire drive, which means you don’t get backups by file type.
  • You get backups of the newest files first before going to the older backups you need.
  • You’re using a non-traditional recovery method, which means there could be unexpected problems with the process.

Download CrashPlan

User Experience

We appreciate CrashPlan because it stores everything for you. It’s always working in the background to make sure you’ve got a detailed backup of your files and folders. Although it doesn’t offer a specific filter, you do have sorting options that make it relatively easy to find the files you want.

It is essential to remember that this system is meant for backups first. You won’t get the immediate one-file solution locally that you might want. If you experience an ISP or data outage, you will not be able to connect to the service.


You can find more information about CrashPlan here:

Honorable Mentions and Products to Avoid

We can’t fit everything on our list. Here are some honorable mentions that we took into consideration but didn’t quite make the cut. Each tool has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should bear in mind, just like those on our list.

👌 Worth to try

Some additional downloads for USB recovery worth taking a look at today include:

  • Recuva - Recuva is a simple, quick, and completely free USB recovery solution. Unfortunately, it lacks the necessary recovery performance needed to reliably recover data. Learn more in our Recuva review.
  • EaseUS - EaseUS is a very popular USB recovery option with great recovery abilities. Unfortunately, its subscription-based license model is priced quite high, making it an unappealing option for some. Explore it further in our EaseUS review.
  • R-Studio - R-Studio is one of the best in the biz. It’s a highly advanced recovery tool that‘s great for USB recovery. However, its targeted audience is professionals, as reflected by its highly technical user interface. We dive deeper in our R-Studio review.
  • Data Rescue - Data Rescue has some decent recovery abilities, but not for all file systems. Check out our Data Rescue review for more information.
  • Wondershare Recoverit - Wondershare Recoverit’s refined user interface makes USB recovery a breeze. But, its quick scanner needs some work. We cover this tool more in-depth in our Wondershare Recoverit review.

✋ Avoid

During this review, we also found some products to stay away from whenever possible:

  • Acronis Revive - Acronis Revive has been discontinued. Therefore, it will not stay up-to-date with modern file signatures, reducing your overall recoverability.
  • UndeleteMyFiles Pro - The results of our testing indicate that this recovery tool is barely capable of recovering anything. Therefore, we recommend avoiding it if you need to perform USB recovery.
  • Windows File Recovery - Microsoft’s official recovery tool has decent recovery, but very poor support for different file types and file systems. Furthermore, it uses a challenging CLI.
  • Undelete 360 - Despite its attractively low price point, Undelete 360’s recovery abilities are very poor. It doesn’t support clever or signature scanning, and its quick scanner produced disappointing results.
About article
Staff Writer Robert Agar

This article was written by Robert Agar, a Staff Writer at Handy Recovery Advisor. It was recently updated by Jordan Jamieson-Mane. It was also verified for technical accuracy by Andrey Vasilyev, our editorial advisor.

Curious about our content creation process? Take a look at our Editor Guidelines.

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