Losing your digital photos is one of the most disturbing types of data loss scenarios that you can experience. In an instant, irreplaceable memories can be whisked away, seemingly gone forever. Your first instinct may be to panic, but take a deep breath and download Disk Drill photo recovery software to recover your valuable images in a few clicks.
Disk Drill: a Free and Easy to Use Photo Recovery Tool
Lost your Photos? Disk Drill is free image recovery software that can help you get your photos back quickly and easily. It’s a great program for restoring lost or deleted photos from digital devices. It’s features include:
Recover up to 500 MB of data for free which equals hundreds of photos.
Preview scan results before performing a recovery.
Free data protection tools are included to keep your photos safe.
Mount scan results as a virtual drive for easier recovery.
You will obtain the best results by allowing the scanning algorithms to finish and letting the application recover file fragments and determine their structure. Disk Drill also offers the flexibility of pausing the scan when your photos have been restored without requiring the process to complete. As the scanning proceeds and results are available to preview, you can stop the process at any time and recover the photos that have already been found.
Recover Lost Photos From Any Storage Device
Disk Drill is a versatile computer photo recovery software solution that can restore a deleted picture from virtually any type of disk-based storage device. This includes the internal disk of your PC, external hard drives, SD and memory cards, micro SD cards, USB drives, and many other types of digital devices. Simply connect the device to your computer and let the application scan its storage and recover your important images.
PC / Mac
Dell®, HP®, Acer®, Asus®, MacBook Pro®, MacBook Air®, Apple iMac® and more
HDD / SSD
HP®, Samsung®, Seagate®, Toshiba®, WD®, LaCie®, Intel®, Adata® and more
SanDisk®, Samsung®, Kingston®, Corsair®, Patriot®, PNY®, Verbatim®, Silicon Power® and more
SD / CF Card
SanDisk®, Transcend®, Toshiba®, Lexar®, Integral®, SP®, PNY®, Kingston® and more
Samsung®, HP®, Sony®, GoPro®, Canon®, Sigma®, Nikon®, Epson®, Panasonic® and more
iPhone / Android (Mac ONLY)*
Samsung Galaxy®, iPhone®, Lenovo®, Huawei®, OnePlus®, Google Pixel®, LG® and more
Disk Drill offers the best image recovery tool by supporting a wide variety of digital photo formats. Standard image formats as well as raw camera data from all major manufacturers can all be restored using this versatile photo recovery tool. Take a look at all of the different picture formats that can be recovered and see if they include the one you need. We think they will.
1. Download and install Disk Drill free photo recovery software
During installation, you will be required to provide system-level credentials when prompted by the software. This is so it can make the necessary changes to the system if a recovery is performed. The image recovery program will not make any changes to your system unless instructed by you to do so.
2. Choose the location and start scanning for lost pictures
Disk Drill presents you with a list of disks that are available for recovery. Select the one you want to use as well as the type of scan to be performed. You can choose to run a quick or deep scan or let the tool go through all of its scanning procedures in the optimal order.
The scan can be paused at any time or left to run to its conclusion. Now you can select the photos that you want to restore. The pictures can be previewed to ensure that you are recovering the correct images. Disk Drill offers filtering on the scan results to make it easier to find your lost photos.
3.1 To make the process easier, select the "Pictures" window on the left side of the program’s main display
This will limit the scan results to only display images that can be recovered. It’s a great feature that streamlines the recovery process no matter what type of files you want to restore. You won’t waste time looking at files in which you have no interest.
3.2 Search for images by previewing them in Disk Drill before performing the recovery
This is another feature of this photo recovery app for the PC that is designed to save your valuable time and make it easier to recover only the images you want. Folders are displayed for different categories of recovered files such as Documents and Pictures. Open a folder and preview the files that have been found to find the exact file you want to restore before performing the operation.
3.3 Look at the Reconstructed and Reconstructed labeled sections
if you had to employ the deep scan facility of Disk Drill to find your lost photos. Deep scan scavenges your disk for file fragments that can be reconstructed to form complete images. It may return your deleted images using a different file name, but with the original extension. Previewing these reconstructed files will let you see which ones you want to recover.
4. Recover the deleted photos with image recovery freeware after you have made your selections
Choose a new location for storing the recovered data that is not on the disk that contained the lost photos. This will protect the files from being overwritten or corrupted while the recovery is being performed. After selecting a safe location, let the recovery process complete.
The Keys to Successful Recovery
Here are some tips on how to use photo recovery software for the best chance of success. Failure to follow these suggestions puts your recovery effort at risk.
Suddenly realizing your photos are lost or deleted
The most important thing you can do when you realize that your storage device has experienced a data loss affecting your photos is to immediately stop using the disk. Continued use of the device risks overwriting or corrupting the files before you have a chance to retrieve them. This is a general precaution that should be taken whenever you have any type of data loss.
The storage device (SD card, micro SD card, hard drive, flash/USB) is completely fine and ready for recovery
If the storage device is operating properly and the only issue is that you have accidentally deleted the photos, you can proceed to the recovery stage. As extra insurance, you should consider using Disk Drill’s ability to create a byte-level backup which can be used to restore the deleted files if the original device fails or experiences problems.
The affected device is not used for further storage
When data gets deleted from a storage device, the files and folders are not erased from the disk. They are still available for recovery as long as the storage space they occupied is not used to save new data. When you save a new file to the device, it can overwrite the deleted files and make it impossible for photo recovery software to restore them.
Storage media was not defragmented after photos loss occurred
Performing a defragmentation procedure on a storage device physically moves files around so they are saved in contiguous storage locations. This process can increase disk performance, but should not be considered if you are planning data recovery on the device. Defragmentation will potentially overwrite the deleted files you want to retrieve. Wait until you have recovered your lost files before defragmenting the disk.
Use an efficient and reliable Photo Recovery Tool
The quality of the tools you use impacts your chances of success in any field. Disk Drill is high-quality image recovery software that makes it easy for users with any degree of computer knowledge to quickly and effectively restore lost and deleted photos. The app employs an intuitive interface and advanced scanning techniques to reliably recover your lost pictures.
Make a backup of the storage device
Using Disk Drill’s byte-level backup feature gives you an extra level of insurance when performing data recovery. The backup includes any photos that were deleted from the device and can be used as an alternative means of recovery if the original disk experiences failure or further corruption. Creating the backup does not write any information to the device, making it completely safe to run before attempting data recovery.
The Best Photo Recovery Software Supporting Multiple Filesystems
Choosing the right image recovery tool can be challenging with the number of different options available. We have created this chart that illustrates the features and capabilities of some popular photo recovery solutions. The goal is to help you choose the best photo recovery software that will get back images in a variety of formats in the most effective and user-friendly manner. Choosing the wrong tool can lead to a frustrating data recovery session.
.raw (Kodak, Leica, Panasonic or any other camera)
.tif (Canon, Hasselblad, Kodak, Nikon, Phase One)
.jpg (any mobile or camera)
.dng (any mobile or camera)
.cr2 (Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Zeiss)
.nef (Nikon, Tamron, Zeiss)
.arw (Sony with different lenses: laowa, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Voigtlander, Zeiss)
Testing scenario: Files were copied to a formatted NTFS volume and subsequently deleted. The volume’s MFT was then deleted causing it to become corrupted. We then reformatted the volume to the exFAT filesystem before attempting recovery. The purpose of these steps was to test the ability of a deep scan to locate and reconstruct deleted data based on their file signatures.
Predicting Photo Recovery Success
The outcome of any data recovery attempt depends on a whole host of factors, and you may not always be able to completely recover every single lost photo. Let’s explore how common data loss scenarios affect your recovery chances.
🗑️ Accidental deletion
On Windows and Mac, deleted files are first moved to a temporary storage area before the storage space they occupied is marked as empty so that it can be overwritten with new data. Before that happens, your recovery chances are high.
✂️ Storage device formatting
A formatted storage device that hasn’t been filled up with new data still contains all original photos, and photo recovery software like Disk Drill can get them back.
📂 Data corruption
Until data corruption exceeds a certain threshold, the affected photos can usually be recovered with no or minimal damage.
🦠 Malware infection
Malware infections range from relatively benign to serious. Some malware only hides files to scare the user, while other malware can encrypt files and make them impossible to recover.
💽 Partition table damage
Disk Drill is intelligent enough to recognize lost partitions and recover all data they contain.
🔨 Mechanical damage
This is the worst-case photo loss scenario you can possibly encounter. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you would be able to solve it using photo recovery software.
To keep you informed throughout the recovery process, Disk Drill estimates the recovery chances of each photo and displays them using intuitive color labels:
🟢 High file recovery chances are marked green
🟡 Average recovery chances are marked yellow
🟠 Low recovery chances are marked orange
⚪ The gray label is used when the recovery chances are unknown
A quick note about SSDs: Many modern solid-state drives use a feature called TRIM to instantly empty the storage space occupied by deleted files for improved performance. When enabled, the TRIM feature makes the recovery of files that are no longer present in the Recycle Bin or Trash impossible.
Preventing future photo loss
It’s better to avoid losing your photos even if you have an excellent program like Disk Drill to retrieve photos if necessary. Here are some tips to prevent photo loss.
The most effective way to protect your valuable images from being permanently deleted is to back them up regularly. You can do this in a variety of ways including Disk Drill’s byte-level backup facility. Recovery Vault is a free data protection feature that lets you designate important files or folders to guard against inadvertent deletion. It retains these items for a user-specific length of time even if they are deleted from the Recycle Bin.
"Essential tool for photographers to safeguard their precious photos and videos. Recovering deleted files works like magic!" - Mark Condon
Restored all my lost photos including CR2's Thank you! Lifesaver! Well, Job saver at least!
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated on by Disk Drill Team
How to recover deleted photos?
Follow the steps below to recover deleted photos from a backup:
Make sure your backup drive is connected to your computer.
Open the Start menu, type “control panel,” and launch the Control Panel app.
Go to System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
Click either Restore my files or Restore all users’ files under Restore.
Browse or search your backup for files and folders to restore.
What is photo recovery?
Photo recovery is the process by which image recovery software for a PC is used to restore access to photo files that were deleted or lost from a storage device. The software scans the device and repairs the operating system access that was removed when the files were deleted. Once lost files have been overwritten, recovery for that data is not possible.
What is the best free photo recovery software?
The best free photo recovery software applications available today include:
Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software (Windows/Mac) – Best overall since it recovers all 4K, 8K, 360, and VR cameras, as well as all commonly used storage devices
Recuva (Windows Only) – Best for unlimited free recovery of basic photo file formats
PhotoRec (Windows/Mac) – Best for fans of open-source software who are not afraid of a text-based user interface
Undelete 360 Free Photo Recovery (Windows/Mac) – Best for recovering deleted and lost photos from Windows 7 and older
Gihosoft RePicvid Free Photo Recovery Software (Windows/Mac) – Best three-step recovery of regular and RAW images with original quality
RecoverIt Photo Recovery Software (Windows/Mac)
CardRecoveryPro (Windows Only)
Remo Media Recover (Windows/Mac)
Picture Rescue (Mac/Windows)
How can I restore deleted photos from my computer for free?
Disk Drill is a great way to restore deleted photos on your PC for free. Follow these simple steps to get your pictures back.
Download and instal DIsk Drill on your PC.
Connect the device that contained the deleted images.
Launch the application and choose your disk from the disk list.
Click Search for lost data to start scanning the disk.
Preview the found photos and select those you want to restore.
Click Recover and choose a new location at which to save the photos.
Is it possible to recover deleted RAW image files?
Yes, it is. Using quality data recovery software like Disk Drill enables you to recover images in a wide variety of formats, including RAW files. Using the deep scanning capabilities built into the application it can reconstruct and recover files from your digital camera. If the storage media can be recognized by Windows, Disk Drill can recover its deleted images.
How do I recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10?
You can recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10 using the File History feature:
Make sure your backup drive is connected to your computer.
Open the Start menu, type “control panel,” and launch the Control Panel app.
Go to System and Security > File History.
Click the Restore personal files link in the left pane.
Select the photos you want to restore.
Click the green restore button to restore the selected photos to their original locations.
How to Recover Deleted Photos from an SD Card?
To recover deleted photos from an SD card follow these steps:
Download and install Disk Drill.
Attach the SD card to your computer.
Start the app and choose the SD card from the disk list.
Click Search for lost data to identify deleted photos.
Preview the list of recoverable photos.
Select the photos to be restore and click Recover all.
How do I recover permanently deleted pictures without software?
It’s possible to recover permanently deleted pictures using native recovery features in Windows:
Right-click the folder where your permanently deleted pictures were stored.
Choose the Restore previous versions option.
Select a previous version that contains the permanently deleted pictures (you can preview its content by clicking the Open button).
Click the Restore button to recover your permanently deleted pictures.
Keep in mind that Previous Versions come from File History or System Restore Points, so you won’t be able to recover your files unless they’ve been backed up by at least one of the two backup features.
How to restore lost pictures from a USB flash drive?
Sometimes, pictures disappear from a USB flash drive because their attributes change, causing them to become hidden. Fortunately, you can change the attributes of all pictures on your USB flash drive using a single command:
Make sure your USB flash drive is connected to your computer.
Press Win + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
Copy & paste the following command and press Enter: attrib -h -r -s /s /d X:* (make sure to replace X with the letter assigned to your USB flash drive).
How do I recover photos after formatting?
As long as you act quickly enough, you should be able to recover photos after formatting using picture recovery software like Disk Drill:
Launch Disk Drill.
Select the formatted storage device and click Search for lost data.
Wait for the recovery process to finish (you can also preview scan results in real-time).
Select all images you want to recover.
Click the Recover button and specify the recovery directory.
What is the best photo recovery software for Windows users?
Top 13 Photo Recovery Software for Windows:
Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software
EaseUS Image Recovery
Hetman Photo Recovery
Remo Media Recover
RecoverIt Photo Recovery
Data Rescue 5
Disk Doctors Photo Recovery
Easy Digital Photo Recovery
I can’t find my photos in the scan results. What should I do?
If you cannot easily locate your lost photos in the scan results, the files may have been reconstructed during Disk Drill’s deep scanning procedure. You will need to search through the Reconstructed and Reconstructed labeled paths to find the deleted files. Base your search on the file extension of the deleted photo, for example, .jpg. The file will be named something like file0000 will be returned in the Reconstructed folder if deep scan cannot determine the original filename. Items in the Reconstructed labeled folder have a filename that the tool has found in the recovered file’s metadata. Use the Preview feature to determine which of the files contains the image you need.
Is it safe to use a photo recovery app?
Yes, the best photo recovery apps are 100% safe to use. Unfortunately, there are also various shady and abandoned photo recovery apps that deliver subpar results and may even do more harm than good, depriving you of that one and only chance to get your data back.
How do I recover photos after software update?
That depends on which operating system you’re using:
Open the Settings app.
Go to Update & Security > Backup.
Click More options under Back up using File History.
Select Restore files form a current backup.
Select your lost photos and click the recovery button.
Open the folder where your lost photos were located.
Click the Time Machine icon located in the Menu Bar and choose Enter Time Machine.
Locate the photos you want to recover using the timeline on the right edge of the screen.
Launch Disk Drill and select the storage device on which your photos were located.
Click Search for lost data and give Disk Drill some time to scan the storage device.
Preview found photos to verify that they can be recovered. Select every photo you want to get back.
Click Recover and specify a suitable recovery destination.
Use Cases and Tips for Photo Recovery Software
Disk Drill can be used to recover from many types of data loss scenarios. Your valuable pictures may have been located on a variety of devices when you discover that they have been accidentally deleted. The recovery application supports restoring your lost images from virtually any type of disk-based storage media. Here are some specific recovery cases that can be addressed with this versatile software tool.