Best Free Photo Recovery Software

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.
photo recovery software mac os

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:

  • imgRecover up to 500 MB of data for free which equals hundreds of photos.
  • imgPreview scan results before performing a recovery.
  • imgFree data protection tools are included to keep your photos safe.
  • imgMount 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
  • USB Drive
    SanDisk®, Samsung®, Kingston®, Corsair®, Patriot®, PNY®, Verbatim®, Silicon Power® and more
  • SD / CF Card
    SanDisk®, Transcend®, Toshiba®, Lexar®, Integral®, SP®, PNY®, Kingston® and more
  • Digital Camera
    Samsung®, HP®, Sony®, GoPro®, Canon®, Sigma®, Nikon®, Epson®, Panasonic® and more
  • iPhone / Android
    Samsung Galaxy®, iPhone®, Lenovo®, Huawei®, OnePlus®, Google Pixel®, LG® and more
Tip: To recover images from iPhone/Android devices use Disk Drill for Mac

Supported Photo and Image Formats

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.
  • 25
    Image Formats


  • 27
    Camera Raw Photo Formats
    Polaroid/Sigma: X3F. Pentax: PEF. Fujitsu: RAF. Fujifilm: RAF. GoPro: GPR. Leica/Panasonic: RW2, RAW, RWL.

    Leica X2: DNG. Leica M (typ240, typ246): DNG. Leaf/Aptus: MOS. Leaf and Phase One: IIQ. Sony: ARW, SRF, SR2. Samsung: SRW. Canon: CR2, CR3. Epson: ERF. Kodak: DCR, KDC. Konica Minolta: MRW. Nikon: NEF, NRW. Olympus: ORF. Mamiya: MEF. Hasselblad: 3FR,FFF

  • 36
    Graphics Picture Formats
    After Effects Project: AEP. Adobe: AI, APM, IDML, INDB, INDD, INDL, INX, LRCAT, PSB, PSD.

    Blender 3D Data file: BLEND. ArchiCAD Backup: BPN. Cinema 4D Model: C4D. CorelDRAW: CDR. FreeHand Drawing file: FH3, FH8, FH10, FH11. Maya Project: MA, MB, MP. Enhanced Windows Metafile: EMF. Encalsulated PostScript file: EPS. Mac OS X Icon: ICNS. Windows Icon: ICO. Luxology Modo: LXO. Autodesk 3ds Max Scene: MAX. ArchiCAD Project: PLA, PLN, TPL. PostScript File: PS. SketchUp: SKP. Scalable Vector Graphics: SVG. Visio Drawing file: VSD. VectorWorks Design File: VWX

4 Easy Steps

How to Recover Deleted or Lost Photos

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.
best photo recovery software

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.

USB flash drive recovery hints and tips
image recovery software

Select the photos you want to recover

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.
photo recovery tool
  • photo recovery software
    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.

  • images recovery software for pc
    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.
  • free photo recovery software
    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.

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.
best photo recovery software

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.

Disk Drill free photo recovery
Disk Drill
stellar photo recovery
recuva photo recovery
photorec recovery software
easeus photo recovery
.heic (Apple) partial partial
.raw (Kodak, Leica, Panasonic or any other camera) partial partial
.tif (Canon, Hasselblad, Kodak, Nikon, Phase One) partial
.jpg (any mobile or camera)
.dng (any mobile or camera) partial partial partial
.cr2 (Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Zeiss) partial partial partial
.nef (Nikon, Tamron, Zeiss) partial partial
.arw (Sony with different lenses: laowa, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Voigtlander, Zeiss) partial partial
.cr3 (Canon)
.orf (Olympus) partial
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.

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.
image recovery software

Disk Drill Testimonials By Other Users

Disk Drill Pro 4 is insurance against accidentally formating the wrong memory card with images that haven’t been backed up.
A loose cable on my memory cards reader caused the memory card to be "unsafely removed" from the computer. All the content disappeared from the card. After panicking, I spent the next 2 hours recovering my round 9 photos. Thank god @Cleverfiles saved the day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on by Disk Drill Team

Follow these simple steps to recover deleted photos:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill for Mac or Windows.
  2. Connect any external devices that contained lost or deleted photos to your Mac or Windows computer.
  3. Launch the Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software and select your disk.
  4. Click Recover to scan for lost photos.
  5. Preview the images that can be recovered and make your selections.
  6. Click Recover again to get your lost photos back.

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.

Best FREE Photo Recovery Software in 2020:

  1. Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software (Windows/Mac)
  2. Recuva (Windows Only)
  3. PhotoRec (Windows/Mac)
  4. Undelete 360 Free Photo Recovery (Windows/Mac)
  5. Gihosoft RePicvid (Windows/Mac)
  6. RecoverIt Photo Recovery (Windows/Mac)
  7. CardRecoveryPro (Windows Only)
  8. Remo Media Recover (Windows/Mac)
  9. Picture Rescue (Mac/Windows)

Disk Drill is a great way to restore deleted photos on your PC for free. Follow these simple steps to get your pictures back.

  1. Download and instal DIsk Drill on your PC.
  2. Connect the device that contained the deleted images.
  3. Launch the application and choose your disk from the disk list.
  4. Click Search for lost data to start scanning the disk.
  5. Preview the found photos and select those you want to restore.
  6. Click Recover and choose a new location at which to save the photos.

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.

To recover permanently deleted photos on Windows 10 follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. If the deleted photos were on an external device, connect it to your computer.
  3. Launch the app and select the disk for recovery.
  4. Click Search for lost data.
  5. Preview the recoverable images.
  6. Select the photos for recovery and click Recover all to restore them.

To recover deleted photos from an SD card perform these steps:

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer.
  2. Start Disk Drill and select the SD card from the list of disks.
  3. Click Search for lost data to initiate the scanning process. 
  4. Preview the photos that can be recovered and make your selections. 
  5. Click Recover to perform the photo recovery.

Without data recovery software your options are limited when attempting to recover permanently deleted pictures. If they are not in the device’s recently deleted files folder your only real option is to recover from a backup. Backups may not be available of the last photos as they may have been lost before you had a chance to back them up.

Use this procedure to restore lost pictures from a USB flash drive:

  1. Attach the USB flash drive to your machine.
  2. Launch Disk Drill and select the drive from the displayed disk list.
  3. Click Search for lost data to scan for deleted pictures.
  4. Preview recoverable data and choose the picture you want to retrieve.
  5. Click Recover to perform the photo recovery.

Disk Drill can get back deleted photos after formatting with these simple steps.

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.
  2. Connect the formatted disk or device to your computer and launch the program.
  3. Select the disk from the displayed list and initiate the scanning procedure.
  4. Preview the files that can be recovered and make your selections.
  5. Choose a new storage location and complete the recovery.

Top 13 Photo Recovery Software for Windows:

  1. Disk Drill Photo Recovery Software
  2. EaseUS Image Recovery
  3. Hetman Photo Recovery
  4. Photorec
  5. Recuva
  6. Remo Media Recover
  7. RecoverIt Photo Recovery
  8. CardRecoveryPro
  9. Data Rescue 5
  10. Exif Untrasher
  11. Picture Rescue
  12. Disk Doctors Photo Recovery
  13. Easy Digital Photo Recovery

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.

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.
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