4 Best Free Open Source Data Recovery Software For Windows

Here is a list of best free open source data recovery software for Windows. These software are similar to any standard data recovery software which can detect and recover data from a data storage device. However, unlike standard data recovery software, you can easily find, download, and make modifications to the source code of these software.

These open source data recovery software are capable of recovering data of various types like photos, video, documents, system files, etc. Plus, different types of data storage devices having different file systems (NTFS, FAT, etc.) are also supported by most software. To recover data, these software first scan a selected drive to find lost or accidentally detected data. After finding the lost data, they let you manually select files and data which you want to recover.

Through some of these software, you can do a lot more than just finding and recovering data like creating a timeline of user activity, recovering the communication emails, etc. Besides this, some of these open source data recovery software also let you preview the data (images, documents, etc.) before starting the data recovery process.

The process of locating and recovering the data is quite similar and simple in all of these software. I have also included necessary data recovery steps in the description of these software. Go through the list to know more about these open source data recovery software.

My Favorite Open Source Data Recovery Software For Windows:

Autopsy is my favorite software because it cannot only recover data but also can also recover communication emails and timeline of user activity. Its ability to generate and export report regarding the data recovery process is also quite useful. Plus, it lets you preview the data before starting the recovery process.

You can also check out lists of best free Data RecoveryMAC Data Recovery, and Photo Recovery software for Windows.

Autopsy



Autopsy is a free open source data recovery software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is primarily a digital forensic software which is used by law enforcement and military to find out all the activities performed on a particular system. It also allows investigators to recover sensitive and hard to recover data. It can recover all types of files (video, images, documents, etc.), keywords, web artifacts, and other types of data with ease.

How to recover data using this open source data recovery software: Autopsy

  • Launch this software and create a new case by going to Case menu.
  • In the newly created case, you need to specify the case name along with the path where you want to store the recover data.
  • After that, select a type of data source from four available ones namely Disk Image or VM File, Local Disk, Logical Files, and Unallocated Space Image File.
  • Next, you need to select the disk drive that you want to scan.
  • Then, specify the type of information and data you are looking for, such as Recent Activity, Hash, Exif Parser, Encrypted Data, Images, etc.
  • Now, click on the next button to start the scanning process. Once scanning gets completed, you can view a listing on its interface containing the deleted or lost data files.
  • Finally, select all the files which you want to recover, open the right-click menu, and select the Extract Files option to start the data recovery.

Additional Features:

  • Timeline: It is an advanced feature that shows you the timeline of the user activity.
  • Communications Visualization: It extracts and shows all the email communications done through a system under test.
  • Images/Videos: Using it, you can preview all the deleted images and videos before performing the actual data recovery.
  • Generate Report: You can use this feature to generate and save reports about the detected and recovered data in formats like HTML, Excel, TXT, etc.

Final Thoughts:

It is one of the best free open source data recovery software as it lets you preview the lost data before actually recovering the data.

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PhotoRec



PhotoRec is another free open source data recovery software for Windows, Linux, MacOS, and DOS. Through this software, you can scan your whole drive or a partition and recover all the data which got lost or unintentionally deleted by you. It can recover almost all types of photos, documents, files, etc., with ease. Another good property of this software is its ability to support both the NTFS and FAT file systems. The support for FAT file system allows you to recover data from portable devices such as flash drives, portable hard drives, etc., as they also use the FAT file system.

This software is based on the command line and does not come with a graphical user interface. Still, the process of recovering data is not that hard. Let’s checkout the steps to recover data using PhotoRec.

How to recover data using this open source data recovery software:

  • Launch this software and select a storage drive from which you want to recover the data and press Enter.
  • After that, select the MS Data partition and again press Enter.
  • Next, this software asks you to specify the file system (FAT/NTFS or ext2/ext3/ext4, etc.) of your drive. You need to select the FAT or NTFS option and again press Enter.
  • Now, you need to select whether you want to recover data from the unallocated space or from the whole drive.
  • In the end, press Enter one more time to start the scanning and data recovery process.

During the data recovery process, this software shows the number of images, files, and documents which have been recovered by this software on its interface. For every recovery process, it creates a directory of recovered data in the download folder by default.

Additional Features:

This software comes with an additional TestDisk module that you can use to recover lost partition and non-bootable disks.

Limitations:

Lack of user interface is its main limitation.

Final Thoughts:

It is a good open source data recovery software through which you can recover almost all types of data from storage devices with different file systems.

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Kickass Undelete



Kickass Undelete is yet another free open source data recovery software for Windows. Through this software, you can recover data from various types of data storage devices like HDD, SSD, Flash Drive, etc. Basically, it can recover data from all those data storage devices which use either NTFS or FAT file system. Apart from standard files, documents, and multimedia files, it can also recover system files with ease.

How to recover data using this open source data recovery software:

  • Start this software and select a drive that you want to scan from the left side panel.
  • After that, press the Scan button to start the scanning process.
  • Once the scan gets finished, you can view names of all the lost data files. However, if you want to view system files, tick the show system files and unknown file types checkbox.
  • Lastly, select all the files from its interface which you want to recover and press the Restore Files button to recover data.

Limitations:

During my testing, this software was not able to detect all the deleted and lost data files.

Final Thoughts:

It is one of the simplest open source data recovery software through which you can quickly detect and recover lost data.

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Free Recover



Free Recover is a free portable open source data recovery software for Windows. This software can recover data from storage devices which use the NTFS file system. It is perfectly capable of recovering data of various types such as images, videos, system files, documents, etc. The process of scanning and recovering data through this software is quite simple. Along with finding the lost data, it also shows the size of detected data, their path, and MFT sector information.

How to recover data using Free Recover:

  • Initiate this software and select a partition drive from the Drive menu.
  • After that, tick get file paths (to view detected files location) and check file integrities (to check whether the detected files have been modified or not) checkboxes, if you want.
  • Next, press the Search button to start the drive scanning process.
  • When the scan is done, you can view a list of detected lost files on its interface.
  • Lastly, select files which you want to recover and press the Recover Files button to recover the data.

Additional Features:

In this software, you can also preview lost images, documents, etc., before starting the data recovery process.

Final Thoughts:

It is a simple and lightweight software that you can directly use from a portable storage device and recover data with ease.

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