Piriform, the developer of CCleaner software, had launched Recuva – a free data recovery tool for Windows. This application is fast, and it can recover accidentally deleted pictures, documents, archives and many other types of files. It is free and lightweight. It has little RAM, CPU, Storage requirements due to which you can use Recuva in low configuration computers.

Getting started

You can download the 4 megabytes setup file from file hippo or piriform websites. When the installer of Recuva software has been downloaded, run it, select a language and click next. Now you’ll be asked to check the below options:

  • Add desktop or start menu shortcuts.
  • Add scan for deleted files option to the Windows Explorer or recycle bin context menu.
  • Automatically check for the latest software updates.

Check the options of your choice and click the install button. Recuva will now be installed on your computer.

How to use Recuva?

To recover the accidentally deleted files, run this software on your PC.

Recuva allows you to recover files with its smart interface. Instead of displaying a sophisticated dashboard, this software shows a wizard that prompts you to select a file type you want to recover.

This software supports all types of files (images, music, documents, video, compressed archives). It also supports the recovery of emails that were stored on your PC by desktop email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird, and others.

When you select a file type, Recuva will request you to choose a location where the deleted file was saved. If you don’t remember the path, you can select the I’m not sure option.

Recuva supports CD and DVDs. Thus, if a file stored on the external re-writable DVD or CD is missing, this software might recover it. This software is compatible with SSDs and external USB storage devices.

Recuva features a deep scan function that increases the chances of recovering deleted files. The scan operation may last for several minutes as a lot of files will be analyzed.

The recovery will be possible after Recuva executes the below three tasks:

  • Find.
  • Analyze damage.
  • Analyse content.

Recuva will execute the above tasks on all drives of your computer. If your PC has stored a lot of files, the analysis process will take a few minutes to complete. This software is compatible with Windows OS and Fat32, NTFS partitions. It will not read the partitions like Ext4, Ext3; Swap created for the Linux OS.

When it finds all deleted files, Recuva will display them in a list with its name, last modified date, size, state, and path. It will show the paths the software failed to scan and time took for the search operation to complete.

recuva recovery

Go through the list. Once you find the deleted file, check the box beside its name. Each file detected by Recuva has three states, i.e. unrecoverable, poor and excellent. The states have their color codes, i.e. orange, red, green. If the file is in excellent state, click on the recover button and select the folder where you want to save the recovered stuff.

Recuva will display a warning message each time you try to save a recovered file to the same drive as it was stored earlier. If the file is unrecoverable or in a poor state, it has been replaced with another (the application will display its full path, so that you can go through the files content). This software will recover it partially.

Recuva software allows you to erase or delete files forever so that no application can recover it. To use this feature, select the secure overwrite checked option after right clicking on a file.

secure overwrite checked delete files forever

If you don’t like the list view in Recuva, you can switch to a tree or thumbnail view. This software allows you to highlight a particular file or folder. You can sort the data in the column by its name, size, modified date, comment or state. Recuva has an option to save the list data to a Windows text file.

Conclusion: Recuva is one of the many free data recovery tools available for Windows. This software works well, but Piriform can make it better. It was able to retrieve 5 out of 9 files I had deleted on my PC last week.

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