To lose a document or a wide variety of important documents can cause more than emotional pain. It can cost you a bad mark at school or university, loss of contacts, or even the end of business altogether. It doesn’t matter whether you pressed the wrong button, emptied the Recycle Bin/Trash Can, the HDD or SSD failed, or the weirdest coincidence happened. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world, as there are at least a few solutions to your problems. They’re listed below as the best data recovery software for document recovery, in our opinion.
Just the fact that the same company, Piriform, created both CCleaner and Recuva, is possibly enough to convince you to download this software. The second fact is that the software is lightweight. As you might or might not know, any new files or program installed risk overwriting deleted data. This includes your precious documents, of course. The third fact and the one that typically instantly convinces people to download Recuva is that scanning, previewing, and recovery is free of charge. You’ll soon learn how big of a deal that is.
If you already downloaded the tool, read our guide on how to use Recuva to understand the software better.
- Easy to use user interface
- A lightweight tool for quick recovery
- Recovers any kinds of data irrespective of the extension
- File previews are available
- Fast scanning process
- Near 100% recovery success rate
- Free version doesn’t provide all the important features
This software has been around since the 2000s, giving them enough time to experiment, analyze, and improve. And improve they did, certainly. First of all, it performed one of the most thorough data recovery scans we experienced. According to its website, besides documents, EaseUS can recover more than 1000 file types. Second of all, the entire process couldn’t have been easier. Just choose the location where document loss occurred, press to scan, and preview the results. And best of all, the first 2 GB of data recovered won’t cost you a penny. This can be thousands upon thousands of documents retrieved for free.
- Works with almost any storage media
- 99.7% success rate for recovery
- File previews to check the files to recover
- Filter feature to filter through the files
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24×7 tech support
- Can recovery only up to 2 GB in the free version
3. Disk Drill
If you ever tried Pandora Data Recovery and noticed it is no longer available, that’s because it merged with Disk Drill. And the saying “two heads are better than one” is applicable in this case as well. Years of combined experience allowed them to develop software for Windows and Mac OS X. Furthermore, there are two types of scans you can perform based on your needs and the time you have. The first is a Surface Scan/Quick Scan, which barely scratches the surface but can retrieve recent files. The second is a standard scan, perfect for digging deep and discovering files deleted a while ago.
- Deep scan to find almost all the files deleted
- Preview files before recovering them
- Speed up search using the filter feature
- Recover 346+ file formats
- Fast recovery of even larger files
- Free data recovery of up to 500 MB only
One of the best features of Wise Data Recovery is how far the compatibility goes – back to Windows XP, released in 2001! That means the user interface is very simple, yet instinctive and easy to use. As you expect, it follows the same pattern of choosing the path, running a scan, and seeing what came up. But what you probably didn’t expect, and we didn’t either, is that it has a ‘recoverability column’ that’s unique to the software. It will rate each file on a scale from lost to good, letting you know how big of a chance for retrieval there is. Definitely, an excellent tool to recover deleted documents from your desktop.
- A beginner-friendly user interface
- Easy step-by-step procedure for the recovery
- A rating to determine the success probability before recovery
- 1000+ file types can be recovered
- A portable version to avoid data overwriting
- You have to pay after 2 GB of free document recovery
- Failed to find some lost files
Although majorly underrated and largely unknown, we decided to cover Active UNDELETE because of how impressed we were. First of all, it possesses all of the features of the top 4 software on our list has. Second of all, the process of recovering files is effective, yet free of charge up to a certain limit. This file size limit changes with the new versions sometimes. Third of all, the license required to unlock unlimited options only costs $19.99. This is approximately 3 to 4 times cheaper than the majority of the licenses in this field of expertise.
- Works with almost any Windows versions
- Fast scanning and recovery of files
- Satisfactory recovery success rate
- Can scan files by their signatures
- Works with partitions, RAIDs, etc.
- The user interface feels a bit old and complex
- Only a demo version is available that lacks a lot of features
We cannot deny that the results from a search performed by Prosoft Data Rescue 5 were plentiful. It even included some things we completely forgot we deleted. Plus, the software is equipped with a feature that allows you to clone a failing hard drive. It doesn’t exactly recover files directly, but keeps them safe from getting lost in the first place. It’s important to know the search and preview won’t cost you a dime. However, to recover files you need to pay a hefty sum, based on the license you choose.
- Quick and Deep scan for different scan intensity
- Clone hard drives if needed
- You can view previous scan results
- Good data recovery success rate
- Works with almost any file types
- Free version doesn’t provide many crucial functions
- The user interface is not that good
- No refund policy
Running a scan using Tenorshare Data Recovery allows you to recover more than 1000 types of files besides documents. Even better, you can scan your internal drives, external drives, SD cards, removable devices, and all with a very high data recovery rate. The process supports all the common causes such as human errors, hardware failure, power cuts, earthquakes, software corruption, and a plethora of other issues. Unfortunately, you can only perform scans and preview files for free, and you need to purchase a license for the process of recovery.
- 1000+ file types are supported, including documents
- Works with any storage media types
- Good success rate
- Pause or Resume the recovery process when needed
- Video repairing is also available
- The customer support is not that good
- Fails to work in Windows 11 sometimes
Although quite efficient, we’ve placed this software so far down the list because it needs to be installed to work, and takes more space than other software on our list. On the other hand, it allows a recovery of up to 1 GB of files for free, which is better than some of the others. You can also scan internal and external drives, and even SD cards, and export the data paths in a TXT file that helps you remember where they came from. We tested the tool to recover Word documents on Windows, and it worked flawlessly.
- Quick or deep recovery based on your requirements
- Supports almost all document formats
- A good user interface for beginners
- Fast recovery process for larger files
- Only allows 1 GB of recovery for free
- Lack of features that many competitors provide
Another iteration of ACTIVE software that specializes in human error. This includes accidental formatting, deleting and emptying the Recycle Bin/Trash Can, and all major logical failure data loss scenarios. Furthermore, it supports sources such as partitions, internal volume, and external volume. The software can also come with a separate USB drive that we assume can be shipped to your address. It could also be a virtual drive you can download and transfer to a USB drive of your own. Regardless of the method, it can restore your computer to working order by booting from it.
- Works with external media
- Can recover by a folder or file
- Portable version to load from USB or CD
- Sometimes cannot detect certain drives
- The process can take a considerable amount of time
- The user interface seems very basic
Last on our list is free to use, open-source, and powerful data retrieval software for document recovery. Its primary function is to make non-booting disks bootable again and restoring your data in the process. While it isn’t as effective with hardware failure, it is perfect for issues such as formatting, virus attacks, accidentally deleting partition tables, and operating system crashes. TestDisk works on Windows, Linux, Xbox, Mac OS X, SunOS, and DOS.
- An open source solution
- Can fix partition tables
- Fix many boot issues on your hard drive
- Works on almost all desktop platforms
- Not a dedicated recovery tool
- Lack of a good UI