You can use Recuva to restore deleted and lost files on your computer. Therefore, if you’ve ever accidentally erased files and folders or suffered problems such as system crashes, storage formatting, or hardware issues with your storage drive such as HDD, SSD, and NVMe, this software is a blessing. It acts as a second line of defense after you empty your Recycle Bin or an equivalent application or utility. Luckily, data is never immediately erased—only the address to that file is. Thus, if you learn how to use Recuva data recovery software, you may get it back.
Is Recuva safe to download and use?
Yes, Recuva is a reputable and safe software if downloaded from the official website and used. There are some impostors, especially for free software, which is why we analyzed if it’s a good idea to use free data recovery apps. Recuva comes from a well-known data-focused company, and although they offer a Professional version, both perform standard data restoration. Therefore, you will neither get fewer discovered files and folders nor have to restore a certain amount (such as only 500 MB) before you pay.
When to run a Recuva data recovery scan?
You need to use Recuva to scan for deleted or formatted files as soon as possible, ideally right after you lost them. As mentioned, files are not deleted but marked by the system as space that can be overwritten with new files. To include the success rate of data restoration, you should also:
- Stop copying new files onto the same storage drive and partition the lost files are in. This will prevent accidental overwrite of the data you seek
- Install Recuva on a separate storage drive or even a flash drive or external HDD or SSD
- Try to remember the locations and file types of data you want back. That saves time and computer resources and lets Recuva perform a deeper scan
1. How to download and install Recuva Data Recovery on Windows
Recuva is a free data restoration software you can download from CCleaner’s Recuva web page by clicking the green Download button under “Free Recuva”. If the rcsetup123.exe file (numbers represent the current up-to-date version) does not appear shortly, you may have to either:
- Select a location manually in the “Save as” pop-up window
- Click the on-page start the download link to restart the download.
To install Recuva on your Windows computer, click the Install button after opening the rcsetup.exe file or click the Customize link below. You can now adjust the installation path, disable adding Recuva shortcuts to the right-click menu, and more.
Can Recuva restore files from SD cards and USB drives?
Yes, Recuva can restore files from USB/flash drives, SD cards, MP3 players, and other external memory storage devices connected to a Windows computer. They must be recognized by the system, meaning you may have to use an SD card reader or slot on your computer’s case.
Does Recuva work on Android?
Yes, Recuva can work on recovering data on Android devices, but its dedicated mobile application has been discontinued. Thus, you must use their desktop software to retrieve lost or deleted files from a mobile device. Additionally, Android data recovery using Recuva will usually only work in two cases:
- If you remove the SD card and plug it into a card reader connected to your Windows computer to scan the external memory
- When you connect your Android device to your Windows PC using a USB cable and scan its internal memory as a separate partition. This only works on older
2. Run Recuva to begin a data recovery scan
After you open Recuva for the first time, you have two options to start a data restoration scan:
1. Using Recuva Wizard to start scanning storage
If you want to use a beginner-friendly Recuva Wizard for scanning and restoration, do this:
- Click the Run Recuva button.
- Choose the Next > button.
- Select the file type you want to search for, then restore: All Files, Pictures, Music, Documents, Video, Compressed, or Emails. Click the Next > button again.
- Pick the location to search in before clicking Next > again. This can be:
- I’m not sure — This scans the whole computer
- Common locations such as removable drives (use this for SD cards, USB drives, or external HDDs), Recycle Bin, or My Documents
- Specific location — Provide a file path for a folder or partition
- After selecting Next > again, you can click the Start button to perform a quick search. If you have more time for a comprehensive inspection, put a checkmark in front of Enable Deep Scan first.
2. Begin a storage scan using Recuva Advanced mode
If you put a checkmark in front of “Do not show Wizard at startup” and click the Cancel button, you see the Advanced version of Recuva and can initiate a data restoration like this:
- Select the scanning location by clicking the upper left drop-down menu, Local Disk (X:) by default. Select All Local Disks for a full scan.
- Click the down arrow next to “Filename or path” to select the file type as in step 3 above.
- To run a Deep Scan, go to Options… → Actions tab → Put a checkmark in front of Deep Scan (increases scan time).
- If your drive suffered a format or damage, check the box in front of Scan for non-deleted files in the Actions tab.
- Click the down arrow next to the Scan button if you need an advanced search, Scan Contents. This lets you select file extensions or enter search strings.
3. Instructions to recover erased files using Recuva
The search results screen is identical for both scanning user interfaces. After the scan finishes, use Recuva to restore deleted or formatted data like this:
- Note the names of files Recuva found in the “Name” section, and the address they were discovered under “Path”. Put checkmarks in front of those you want to restore. The color of the circles in front of Recuva search results files signifies the chances of successful data recovery.
- Note. You can also highlight them but would have to right-click → select Recover Highlighted instead of step 4.
- Optional. Right-click anywhere on the list and switch from the default List View under “View Mode” to Tree View or Thumbnails View (useful for images and videos). You can also sort files by clicking on the column name.
- Click the Recover... button in the bottom right corner.
- Pick a location where the restored files will be copied. If you plan to run the scan again, pick an external drive. Click OK, then OK again after the success message.