Did you accidentally delete important photos from your Windows computer and now looking for a free photo recovery software? Finding an effective free photo recovery program from the innumerable choices available online can be stressful. Also, it’s difficult to ascertain if the free software is secure or not for your Windows laptop or desktop.
Here we have identified the Top 14 Free Photo Recovery Software for Windows and Mac that are 100% reliable. You can easily retrieve pictures lost/ deleted pictures from hard drive, camera card, or other external storage devices, with the help of these free tools.
Table of Content:
Checklist when using a free photo recovery software
Top 14 Free Photo Recovery Software 2022
- Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition
- Remo Recover Free Edition
- MiniTool Data Recovery Free
- Disk Drill Free Photo Recovery
- EaseUS Free Data Recovery
- Recoverit Free Data Recovery
- iCare Data Recovery Free
- Windows File Recovery
- PhotoRec Data Recovery
- Gihosoft RePicvid
- Lexar Recovery Tool
- SanDisk RescuePRO
- Exif Untrasher
Choosing a free photo recovery software — Here's a Checklist
Freely accessible recovery tools for PC or Mac may bring with them security risk. To protect your system from bugs or virus and performance issues, its important to practice caution when downloading a free photo recovery software. Here's the useful checklist, based on which you should pick a free photo recovery software.
1. Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition (Windows & Mac)
Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition recovers deleted photos from all types of storage devices on Windows and Mac computer. The photo recovery software can restore from formatted, corrupted, and virus-infected hard drives, memory cards, SD cards, pen drives, CF cards, and others. The software has a straightforward and user-friendly interface that is fast to recover. It shows preview of the recoverable pictures before saving them.
The free version of Stellar Photo Recovery can restore photos from all brands of DSLR, camcorders, smartphone, iPhone, drone, etc. It supports recovery of uncompressed RAW image files from Fuji, Olympus, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and other digital cameras. You can recover JPEG, PNG, GIF, RAW, CR2, SR2, REF, NEF, DNG, KDC, etc. It can scan and recover pictures from FAT16, exFAT, FAT32, NTFS, and NTFS5 Windows file systems.
Stellar Photo Recovery is different from other free tools as it offers advanced features, such as Deep Scan for comprehensive search of drives; customized file recovery options; create image of corrupt drive; save scan, resume recovery later; dual monitor support, and more. The software can also recover deleted videos and audio files.
Stellar Photo Recovery is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7, macOS Big Sur 11, Catalina 10.15, Mojave 10.14/10.13/10.12/10.11.
This user-friendly photo recovery program comes from Stellar, a globally-admired data care enterprise providing an array of data recovery and repair utilities such as free data recovery software for Windows, iPhone, Mac, and more.
- Recovers up to 10 photos for free
- Recovers with original date and timestamp
- Recovers RAW camera files
- Deep scan available in free version
- Recovers from BitLocker-encrypted drives
- Limited number of file recovery in free version
2. Remo Recover Free Edition (Windows)
Remo Recover Free Edition restores deleted or lost photos from Windows computer, camera memory card, USB, iPod, pen drive, etc.
The software is simple and recovers pictures of popular file formats, including JPEG, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, etc. You can use the software in cases of accidental deletion, emptied Recycle Bin, formatting, etc. Remo Recover Free Edition supports FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5, and exFAT Windows file systems. Additionally, Remo Recover offers ‘Save Recovery Session’ option to continue recovery later anytime and ‘Create Image’ of bad sector drive. It allows you to save the recovered photos in the Windows drive or CD/DVD.
However, the free version is slow and often fails to recover high-quality RAW files from digital cameras.
The software supports Windows 10/8/8.1/7, Vista, XP, Windows server 2008, and Windows 2003.
- Recovers up to 1GB of photos for free
- Recovers photos from all drives and cameras
- Recovers documents, videos, audio, etc.
- Preview of recoverable photos absent
- Very slow to scan and recover
- Deep Scan feature absent in free version
- Customized recovery absent
3. MiniTool Data Recovery Free (Windows)
MiniTool Free Data Recovery is an uncomplicated software for free photo recovery. It has a straightforward user-interface that helps to easily restore deleted photos from storage drives. You can pause, resume or stop the scanning process in between. The scan results are sorted on a file type basis. It can restore JPG, JPEG, TIFF, ARW, PSP, PNG, GIF, DCR, DNG, PSD, BMP, CRW, etc. Plus, the software can recover videos and audio files.
The MiniTool free recovery software is useful in situations of file deletion, virus attack, drive failure, etc. You can save only 1GB of recoverable photos in the free version.
The software is available for Windows 10/8/8.1/7.
- Recovers up to 1GB of photos
- User-friendly GUI
- Recovers video and audio files
- Slow scanning process
- Doesn’t recover photos with the original file name
- No extra features
4. Disk Drill Free Photo Recovery (Windows & Mac)
Disk Drill is one of the reliable free photo recovery software. It can recover almost all popular image file types, including JPEG, HEIC, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSP, PSD, DNG, and AI.
But Disk Drill lacks a wide RAW file format support. It can only restore RAW files from Canon, Nikon, and GoPro cameras. Disk Drill is compatible with NTFS, FAT, and exFAT file systems. Along with Quick Scan, it has an option of Deep Scan that helps in a thorough search of the drive for maximum recovery. The software can reinstate deleted or lost photos from Windows hard drives, SD cards, SDXC, SDHC, camera cards, USB, and iPods. It can recover photos from formatted and corrupted Windows drives as well.
The user interface is simple and easy to use. The free version of Disk Drill lets you save up to 500MB of lost photos. The software supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. The macOS supports Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra and below.
- Recover photos up to 500MB
- Recovers popular image types
- Allows preview photos before recovery
- Limited RAW files support
- Slow scanning process
5. EaseUS Free Data Recovery (Windows & Mac)
The free edition of EaseUS data recovery software is apt to recover deleted photos of any file type. You can recover RAF, DNG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, RAW, CRW, CR2, and NEF, etc., file types from any Windows hard drive and external storage media. The GUI is user-friendly. The preview option for the recoverable pictures is present. EaseUs photo recovery supports FAT, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, and EXT2/EXT file system.
The software algorithms allow you to restore pictures lost due to accidental deletion, corruption, emptied Recycle Bin, formatting, or improper file transfer.
The software is available for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, macOS Big Sur, 10.15/ 10.14/10.13 and below.
- Recovers up to 2GB photos for free
- Previews files before saving
- Photos not recovered by their original name
6. Recoverit Free Data Recovery (Windows & Mac)
The free version of Recoverit Data Recovery for Windows is a secure tool for recovery of lost photos from Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. It has limited macOS support of macOS Sierra (Fuji), El Capitan (Gala), and Yosemite (Syrah). The software works in various photo loss situations, such as formatting, virus infection, drive corruption, or OS crash. It supports photo recovery from Windows hard drives and external storage media. Recoverit supports FAT, FAT32, NTFS, ReFS, and other file formats.
You can restore digital photos shot with any DSLR, drone, or Android phone. The file formats from Fuji, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, etc., can be recovered using the software.
It can retrieve deleted JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF/TIF, PNG, CRW, CR2, NEF, PSD, ORF, RAF, SR2, MRW, DCR, WMF, etc.
- Recovers up to 100 MB photos for free
- Recovers RAW files from popular brands
- Preview option available
- Doesn’t allow to save scan and resume recovery later
7. Recuva (Windows)
Recuva is one of the most liked freeware program to undelete photos from hard drives, SD cards, flash drives, pen drive, etc. More so because it provides unlimited file recovery, unlike other free software. Recuva Data Recovery can get back your photos after deletion, emptied Recycle Bin, and formatting. You can recover JPEG, PNG, GIF, and RAW image file types. The software supports Windows 10/8/7, Vista, and XP.
- Unlimited photo file recovery
- Recovers photos, videos, and documents
- No software updates
- Unable to load photos preview
- Cannot recover photos from corrupt drives
8. iCare Data Recovery Free (Windows)
Another tool that lets you recover any number of photos is iCare Data Recovery Free. It recovers photos from various kinds of hard drives, SD cards, USB thumb drive, pen drive, etc. You can restore permanently deleted photos and videos, audio files, documents, and emails from Windows PC using the software. It supports FAT, FAT32, EXFAT, NTFS, NTFS5 file system.
Unlike most other recovery tools, you don’t need to install iCare Data Recovery Free on your system. You can use it online. Also, it’s fully compatible with Windows 10/8.1/7/Vista/XP/2000.
- Recovers unlimited photos
- Recovers over 600 file types
- Deep Scan feature absent
- Doesn’t support Windows Server recovery
9. Windows File Recovery (Windows)
Microsoft offers its own file recovery software — Windows File Recovery. It is a free recovery tool for Windows 10 version 2004. It can recover deleted JPEG, PDF, and PNG file types from hard drive, USB drive, memory cards, SD cards, or SSD. Plus, you can use it restore Office files, ZIP, MP3, MPEG, MP4, ZIP, and files.
The software supports NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems. You can download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store.
- Recovers unlimited photos
- Supports recovery from digital cameras
- Not easy to use
- No photo preview available
- Recovers a few file types
- Cannot recover RAW image files
10. PhotoRec Data Recovery (Windows & Mac)
PhotoRec is an open-source software to retrieve photos, videos, documents, etc., from Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Windows Server 2016/2012/2008/2003, and macOS X. It supports deleted photo recovery from hard drives, SD cards, SmartMedia, Microdrive, USB flash drives, etc. it can recover photos from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Pentax, and other digital cameras.
The software can efficiently function in situation of deletion, formatting, drive corruption, file system corruption. The photo recovery tool can restore photos from exFAT, FAT, EXT2/EXT3/EXT4, and NTFS file system.
- Recovers unlimited photos
- Works on formatted and corrupt drives
- GUI is not user-friendly
- Cannot recover RAW image file formats
11. Gihosoft RePicvid (Windows & Mac)
The free version of Gihosoft RePicvid photo recovery software recovers deleted photos from hard disk, SSD, SD card, memory card, USB drive, pen drive, etc. With the RePicvid free tool, there’s no limit on the number of files or size recovery. The software retrieves any number of deleted JPG/JPEG, TIFF, RAW, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD, CRW, CR2, SR2, MRW, DCR, NEF, ORF, RAF, and other formats.
With RePicvid, you can get back lost photos shot with a camcorder, DSLR, digital camera, Android, Tablet, etc., of almost all known brands, be it Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, or others. The software rarely disappoints users who have lost pictures due to formatting, partition loss, virus attack, OS crash, etc. However, unlike other free tools, RePicvid free version doesn’t support video, audio, or other file recovery.
Gihosoft RePicvid is compatible with Windows XP to Windows10, macOS X Yosemite, 10.9, 10.8, 10.7, and 10.6.
- Unlimited photo recovery
- Preview photos before saving
- Free lifetime update
- Cannot recover videos and audio
- Slow scanning
- Doesn’t support the latest Windows 11 and macOS Monterey
12. Lexar Recovery Tool (Windows)
Lexar Recovery Tool is an uncomplicated free recovery software that replaced the company’s previous Lexar Image Rescue software. The new Lexar Recovery Tool is for USB flash drives, SD cards, and hard drives deleted photo recovery.
The software can recover deleted JPEG, JPG, TIFF, PNG, CR2, SRW, DNG, ORF, RAF, and other image file formats used in digital cameras, SLRs, DSLRs, etc. In addition, you can retrieve photos, videos, and audio captured from surveillance cameras, drones, and dashcams. The software supports recovery from popular imaging brands, such as Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Samsung, DJI, Mavic, Midrive D02, PaPaGo dashcam, Gosafe 560, MiNi, Philips, and others.
This free recovery tool by Lexar works in all situations, such as accidental deletion, formatting, partition loss, and file system header corruption. The software supports FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS file systems, and also helps you format various storage drives.
- Recoverable photos preview available
- Recovers RAW photos from popular cameras
- Recovers documents, videos, and audio
- Limited features
- Slow scanning
13. SanDisk RescuePRO- (Windows and Mac)
SanDisk RescuePRO recovery software is often bundled free with SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC, SDHC,or CFexpress cards. It can recover various file formats such as GIF, JPEG, ARW, BMP, CR2, CRW, DCR, ERF, MOV, MP4, MP3, AVI, and more. The software can restore image files from GoPro, Canon, DJI, Nikon, Sony, and other well-known cameras. It also supports RAW images recovery at full size and resolution.
Beside photos, the free data recovery software can get back deleted videos, audio, documents, and other file types from SmartMedia, CompactFlash, MMC, Memory Stick, SD Cards, PCMCIA, Microdrive, VideoCD, DVD, etc. Plus, RescuePRO has SD card wiping and backup image creation features.
- Unlimited photo recovery
- Recovers RAW image formats
- Recovers videos, audio, documents, etc.
- Do not recover 2D/3D vector graphics
- Hard drive recovery absent
- GUI is not straightforward
14. Exif Untrasher (Mac)
Mac users who have deleted or lost their JPEG photos can try Exif Untrasher recovery tool. The free photo recovery for macOS can restore deleted JPEG from memory cards used in DSLRs, SLRs, smartphones, etc. Exif Untrasher is a light program that is quick to install. It is compatible with macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, OS X El Capitan, and OS X Yosemite.
However, JPEG recovery is not a few clicks away with Exif Untrasher. First, you must create an image of the storage disk from which the files need to be recovered. Once the disk image is created, you can restore photos from it using the software. However, creating image of the drive every time makes the photo recovery process cumbersome. Further, many users reported that Exif Untrasher is not effective on large SD cards.
Although a completely free photo recovery tool, happy users often make random donations to the developer.
- Unlimited JPEG files recovery
- Free Mac JPEG recovery
FAQ – Free Photo Recovery software
1. Which is the best free photo recovery software?
Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition is the best photo recovery software that provides quick recovery of all image file types. It works in almost all data loss situations. Plus, the free tool has several advanced features.
2. How to recovery photos from corrupt camera cards for free?
Not all free photo recovery tools are capable to restore from corrupt SD cards. Get Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition that can retrieve photos and videos from camera memory cards that are corrupted.
3. How can I recover photos from Android SD card free?
The best free photo recovery software can restore deleted pictures from Android SD cards. You need to connect the Android SD card to computer via USB cable to recover its photos.
4. Can I recover permanently deleted photos using the free photo recovery?
Most of the free photo recovery tools can restore pictures permanently deleted or those emptied from Recycle Bin from computer hard drives and external storage media. The ‘Deep Scan’ feature ensures photo recovery in any tough data loss situation.
14 Free Photo Recovery Software —Comparison Table
|Free Recovery Limit||Supported Formats||Formatted/Corrupt Drive Recovery||Preview|
|Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition||Up to 10 photos (1GB)||JPEG, PNG,TIFF, HEIC, GIF, RAW, CR2, SR2, REF, NEF, DNG, KDC, etc.||Yes||Yes|
|Remo Recover Free Edition||1GB||ARW, NEF, KDC, K25, NRW, J6I, CR2, DNG, CRW, MRW, SR2, ORF, PEF, RAW, RAF etc.||Cannot recover from corrupted drive.||Yes|
|MiniTool Data Recovery Free||1GB||JPG, JPEG, TIFF, ARW, PSP, PNG, GIF, DCR, DNG, PSD, BMP, CRW, etc||Yes||Yes|
|Disk Drill Free Photo Recovery||500MB||JPEG, HEIC, JPG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSP, PSD, DNG, and AI.||Yes||Yes|
|EaseUS Free Data Recovery||2GB||RAF, DNG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, RAW, CRW, CR2, and NEF, etc.||Yes||Yes|
|Recoverit Free Data Recovery||100 MB||JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF/TIF, PNG, CRW, CR2, NEF, PSD, ORF, RAF, SR2, WMF, etc.||Yes||Yes|
|Recuva||Unlimited recovery||JPEG, PNG, GIF, and RAW||No||Preview loading issue|
|iCare Data Recovery Free||Unlimited recovery||JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GF, etc.||No||Yes|
|Windows File Recovery||Unlimited recovery||JPEG, PNG RAW files recovery absent||No||No|
|PhotoRec Data Recovery||Unlimited recovery||JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF/TIF, PNG, etc.||No||No|
|Gihosoft RePicvid||Unlimited recovery||JPG/JPEG, TIFF, RAW, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD, CRW, CR2, SR2, etc.||Yes||Yes|
|Lexar Recovery Tool||Unlimited recovery||JPEG, JPG, TIFF, PNG, CR2, SRW, DNG, ORF, RAF, etc.||Cannot recover from corrupted drive||Yes|
|SanDisk RescuePRO||Unlimited recovery||GIF, JPEG, ARW, BMP,CR2, CRW, DCR, ERF, etc||Cannot recover from corrupted internal HDD||Yes|
|Exif Untrasher||Unlimited recovery||JPEG||Cannot recover from corrupted drive||No|
When you don’t want to spend on a professional recovery tool, try the above free best photo recovery software for Windows and Mac computers. The free image recovery programs are capable to get back your lost or deleted pictures. You can recover your valuable photos in JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, RAW, and other formats from digital cameras and storage devices.
However, mostly free programs offer limited or no extra features. But some tools like Stellar Photo Recovery Free Edition do provide more outstanding features and perform like a pro.