The Best Alternatives to Recuva (for Mac and Windows)

Utilities • Updated on Nov 4, 2021

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If you need an alternative to Recuva, you’re not alone. You’ve heard it’s one of the most popular data recovery software available for Windows. Unfortunately, however, there is no Mac version of Recuva, and it doesn’t mean better Windows options haven’t arrived!

Let’s review some highlights to show you why Recuva is so dang popular!

We’ll examine a few of its flaws and highlight its best alternative.

We know, we know..Recuva is great

Recuva is undoubtedly a valuable tool. This data recovery software allows you to restore files from hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, MP3 players(including the discontinued iPod), and other storage devices supported by FAT and NTFS file systems.

Recuva starts with a Wizard interface, which helps choose the options you’re likely to want and saves you the trouble of navigating the relatively complex option menus. If you don’t need the wizard, you can jump right into manual mode and get to work searching where you know the file should be


By default, Recuva runs a quick scan also only scans for deleted files. However, there are options for enabling the scan for non-deleted files or deep scan to find files on damaged or reformatted disks. Recuva also includes a tool to securely wipe files you find, handy if you’re attempting a file recovery just to ensure the files are dead and gone.

Additionally, there is no doubt Recuva is quite a no-cost/low-cost file recovery software. It offers both a free version and a low-cost $19.95 Professional version of its software. The Professional version adds premium support, automatic updates, optical media recovery, and virtual drive recovery. However, looking for Recuva alternatives is prudent for several reasons.

Why look for a Recuva alternative?

We like Recuva for its low cost, but take a moment to consider if it doesn’t recover the file you want, then its low price and convenience aren’t worth much at all.

But if Recuva does the job, why look for an alternative at all?

Well, just because something works doesn’t mean it’s the best. There’s always room for improvement. A competitive market is a major feature of what fuels innovation. As handy as Recuva can be, the market has brought some tough competition through tools like Stellar Data Recovery and Recoverit.

Recuva offers a decent set of features for its price tag. Not bad. But several advanced features commonly available with other data recovery platforms aren’t offered by Recuva. The biggest miss is that Recuva Pro can’t recover lost partitions. Another issue is Recuva can’t recover as many files as a high-priced data recovery service from another vendor. Also, Recuva for Mac does not exist. Recuva data recovery is only available for Windows.

With these problems at hand, many turn to Recuva’s competitors. In the end, add that the installer of Recuva might try to add other programs to your computer. But then the question becomes: which one? Which recovery software should you be using, and what should you look for in a Recuva alternative.

What should you look for in a Recuva alternative?

The number of data recovery tools available numbers in the dozens. To find the best Recuva alternative, we used the following criteria. Specifically, the options must:

  • Designed with easy to understand interfaces.
  • Fast and thorough scans.
  • Can recover test files we created and deleted.
  • Can provide more robust data recovery.
  • Offer a free trial version.

Further, we considered what people like about Recuva and what features they wish Recuva alternative had. Special feature considerations:

  • Scan by file type (Make it easy to sort through recovered content and thumbnail preview)
  • Lost partition recovery.
  • Optical storage recovery.
  • Offer Mac and Windows versions.

For most users: Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery

After testing several popular apps, our favorite pick is Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery, due not only to its lovely wizard and exceptional performance but because its feature list easily outpaces the competition.

Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery is a solution to all your data loss problems. It starts at $99 for a lifetime license and comes ready for Windows OS and macOS.

The software claims it thoroughly scans (formatted, deleted, or damaged) volumes and finds all the lost data such as documents, emails, pictures, audio and video, and other files. After scanning, the software displays all the recoverable files and folders in a tree view. It can also recover data from optical discs and supports all CD / DVD formats and common file systems such as ISO 9660, Joliet, UDF, HFS, and Rock Ridge.

Well, let’s review the Mac version and find out the accuracy of this claim.


The new Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery features a simple and elegant graphical user interface (GUI) that feels good to the eyes. You can either select to recover everything on the main screen or customize your scan by toggling On desired file types. These option names are self-explanatory, and we think we don’t need to tell about their functions.



Stellar Phoenix claims on its official website that the app can recover your deleted or lost data from the hard drive or external storage media connected to the system. Almost all volume data can be found by performing recovery on the selected volume or removable media. HFS, HFS+, NTFS, FAT, FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT file systems are supported by the application.


The latest version is equipped with a Deep Scan option for performing a comprehensive scan. From our test, to produce the greatest number of results, we opt for Deep Scan. Now’s the time-consuming part. After about 9 minutes, Stellar Phoenix again returned with scanning completed results below.


Since it has already found 19GB of data, we decided to stop the scan from getting an idea how these files look like.

All files and folders found in the scanned volume or removable media are shown in a tree structure. And a nice feature here is Quicklook which will allow you to quickly view a picture, document, listen to a song, or playback a video (as long as it’s under 100MB, which would have to be a pretty short video) before deciding if this is the file you want to recover.

The selected files will be recovered and saved at the specified location. After done, the utility identified and retrieved approximately 18GB of files. We’re very content with the results. That’s a five-star option right there!

In addition to these…

Stellar Phoenix data recovery is backed by competent algorithms that can successfully restore permanently deleted data. The utility also supports recovery from encrypted disks, Time Machine backups (including Apple’s Time Capsule), and Boot Camp partitions.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Stellar Data Recovery doesn’t support data recovery from storage media enabled by iOS or Android mobile operating systems. It only supports HFS+, FAT, NTFS based storage devices. That means you can’t use it to recover data from iPhones, iPads, or Android devices. Instead, you may have to use third-party apps like iPhone Data Recovery software, etc.

To sum things up

Having said that, the Stellar Phoenix data recovery tool (see detailed review) can deliver a great performance. You can try its demo version(Windows version or Mac version), find your file using the preview option, and pay for the actual recovery. We like there’s a cheaper “home” edition($59), but its inability to recover files from lost partitions and RAW storage means it won’t help you out with one of the most common data loss scenarios.

We’d particularly encourage you to consider the Professional version. Admittedly, they cost more, but they’re worth it, and at $89.99 (for 1 year), Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery is definitely stellar!

For beginners: Wondershare Recoverit

Wondershare’s Recoverit is another prevalent choice for data recovery. It can help you recover over 1000+ different file types from any storage drive. The app is easy to use, has a clean UI, and recovers files quickly without any lag.

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It also includes features such as a “Video Repair” mode that can help you scan and recover your lost or deleted videos and also repair them. The repairing process uses complex algorithms to piece together various fragments of the video files and then render them out as a single video.

It also supports Mac and Windows devices and also allows you to preview the lost file to see what it looks like before attempting recovery. This comes in quite handy and can help you recover the files you want and save a lot of time.

Hence, it is perfect for beginners as the overall UI is easy to use and understand, and it helps recover data from a drive with great success. However, this comes at a great expense, and the biggest takeaway from the app – the price tag. The essential version costs $70 for a yearly subscription, and if you need all the tools, it quickly climbs up to $100, which is very expensive.

For a free alternative: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free

Last but not least, we have EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. While it has a strong following of pro users, the real advantage lies in its free app. This is due to the 2 GB limit of data recovery, which is a massive increase from the other free apps that only provide 100 MB of data to be recovered.


So, if you want to use free software that is excellent at what it does, then EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free version is the way to go. While you can only recover data up to 2 GB, it does work smoothly and effectively.

You can scan through all the files on your storage drives in one go and get all the missing data. However, we would recommend using this only if you have lost something under 2 GB and can be recovered quickly. Still, if you want to recover more files, we recommend checking EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro out as it is one of the best premium apps for recovering data.

For a professional data recovery service: DriveSavers

Assuming that none of the apps worked for you and that you are still looking to get your data back somehow. A great way to help you out with the problem is by using the DriveSavers Data Recovery service.

They physically recover data from the drive, and it may be the last option that could help you out. The DriveSavers engineers are verified and can even get through and recover data from encrypted drives. Their recovery rate is great, they are available 24×7, and they are also ISO certified. You can schedule a free evaluation, and after that, you can check their website and schedule the drive pickup with relative ease.

However, if your hard drive is beyond repair, then we would suggest just getting a new drive. This is due to the recovery procedure’s high costs that start at $700 and can quickly climb up to thousands of dollars depending on the drive.

Tips for recovering data for various scenarios

The Data recovery process can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools. However, if you want to get your data back with relative success, then consider following these suggestions.

  • Avoid using your PC or Mac computer after losing any data to stop overwriting data.
  • Use a Data Recovery tool to recover data as soon as you lose any file.
  • Consider the recovery rate, ease of use, and compatibility before using a Data Recovery tool.
  • Always keep a backup of your essential files.
  • Install apps from verified sources and keep your computer clean from malware and spyware.


Which is the best recovery software for photos?

While there are many recovery software that can help recover photos, choosing the best one can get a little challenging. So, we ran our tests and found out that Stellar Data Recovery and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard are some of the best recovery apps for photos.

What is the most powerful data recovery software?

Recuva has been the industry standard for many years, but the most powerful data recovery software that we came across for both Windows and Mac users is Stellar Data Recovery. It has all the tools you can expect, and it works quickly to restore data effectively and efficiently.

What is the best free hard drive recovery software?

The best free hard drive recovery software that we came across is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It can recover up to 2 GB of lost files and is perfect for recovering small files. It also supports deep scans and can even load up the last scan result for easier management.

Should you still get Recuva?

Once you’ve recovered as many of your missing files as you can, your very next concern should almost certainly be to do your best to make sure that you never lose another file again.

While nothing is ever guaranteed, of course, for extra security, you may consider backing up your data to the cloud so that even a disaster that destroys all your local hardware won’t wipe out your data. For this additional peace of mind, you’ll want an online cloud backup service.

Other than that, Recuva has already been a great option, but with tools such as Stellar Data Recovery and Wondershare Recoverit, the decision becomes a little different. So, we would highly recommend you check the apps out as they have brilliant recovery algorithms and will help you get a lot of data back quickly and effectively.

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