[2024] How to Use PhotoRec to Recover Files on Windows PC

PhotoRec is a powerful tool for photo recovery tool. If you have no clear idea about how to use PhotoRec to recover files on Windows PC, this guide will come to help. You will also be given an easier way to perform data recovery.


By Demi / Updated on May 27, 2024

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As a companion recovery tool to TestDisk, PhotoRec is dedicated to helping you recover images from a variety of digital devices, including computers, cameras, cell phones, tablets, memory cards, external hard drives, and more.


If you just download the tool on your computer, you may feel confused about its command-line interface and don’t know how to use PhotoRec to recover files. This guide can come to do you a favor. Besides, an easy-to-use alternative to PhotoRec is also introduced in this guide to help you perform better data recovery.

How to use PhotoRec to recover deleted files

PhotoRec can help recover lost photos, videos, or documents that have been accidentally deleted or even completely destroyed by a virus or the system crashing. Keep reading this part to learn about how to use PhotoRec to recover encrypted files and deleted files on Windows PC.

Step 1. Download and launch PhotoRec on your computer > Use Up/Down arrow key to choose the disk you want to work with > Enter Proceed to confirm.

Choose Disk

Step 2. When you are given three options to choose from: Search, Options and File Opt, choose Search for data recovery > Press Enter to begin the file recovery process.

Choose Search

Step 3. PhotoRec requires knowing the file system type used to store the files in order to recover lost files. Select Other if the file system is not ext2, ext3, or ext4.

Choose File System

Step 4. Use Up/Down arrow keys to select a location to save the recovered files. Press C to start recovery.

Start Recovery

Easier way to recover data - MyRecover

Apparently, PhotoRec has an outdated command-line interface that calls for users to enter complex commands. As a result, for users who are not tech-savvy, recovering files with PhotoRec is kind of challenging. Since actions cannot be undone in PhotoRec, any wrongdoing could have disastrous effects on your other data. Therefore, it is recommended you utilize MyRecover, an easy-to use data recovery software for Windows.

PhotoRec vs. MyRecover

Why MyRecover outweighs PhotoRec? Let’s take an overview about the main features of MyRecover?

👍More user-friendly interface and operation. Just within three steps, MyRecover can help you recover deleted/lost files from disk, external hard drive, memory cards, cameras, and more.

👍 More file formats supported. PhotoRec is often not able to handle all kinds of file formats. While MyRecover is able to recover files from a wider range of file formats, which includes but is not limited to photos in JPG/JPEG, PNG, TIF, GIF, etc. format, as well as documents, videos, audio, archive, and so on.
👍 Faster and deeper scan process. With advanced scanning technology, the Quick Scan and Deep Scan helps recover your data without any omissions.
👍 Supports to recover files in specific folder. You cannot use PhotoRec to recover files from specific folders. But for MyRecover, you can be free to recover single file as per your need.

MyRecover is designed for all levels of users, including those new to computers, are meant to use it. Free download the powerful software on your computer and follow the steps in the next part to recover wanted files on your computer.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Three-step to recover lost files using MyRecover

If you need to recover files from SD card, USB, and so on, please connect it to your computer before following the steps below.

Step 1. Run MyRecover on your computer > Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.

Click Start Scan

Step 2. Wait for the software to scan and display all recoverable files. All your lost photos together with other types of files will be scanned and stored in different format folders as the picture shown below.

Select Files


To find particular recoverable file types and file sizes, click the Filter option in the top right corner. Additionally, you can perform a direct search for files and folders in the Search box for recovery.

Step 3. Choose all recoverable files you want to recover > Finally, Click Recover x files and choose a location to save these files.

Select A Saved Path


Hope you have clear idea about how to use PhotoRec to recover files now. Overall, it is an excellent program to retrieve and recover lost photos, but it needs certain techniques and may fail to recover some formats of files. For most users, MyRecover can be a better choice. Just one click then all the precious data will be found back!

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.