Guide: Recommended Open Source File Recovery Software

Get three recommended open source file recovery software on this page. And you can also get the top 1 data recovery software to recover deleted/lost files with ease.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Is there totally free file recovery software?

In computing, data recovery is to salvage deleted, lost, corrupted, damaged, formatted, or inaccessible data from secondary storage or removable media.

When it comes to data recovery, those non-tech users have no recourse but to seek help from professional data recovery tools.


I have an external HDD from which I’m trying to recover data. I have downloaded and run several data recovery software, but I seek advice before paying. Thus, is there open source file recovery software that can help me? Thanks.

Are you looking for suitable open source data recovery software like the above user? If it happens to be your case, perhaps you can find your needed open source file recovery software in this guide.

Three recommended open source file recovery software

But how to select reliable open source file recovery software? If you need, please refer to these judging criteria.

▶Features: Powerful or multifunction features are the decisive factor for selection. Moreover, users can make a flexible choice based on its rich features.

▶Compatibility: As a friendly data recovery tool, it can support all disk-based storage devices and be compatible with different file systems.

▶Friendliness: Offer an intuitive graphical user interface and easy-to-follow operating steps, which can enhance users’ experience.

In this case, there’s three recommended open source file recovery software for you.

Recommended 1. PhotoRec (Windows, Mac & Linux)

PhotoRec is a free and open source data recovery utility with a text-based user interface that can recover lost files from hard disk, digital camera memory, and CD-ROM drives.



  • Recover JPEG, Office, PDF, ZIP, HTML files.
  • Recover files over 480 file extensions (about 300 file families).
  • Be compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Sun Solaris.
  • Support FAT, exFAT, NTFS, MFT, ext2/ext3/ext4.


  • The interface might be changeling for beginners to understand and use.

Recommended 2. TestDisk (Windows, Mac & Linux)

Designed to recover lost partitions and repair corrupted file systems, TestDisk is another free and open source file recovery software. Besides, it also can rebuild partition tables or rewrite the master boot record (MBR).



  • Repair MFT and FAT tables.
  • No need to reinstall anything.
  • Support DOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SunOS, and MacOS.
  • Support FAT, exFAT, NTFS, MFT, ext2/ext3/ext4.


  • Users will be asked to use a command-line interface.

Recommended 3. FreeRecover (Windows)

FreeRecover is the free open source data recovery program, which can work well with NTFS file systems.


  • Preview and search your desired deleted files.
  • With a simple user interface graphical, even non-tech users can operate it with ease.


  • FreeRecover needs .NET Framework to run on your system.

Why you need to use open file recovery software?

After accidental deletion, you can go to the Recycle Bin to restore them. However, if you press “Shift + Delete” to remove some files, where do deleted files go?

Let’s take computers for instance. After permanent deletion, although the Windows OS cannot locate them, they’re still on your Windows PC before data coverage.

What is erased is the bit of information that points to the location of the file on the hard drive. As long as the newly added data hasn’t overwritten the permanently deleted files, you can still get them back.

That’s why you need to ask for help from data recovery software. Naturally, you can also use open source data recovery software with a tight budget.

Use MyRecover to recover deleted/lost files with ease

As you can see, the above graphical user interfaces may discourage non-tech users from using them.

In this scenario, why not give MyRecover a shot? This more user-friendly software can exempt you from the above disadvantages. Let’s tap into key features.   

Functionalities & compatibility:
Recover the deleted/lost Word documents, Excel, PPT, PDF, Photos, Videos, Audio, folder, compressed files, and 200+ types of data from HDD, USB, SD cards, etc.
Retain the original path, filename, and format for the deleted files.   
During scanning, you can search your needed files by typing their filenames in the search bar or wait to find all the deleted and other lost files on your computers after Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers to get your desired files back.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Launch this software on your PC, and hover the mouse over the partition/disk that includes your desired files. Then click Scan.


Step 2. You can search for your needed files or wait to see all the deleted and missing files.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Other Missing Files folder, and select the files you want. Then click “Recover x files” to get your selected files back. Please store these recovered files in a new location.


In the end

This post shares three efficient open source file recovery software with you. Those users who are good at computers can try one of them.

If you’re not proficient in computers, you can attempt to recover deleted/lost files using MyRecover. There’s no need for you to recover deleted files using CMD with a GUI.

Only regular backups are the best data loss prevention measure. Suppose you don’t want to suffer the second damage. In that case, it’s time for you to make regular backups via this free backup software, AOMEI Backupper.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.