PhotoRec for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 7.1
  • 3.8

  • (88)
  • Security Status

Softonic review

Chantelle van Heerden
Chantelle van HeerdenUpdated 6 months ago

Recover Lost Pictures

Photo Rec is a recovery tool for photos that lets you retrieve images that have been lost from all kinds of digital devices such as computers, digital cameras, cell phones, tablets, memory cards, external hard drives, CDs, and more. The program can also retrieve photos which are corrupted, making this app compatible in cases where there were viruses or computer malfunctions.

What does PhotoRec do?

A system failure or a virus attack on a digital device is brutal for those who store valuable pictures there.  While other retrieving software is able to gather all kinds of files, sometimes corrupted pictures can remain lost or unattainable. This is where PhotoRec comes in. The program is a digital photo recovery tool that lets you retrieve images and photos from all kinds of devices, despite system or file corruption. 

The program also has an online checker to see if the images can be restored. The online checker and program overall are easy to use, given its user-friendly interface. Using PhotoRec, you can restore destroyed photos, and save them to a new, safe location. The program retrieves lost, corrupted, or deleted files from FAT, NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, and ext2/ext3/ext4 filesystem.

The program is free and open-source. It uses text-based data recovery techniques to get the lost files from a system. The program looks for data fragments and finds files by piecing those fragments together. Even though the name suggests that the program retrieves only images, the program can also work for other file formats well. It is a universal retrieval tool for any kind of lost files.

How do you use PhotRec?

While it is fairly intuitive to use PhotoRec, here are some steps to use PhotoRec:

Step 1: Download the software launcher and run then it on the system.

Step 2: Select the disk location where you would like to create a partition for the recovered files. Choose the “free” option for the program to pick out deleted or unlisted files from the system.

Step 3: Choose the “File Format” option, to select the type of files you would like to recover. The program can read files with a number of formats, including Canon .CR2, Nikon .NEF, Pentax .PEF, Fuji .RAF, etc. Sony .SR2 files are gathered under the single “tif” tag, which also includes the .DNG and .TIFF among others.

Step 4: Select the export folder where the recovered files will be stored. Finally, click “search” to scan for files which have been lost or deleted. Make sure to create the export folder in a device or media that is not corrupted or in the same place from which you are recovering the data.

Who is PhotoRec for?

PhotoRec is fairly easy for anyone to use. The program works exceptionally well, though, for professional photographers or people who deal with large sets of photo data. The program helps recover and even repair images that have been lost on devices and storage spaces where a large number of files were stored. Those in need of retrieving videos and documents may also stand to benefit from this title. 

What are the main advantages of PhotoRec?

PhotoRec is a digital photo recovery tool, which retrieves lost photos, videos, or documents. The software is an excellent tool for retrieving photos that have been deleted accidentally or even destroyed due to a virus or the system crashing. A big advantage is that the software can retrieve photos and pictures not just from a computer system but from sources like cell phones, tablets, memory cards, digital cameras, SLRs, external hard drives, and more. 

The program is intuitive and while it works best for people who deal with a large number of files, anyone can use it to retrieve the files. You don’t need to be an expert at software or computer systems to be able to use this program.

Finally, the program is free and open-source.

What are the disadvantages of PhotoRec?

PhotoRec does not retrieve all file formats and often is not able to handle all kinds of file formats. Other programs like TestDisk or Recuva are able to recover files from a wider range of file formats. Similarly, other alternatives to the program like Easeus, Disk Drill, and Foremost can do the job.

Lastly, recovery with PhotoRec is not instantaneous. Depending on the number of files the program needs to scan and recover, it can take many hours to recover all files.

What’s the final verdict on PhotoRec?

Overall, PhotoRec is an excellent program to retrieve and recover lost photos from all kinds of devices including computers, cell phones, memory cards, external hard drives, digital cameras and more. PhotoRec is easy to use, free, and available to download from a number of sources. PhotoRec is a true lifesaver when you find yourself with a large number of lost or corrupted photo files. It is definitely worth the download. 


  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive interface
  • Can retrieve images from various devices


  • Sometimes not able to retrieve all formats of files

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

PhotoRec for PC

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 7.1
  • 3.8

  • (88)
  • Security Status

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