PhotoRec Review: A Non-fancy but Free Recovery Tool

2023-02-20 17:42:47
0 views, 5 min read

When it comes to accidental deletion or accidental file loss due to various reasons, many people may have a familiar sense. When hundreds of precious files, even including some with sensitive information get lost, it can be a headache trying to retrieve them. And this is especially true if you don't have a habit of using cloud storage or haven't backed up any of them.

In such cases, a piece of data recovery software is necessary as there is no way to recover the lost data manually. PhotoRec is one data recovery tool in the market, but does it really work? Read on and find the answer in this post.

Part 1. A Full PhotoRec Review: Is It Worth Trying?

Although PhotoRec is primarily targeted at those who own DSLR cameras, in fact this free recovery tool allows every user to recover files from a large number of devices. Whether you are looking to retrieve files from a digital camera, a USB drive, a memory card, or a hard disk drive, PhotoRec has you covered. This software works with a wide range of operating systems and proves to be a great contender in the multimedia recovery field.

1. Pros & Cons of PhotoRec


Completely free to use and open-source.

Works with a great variety of storage devices.

Supports a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Mac.

Recovers multiple kinds of files: ZIP files, Office documents, HTML files, graphic files, etc.


Weak customer support.

Outdated graphical interface with a basic command-line aesthetic. Not user-friendly to those who are not tech-savvy.

2. Is PhotoRec Safe to Use?

Yes, PhotoRec is safe to use as the files that the program recovers are written into the very directory that the PhotoRec program is run from. This ensures that you will never overwrite any drive, external device, or memory medium (memory stick, flash drives, USB) you are recovering files from.

3. How to Use PhotoRec

Follow these instructions to learn how to use PhotoRec:

Step 1: First, download, install and launch PhotoRec on your computer. Run the program as administrator.


Step 2: Use Up/Down arrow keys to choose the disk you wish to work with and then press Enter.

3 options

Step 3: Now there will be four options to choose from, i.e. Search, Options, File Opt and Quit. For data recovery, select Search to proceed.

Step 4: Next, you need to select a partition of the hard drive which you wish to scan deleted files. The information of the file system will be required. Choose Other unless the file system is ext2, ext3, or ext4.

Step 5: Once you have selected the partition, you have two options to choose from, i.e. Free and Whole. Choose the Free option if you wish to recover your deleted files or select the Whole option if the file system is corrupted.

free or whole

Step 6: Next, choose the folder/directory where your files were located before deletion. Use Up/Down arrow keys to navigate to the folder of your choice.

Step 7: Once you have selected the folder, the restoring process will begin. Wait for it to complete.

restore files


After the files are recovered, it's best to scan the recovered files with antivirus/anti-malware program as PhotoRec might have restored some Trojans.

Part 2. The Best Alternative to PhotoRec - iMyFone AnyRecover

As is shown above, PhotoRec has some "deadly" shortcomings, among which the outdated interface requiring complex operating steps is the most obvious one. This disadvantage poses obstacles to common users who have no technical knowledge, due to which many users may waste much time during the recovery process and may even fail to get the lost data back. If you are looking for an easy but effective method to solve data loss issues, we've got the best alternative to PhotoRec for you - iMyFone AnyRecover.

1. A Comparison of PhotoRec and AnyRecover

Recovery Rate
Scanning Speed
Deep Scan
Recycle Bin Recovery
Preview Files
Multiple Files Supported
External Devices Supported
Scan Specific File Type
Easy to Use

2. How to Recover Lost Files Using AnyRecover (Win 11 Supported)

AnyRecover is top-class data recovery tool designed to help users with any kinds of data loss problems in various situations. Whatever the problem you are faced with is - emptied trash, accidentally deleted data, partition error, system crash, corrupted/formatted device, or any others, AnyRecover is capable of fixing it for you with only 3 simple steps. Both Windows and Mac versions are available (Windows 11 supported).


AnyRecover Key features include:

  • Recover lost data in various scenarios with an extremely high success rate and fast speed.
  • Support more than 1000 types of files: images, documents, videos, archives, emails, etc.
  • Retrieve permanently deleted files from any storage device: internal hard disks, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD card, SSDs, cameras, etc.
  • Work perfectly with various operating systems including various versions of Windows (Win 11 included) and Mac.
  • Only takes 3 simple steps to get lost data recovered; friendly to both common users and professionals.

Free trial is offered now for everyone to scan, preview and recover 8 files.

Recovering lost files via iMyFone AnyRecover is as easy as 1-2-3:

Step 1. Download, install and launch AnyRecover on your computer. Then select a location to recover data from and click the "Start" button.

deleted files recovery

Step 2. Wait for the program to scan the selected location. You can stop and resume the process anytime you want.

scan location

Step 3. After scanning, preview the retrieved files, select those you want to get back and hit "Recover". That's all!

deleted files recovery

Wrapping It Up

If you are also tired of the command line interface of PhotoRec and are looking for an easier and user-friendly data recovery tool to use, then AnyRecover is the qualified helper that deserves your trust. Stop hesitating now and try it for free! You have our guarantee that you'll get satisfactory results.

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Simon Marcus
Simon Marcus
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