Free Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive with Data Recovery Software

Jean updated on Nov 20, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

Here are two solutions to recover files from formatted hard drive in Windows 10/8/7. Solution 1 - recover files with formatted hard drive recovery freeware. Solution 2 - recover data with CMD. Both solutions are helpful and effective. Follow the details below, and get back formatted hard disk data.

It's easy to format a disk; thus, many people complain that they have formatted their drive unintentionally. If you have a similar experience, follow the solutions below to recover the formatted hard drive.

Why It's Possible To Recover Formatted Hard Drive 

Most of us have this bad experience. You found that there are still some valuable data on the hard drive after formatting. The moment you realize that you have lost all the data, panic may set in. Don't worry. You can retrieve files after you have formatted the hard drive.

Actually, when you format a hard drive, the Operating System erases the file directory of all the data on the disk. In this case, you cannot find their data. But the formatting operation does not erase the data itself on the disk. That is to say, it is possible to recover the formatted hard drive. If you accidentally format a hard drive, don't panic! You can get back lost files by following the two solutions.

If the data you are trying to recover has been overwritten already, you cannot recover it.

Part 1. How to Recover Files from Formatted Hard Drive (Free)

This solution can get back formatted data easily, and it doesn't need any technical skills. All you need is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard - the powerful free file recovery software. It can recover files from a formatted hard drive, USB drive, SD card, or memory in three steps. And it is compatible with all the versions of Windows, including 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. If you want to learn more about this data recovery software, you can go to Part 2.

How to recover formatted hard drive for free:

A step-by-step guide to recover files from formatted hard drive:

Step 1. Choose the partition.

Launch EaseUS formatted data recovery software after the installation. Choose the hard drive partition which you've accidentally formatted. Click "Scan".

select a partition and click scan

Step 2. Select wanted files.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to filter a specific file type to quickly find wanted files.

select files

Step 3. Recover files to a secure location.

Select the data files you wish to recover. Click "Recover". Choose a location to store the files and click "OK".

recover files

If you are a Mac user, you can also recover a formatted hard drive on Mac with EaseUS.

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk, or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)

Bonus Tip - Back Up Files to Prevent Data Loss

If your data has been overwritten, what can you do? Your old items will be gone forever. It would help if you took some other actions. Backup can be one of the best ways to prevent data loss. It would be best if you had professional backup software. EaseUS Todo Backup is the one.

Download this free backup software, and you can select what you want to backup - your entire system, a disk, a partition, particular folders.

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File Backup", "Disk/partition Backup" or "System Backup" for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click "Proceed" to start the data backup process.

back up data with easeus todo backup

Part 2. Top 10 Formatted Hard Drive Data Recovery Software

If you forget to make a backup of your files before you format your hard drive, the only chance to restore files is using data recovery software. There are many data recovcery tools that can dig deep into the architecture of your lost universe and retrieve these sacred scrolls of knowledge. Here, I have listed 10 of the best free Windows 10 data recovery software.

  1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
  2. Recuva
  3. Disk Drill
  4. OnTrack EasyRecovery
  5. R-Studio
  6. TestDisk
  7. Puran Data Recovery
  8. Glary Undelete
  9. Wise Data Recovery
  10. Recover My Files

Top 1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard (Windows & Mac)

EaseUS data recovery software can completely recover lost files, photos, documents, and videos, after deleting, formatting, partition loss, OS crash, virus attack, and other data loss scenarios. It is your second to none choice for quick but complete file recovery.

best data recovery software - EaseUS data recovery software


  • Supports all file systems including FAT, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2/ext3, HFS+, ReFS.
  • Recovers lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from formatted hard drive effectively.
  • Recovers data from recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, camcorders, etc.
  • Repairs corrupted JPEG/JPG photos and damaged MP4/MOV camera videos.


  • Recovers 2GB for free

Top 2. Recuva (Windows)

Recuva can quickly recover deleted, formatted, or lost data. It can retrieve lost or deleted photos, videos, audios, documents, etc., from Hard Drive, USB, or other storage media.

best data recovery software - top 2 - Recuva


  • Quick to download and install. The portable version runs from a flash drive.
  • Easy to use. Perfect for everyone as it comes with both simple and advanced options.
  • Deep Scan function could find more files, though it takes a bit longer.


  • No tech support for the free version

Top 3. Disk Drill (Windows and Mac)

Disk Drill can recover the files on Windows and Mac. It gives you improved quality and will recover archived, hidden, and compressed or encrypted files.

top 3 data recovery software disk drill to recover formatted hard drive free


  • Deep scan function available after a simple scan is over.
  • It supports all file systems, including FAT, NTFS, HFS+, EXT4.
  • It can recover any undamaged storage device.


  • Only recovers 500MB data for free.

Top 4. OnTrack EasyRecovery (Windows & Mac)

Developed by the world's leading data recovery provider, Ontrack EasyRecovery is simple to use and powerful enough to handle nearly every type of shared data loss situation.

recover files from formatted hard drive free - OnTrack


  • Powerful interface
  • Wide range of features
  • Easy file sorting


  • Recover 1GB of data for free
  • Must enter personal information to download the software

Top 5. R-Studio (Windows/Mac/Linux)

R-Studio is the most comprehensive data recovery solution for recovery files from NTFS, NTFS5, ReFS, FAT12/16/32, exFAT, HFS/HFS+, and AFP. Besides compatibility with all 32-bit Windows, R-Studio supports 64-bit Windows and uses all physical memory that highly increases a scan performance, especially on high-capacity disks.

data recovery software - R-Studio


  • Enables the data recovery from various data loss situations
  • Exclusively supports the data recovery from network drives.
  • Allows to create image files and recover files from image files


  • Can not recover files larger than 256KB for free.
  • Old-fashioned and relatively complex interface

Top 6. TestDisk Data Recovery (Windows/Mac/Linux)

TestDisk is a free, open-source file recovery program that works amazingly well on almost every operating system. It can recover deleted/lost partitions, make crashed disks bootable again, and a whole lot more.

formatted hard drive recovery software - TestDisk


  • Free, open-source, and secure.
  • Can fix partition tables and recover deleted partitions.
  • Rescues data from problematic partitions caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses, or human error.


  • Inconvenient for regular users

Top 7. Puran Data Recovery (Windows)

Puran Data Recovery is another powerful yet free data recovery utility. Puran File Recovery works great to rescue data from your hard drive, USB flash drive, and SD card.

formatted hard drive recovery software - Puran Data Recovery


  • It has Deep Scan and Full Scan options for more powerful searching.
  • Able to preview files once highlighted.
  • Drag and drop option is available.
  • Totally free


  • Can't preview the result
  • The interface is not intuitive for users.

Top 8. Glary Undelete (Windows)

Glary Undelete, Recuva's sister program, is an extremely powerful partition recovery tool developed to recover compressed, fragmented and encrypted files on NTFS. It performs an automatic result sorting according to the name, size, and creation date of each file.

formatted hard drive recovery software - Glary Undelete


  • Supports multiple file systems ie NTFS + EFS, FAT, NTFS.
  • Perfect for undeleting items from the Recycle Bin or an external storage device.
  • Preview capability helps find files you want to retrieve.


  • It has an old-fashioned interface.
  • Many junk files are found and listed, which can feel a bit overwhelming.

Top 9. Wise Data Recovery (Windows) 

Wise Data Recovery recovers deleted photos, documents, videos, emails, etc., easily and quickly. With this free data recovery software, you can restore formatted hard drive data with simple steps.

software to recover formatted hard drive - Wise Data Recovery


  • Light and space-saving
  • Fast scanning speed


  • The free version doesn't support deep scan and RAW recovery.

Top 10. Recover My Files (Windows)

Recover My Files undeletes files you accidentally removed from your computer, Recycle Bin, flash drive, digital camera, memory card, etc. You'll see two tabs when the program is launched: "Recover Files" and "Recover Drive". To get back your deleted items, stay on the "Recover Files" tab, highlight the disk drive, and start searching.

software to recover formatted hard drive - Recover My Files


  • Quick, easy, and intuitive to use.
  • File preview ability for certain types of files.


  • Old-fashioned software interface
  • You cannot save files with the free version.


You can recover files from a formatted hard drive for free with the help of these useful data recovery tools. You can choose the best file recovery software according to your needs.

Recover Formatted Hard Drive FAQs

Can you undo a format? How to recover data from a formatted hard drive? You can get all your answers here.

How can I recover files from a formatted hard drive for free?

Step 1. Choose the partition.

Step 2. Select wanted files.

Step 3. Recover files to a secure location.

Can I undo a format?

Sorry, you can't. If you want to cancel the formatting, the answer is no. You can make it easy to recover all lost data and move them back to the formatted drive again. This is what people called undo a format.

Can you recover files after a quick format?

Generally, after the formatting, your files are not permanently gone from your drive, so there is still a chance to recover lost data after quick format as long as you have not overwritten the original data. To recover lost data after quick format, you need a professional format recovery software to help you.

Can a wiped hard drive be recovered?

It depends on how you wipe the disk. If you only deleted files from it or formatted the hard drive, it can be recovered easily. If you have used special tools to write 0 to the disk, all data will be ruined. To prevent deleted files to be overwritten by new files, you'd better stop using the hard drive.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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