5 Best External Hard Drive Recovery Software: Recover Data from External Hard Drive

Daisy updated on Aug 21, 2020 to Resource | How-to Articles


When you lost files on an external hard drive, you can restore them from your backup. If you don't have a backup, don't worry. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with other 4 hard drive recovery software is ready here to help. Pick up one and recover lost, deleted, formatted data from your external disk immediately.

This page covers everything that you need to know about external hard drive recovery. On this page, you will learn:

External hard drive recovery

  1. 1. What is external hard drive recovery?
  2. 2. When do you need to perform external hard drive recovery?
  3. 3. What is the best recovery software for external hard drive?
  4. 4. How to recover data from external hard drive?
  5. 5. How to protect data on external hard drive?

If you are having one of the listed problems on your mind, keep reading and you'll get a satisfying answer here.

Overview of External Hard Drive Recovery
Top 5 Best External Hard Drive Recovery Software Recommend (2020)
How to Protect Data on External Hard Drives

Overview of External Hard Drive Recovery

In this part, you'll learn: 1. What is external hard drive recovery? 2. When do you need to perform external hard drive recovery?

It's undeniable that external hard drive brings us great convenience. They allow us to carry terabytes of data everywhere we go, and the files stored on the devices can be easily shared between storage media. However, a survey shows that data loss on the external hard drive takes the largest portion. In this case, external hard drive recovery is unavoidable.

What is external hard drive recovery?

Normally, external hard drive recovery is a process to recover deleted, lost data from external hard drive, even the drive got corrupted or accidentally formatted. However, as files lost on external hard drive won't be recycled to the Recycle Bin, which as a result, you will need to turn to a reliable hard drive data recovery software for the external disk.

When do you need to perform external hard drive recovery?

In addition to common causes, like accidental deletion and formatting, that lead to data loss on an external hard drive. There are other cases when you need to perform external hard drive recovery. For example:

  • Data on the external hard drive is lost due to virus attack, OS crash, OS reinstallation
  • The external hard drive has a RAW file system and thus becomes inaccessible
  • The external hard drive is detected in Windows but not showing any data
  • The USB hard drive is not recognized

ATTENTION: As long as the data is not overwritten by new content, external hard drive recovery is possible. Thus, stop using your external disk immediately once you've got data lost and perform data recovery as soon as possible.

Luckily, you can perform external hard drive recovery with professional and reliable data recovery software. In the next part, we'll include 5 best external hard drive recovery software to help you out.

Top 5 Best External Hard Drive Recovery Software Recommend (2020)

External hard drive data recovery will be easy when you know what is the best data recovery tool to turn to. According to users' review, geek websites' test, and our experience, here we collect top 5 hard drive data recovery software for you to apply and recover data from external hard drive with ease.

5 Best External Hard Drive Recovery Software in 2020:

  1. #1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
  2. #2. Recover My Files
  3. #3. Ontrack EasyRecovery
  4. #4. GetDataBack
  5. #5. Recuva

Also Read: 15 Best Hard Drive Recovery Software

Whether you are using the latest Windows 10/8 or older Windows XP, you can download one of the above-recommended software for help. It will help you recover the deleted, formatted, or lost data from your external hard drive or recover files from an inaccessible drive.

#1. Trustworthy External Hard Drive Recovery Software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

The data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can serve as the external hard drive recovery software that will help you recover data from your external disk. This software is widely used to:

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and lost data from external hard drive
  • Recover data from an external hard drive after Virus attack, OS crash, OS reinstallation, file system becoming RAW
  • Recover all existing file types like photos, videos, audio files, emails, documents, etc.
  • Support external hard drives of Buffalo, WD, Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung, Lacie, Silicon, ADATA and more
  • Repair videos like MP4, MOV, and repair images like JPG, JPEG, GIF, etc.

Best For: All levels of Windows and Mac users

Ease of Use: Beginners Best Choice, intuitive UI design, 3-step recovery

Other than external hard drives, you can also apply EaseUS data recovery software to retrieve files from computer hard drive, USB flash drives, memory cards, digital cameras, and more.

If you lost external hard drive data on a Mac computer, you may also download the Mac version of this software for help.

How to Perform External Hard Drive Recovery

After downloading and installing EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer, you now only several steps away from recovering your data from the external hard drive.

Follow the video tutorial to complete external hard drive data recovery.

Step 1. Choose the external hard drive

Since you're going to recover data from the external hard drive, run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and under the External Devices tab, choose the exact drive where you lost data. Click Scan.

select external hard drive

Step 2. Scan for lost data

The software will start immediately to scan all over the selected drive for all lost data. During the scan, you could see more and more data showing up in the results.

scan external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover data

After the scan is over, check the scan results for the desired data. You can preview the file by double-clicking on it. Click Recover and choose another location to save the recovered data.

preview and recover data

#2. Ontrack EasyRecovery

Ontrack is originally a data recovery service provider, which mainly offers hard disk repair and data recovery services for worldwide users. In recent years, Ontrack released its data recovery software for users to perform DIY data recovery at home.

Ontack easy recovery

Being similar to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, Ontrack EasyRecovery also supports to restore lost files on both Windows and Mac computers. Check out what you can do with this hard disk recovery software:

  • Recover files from corrupted, deleted, or formatted drives
  • Recover data from internal and external hard drive, SSD, USB, Memory card, etc.
  • Repair damaged and corrupted photo and video (Prenium and higher versions)

Best for: Windows and Mac users

Ease of Use: 3-step recovery

#3. Recover My Files

Experienced users may have heard of Recovery My Files which is a classic data recovery software. It's an old fashioned data recovery software produced by GetData.

Recoer my files

With this software, you are capable of restoring data and files from the following cases and devices:

  • Recover from hard drive, external hard drive, camera card, USB, Zip, etc.
  • Recover files after emptied recycle bin
  • Recover files after formatting, disk crash, partitioniong error, etc.
  • Recover documents, photos, video, music, etc.

Best For: Windows users only

Ease of Use: Not for beginners, complex interface

#4. GetDataBack

Being alike to Recover My Files, GetDataBack is also a classic data recovery software which supports users to perform DIY data recovery on their own. Produced by runtime software, GetDataBack has different versions based on 64bit and 32bit of Windows OS.


So what can this hard disk recovery software do for you? Let's see:

  • Support data recovery on NTFS, FAT, exFAT, EXT, HFS+, and APFS devices
  • Recover data lost due to formatting, partitioniong, virus attack, power or software failure

Best for: Windows, Mac, and Linux users

Ease of Use: 4+ steps of data recovery, Not for beginners

#5. Recuva

Although Piriform Recuva is old in data recovery, yet it's still a powerful data recovery software among a vast number of disk recovery tools. This software still owns a large number of fans due to its excellent performance in file recovery.


With a low price, Recuva exceeds its competitors even its interface is old and sort of complex for beginners. Let's see what you can do with this external hard disk recovery software:

  • Recover files from computer, recycle bin, digital camera card, MP3 palyer, etc.
  • Recover pictures, music, documents, videos, etc.
  • Recover from external storage devices like external hard drive, USB sticks, etc.
  • Securely delete files, erase files

Best for: Windows users only

Ease of Use: Not for beginners

After getting to know some basic features of the top 5 exernal hard drive recovery software, you may now pick up one and apply to bring your lost files back on the external hard drive, USB, SD card.

Besides recommending you the best hard disk recovery software, we also collected some useful tips for protecting data on your exernal hard drive. Hope you can follow and take care of your own files right now.

How to Protect Data on External Hard Drives

Data protection is always a better choice than a cure. To reduce the risk of losing files completely from any storage device, you need to both minimize the chance of data loss and get a data recovery tool to rescue data once it's lost without any backup. Generally, there are two ways to protect data on your external hard drive: grow a good habit of using the drive and back up your external hard drive regularly.

Good habits to protect an external hard drive:

  1. 1. Keep your external hard drive away from fire, water, high temperature...
  2. 2. Disconnect the external hard drive from your computer when it is not in use
  3. 3. Don't edit files directly on the external hard drive
  4. 4. Eject the device before disconnecting it
  5. 5. Put your external hard drive in a disk enclosure

Ways to back up an external hard drive:

  1. 1. Manually copy and paste the important files from your external hard drive to somewhere else
  2. 2. Back up your external hard drive files regularly and automatically using backup software
  3. 3. Sync the data on your external hard disk to cloud storage

Growing good habits is helpful to minimize the chance of accidental data loss on your drive. While backing up your disk is helpful to avoid complete data loss once you get files lost on your storage medium.

The Bottom Line

External hard drive data recovery is easy if you get help from data recovery software. Almost all the data recovery tools available support external hard drive recovery but vary in quality. Choose the one you trust and apply it to recover data from your external hard disk as soon as possible.

Among most data recovery software, EaseUS hard disk recovery software is more practical and reliable due to its powerful data recovery capacity and excellent tech support. Anyone who encounter problems while using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can reach us for online support by emailing to support@easeus.com.

Besides data recovery, as a responsible data recovery software provider, we also suggest you back up your vital data regularly. Nothing can be better than having a regular backup of your files.

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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 to better 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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