Why Use External Hard Drive Recovery Software

It's undeniable that an 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.

Normally, external hard drive recovery software is a tool to recover deleted, lost data from an external hard drive, even if the drive got corrupted or accidentally formatted. As files lost on the external hard drive won't be recycled to the Recycle Bin, you will need to turn to a reliable external hard drive recovery program for the external disk.

When do you need external hard drive recovery software?

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 attacks, OS crashes, 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 show any data
  • The USB hard drive is not recognized

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

Luckily, you can resort to external hard drive recovery software. In the next part, we'll include the 5 best external hard drive recovery software to help you out.

Top 5 Best External Hard Drive Recovery Software Recommend

External hard drive data recovery will be easy when you know what is the best data recovery tool to turn to. According to users' reviews, geek websites' tests, and our experience, here we collect the 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 2023:

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

External hard drive recovery software testing statistics: 

📌Data loss scenarios Accidental/intentional deletion, external hard drive formatting/corrupting, hard dive inaccessible
🔢The amount of software tested 5
🔑Easy of use For beginners, experts, all levels of people
👩‍💻OS Compatibility Windows, Mac, Linux
💾Device brands Buffalo, WD, Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung, Lacie
📊File formats Documents, images, videos, audio files, emails, etc.

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.

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

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 a 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 drives, 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 with EaseUS Data Recovery Software

After downloading and installing EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer, you are 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 and scan the external hard drive

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery on your PC or laptop. 
  • Connect the external hard drive to your computer.
  • Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose the external drive from External drives list. Then, click scan for lost data. 
select external hard drive

Step 2. Check the scan results

  • EaseUS data recovery software will immediately scan the selected drive for all data, including deleted, corrupted, and existing data.
  • You can use the Filter feature to quickly locate the files of one kind, such as Pictures, Word, Excel, PDF, videos, emails, etc.
scan external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover data

  • Double-clicking a file from the scanned results to preview.
  • Choose the files you want and click "Recover".
  • Select a different drive to save the recovered files instead of the original one. 
preview and recover data

#2. Ontrack EasyRecovery

Ontrack is originally a data recovery service provider that mainly offers worldwide users hard disk repair and data recovery services. 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 restoring 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 drives, SSDs, USBs, memory cards, etc.
  • Repair damaged and corrupted photos and videos (Premium 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 emptying the recycle bin
  • Recover files after formatting, disk crash, partitioning error, etc.
  • Recover documents, photos, videos, music, etc.

Best For: Windows users only

Ease of Use: Not for beginners, complex interface

#4. GetDataBack

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


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, partitioning, 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, 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 a computer, recycle bin, digital camera card, MP3 player, etc.
  • Recover pictures, music, documents, videos, etc.
  • Recover from external storage devices like external hard drives, 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 external hard drive recovery software, you may now pick up one and apply it to bring your lost files back on the external hard drive, USB, or SD card.

Besides recommending the best hard disk recovery software, we also collected some useful tips for protecting data on your external 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.

EaseUS hard disk recovery software is more practical and reliable than most data recovery software due to its powerful data recovery capacity and excellent tech support. Anyone who encounters problems while using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can reach us for online support by emailing [email protected].

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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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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