How to Use PhotoRec to Recover Files [Detailed Guide]

On this page, you will learn how to use PhotoRec and its alternative, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, to recover lost files on your PC. You can also seek advice on how to avoid data loss.

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20 May 2024

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9 Min

You can recover lost files from your computer with the right tools and skills. PhotoRec is a powerful file recovery tool that can recover photographs and other files. Moreover, PhotoRec employs read-only access to ensure the safety of all recovery processes. This instruction will assist you if you are unsure how to use PhotoRec to recover files on a Windows PC. You will also be offered a simpler method for performing data recovery.

Alternative: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

However, restoring files with PhotoRec can be difficult for non-technical users. Because operations in PhotoRec cannot be reversed, any mistakes could have devastating consequences for your other data. As a result, it is advised that you use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, an easy-to-use data recovery software for Windows.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a fantastic solution for those looking for a more user-friendly alternative to PhotoRec. This data recovery tool is appropriate for many data loss scenarios, making it an excellent choice for beginners and professionals.

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  • Retrieves deleted files on Windows, Mac, and Linux OS
  • It provides the best-in-class quality of recovered files
  • Clear preview quality and interface
  • Super-fast data scanning capability

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in Windows 11/10/8/7 and choose the place where you lost data. Then, click "Search for Lost Data" to find lost data.

select a location to scan

Step 2. After the scan, use the file format filter on the left or upper right corner to find the files you need. You can also search in the search box, which is the fastest way to find the target file. Then, you can click the "Preview" button or double-click a file to preview its content.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Click the checkbox next to the file and click "Recover" to get back the lost data to your local storage or Cloud drive.

Recover lost data

Many Windows 10/11 users have proved the efficacy of the tool. If you want to resolve the file recovery, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms!


How to Use PhotoRec to Recover Files on PC

Do you know how to use PhotoRec once you've installed it? To learn how to utilize PhotoRec to retrieve data, follow the steps below. You can also read the PhotoRec full review.


PhotoRec Review: Pros, Cons, Alternatives

PhotoRec is a file data recovery software designed to recover lost files, including video, documents, and archives from hard disks. Read more >>

🔍Use PhotoRec on Windows

Step 1. Download and install PhotoRec when you are using the administrator account. Then, to select the disk you want to work with, use the Up/Down arrows. To proceed, press "Enter".

Download and install PhotoRec

Step 2. When presented with three options: "Search", "Options", and "File Opt", select Search for "data recovery" > Press "Enter" to begin the file recovery procedure.

begin the file recovery procedure

Step 3. In order to recover lost files, PhotoRec requires knowledge of the file system type used to store the files. Choose Other if the file system is not ext2, ext3, or ext4.

Step 4. Select a location to save the recovered files using the Up/Down arrow keys. To begin recuperation, press C.

In Conclusion

It can be difficult for novices to understand the command line interface on the PhotoRec to complete data recovery step by step. Users even cannot obtain a target location after the recovery process. After all, it is a more advanced data recovery software. 

EaseUS data recovery is highly suggested if you're looking for the best-in-class data recovery software. Even if your PC cannot boot, you can acquire bootable media. 

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How to Use PhotoRec FAQs

Here are 2 additional questions about how to use PhotoRec to recover deleted files on a PC. Check here for the answers.

1. How does PhotoRec work?

When a file is successfully recovered, PhotoRec reviews the previous data blocks to determine if a file signature was detected but could not be recovered, then it attempts again. Some fragmented files can, therefore, be successfully restored.

2. Does PhotoRec only recover photos?

Not only photos can be recovered.  PhotoRec is a data recovery program retrieves lost videos, photos, documents, and archives from hard disks (mechanical HDD, SSDs, etc.), CDs, and lost images from digital camera memory.

  • Updated by

    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. …
  • Written by

    Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS, who focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.…
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