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Not all files you thought lost forever need to remain as such. Now you can recover files you deleted either by accident or intentionally in just a couple of steps and without paying for it. Wise Data Recovery is a free utility that will scan all your storage devices (USB drives, digital cameras, and memory cards included) in search of your lost files. You can then select and preview them and bring them back to life with just one click.
Once the selected drive or drives have been scanned, you’ll be presented with a full list of all the deleted files found. These include those that are completely unrecoverable and those that look promising. As it happens with most – if not all – recovery tools, not every file you see on the screen is fully recoverable, not even those marked with a green light. Wise Data Recovery uses this color code to let you know at a glance which of those files on the list are susceptible of being recovered (green light) and those that are lost forever (red light). Typically, those files that were deleted long ago will appear marked with a red light and will carry names that will probably mean nothing to you. Recently deleted files, however, will commonly appear labeled as “green”, and here the rate of success varies from file to file.
File types matter – text-based files are harder to recover, and that includes not only Word and TXT files, but also Excel spreadsheets. These file types, even when listed with a green light, are prone to become garbage once recovered – either the character set becomes unrecognizable by Word or Excel, or they just cannot open them. PDF documents, however, seem to be more resilient, and they usually yield excellent results. Image files are more of a trial-and-error kind of experience. As a rule, if the program can preview it, chances are that the file will be recovered intact. If the program fails to show you what there is inside the JPG file, the chances shrink considerably. Just cross your fingers and give it a try – you might be surprised.
Being a free tool, it is hard for me to be too hard on Wise Data Recovery, but the truth is that the results I get during my tests can be considered as mixed at best. Leaving aside old files that were too corrupt to recover, I only managed to recover but a few of my most recently deleted files. My advice is that you try it anyway, as recovering deleted files is a complex process that depends on many different factors – you won’t have to pay for it, and once you have deleted your precious files, things can only get better.
- Presents the file status using a color code
- Includes file preview capabilities
- Recovers files with their original names
- Suitable for all kinds of files
- Mixed results even with files labeled as "good for recovery"