|Our Windows version||Windows 11|
|How long we tested||1 week|
|Number of tested tools||17|
While there are a few genuinely free data recovery programs out there and some with a decent trial version, they’re often either overly complex, ineffective, or have recovery limits. So if you’re willing to invest, you should find a program that fits your price range. Also, consider whether you’d prefer a program with subscriptions or a one-time payment.
Data loss can occur on any operating system but not all data recovery programs support multiple platforms. Make sure the app you choose is fully compatible with the OS you run or, at least, has a version for that platform particularly. Certain programs even allow the recovery of storage media formatted for a different operating system entirely.
Not everybody is tech-savvy and knows their way around a command prompt or advanced menus. Choose a data recovery program that has a user interface and flow that fits your technical expertise. That way, you’ll be able to recover your files with minimal hassle. Some apps are even designed to accommodate both novice and expert users.
Install the program on any macOS or Windows computer
Start the applicaiton and select the disk where you last saw the missing files
Select Recover to start searching the disk or partition for lost files
Select the files to be recovered and click Recover again to restore them
Back up files regularly. While backing up files can sometimes be time-consuming and a hassle, it’s a vital part of keeping important files safe from unforeseen data loss. After all, you can never tell when you might accidentally delete a file or encounter device failure. One missed backup session could set you back hours, days, or even months of work.
Create an image at the first sign of storage failure. If you notice that your storage device is starting to fail, you should immediately create a backup image of the medium so that you can attempt data recovery later. That way, you can preserve whatever information is currently on the drive before it incurs further data loss.
Keep work and leisure separate. It’s always a good idea to have a separate computer/laptop for work and general use. If you keep installing and uninstalling programs on a machine, it will hasten the rate at which the operating system might break down. And when it finally does become unstable, you could lose some important data in the process.
Data recovery software often saves recovered files in a specified directory which you can then access through Windows File Explorer. Disk Drill, for example, is one of the best data recovery programs around and includes a button at the end of the retrieval process that will open the folder where your recovered CSR files are located.
Deleted CSR files that cannot be found in the Windows Recycle Bin or Mac Trash can still be recovered using an effective data recovery program. Just make sure you stop using the drive they were in right away to avoid overwriting the deleted file. Alternatively, if you had File History enabled or created a System Restore point beforehand, you can use those methods.
For Windows, if you deleted the CSR file using the Delete key or right-click > Delete command, then you should be able to find it in the Recycle Bin. On Mac, deleted X files are moved to the Trash before being deleted permanently. If your file is not present in either of these tools, you’ll need to utilize a free data recovery program.