HOW TO: Use Recuva for Android

Rosa Reyes
time January 22, 2019 Preview 10.1K
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Losing important files from your Android is always a depressing experience. Today, we'll talk about how to recover deleted files and take your first steps with Recuva for Android. It’s free, No rooting needed. Only one thing to remember: act fast.

Should you want to use Recuva for iPhone or Mac, take a look at our How to use Recuva for Mac.

Note: Deleted files remain on a memory card only until they get overwritten by new data. New operations on your device like sending messages, taking photos, etc. can generate new data and overwrite the files. So, use the device as little as possible. 

Getting started with Recuva 

What is Recuva 

Recuva is a free windows data recovery software developed by Piriform. Also the developer of CCleaner and Defraggler. It works well on Windows, also as effective in recovering data from USB drives, camcorders or mobile phones.

Does Recuva work on android phones

anything like Recuva apk?
When talking about Recuva for Android, many people would think something like a Recuva apk that can run directly on Android phones. But, there is no official Recuva app for android. The ones that show when you searching for "Recuva Android" are sites that offer downloads for other apps with a misleading name.

What Data you can get with Recuva for Android

1. Recover permanently delete files on Android.
2. Recovery from damaged or format factory. If you formatted the SD card. or format factory your Android phones. Recuva can still find your files on it. especially if the drive has not used since. 
3. Recover deleted emails on Android.
4. Recover deleted music along with lyric and track data.
5. Recuva can rebuild unsaved Word, Excel, PPT, etc. documents from their temporary files.
6. Recover files even if your Phone or screen broken.
7. File lost due to an Android update. 

Some of the useful features in Recuva include:

Easy to Use
Recuva has a very handy interface, you can get started instantly with its "Start Wizard".
Scan for a certain file name or file type.
Support Hundreds of file types
Restores documents, images, video, music, email, anything.

Two Powerful File scanning method
Regular recovery: Quick scan your android memory card and searches for files that Recuva can recover.
Deep Scan: Deep Scan to look for more deeply-buried files. Pause at any time and it will show you the instant results Recuva has found.

Support Popular files systems
Supports FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, NTFS + EFS file systems.

Free and Safe to use
The software is completely safe to own and use, include no spyware, malicious threats, etc.

Portable version
Portable version available, this will make sure you will not overwrite any files during the installation of Recuva.

Restore-and-securely-delete functionality
Recuva also has the special ability to securely delete files and make sure it's erased once and cannot be recovered using other programs.

Where is the File stored on Android devices?

As Recuva runs on a computer we have first understand where the files located on our phone. In Android, there are two places to store the files: internal memory or external memory. 

Internal memory
Internal memory is the hard drive of your Android phone. It can’t removed, to scan data on the internal memory, you have to connect your device to the computer for scanning.

External Memory
External memory is the SD card or memory card you plug in your device to store data. You can scan data on SD card by connecting your Phone to the computer or access it with a card reader.

Recuva doesn't recognize my phone
If the data you lost is on the internal memory, and Recuva can't see your phone, you can use DiskDigger for Android we introduced below to get the files back, but If the file was on the memory card or SD card, I suggest using a card reader and recover it with the help of Recuva which will be safer and easier.

Using Recuva on Android

Now, let’s take a look at how to use Recuva to recover lost or deleted files on Android.

1. Get the Recuva app

You can pick up the Recuva app from a trusted site.

Download and install Piriform’s Recuva onto your Windows PC. The program's website has both installable and portable versions available. We recommend that you use the portable version, if the affected files are on your hard drive. 

Recuva Free
Recuva Pro
Recuva Portable

Recuva is available in both Free and Professional (paid) versions. I use (and recommend) the free version because it is enough for use. Just make sure you uncheck unrelated software installation option during the installation.

Unzip the downloaded file. This is what you are going to get:

With Recuva downloaded and installed. Click on the desktop icon or the Start Menu. By default, Recuva will bring up a Wizard.

The first wizard window will ask what file types Recuva should look for.

Next, you are asked where the files were located. Choose your microSD or Android phone’s library and click “Next”.

Now we come to the last page of the wizard. There is a tickbox to “Enable Deep Scan," which by default is unticked. Enabling the Deep Scan will take much time(in our case it takes 2 hours). but deep scan can increase the chance of recovering certain files. We recommend you check the “Enable Deep Scan”. In our test, the deep scan recovered more than 800 recoverable files than the standard scan. 

Now click "Start" to begin the scan. and wait for Recuva to run the full scan of your phone’s memory card. 

Once the scan completed, Recuva will list what it has found. What I liked about Recuva is that it markers the condition of each file in 3 different colors.

Green: File in excellent condition and very likely to recovered.
Orange: File has partially overwritten only partially recoverable.
Red: File is completely overwritten, unrecoverable.

If you find the files you need, Check the box in front of the file and click “Recover”. Choose where to save the data. That’s it.

Video version of the guide

Can I do this without a computer?

As there is no Android version of Recuva if you want to recover files directly on Android. you can use Recuva alternative app for android. 

There are many data recovery app on the Android market. Today, we’d like to go with DiskDigger. In our test, this app gives the best recovering rate. Many android data recovery apps need activated root access while rooting in this app is not mandatory. What’s more, it has fewer ads compared with the other free apps.

It has a free and paid version. Free version works for photos and video recovery; you only have to pay if you want to recover other types of files.

How to use DiskDigger for Android data recovery

First, head to the Google Play Store in your phone. Search DiskDigger and download the app. Install the app ”DiskDigger” from the Play Store. 

Choose your scan.

    •    A “Full Scan” is only available for phones that are rooted.
    •    If your phone isn’t rooted select “Basic Scan.”

Find your phone’s internal storage. This is normally the /data partition. Tap it.

tap "Scan Device" and the app will starts scanning immediately.

After scanning it will show you a thumbnail grid of everything it finds. When you see the photo you want to recover select it and hit save.

The app will then ask you where you want to save the photo. Choose the DCIM folder. Click “OK” and you’re done.

See the Video Guide of DiskDigger for Android

If Recuva didn’t work for you

If neither Recuva nor DiskDigger can get back the lost files on your Android. You can also try desktop apps like Data Recovery, which scans and finds the lost files on your Android device. 

Avoiding android data loss in the future

Get a Dropbox account, and get in the habit of backing up.    
Save files to SD card on your Android phone.
Backing up your files on your PC and an external hard drive. 

Do you use Recuva to recover your lost files on Android? If so, what're your experiences with it? Are there other apps you have found that work just as well or better? Share your stories in the comments section below. 

Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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