Recuva Review 2022: Is Recuva Safe and Free VS Pro

Connie Wisley
time January 18, 2021 Preview 20.7K
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As a fast and easy solution to recover deleted or lost files on Windows, Recuva enjoys large popularity since its first release in 2007. Though its update discontinued in 2016, Recuva is still considered to be a good choice to do Windows and sd card recovery.

In this Recuva Review, we will give all the answers about users’ concerns on using Recuva, such as its safety, Recuva Free VS Pro, Recuva Free limitations, its pros & cons, how to use Recuva…

What is Recuva?

First thing first, what is Recuva?

Well, Recuva is a Windows program allowing users to find and recover files both on internal or external storage device. It is available in both Free and Pro version. Following is a list of its main features:

Main features: 

  • Recover various files: pictures, music, documents, video, compressed files, emails
  • Recover files from computers, media card, ipod, document folders, recycle bin or a specific location
  • Allow basic scan and advanced scan
  • Recover virtual hard drive (Pro version only)

Is Recuva Safe to Use?


Many users have doubt onto the safety of Recuva, mainly for the reason that Recuva offers a totally free version for all users, which make users believe that a free app always comes with something annoying.

However, it is 100% clean and safe to use Recuva, there is no virus or bundled malware. Though there is advertisement for in-app purchase of its Pro version, it is understandable and acceptable since it has offered a good free service for users to explore the Recuva service.

So, no worries now, it is absolutely safe to use Recuva. 

Recuva Free VS Pro

As we know, Recuva is only available for Windows users, to use Recuva Mac or Recuva Android, you will need to find an alternative. However, there are 2 versions for Windows users: Free and Professional.

The free version is free of charge and can be used for data recovery, however, there are limitations in terms of recovery rate, auto update, technical support and features, you can refer to following Recuva Free VS Pro comparison table.

  Features Recovery Rate Auto Update Support Price
Recuva Free Recover different files; 

Recover from computer, media card, document folder, recycle bin;

30%~65% No No Free
Recuva Pro Recover different files; 

Recover from computer, media card, document folder, recyle bin;

Recover from virtual disk;

50%~70% Yes Yes $19.95

As you can find in following tables, the big difference between Recuva Free and Pro lies in the recovery rate and support recovering from virtual disk or not.

Recuva Free or Recuva Pro?

Recuva Free is worth a try.

Actually, the biggest difference between Recuva Free and Professional is support for virtual hard drive recovery, while, this is not necessary for a great part of users. If you want to try Recuva service, we recommend using Recuva Free, based on following reasons:

  • Recuva Free is 100% free to recover files, no limitations on file size, file quantities
  • Recuva Professional guarantees a higher recovery rate than Recuva Free, but it is not the best choice among those priced data recovery software
  • Recuva has discontinued to update since 2016. Its latest version V1.53.1087 is released on Jun 08th, 2016

So, if you want to try Recuve service, try Recuva Free first, but if you want a higher recovery rate, try a Recuva alternative instead of paying for Recuva Professional.

Recuva Review


  1. Free to use
  2. Easy to use
  3. Analyze damages
  4. Advanced mode offered (smart, deep scan and preview)
  5. Preview files under advanced mode


  1. Relatively Slow scanning
  2. Misname files
  3. Unstable recovery results
  4. No updates since Jun 2016

Installation---Smart Wizard

Recuva installer is lightweight with a size of 5.3MB and the installation is quite easy thanks for its smart wizard. You will be guided to choose the file type and location where you want to recover the files.

file location

But for Recuva Professional, since it allows users to recover file from hard drive, there is an extra step guiding users to create disk image in the Wizard.

create disk image


A user-friendly interface can make things easier and this is what Recuva do for its users. The interface is neat but informative to give enough information for next step. Especially the interface for Wizard, scanning and analyzing process, it helps users to proceed easily. While for its Recovery interface, it may be a little clustered, yet it is still considerate to accommodate all the features for better user experience. 

file type


After Recuva Wizard, you will be able to search/scan deleted files. If you have chosen the file type or location for scanning in the Wizard, the scanning process will be done faster. When comparing to other priced data recovery software, Recuva processes scanning much slower, also the name of scanned files are weird, not in their original names. Still, users cannot resume scanning if they find the scanning is going to last for some time.

recuva scan

Analyze Damages

The feature to make Recuva different from other data recovery programs is that it helps to analyze damage on found deleted files. Therefore, on the Recovery interface, Recuva will display the status of these found files, to tell if they can be easily recovered or not, or if they can be retrieved or not. Though the accuracy of this feature is still controversial, it tells something.

analyze damage


Recuva will find and locate numerous deleted files from your computer or card. In order to fast find and recover the preferred files, Recuva offers various options for smart recovery.

recuva recovery

  1. Display of Found files: There are 3 modes to view the found files (List/Tree/Thumbnail), also users can put these files in good order according to filename, modified date, size, status, etc., which helps to fast locate a file for recovery.
  2. Select files for recovery: there are 2 ways to select a file for recovery, either highlight or check it. 
  3. Secure Overwrite: You are allowed to overwrite the selected file after recovery. But give a second thought before using this feature, if Recuva finds the wrong file and overwrite, you are much likely to lose the file forever.
  4. Difficulty of Recovery: During the Damage Analyzing process, Recuva has diagnosed the status of deleted files, it will tell which ones can be recovered successfully.
  5. Recovery results: the recovery rate is unstable. In my tests, only 40% files deleted in my Recycle Bin are recovered and 20% of these recovered files cannot be opened. Also, according to Recuva users’ feedbacks, Recuva helps for someone while do no good for others. But basically, it does good on recovering documents than that on media files, such as pictures, audios or videos.

Advanced Mode

You may have noticed the “Switch to Advanced Mode” button on up-right corner. If the basic recovery mode fails to recover your files, you can switch to this mode.

Under advanced mode, users can freely choose location to scan, choose to scan files or contents, select a file type for accurate scanning. 

advanced mode

Also, it allows users to preview the files, though some files cannot be previewed in this program.

Yet, under Advanced Mode, Recuva will push its Pro version after each recovery, which is quite annoying.

recuva ads

Does Recuva Really Work?

Yes, it does helps to recover files on your Windows PC, it really works, but not works all the time. There are occasions you fail to recover a file using Recuva, especially when your files are lost for a long time. Also, you are always recommended to use Advanced Scan if you want Recuva works better for you.

How to Use Recuva to Recover Files on Windows or from SD Card?

First, where to Download Recuva?

The latest version of Recuva is V1.53.1087, there are 2 ways to download Recuva officially.

System Requirements

Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP. Including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, but not RT tablet editions.

Download Address

Upgrade to Recuva Professional

You can only download the Recuva Free to recover files for free, if you want to download Recuva Professional, you need to upgrade the Free version to Pro:

  1. Go through the Wizard and enter the main interface.
  2. Click “Switch to Advanced Mode”.
  3. Click “Options” and choose “About”.
  4. Choose to Upgrade to Pro and fill in your registration code get from Recuva.upgrade to recuva pro

How to Use Recuva to Recover Files?

  1. Run Recuva Free on your Windows PC.
  2. (Optional) Connect your SD Card with your computer with a card reader, if you want to recover files from SD Card.
  3. Finish the Wizard, choose the file type or location to recover deleted files. Then click “Start” to launch the scanning.start scanning
  4. Once the scanning finishes, select files for recovery.
  5. Click “Recover” to get deleted files back to your Windows PC.recuva recover files

Recuva Reviews from Tech Authorities

Users have discussed a lot on Recuva data recovery tool in different platforms. And here we list some Recuva reviews from other tech authorities, so that you can get a better understanding if Recuva can help you with your deleted files.

1. PCMag Says

pcmag recuva review
2. Techradar Says

techradar recuva review

3. Cnet Says

cnet recuva review

4. PC World Says

pc world recuva review


Being a free desktop program to recover deleted files from Windows, Recuva Free has proved its advantages over other free data recovery tools. But if you are looking for a program with higher recovery rate, an alternative to Recuva for Mac or Recuva for Windows would be a better choice.

Free Download   Free Download

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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