PhotoRec is a free and open-source software designed to recover lost or deleted files from various storage devices, including hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and other storage media. The software was created by Christophe Grenier and is part of the TestDisk suite of tools.

One of the key features of PhotoRec is its ability to recover a wide range of file types, including photos, videos, documents, and archives, among others. The software supports various file systems, including FAT, NTFS, and exFAT, among others. It also supports various platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.


PhotoRec uses file carving techniques to recover lost or deleted files. This means that it scans the storage device for file headers and footers and then tries to reconstruct the files from the available fragments. This method is effective in recovering files that have been deleted or lost due to formatting, partitioning, or other issues.

Moreover, PhotoRec is designed to be easy to use, even for users who have limited experience with data recovery. The software features a command-line interface, which allows users to enter simple commands to start and manage the recovery process. However, the lack of a graphical user interface may be intimidating for some users.

In addition, PhotoRec is a lightweight software, which means it does not require a lot of system resources to run. This makes it an ideal choice for users who have limited system resources or who need to run the software on older hardware.

PhotoRec is a reliable and effective tool for data recovery, offering a wide range of features and support for various platforms and file systems. While it may not be as user-friendly as some other data recovery software, it is a powerful tool that can recover lost or deleted files from a variety of storage devices. And, the fact that it is free and open-source makes it an accessible option for many users.