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  • Recovers deleted or lost photos effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from 500+ data loss scenarios, including computer crash, partition loss, accidental human error, etc.
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How to Recover Deleted or Lost Photos with PhotoRec

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Aug 04, 2023 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions

I got accidentally deleted my photos from my computer, and I found the PhotoRec program, a free photo recovery software. I try to recover deleted photos with it, but some difficulties using PhotoRec for me. How to recover deleted photos with PhotoRec step by step?

PhotoRec is often the first choice of deleted photos recovery. It is free to file data recovery software but somewhat difficult to beginners as it is a command-line interface. In the following guide, we will show you the specific steps of how to recover deleted photos on a computer with PhotoRec, also we will recommend the best alternative to PhotoRec, make a comparison between PhotoRec and Recoverit Free Photo Recovery.

Part 1: How to Recover Deleted Photos with PhotoRec


PhotoRec is an effective file recovery program, which enables you to recover various file types, including multimedia, documents, archives, and much more from a range of hard storages (hard disks, CD-ROMs, USB, memory cards, etc.). It can also recover photos from digital cameras (supports all the main camera brands: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc.).

Works with all the main file systems: FAT, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT, ext2/ext3/ext4. Even if your file system was severely damaged or formatted, PhotoRec will still help. The program is free and supports more than 440 different file types (around 270 file type families). PhotoRec uses read-only access, ensuring the safety of every recovery process.

Steps on How to Recover Deleted or Lost Photos with PhotoRec:

Step 1. Download and Install PhotoRec

When you start working with PhotoRec, first of all, you need to choose the disk you wish to work with. Though, to do this, you need to make sure that you're using the administrator account.

Use Up/Down arrows to choose the hard drive. Press Enter to proceed.


Step 2. Now you have three options to choose from

  • Click Search to start the recovery process;
  • Click Options to change the settings;
  • Click File Opt to modify the list of file types you wish to be searched for;

Step 3. Options Menu

  • Paranoid – recoverable files are verified, invalid ones – rejected;
  • Allow Partial Last Cylinder – determines how the disk geometry is defined;
  • Keep Corrupted Files – to keep all the files, even the damaged ones;
  • Expert Mode – allows you to force the file system block size;
  • Low Memory – enable/disable your system’s low memory usage if it crashes during the recovery process;

PS: Change these settings only if you are 100% sure what you are doing


Step 4. File Opt Menu

Enable/Disable the search for particular file types.


Step 5. Select a Partition

When you have chosen a specific partition, PhotoRec will require information about the file system. Unless it is ext2/ext3/ext4, choose Other.


Step 6. Now you can choose where to search the files from


Step 7. Select the Directory

Now choose the directory you want your recovered files to be written to. Use Up/Down arrows for this.

Ps: the process varies, depending on what OS you are using.


Step 8. Restoring Files

Wait for files to get restored. Recovered files can be accessed before the end of the recovery process.


Step 9. Restoring Files

See the outcome, when the recovery process finishes. It is also advised to scan the recovered files with your antivirus software, as PhotoRec might have undeleted some Trojans or other harmful files.


When I'm using PhotoRec to perform data recovery step by step, it is quite difficult to understand the command line interface. After the process of recovery completed, you cannot get a target location to get your recovered data back. It is a more technical data recovery program. But if you want more details about the steps, you can go to this page - https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step.

PhotoRec is quite technical for users, you should get a reliable Photo Recovery Software which easily and effectively to help you recover deleted or lost photos on the computer. Next, we will recommend the best alternative to PhotoRec.

Part 2: The Best Alternative to PhotoRec Photo Recovery Software

1. The Best Free Photo Recovery Software:

Recoverit Free Data Recovery is a powerful Photo Recovery Software, it is quite easy to use than PhotoRec, no need of technical skill.

  • Recover deleted photos from computer, laptop memory card, digital camera, and MacBook effectively, safely and completely.
  • Recover photos due to accidental deletion or lost, formatted, lost partition, virus attacked and the system crashed.
  • Recover any data and file types with a high success rate and without any quality loss.
  • Supported OS: Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista and Mac OS X 10.10 - macOS 13 (Ventura).

2. Steps on How to Recover Deleted Photos with Recoverit Data Recovery:

Free Download and install Recoverit Data Recovery on your computer. This guide will focus on how to recover deleted photos in Windows, if you are using a Mac computer, go to download Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac and perform Mac image recovery.

Step 1. Select a Computer Hard Disk

Select the location where the loss of your photos and click the "Start" button to process.

select a location

Step 2. Scanning Data on Hard Disk Drive

Recoverit Data Recovery Software will start a quick scan. After it finishes, you can check some recoverable files.

quick scan hard disk drive

Step 3. Preview and Recover Deleted Photos

After the deep scan, you can check all recovered data. Go to preview the recovered photos and click the "Recover" button to save your photos.

recover deleted photos on computer

As above-mentioned photo recovery steps, it is very clear and quite easy to retrieve your deleted photos back with Recoverit Data Recovery. It is also the best solution for you to recover lost videos, audios, emails, and documents on Windows computers. Download the free photo recovery software and try it now.

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