Best Android Data Recovery Software

I tested 42 data recovery software products and found Tenorshare UltData to be the best option for Android devices.

I’ve been working in the tech industry for the last few decades and regularly help people with computer disasters, including lost data.

Android data recovery apps don’t run on your device but on your computer. They scan your phone over a USB connection. This offers the best chance of data recovery but is also quite slow.

Tenorshare UltData is the best choice for Windows users because it’s fast and effective. It’s easy to use and supports a wide range of Android data types. Mac users will find Disk Drill just as effective.

But every situation is different. So I’ve also reviewed the best data recovery application in every category.

Let’s get started.

6 Best Data Recovery Tools for Android

Here are seven effective and usable data recovery applications for Android.

1. Tenorshare UltData (Best for Windows Users)

Tenorshare UltData performs fast and effective scans on Android phones and other devices. This comes at a cost: it requires you to manually root your phone while some other apps do this for you. It’s also only available for Windows. Read my full review.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music and audio
  • Documents and app data
  • Call history
  • Messages and SMS
  • WhatsApp, including business data such as photos, videos, documents
  • WeChat

Data types not supported:

  • n/a

The app is suitable for non-technical users and will recover your data in a few easy-to-follow steps.

It’s able to scan for several types of data without needing root access to your phone, including deleted photos and WhatsApp messages. To gain access to the rest, you’ll need to root your phone manually and enable USB debugging. Fortunately, clear instructions are provided.

Tenorshare UltData is both fast and effective. The iPhone version recovered three of my six test files. Unfortunately, this was the best result and was also achieved by several other apps. But UltData did this fastest and completed the scan in 49 minutes.

Tenorshare UltData for Android is a subscription service that costs $35.95/month or $39.95/year. A lifetime license is also available for $49.95. The app runs on Windows, and unfortunately, there isn’t a version for macOS.

2. Disk Drill (Best for Mac Users)

Disk Drill is a fast and effective desktop data recovery tool that also supports many mobile devices, including Android devices that don’t run a MIPS processor. It effectively offers two applications for the price of one. Read my full review.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music and audio
  • Documents and app data
  • Call history
  • Messages and SMS

Data types not supported:

  • WhatsApp
  • WeChat

Both experienced and inexperienced users are catered for by Disk Drill. Those unfamiliar with data recovery can get started in three simple steps. Experienced users will find plenty of ways to customize the app to their liking.

Disk Drill’s main focus is on desktop data recovery, so recovering from an Android device takes a little more work than some of the other tools in this review. Fortunately, you’ll find a helpful how-to article on their site that clearly shows you what’s required: Android Data Recovery Made Easy.

I found it to be one of the fastest and most successful tools when testing it on my iPhone. I imagine the Android experience is similar once you complete the additional step of rooting your device.

Data recovery from iPhones and Android phones is only possible with the Mac version at this time. This ability will be added to the Windows version in the near future.

Disk Drill for Mac Pro costs a one-time fee of $89, and you also get access to the app with a $9.99/month subscription to SetApp.

3. Wondershare Dr.Fone (Windows and Android Apps)

Wondershare Dr.Fone Data Recovery for Android is easy to use and supports most types of Android data, though its scans can be slow. It makes your life easier by automatically rooting and later unrooting your Android device as part of the recovery process. They also offer a version that runs on your Android device. Read my full review.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music and audio
  • Documents and app data
  • Call history
  • Messages and SMS
  • WhatsApp

Data types not supported:

  • WeChat

You don’t have to be technical to use this app. Data recovery is performed in three simple steps.

It makes your life even easier. It will automatically root your device temporarily so that it can gain access to the data it needs to scan. After recovery, it will automatically root your phone again. This will save you time and effort, and protect your phone’s warranty.

I tested the iOS version and it recovered three of the six items I deleted, which was the best result I achieved from any mobile recovery app. Besides those three items it also located thousands of other deleted files, so your luck may be better than mine.

Scans can be slow. The iPhone version took a very long six hours to scan for every data type possible.

This can be drastically reduced by selecting only the types of data you wish to recover. With fewer categories selected it took just 54 minutes, which is quite competitive with other Android data recovery tools.

Dr.Fone Android Data Recovery for Windows costs $79.95 and includes a total of eight handy utilities:

  • Android Data Recovery
  • Android Phone Manager
  • Phone Transfer
  • WhatsApp Transfer
  • Android Screen Unlock
  • Android System Repair
  • Android Phone Backup
  • Android Data Eraser

Unfortunately, data recovery isn’t included in the Mac version (which costs $59.95/year), but it does include the other seven utilities.

Fortunately, you don’t even need a computer to take advantage of the Recovery & Transfer app found in the Google Play Store. This free download will scan for your lost data, and a $10.99 in-app purchase will allow you to restore it.

4. EaseUS MobiSaver (Windows and Android Apps)

EaseUS MobiSaver is available for Windows computers and can also run directly on your Android device. I found it reasonably effective, but a little slow. Read my full review.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music and audio
  • Documents and app data
  • Messages and SMS

Data types not supported:

  • Call history
  • WhatsApp
  • WeChat

This application is suitable for casual users, and data is recovered in three simple steps. However, you are required to root your phone before it can be scanned for lost data.

MobiSaver was able to recover three of the six deleted items in my test on iOS, which is the best result I achieved using several apps. As is the case with other apps, many other lost items were also located.

EaseUS MobiSaver for Android costs $39.99 and is available for Windows only. There’s also a version that runs directly on your Android device. It’s available from the Google Play Store as a free download and will scan your data for lost items. An in-app purchase (listed as “$7.49 – $8.49 per item”) allows you to recover them.

5. PhoneRescue (Windows and Mac)

PhoneRescue is one of the only Android recovery tools that runs on both Windows and Mac. It restores your data directly back to your phone and can also rescue you if you get locked out of your phone. Read my full review.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music and audio
  • Documents and app data
  • Messages and SMS
  • WhatsApp

Data types not supported:

  • Call history
  • WeChat

PhoneRescue makes the recovery process simple and will root your Android device automatically so it has access to the data it needs to scan. The interface is attractive and easy to follow.

In my test of the iOS version of PhoneRescue, it recovered two of the six files, while other apps managed to recover three. However, many thousands of lost files were located besides those I was looking for. The scan time was also a little slow and took 3h 30m.

PhoneRescue is a subscription service that costs $39.99/year or $49.99 for a lifetime license. Business licenses start from $299/year.

6. FonePaw Android Data Recovery (Windows and Mac)

FonePaw Android Data Recovery offers both Windows and Mac versions and will automatically root your phone as part of the data recovery process. However, existing users don’t seem very satisfied with the application. Read my full review.

Data types supported:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music and audio
  • Documents and app data
  • Call history
  • Messages and SMS
  • WhatsApp

Data types not supported:

  • WeChat

This is another app that will helpfully root your phone as part of the recovery process. Data recovery does not require any technical knowledge and is achieved by following five simple steps.

FonePaw Android Data Recovery seems to have quite a small user base, and those users don’t seem particularly satisfied. For example, users on CNET gave it a rating of just 2.5 stars. [1] The company’s iPhone data recovery application has received similar ratings.

That’s not encouraging, but the free trial version of the application will put your mind at rest by letting you see which lost data can be located before you have to pay.

Both Windows and Mac versions cost $49.95 as a one-time payment. Family licenses are available for $79.95.

Guide to Choosing a Data Recovery Tool for Android

Before making your choice, it’s helpful to become familiar with how data recovery is possible and some of the issues that Android data recovery tools can help with.

How Is Data Recovery Possible?

When you delete an item from your Android device, the data is not actually removed. It’s simply marked as deleted so that the operating system knows that the space the items use is now available.

So, for a while, data recovery is possible. But eventually, that data be overwritten by new information, so it’s best to act quickly.

Unfortunately, once the data has been overwritten, there’s no way for you to recover it. Unless you made a backup, it is gone forever.

Most Android Recovery Apps Run on Your Computer, not Your Device

Most Android recovery apps run on your Mac or PC, not on your device. They scan your phone via a USB cable.

However, very few of them run on both Mac and Windows, so make sure you choose an application that will run on your computer.

Windows only:

  • Tenorshare UltData
  • Wondershare Dr.Fone
  • EaseUS MobiSaver

Mac only:

  • Disk Drill

Windows and Mac:

  • PhoneRescue
  • FonePaw Android Data Recovery

However, there are a couple of data recovery applications that you can download directly onto your Android device from the Google Play Store. These allow you to scan for lost data directly on your device, and don’t require the use of a computer.

Android apps:

  • Wondershare Dr.Fone Recovery & Transfer
  • EaseUS MobiSaver

Most Apps Require that You Root Your Phone

The apps will need access to your device’s data so that it can be scanned. That requires root (administrator) access and placing it in USB debugging mode, though some data, such as your photos and the contents of your SD card, don’t require root access.

“Rooting” is a process that’s familiar to many, but some users may find it intimidating. It may also void your warranty.

Fortunately, a number of Android data recovery applications will automatically root and then unroot your phone for you. This makes the whole process easier and more streamlined, and may also protect your warranty.

These apps don’t require you to manually root your device:

  • Wondershare Dr.Fone
  • PhoneRescue
  • FonePaw Android Data Recovery

Choose a Tool That Suits Your Budget and Experience

Fortunately, most Android data recovery applications are designed to be used by non-technical users. They allow you to scan for lost data in just a few simple steps, using a wizard.

If ease of use is your priority, make sure you choose an application that will automatically root your device for you. I’ve listed them above.

Also, consider the cost of each tool. I’m not aware of a free application that’s worth using, and my recommendations range in price from $10 to $90. Some are one-off purchases while others require a subscription.

Fortunately, virtually all data recovery applications allow you to scan for lost data for free. You only need to pay for the software once you can see that your lost data has been found.

Choose a Tool That Supports the File Types You Wish to Recover

Compared with iOS data recovery apps, the Android counterparts are better at supporting a wide range of data types. That’s important because you need an application that will actually look for the type of data you lost!

Contacts, photos, videos, music, documents, and messages all seem quite well supported. Call history, WhatsApp, and WeChat data aren’t scanned for by all applications.

Consider How Long Are You Willing to Wait

Data recovery takes time, and sometimes a great deal of it. How much time do you have?

Some applications scan quicker scans than others, and devices with less storage will be scanned quicker than phones with lots of storage.

Android Data Recovery Is not Guaranteed

Recovering data from mobile devices doesn’t seem as reliable as when recovering from desktop computers. When recovering data from Mac and Windows computers, most applications managed to locate every recently deleted file in my test. Not so on mobile.

The best result I had when scanning my iPhone was 50%. Just three out of six deleted items were located by the best apps. Others didn’t manage to recover that many. Set your expectations accordingly.

But that’s only part of the story. Besides the files I was looking for, each app also located hundreds and even thousands of other lost files. Perhaps I was just unlucky and you will have more success.

Final Verdict

When choosing a tool to rescue your valuable lost data, you want the one that will give you the best chance of success.

TenorShare UltData is an excellent choice for Windows users. It’s a fast and effective app that scans for more data types than any other of its competitors.

Mac users are best with Disk Drill, which can recover data from both the computer and their Android device. It’s almost as fast as UltData and just as effective.

However, both of those apps require users to root their own devices. If you’d rather choose an app that does that for you, I recommend Wondershare Dr.Fone. It also offers a version that runs directly on your Android device and doesn’t require the use of a computer. EaseUS MobiSaver offers a similar application.

You can maximize your chance of success by testing several recovery tools. The free trial version of each will show you if your lost files can be found. If not, move on to the next application until you have success.

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