Best Video Recovery Software

I tested 42 data recovery software products and found R-Studio Data Recovery to be the best option for video recovery.

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

R-Studio Data Recovery is the best data recovery tool for video because it’s able to recover video files in the widest range of scenarios.

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

Let’s get started.

5 Best Data Recovery Tools for Video

Here are five effective and usable data recovery applications for video recovery.

1. R-Studio Data Recovery (Best Overall)

R-Studio Data Recovery is an effective tool designed for data recovery professionals. Read my full review.

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Storage media: Hard drives, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, Compact-Flash cards, USB drives, ZIP drives, Memory Sticks, and more
  • Video formats: 3GPP, AMV, DMV, DVI, MPEG, QuickTime, SGI, VOB, AVI, and more

It offers the best chance of successful recovery but assumes a lot of technical knowledge. Casual users may find it intimidating.

DigiLab Inc’s “Data Recovery Software Comparative Analysis Report” tested five leading data recovery applications. [1] R-Studio was by far the most effective application, especially in more challenging data recovery scenarios, and also consistently the fastest.

In fact, it was the only application that was successful in every test. It successfully recovered lost video files that were deleted, lost on an accidentally formatted drive, and on four different corrupted drives.

A single license costs $79.99.

2. Prosoft Data Rescue (Best for Non-Technical Users)

Prosoft Data Rescue is effective, much easier to use, and slower. Read my full review.

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac
  • Storage media: Hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, and more
  • Video formats: Most popular video formats

Prosoft Data Rescue’s user interface displays clear and helpful descriptions of each feature. Regular and advanced modes are offered.

It’s effective at basic data recovery and second only to R-Studio in more difficult cases:

  • It recovered some (but not all) files after a drive was reformatted, including the successful recovery of video files
  • It recovered all or most files (including video) from several corrupt disks

The software is a free download and scans for lost files for free. You only pay for the files you want to recover, and this can be as low as $19, though the official website is light on details.

3. Recover My Files (Best for Corrupt Windows Drives)

Recover My Files is effective, faster than Prosoft Data Rescue, and available for Windows only. Read my full review.

  • Platforms: Windows only
  • Storage media: Hard drives, camera cards, USB, Zip, floppy disks, iPods, and more
  • Video formats: MPEG, MOV, AVI, ASF, and more
  • Video cameras: There is no mention of support for connected cameras

Setup and installation straightforward and the user interface is easy to use. An activation code is required before all of the features are unlocked.

It will reliably recover recently deleted video files. However, its results are less consistent in more complex scenarios.

For example, it recovered all video files after a drive was formatted and from a corrupt Windows drive, but was unable to recover anything from a corrupt Mac drive.

It costs $69.95.

4. Stellar Photo Recovery (Easiest to Use)

Stellar Photo Recovery recovers media files such as photos, videos, and audio files. Read my full review.

  • Platforms: Windows, Mac
  • Storage media: Hard drive, SSD, USB drive, SD card, CFast, CompactFlash, microSDHC/XC, and more
  • Video formats: MP4, MOV, WMV, MKV, and more

It allows you to recover your videos in three simple steps. The Mac version requires you to first enable the Stellar Data Recovery extension. The company also offers Stellar Data Recovery, a more general data recovery tool.

Tests by DigiLab Inc show that Stellar software is not the best software for complex data recovery cases. It successfully recovered 97% of deleted files but failed to recover any videos from formatted and corrupt drives.

Stellar Photo Recovery Standard costs $39.99/year and recovers photos, video, and audio from any storage media and popular cameras. The Premium plan also repairs corrupted video files and costs $69.99/year.

5. Wondershare Recoverit (Best for Corrupted Videos)

Wondershare Recoverit is an effective but slow data recovery tool. Read my full review.

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Storage media: Works with any storage media
  • Video formats: AVI, MOV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, FLV, SWF, MPG, RM/RMVB, and more

Non-technical computer users will feel comfortable using this application. Useful tips are displayed at each stage.

It can handle both simple and complex recovery jobs. ThinkMobiles used it to restore a large number of files after formatting a drive and awarded it a high restore efficiency score of 95. [2]

The Essential plan will suit most users and costs $59.95/year for Windows and $79.95 for Mac. Lifetime licenses cost $119.95 for Windows and Mac.

The Advanced plan includes advanced video recovery, the ability to repair corrupted videos, and can scan and merge video fragments. It costs $89.95/year for Windows and $119.95/year for Mac. Lifetime plans cost $159.95 for Windows and Mac. 

Guide to Choosing a Video Recovery Tool

Here are some things to keep in mind when making your choice.

Budget and Experience

Most applications let you scan for lost data in a few easy-to-follow steps, while others are only suitable for advanced users. Choose a tool that matches your level of experience.

Also, consider your budget. My recommendations range from $19 to $80 and some are subscriptions. A free trial will show whether your lost videos can be located.

Computer, Memory Card, and Camera Compatibility

Most of the tools I recommend work with both Windows and Mac, while Recover My Files is for Windows users only.

All support hard drives, flash drives, and SD cards. Some are also able to directly scan your camcorder.

You Can’t View the Located Videos Before Recovery

Most data recovery applications are unable to view video files before you recover them. Their file viewers don’t support that format.

That can make it difficult to identify the videos you wish to recover, especially if the application was unable to find the original file names. You’ll have to recover all of the video files located and view them later.

Final Verdict

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

That tool is R-Studio. It successfully recovered videos and other files in a range of data loss scenarios when tested by DigiLabs Inc, and did so far quicker than any other application that was tested.

However, it’s designed for data recovery technicians, so isn’t suitable for most casual computer users. Prosoft Data Rescue is much easier to use and also quite effective.

If one tool fails to locate your lost video, try another. The free trial versions will show you if your lost files can be located. If it doesn’t, go on to the next application.

References