This is a review of MiniTool Power Data Recovery, a popular data recovery tool.
I’ve worked in tech for several decades, providing training and support and writing software reviews and how-tos for business users. I’ve taken an in-depth look at MiniTool Power Data Recovery to let you know whether it will suit your needs.
I found it to be a reasonably effective data recovery tool. It will recover your data from a variety of computer problems and its free version will be of interest to some. However, it is slower and more expensive than similar tools, and in one test it was not able to recover every file.
In this MiniTool Power Data Recovery review, I’ll explore the types of data the application can restore, how long this is likely to take, and weigh up your chance of success. I’ll also list other features that are offered and whether it’s suitable for beginners or advanced users.
Let’s get started.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery Overview
MiniTool Power Data Recovery recovers lost data caused by human error or system crashes. It does this by directly scanning the drive or storage device for the lost information.
MiniTool offers one free product and a number of paid products with a complex pricing scheme:
- MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software Free
- MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software Personal: $69/month, $89/year, $99 lifetime
- MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software Business Standard: $119 (includes one year of upgrades)
- MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software Business Deluxe: $199 (includes lifetime upgrades)
- MiniTool Mac Data Recovery Professional: $99 lifetime
Those prices are a little more expensive than some other data recovery applications. If you only have a few crucial files to recover, the free version may be all you need. If data recovery is something you do rarely, subscribing for just one month will keep the costs down.
Most plans are for one computer only, but the Personal Windows Lifetime plan supports three. Enterprise and technician licenses are also available. A free trial will show you if your files can be recovered before paying for the application.
The Mac application is an entirely different program—a licensed version of Stellar Mac Recovery Premium—and a free version is not offered. We won’t consider it in this review.
Instead, we’ll focus our attention on MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software Personal for Windows. Keep in mind that most of the information we share is also relevant to the free version if you keep in mind the 1 GB limit.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a reputable and effective tool that’s easy to use. However, I believe most users will find an alternative more suitable.
How is data recovery possible? When a file is deleted, it is not removed from the directory or folder that lists your files, nor is its data removed from your drive. It is simply marked as being deleted.
But recovery is not guaranteed. In time, as you create new files, both the directory entry and data are likely to be overwritten.
Methods of data recovery offered:
- A quick scan of the directory structure for deleted files
- A deep scan of a partition for lost files and file fragments no longer listed in the directory structure
Supported storage media: Internal hard drives, removable hard drives, CF cards, flash drives, pen drives, SSDs, CDs/DVDs, memory sticks, RAID, memory cards, digital cameras, Micro cards, and more.
Disclaimer: It is difficult to recover data from solid-state drives (SSDs). The TRIM technology that increases their efficiency also makes it impossible to recover your files once the trash has been emptied.
Supported file systems: FAT (FAT12,FAT16,FAT32), exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ext2, ext3, ext4, HFS+, ISO9660, Joliet, UDF. That includes the popular formats used by Windows, but only the older format used by Macs. The new APFS does not seem to be supported.
Supported file types:
- Document: DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, PPT/PPTX, PDF, VSD, MPP, PUB, WPD, and more
- Video & audio: MP3/MPEG, RM/RMVB, MID/MIDI, MP4, WMA, WMV, 3GP, WAV, MKV, FLV, OGG, AVI, AIF, MMF, and more
- Archive: ZIP, 7Z, RAR, CAB, JAR, and more
- Email: PST, DBX, EMLX, and more
- Images: JPG/JPEG, TIFF/TIF, GIF, PNG, BMP, CRW, DCR, DNG, DXF, ARW, PSD, CDR, PSP, and more
- Other: HTM/HTML, TXT, XML, HLP, CHM, PZF, ICC, MHT, QPW, QXP, QPT, VEG, and more
MiniTool Power Data Recovery offers a number of additional features:
- Saving scans for recovery at a later time (but not with the free version)
- Sorting and searching the files located to narrow down the results to a more manageable number
- Previewing located files
- A bootable recovery drive so you can recover files when your system crashes (but not with the free version)
- Making an exact copy of your hard drive that you can perform data recovery on in the future
However, it lacks a few features offered by some other recovery applications:
- Pause and resume
- Recovery Vault to store deleted files for guaranteed recovery
- File overwriting (secure delete)
- Deleting duplicates and other cleanup features
- SMART monitoring for early warning of failing hard drives
- Mail-in service
The software is easy to set up and easy to use. Data recovery is done in three simple steps:
- Select the device to scan
- Preview the found files
- Select the files to save
Scanning for lost files can be time-consuming.
How fast is MiniTool Power Data Recovery? To find out, I copied a folder containing 10 files to an empty 4 GB USB stick then deleted it. The scan took 6 minutes 22 seconds.
How does that compare? The fastest data recovery apps I tested took between 4 and 6 minutes, so I was happy with MiniTool’s scan speed. The slowest apps took 14 and 47 minutes.
ThinkMobiles also conducted a comparative test on seven free data recovery applications for Windows.  They copied 50 files onto a flash drive, deleted them, then scanned them with each program. In their test MiniTool was slowest, taking 35 minutes 45 seconds. The fastest successful scans were between 2 and 9 minutes.
These tests were performed on relatively small USB flash drives. Scanning a large hard drive will take much longer—many hours, and possibly days.
Data recovery can never be guaranteed. How successful was MiniTool Power Data Recovery?
In my own test, it was able to recover all ten deleted files, including PDFs, a Word document, and MP3s. So did most of the other tools that I tested.
It was slightly less successful in ThinkMobiles’ test.  There, it located 49 out of the 50 deleted files, and successfully recovered 48 of them. Most of the other applications successfully recovered all of the files.
Only one program was less effective, recovering just 38 files. But its scan took just 55 seconds compared with MiniTool’s 35 minutes.
MiniTool provides 24/7 technical support via email and gives licensed customers and registered users priority over free users. The MiniTool Support Center  offers a FAQ. Many users take advantage of the comments section on that page to ask questions, and most are answered.
Is MiniTool Power Data Recovery safe?
Yes, the software simply scans for and recovers deleted information, and will not overwrite anything else. The company is reputable and the product received high consumer ratings on G2  and Capterra .
Is MiniTool Power Data Recovery really free?
Yes, but there is a strict limit to the amount of data you can recover. The paid plans offer unlimited data recovery.
How much data can MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free recover?
The free version is limited to recovering 1 GB of data.
If MiniTool Power Data Recovery isn’t right for you, here are some alternatives I recommend.
Stellar Data Recovery
Stellar is an easy-to-use application with a wide variety of features. It is a reliable and effective application. Its scans are slower than MiniTool’s but more reliable. It’s available on both Windows and Mac.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Data Recovery offers an easy-to-use wizard that will scan your drive quickly for lost files. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.
R-Studio is an advanced tool suitable for data recovery professionals. It features fast and very effective scans. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.
Recuva is another Windows-only recovery application that offers a useful free version. Unlike MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free, it doesn’t place limits on the amount of data that can be recovered.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a reputable tool that can successfully recover lost data in a variety of situations. It’s likely to work for you, though you’ll have to pay more and wait longer than other data recovery tools.
Other apps also have a better track record—in one test I’m aware of, MiniTool was unable to recover all recently-deleted files while its competitors were successful.
The free version will be of interest to many users who are on a budget. But it will only allow you to recover 1 GB of data, which won’t always be enough. The best free recovery tool for Windows users is Recuva (listed above), which has no data limits.
For the average user who has the budget to pay for recovery software, I recommend Stellar Data Recovery and EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, both of which are easy to use and effective.
Advanced users can’t go past R-Studio, which outperforms every other tool in industry tests, but has a steep learning curve.