Recuva: how it works

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Lluís Enric Mayans
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Requirements and supported devices

Prima di enter the live of the tutorial and spiegarti how Recuva works, my sembo doveroso illustrarti i requirements necessary for the correct functioning of the program, as well as i devices from which it is able to recover deleted files.

Considering that Recuva is an extremely light software, from the hardware point of view there are no particular requirements to be respected: the program, in fact, "runs" even on very old computers. On the software side, the same thing: you just need one any version of Windows from 98 onwards (so, basically, it works with any version of the Microsoft operating system currently out there).



Recuva is only available for Windows, is not compatible with either macOS or Linux, and is distributed in two different versions: the basis, which is free and can also be downloaded in a portable version (i.e. in a version that does not require installations to work), and that Professional which, on the other hand, costs 19,95 euros and includes extra features, such as support for virtual hard disks, automatic updates and premium support.

As for the supported devices, Recuva recognizes internal hard drives, external drives, memory cards, USB sticks, iPods, smartphones and tablets (connected via USB to the computer and set to be seen as mass storage) and other drives formatted using file systems NTFS, FAT:, FAT32, exFAT, EXT2, EXT3 ed EXT4. MacOS file systems are not supported.

How Recuva works

Are you ready to find out how to download and use Recuva? Well, then the first step you need to take is to connect to the program's website and click on the button in sequence Download Free version twice in a row and then on the link CCleaner.com, on the page that opens.



A download complete, apri il .exe file obtained and, in the window that appears on the screen, click on the button Yes. Set, then, the use of language in your languagen company in the drop-down menu located at the top right, check the option to avoid installing CCleaner (No thanks, I don't need CCleaner, bottom right) and click on the button install, to start the Recuva installation process.

If you want to disable adding shortcuts to the program on the desktop or in the Windows context menu, click on the item Customize and uncheck the relevant items. The same goes for the automatic software update function.

At the end of the setup, press the button Run Recuva, to close the current window and access the main program screen.

By default, Recuva starts in Wizard mode, then offering the user a wizard through which to recover data from disks, memory cards, USB sticks and other devices. To continue, you must therefore connect the device from which you intend to recover the data to the computer.

If the device you intend to operate on is a smartphone or tablet Android, use the supplied USB cable to physically connect it to the computer, then expand the notification menu (by swiping from the top of the screen to the bottom), tap on the item relating to the USB connection and press on the option to activate the mode USB archive, in order to allow Recuva to access all the files on the internal memory. If, on the other hand, the device has expandable memory, simply extract the microSD from the latter and connect it to the computer.


Well: now click the button NEXT of Recuva and choose the type of file to recover, placing the check mark next to an option between All files, Images, Music, Documents, Video e Compressed.


Fatto ciò, first prize NEXT and indicate the device from which you intend to recover the files: you can choose between I'm not sure (if you want to recover files from all drives connected to the computer); Your multimedia card or iPod (to recover data from memory cards and MP3 players); In Documents (to recover files from folders with local documents only); In the Trash (to recover files deleted via the Windows Recycle Bin) or In a specific position, if you want to indicate the specific path in which to search for deleted files (by pressing the button Sfoglia ...).

Once you have made your choice, click on the button NEXT and choose whether to start the standard Recuva scan immediately, by pressing the button starts (bottom right), or whether to perform one thorough scan, by checking the appropriate item and then clicking on the button starts.

In case you were wondering, Recuva's deep scan takes a lot longer than the standard one, but it increases the chances of finding deleted files. This happens because, while the standard scan simply checks the files marked as deleted in the MFT (the Master File Table, let's say the index in which all the files on a volume are cataloged) and tries to recover them, the in-depth scan goes to look in each block of the drive (cluster) for headers indicating the beginning of a file, in order to attempt to recover it. Obviously, if a file is fragmented on the drive or has been partially overwritten by other data, Recuva will not be able to recompose it, even identifying it during the scan.


That said, my advice is to start with a standard scan, and then move on to a thorough scan if necessary.


At the end of the scan, locate the recoverable files among those found by Recuva: they are those marked with green ball next to their name and / or have a perfectly visible thumbnail (depending on the view mode activated). Files with the red dot, on the other hand, they are irrecoverable. Those with the yellow ball, as can be easily understood, they are recoverable but could be partially damaged.

In any case, once you have found the files of your interest, to retrieve them, select them (by putting the check mark on the respective boxes), click on the button Recover (bottom right), choose the folder in which to save them and press on OK, I'll give you confirmation.

If you want to use Recuva in standard mode, without the wizard for recovering deleted files, start the program and press on x located at the top right, to close the Wizard window.

Once this is done, you will find yourself in front of the "real" interface of the program. Therefore, use the drop-down menu located at the top left to select theunit to scan; click on arrow situata accanto to the pulsating Scan to choose whether to make one scan by file (to find all deleted files) or one content scanning (to find files that contain certain contents); choose from the field with the magnifying glass the type of data to be recovered (eg. Images, Music, Documents o Video) and the first button Scan, to start searching for files to be recovered.

The rest of the steps to be taken - those to recover the files found by the program - are the same ones that I showed you a few lines above, when I explained how to use Recuva using the wizard.

How Recuva Portable works

Would you like to try Recuva so much but you can't (or don't want to) install programs on your PC? In that case, you can contact the Portable version of Recuva which, as mentioned above, does not require installations in order to function.

To download Recuva Portable on your computer, simply connect to this web page and wait for thezip archive containing the program is downloaded to your PC. Next, open the archive obtained, extract the contents in a folder of your choice and run the executable recava64.exe, if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, or the executable recava.exe, if you are using a 32-bit operating system.

Nella finestra che si apre, click on your button Yes and, if the program appears to be in English, click on the button first Cancel (bottom right) and then up Options (top right), to access its settings. On the next screen, choose the option cittàno (city no) in the drop-down menu Languageclick on your button OK and restart Recuva Portable to use the program in in your languagen, as seen in the previous chapter of the tutorial.

How recuva works for Android

You have deleted some files from your smartphone or tablet Android and would you like to know how to use Recuva to recover them? Well, following the directions I gave you earlier - then by connecting the device to your computer via USB cable and setting it to "USB Storage" mode or by extracting the SD card inserted into it and connecting it to your computer - you should have already succeeded in your intent. .

If not, you should know that there is no Recuva app that you can install directly on your Android device. However, there are valid alternatives that you can consider, such as DiskDigger: an excellent free basic application (for recovering photos only), which allows you to do everything directly from Android, as long as you have rooted the device. I told you about it in more detail in my guide on how to recover deleted files from Android.

For more information

If you need more information about the functioning of Recuva, I invite you to consult this page of the official website of the program, within which you can find exhaustive documentation about the requirements, functions and limits of the famous Piriform software.

To browse the various topics and consult the in-depth articles available, use the menu located on the left side of the page: Introducing Recuva, Recuva Quick Start, Using Recuva, Recuva Settings etc. (currently the contents are exclusively in English).

Recuva: how it works


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