Verdict: R-Photo Software is a free utility for custom photo/video recovery that has a powerful data retrieval mechanism based on the analysis of file signatures and the properties of Windows file systems to keep information about deleted files or their contents invisible.
The software is very likely to recover your deleted/lost pics/videos, even raw files (without a name, path or attributes) for specific file signatures on a device with a corrupted or unrecognized file system.
R-Photo, like other photo recovery software, won’t help if the data is already overwritten. Besides, it isn’t recommended in case mechanical/hardware damage was done to the drive itself.
The utility supports common Windows file systems (FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ReFS), as well as recovers photo/video files from all sources visible to the OS: internal and external HDD/SDD/NVME, USB drives, SD and memory cards, all sorts of storage devices, virtual and dynamic disks, undamaged RAID arrays and Windows disk spaces.
This software is definitely recommended for those who have accidentally erased a photo/video, bypassing the trash or clearing it permanently.
For more than 20 years, R-Tools Technology Inc. has been delivering robust data recovery utilities, providing users around the world with system DIY tools to dramatically improve data viability, performance and ease of use at a minimal cost. That’s why an independent R-Photo Software was created.
It isn’t loaded with features for sysadmins or computer forensics. The software is free for non-commercial use, so it can be used not by recovery experts or IT specialists, but by regular PC users at home.
If you look closer, it turns out that the free product includes several premium features, which are usually present in the best photo recovery apps and commercial software.
You can easily restore files from any universal drive. The concept of compatibility is based on the complex structure of Microsoft file system recognition. The software supports a universal file system. In other words, everything that is visible to your OS can be used as a recovery location.
The system sees a lot of things: local and removable disks of all types, USB drives, SD and flash memory cards. Apart from physical devices, virtual disks, RAID arrays and disk spaces are visible as well.
The R-Photo software can be used remotely by offering to create a portable version on an external removable media by the type of bootable flash drive. This is done with the utmost care for deleted/ lost pictures. Installing new software on the disk to be restored can overwrite the data of the previous location of the picture or the contents of the deleted files.
The contents are invisible to you, but they still exist. After that, the data will be lost forever. All visible devices are accessible from a single Discs tab, which is convenient.
By clicking on the selected disk, you will start a preliminary scan. After that, the thumbnails or lists of currently existing and deleted files (marked with a red cross) will appear on the Pictures and Videos tabs respectively.
The $ sign in the file name indicates that it was deleted through the trash. Even after the initial scan, you may find files that are severely damaged or not needed for recovery. Their preview is empty, which is simply trash.
To search for an individual file, enter the file name or file mask in the search field in the Files tab, and click Start. Only matching files will be shown. Using the wildcard characters of the file mask, you can set search filters. The * sign matches all characters (the number is unknown), the ? sign matches a single character. So,*. Jpg matches the search for all files with the jpg. Extension.
If you notice in preview that there are no necessary files among the found ones, start the deep scan procedure, which can be paused. R-Photo stores the scan information and downloads it automatically after reconnecting.
If a previous partition with a different file system is found, a special message is displayed with the option to switch to the second partition and restore files from it.
Another thing to mention in this R-Photo software review is that the software offers a universal integrated file viewer. It will help you assess the chances of data recovery and lets you view both existing and deleted files. To view the file, double-click or right-click the file.
Pictures can be viewed as thumbnails, scaled and rotated. The video is played in a separate viewport. They can be displayed (including embedded images) even without the proper applications installed.
As opposed to recovery, the integrated software shredder will help you permanently delete the files to be restored. This is important for freeing up disk space and deleting confidential files.
By marking the required thumbnails of photos and video files on their tabs, you will start the recovery process with a single Recover button. It will tell you the amount of data to recover. From the two suggested options for storing recovered files, pick the one that fits the general recovery rule best.
The rule is that you shouldn’t save the recovered files in the location where they were previously stored, or you may say goodbye to them forever. For instance, if the photos were stored in the Pictures folder created by the system, it is better to pick “To file structure” instead of “To file type folders”.
This is a special case when a really working product is available for free, but with a caveat – not for commercial purposes. The developers of R-Tools Technology honestly warn that the software doesn’t pass in the presence of damage to the media itself (you need to work with a virtual disk image), and not the file or operating system.
They have even attached detailed guides where you can learn the basics of data recovery from different media. To use R-Photo software, registration or additional manipulations with the payment card aren’t required.
Those users who don’t believe that a good product can be available for free, see this as a marketing ploy. By launching R-Photo as a simplified free version of the professional R-Studio data recovery tool for all desktop OS, the developers expect that its good user experience will make you pay attention to a paid premium product. Even DigiLab Inc. (IL), a well-known technology company, speaks positively of the experience of using the software.