FreeUndelete review: Confusing utility not worth the time investment

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder FreeUndelete

    PCWorld Rating

    FreeUndelete helps you track down missing files, even those deleted from the Windows Recycle Bin...but it's not always effective.

From the moment you launch FreeUndelete, you see that this utility is all business (and in fact, it's not free for businesses—just for individuals). FreeUndelete 2.1.36867.1 features a spartan interface, with no cutesy graphics and little in the way of color. And you won't find much in the way of instruction: If you want to use FreeUndelete, you're going to have to figure out how to do so on your own.

Luckily, it's pretty intuitive. On the left side of the interface is a panel where you select which drive you'd like to scan; what's odd is that FreeUndelete presents Drives C through H as options, but only allows you to scan your C drive. You use the Filter to narrow down your search, but FreeUndelete doesn't present any advanced search options, such as document type or modified date.

Understanding FreeUndelete's results is even more confusing, as it simply presents you with a list of locations where your file might be found, but doesn't actually direct you to the file in question. The locations where shown as lists of folders, and when I tried to browse through the folders, I found no way to go back to the beginning list. To do so, I had to start the scan all over again.

Even worse: The application failed to track down either of my missing test files. In the end, this program proved too confusing too much of the time.

The most appealing thing about FreeUndelete is that it's free for personal use. Since free/donationware Recuva was more successful (though still not perfect) at performing the same tasks in my tests, Recuva is a better choice if you don't have the cash for a paid program.

Note: The Download button takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    FreeUndelete helps you track down missing files, even those deleted from the Windows Recycle Bin...but it's not always effective.

    Pros

    • Easy to launch scans
    • Free for individuals

    Cons

    • Did not find test files
    • Results difficult to read
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