It does not matter if you deleted them accidentally, if you forgot your password, if your device crashed, or if it has been the victim of a virus attack – MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android can scan and recover all kinds of data from your Android device, SD card, or USB drive. This free app will detect and retrieve any media files, documents, WhatsApp files, messages, contacts, or call history you thought lost forever.
The program will detect your connected Android device easily as soon as you go into USB debugging mode. In order to launch the scan process, though, you will need to perform an additional task first – root your device. That’s right, unless your phone or tablet has been rooted beforehand (you will need a third-party tool to do that, by the way), MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android won’t be able to even scan it for lost files, let alone bring them back to life. Now, rooting your phone may bring you a number of advantages – such as being able to benefit from this app’s functionality, for instance – but it also has its drawbacks. Actually, one of the reasons for data loss listed on the program’s website is “Rooting”, not to mention the loss of your manufacturer’s warranty and that it can “brick” your device for good.
Therefore, I decided to use the SD card recovery option instead. The scan process was fairly quick, but the previous “device analysis” was a tediously slow one, especially taking into account that it was an 8 GB device with 5 GB of free space. Once the app has analyzed and scanned your device, you are shown a comprehensive report with all the deleted files found organized by type. They’ve been divided into two main categories – Photos & Videos and RAW & Document, with subcategories that seem to overlap at times. Thus, you will find Camera, Screenshot, and App Picture for lost image files in the former and Picture for the same purpose in the latter, as well as a Music folder in Photos & Videos and a Multimedia section (with a lower number of files) among RAW & Document. The contents may differ and I’m sure they are all there for a reason, but the overlapping names and categories can be confusing. All the files in these categories can be presented either on a list or as thumbnails. This is the only preview option available, and though thumbnails are usually good enough to identify the contents of a photograph, they’re not of much use when trying to check if that is the text document or the spreadsheet you were looking for.
Though limited to 10 files and 10 contacts or call history items in the free version, the recovery process is certainly rewarding and effective. As it usually happens with data recovery tools, a successful recovery does not guarantee that the retrieved file(s) will be usable, though. Only those you can clearly preview using the app in question can usually be fully recovered. You can upgrade to a “supplementary service” to get rid of the above-mentioned limitations and to receive “free” lifetime upgrades.
- Supports many popular Android smart phones and tablets
- Recovers data from SD cards and USB devices
- Supports RAW files
- Requires you to root your phone or tablet to scan and recover the files
- Slow USB device analysis
- Confusing scan report categories
- Preview is limited to thumbnail-size images