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IOLO Search And Recover 4 review

Recover deleted files, and delete old ones

A generally reliable and usable data recovery tool

Our Verdict

Search and Recover 4 provides a generally reliable and usable data recovery tool


  • Very useful toolkit

    Secure deletion of data

    Logical interface


  • Not 100% reliable

Contrary to popular belief, deleted files on your laptop are not gone forever. Often they can be retrieved, even when deleted from your recycle bin. Offering simple data recovery is Iolo Search and Recover 4 (£21 inc. VAT).

When files are deleted, they are removed from the interface of Windows and their disk space freed for future use. As a result, it's essential to restore files to a separate disk, to avoid overwriting the source data.

To this end, when you access the Search and Recover CD, you're offered the option to rescue files directly from the CD, without installing the software. For less immediate recovery tasks, the application can be installed for future data restoration.

Despite its advanced nature, usability is accessible to all. Operated via a logical interface, it's a simple three-step process to scan your laptop for deleted files and attempt recovery.

Scans run depending on the type of file you're attempting to recover. Scanning for deleted music, pictures, movies or emails is as easy as scanning an entire disk for deleted data.

When files are found, an estimate of quality is given, since poor quality files may have been partially overwritten and near impossible to save.

In tests, 90 per cent of our deleted data was recovered. However, for unknown reasons, some supposedly undamaged files were unable to be restored. Even when scanning immediately after deletion, the files weren't located.

As well as recovering files, you can also securely delete your data. Overwriting the files to the point that even Iolo's software can't recover the files, this is a great tool for destroying important business data.

While flawed in its ability to restore all data, Iolo Search and Recover 4 provides a generally reliable and usable data recovery tool.