Q&A: What’s the Best Alternative to Lexar Image Rescue?

Last updated: Jul. 27, 2017

So, here's what happened to me recently. I formatted my Lexar memory card without successfully syncing up a few hundred photos. I was really concerned. Then a photographer friend recommended me to try ImageRescue. I did  so but it seems the program isn't free and I can't save some of the found images. Is there a better alternative?

First off, it's a pity to hear your suffering. Data loss is a nightmare, if there's no backup setup. 

Photo recovery software like Image Rescue 5 may help, though it probably won't succeed in every case.

Is Lexar Image Rescue free?

No, it's not free software. I've tried the app on my Mac. It does offer a demo which is free to use, but you're only allowed to recover up to three files (see this warning message). 

​If you have more than three files to recover, you'll have to purchase ImageRescue and activate the program before actually saving those found photos.

It's worth noting though, if you've ever bought a new Lexar card like this one​ from Amazon, it actually comes with a free downloadable ImageRescue 5 software.

​What's the best ImageRescue alternative?

Well, this is an interesting question. ​To be frank, I don't have a certain answer. Because technically, it's hard to say one photo recovery software is better than another, unless you've done benchmark testings which are extremely hard due to the nature of data recovery.

So, aim at helping you recover your images, I'm here to share a few good programs worth taking your time to explore.

If you are okay to use command line tool...

I recommend this freeware called PhotoRec. ​You can download it here, and the step by step guide can be found here.

PhotoRec is very powerful and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. ​Besides images, it can also recover many other type of files like documents, emails, videos, etc.

If you are used to GUI software (you probably are)...

I'd first recommend Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery, as it has a friend user interface and it's also available for both Windows and macOS.

​Note: like Lexar Image Rescue, Stellar Photo Recovery isn't free software either. But you can use the trial to evaluate whether your pictures are recoverable or not.

In case Stellar Phoenix didn't work out for you, you can also have a try of Remo Recover (PC) or Data Rescue 4 (Mac).

A general step by step guide is like this:

  1. You first download and install a recovery program on your PC or Mac.
  2. Connect your Lexar memory card to the computer via a card reader.
  3. Open the software and select the drive your Lexar card stands, choose certain file formats (optional) to continue.
  4. Scan the card for recoverable items. Preview them after the scan is complete.
  5. Check and select those you want and save them.

I want to remind you though, that chances to retrieve all your pictures are not 100%. Because maybe the data contained in your deleted pictures have already been written over (if you had continued to use the same card to store new pics). If that is the case, recovery is slim. And your last resort is perhaps send your Lexar card to a data recovery center, be prepared to spend much more than you expect though.

Also, if your Lexar card is corrupted or damaged, chances are the software won't be much help in this case. You'll need to fix the card first before using the above recovery program. Check out this SD card recovery guide and navigate to the right chapters for specific solutions.

Hope this helps!​

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