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How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Jun 29, 2020
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Good file recovery apps, or even mediocre ones, are rarely free. Some have a trial version that will allow users to run a basic scan, but for a deeper scan, they need to purchase the product. That’s not to say these apps do not justify their price; they do work and they work well. If you need to recover a file in a pinch and you don’t know which recovery tool to use (or buy), give Microsoft’s free Windows File Recovery tool a try.

Windows File Recovery tool

Windows File Recovery tool is a new command-line app released by Microsoft for recovering lost/deleted files. It supports file recovery from hard drives, SSDs, SD cards, and USB drives. It supports recovery for different file formats and allows users to recover files by type.

Use Windows File Recovery tool

To use the Windows File Recovery tool, follow these steps.

  1. Install the Windows File Recovery tool from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  3. Run the following command to recover files.

Command

Example

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Windows File Recovery command explained

In order to recover files with the Windows File Recovery tool, you need to run the following command, however, you need to understand these parameters and what they represent before you can modify the command to suit your own needs.

winfr: Since this is a command-line tool, you will need to call it with this command.

soure-drive: This is the drive that the tool will recover files from.

destination-folder: This is where the recovered files will be saved.

[/switches]: These are switches i.e., modifiers that tell the tool which files to recover or what to look for when recovering a file.

Note: The Source drive should not be the same as the drive that the Destination folder is on. If the path to the destination folder has a space in it, you need to enclose it in double-quotes.

Windows File Recovery switches

The Windows File Recovery tool gives a brief explanation of what switches it supports, and what each switch is for. If you need to know which switch to use to narrow the recovered files down by type, it’s the /n switch.

To use the /n switch, add it to the end of the recover files command, and then specify the file type you want to recover by adding its extension.

/n *.mp3 will recover all MP3 files. The asterisk will fill in for the ‘name’ of the file where the name can be anything i.e., it will recover all MP3 files regardless of what they are named.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Conclusion

Windows File Recovery does not claim to be able to recover any and all files. In fact, no recovery tool does. During testing, the app was able to recover files that have been deleted and/or cut/paste removed to other external drives over a week ago. The system itself had been restarted several times since the files had been deleted. If you’ve just lost a file, running this tool before you try anything else is a good idea.

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How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Nothing is harmful as losing all important and valuable data including files, videos, songs, documents, and many other things from a hard drive that may take place because of a human error or hardware malfunction. However, there might still be a chance to retrieve any of those files, as many file deletions require removing the file index before the storage block is overwritten. So, in this guide, you will learn how to install and use Windows File Recovery on Windows 10.

Meanwhile, there are lots of third-party software like Recuva, Disk Drill, Stellar and others that can recover your deleted data freely. Since Microsoft released its own file recovery tool called “Windows File Recovery” then there is no need to use third-party apps for recovering deleted data.

What is Windows File Recovery?

Windows File Recovery is Microsoft’s own tool for retrieving mistakenly deleted files. Though, it’s not an app in the common sense of the term since it’s a command-line tool. This covers a broad variety of file types including images, documents, and videos. This can be used to access files from the storage of a variety of external users, by means of cameras and SD cards.

Microsoft’s file recovery service has a default mode particularly designed for NTFS file systems. This can restore data from a damaged disk, or after a disk has been formatted. A second signature mode is probably the most common alternative, enabling users to recover different types of files through FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems. This signature mode can take longer to recover files, too.

Microsoft’s Windows File Recovery tool doesn’t have a graphical interface — it’s just a command-line utility. This tool requires you to have Windows 10’s May 2020 update or a newer version of Windows 10 installed. It’s not running on older versions of Windows.

The Microsoft Windows File Recovery Tool supports three modes of operation: Default, Segment, and Signature.

Each of these modes attempts to retrieve deleted files from a storage device in a different way, as mentioned below:

  • Default mode: This mode uses the Master File Table (MFT) feature to find missing files. Default mode works fine when MFT and file segments, also called File Record Segments (FRS), are present.
  • Segment mode: This mode does not require an MFT but includes segments. Segments are summaries of file information stored by NTFS in the MFT, such as name, date, size, sort and cluster / allocation unit index.
  • Signature mode: this mode only allows data to be present and searches for different file types. It’s not working with tiny files. You can only use the Signature mode to access a file from an external storage device, such as a USB drive.

How to Install Windows File Recovery on Windows 10?

To use the Windows File Recovery tool for recovering files, you’ll need to install it from Microsoft Store. Here’s how to install it:

Step 1. Open Microsoft Store. You can find Microsoft Store from the Start menu by searching Store or Microsoft Store.

Step 2. Click Open.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Step 3. Now, search for Windows File Recovery and Click Install. The app size is around 2.82 MB.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Install & Use Windows File Recovery

How to Use Windows File Recovery to Recover the Deleted Data?

When the app is installed, open the “Windows File Recovery” shortcut once and click “Yes” if you’re prompted. You will be greeted with a screen similar to the one below when you open the program.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Windows File Recovery

However, If you don’t see the list of options above, type “winfr” and then press enter.
USAGE: winfr source-drive: destination-folder [/switche

/r – Segment mode (NTFS only, recovery using file record segments)
/n [filter] – Filter search (default or segment mode, wildcards allowed, trailing \ for folder)

/x – Signature mode (recovery using file headers)
/y:[type(s)] – Recover specific extension groups (signature mode only, comma separated)
/# – Displays signature mode extension groups and file types

/? – Help text
/! – Display advanced features

Example usage – winfr C: D:\RecoveryDestination /n Users\[username]\Downloads\
winfr C: D:\RecoveryDestination /x /y:PDF,JPEG
winfr C: D:\RecoveryDestination /r /n *.pdf /n *.jpg

For instance, to recover the deleted .JPG images using the default mode from the G: drive and restore them to the D: drive, you would use the following command and press enter.

winfr G: D: /n *.JPG

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

To Continue, Press y.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

When the recovery process is completed. Now, simply go to the drive where you select the files to be recovered and check whether the files are recovered or not. In my case, I have successfully recovered the deleted. JPG files as you can see in the screenshot below.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Recovered ,jpg files

to use the default mode to recover all deleted .PDF files on the G: drive and restore them to the D: drive, you would use the following command:

winfr G: D: /n *.PDF

Type y to continue.

Recovered deleted .PDF files.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Recovered deleted .PDF files.

To search for all DOCX files on drive G: and copy them to drive D:, you’d run the following command:

winfr G: D: /n *.docx

Type y to continue.

Wrapping Up

This is how you can install and use the Windows File Recovery tool to recover the deleted data on your Windows PC. I have provided you some examples on how to recover the deleted. JPG, PDF, and .docx files using the Windows File Recovery tool. Meanwhile, this was a quick guide on how to use the Windows File Recovery tool. To know more about how to recover deleted files and data click here.

Windows File Recovery ( winfr.exe ) is a new free Microsoft tool to recover deleted files on different types of media. The tool is available since Windows 10 2004 (May 2020 Update) and works only in the console mode of the command prompt. You can install WINFR on Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store. The tool allows you to scan a file system and find deleted files. Several scan modes are supported (MFT tables, known file type signatures or segment mode). Windows File Recovery supports NTFS, ReFS, FAT, exFAT and can recover deleted files from locally connected devices: USB flash drives, HDDs, SSDs (you have to note some aspects when you try to recover deleted files from a Trim-enabled SSD).

In this article we’ll show you how to use Windows File Recovery in Windows 10 to restore accidentally (or deliberately) deleted files.

Open Microsoft Store (or go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/windows-file-recovery/9n26s50ln705?rtc=1) and install the Windows File Recovery (you can find it in Utilities & tools -> File managers).

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Open the command prompt or the PowerShell console and run this command:

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

The main Windows File Recovery options are available in the console.

Here is the typical syntax:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches]

Let’s try to learn how to use Windows File Recovery on Windows 10 based on some examples.

winfr.exe can work in 3 modes:

  • Standard mode uses an MFT table to search deleted files. It is effective if file record segments (FRS) still exist on a disk;
  • Segment mode is used to search different NTFS segments on a disk instead of searching the MFT table. Segments are different file attributes on a disk, like name, size, type, date, etc;
  • Signature mode – the tool searches the disk for signatures of different file types (winfr has several built-in signatures for popular file types). This mode is not suitable to find small files. It is the only mode supporting drives with file systems other than NTFS.

Let’s try to recover a recently deleted file on Windows 10 using the Windows File Recovery.

Suppose, you know an exact name of the deleted file and the directory it was located in. The following command will search deleted files on drive C: using the \PS\test.txt filter and recover the files it finds to a separate drive K: (I removed the file permanently using shift+delete). This command is run in the standard winfr mode, wildcards (*) are allowed (the file path is specified without the disk name, it is supposed you have already specified the source-drive):

winfr C: K: /n \PS\test.txt

The tool scans the disk ( Pass 1: Scanning and processing disk ) and recovers the files it finds to the specified directory ( Pass 2: Recovering files ).

In this example, 2 deleted files with the same name appeared in the specified directory. The tool asked what to do with the files it had found:

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

After you have made your choice, press Y . A directory with the recovery log and restored files will open automatically.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

If you know only the name of the folder in which the deleted files are stored, use this command:

After scanning for the removed files, all found elements will be recovered to a target folder. The tool will automatically order the files by their names and types.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

The commands shown above are effective if a file has been deleted recently. If the file was a long time ago, or the source drive was formatted, it is recommended to use a segment mode with /r option (for NTFS drives only).

For example, you want to deeply scan a directory to find files with the specific extensions (Excel files: xls and xlsx). Use this command:

winfr C: P: /r /n \Sales\*.xls /n \Sales\*.xlsx

You can specify a part of a file name:

winfr C: P: /r /n *annual*

A signature mode is used to find deleted files on a disk with a file system other than NTFS. Typically, it is used to search removed files on USB flash drives, SD cards of phones or cameras. The /x option is used to perform a signature scan.

For example, you want to find deleted files on an SD card by JPEG or PNG signatures.

winfr E: K: /x /y:JPG,PNG /n \DCIM\

The table below shows the list of signatures available in Windows File Recovery and file types that belong to each signature.

Signature Name File Types
ASF wma, wmv, asf
JPEG jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfif, jfi
MP3 mp3
MPEG mpeg, mp4, mpg, m4a, m4v, m4b, m4r, mov, 3gp, qt
PDF pdf
PNG png
ZIP zip, docx, xlsx, pptx, odt, ods, odp, odg, odi, odf, odc, odm, ott, otg, otp, ots, otc, oti, otf, oth

You can get some help on the advanced Windows File Recovery options as follows:

Windows 10 operating system is a very useful tool for users. Further, it provides an application list for the users. In addition, you can make use of them to satisfy your requirements. Many ties you wish to recover your data. Unfortunately, you face this issue for various applications. But, you can only restore the data or take a backup from the ‘Recycle bin’ app. If you have permanently deleted the items, then you require some third-party app like ‘Windows File Recovery’ for this operation. Many users don’t know ‘How To Use Windows File Recovery In Windows 10?’. We are here for your service. Thus, we are delivering here thorough information. You should apply it. We have also covered the article on ‘How to Fix Broken Registry Items‘. So, let’s have a look at ‘How To Use Windows File Recovery In Windows 10?’.

Table of Contents

How To Use Windows File Recovery In Windows 10?

‘Windows File Recovery’ app is available at the Microsoft store. Moreover, it is totally free. So, you can easily get it for recovering data. This process is a bit tricky to go with. But, you will finally get better outcomes. We are delivering here a tutorial ‘How To Use Windows File Recovery In Windows 10?’. We assure you of its positive results. This activity needs an updated version of the system. So, you need to focus on that point also. You should get into this process in a healthy way. Let’s begin this amazing knowledge journey.

Process Used For This Purpose

There is a systematic process available for this operation. Thus, you need to go through the steps given below.

Checking the Version

First of all, you should check the version of your system. So, just go through the steps below.

1 ) Search for the ‘winver.exe’ Option

Most importantly, you should search for the ‘winver.exe’ option & select it. So, go to the search bar available on the downward side of the window. So, just do it.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

2 ) About Windows Display

After that, the ‘About Windows’ window will appear. Thus, you can get to know about the version of your system easily.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Thus, do this as a primary operation.

File Systems Supported by This Application

There are various types of the systems that supports this app. Thus, they include FAT, NTFS, exFAT & ReFS.

File Formats Supported

This useful application supports the file formats including PDF, PNG, JPEG, MP3, MP4, MPEG, 3GP, etc.

Installing the Windows File Recovery

It is the time to install this application. So, follow the steps below to do so.

1 ) Visit the Microsoft Store

The very first thing you should do is to visit the Microsoft Store site. So, do the same.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

2 ) Install the Application

Moving ahead, download & install this free application from Microsoft. Thus, click on the ‘Get’ option for doing this operation.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Thus, you should install the application with the help of this data.

Important Points to Consider Before Using This Application

There are some essential points to keep in mind for this application. So, those are listed as below.

  • The operation regarding non-NTFS is applicable in the signature mode.
  • It is mandatory to have separate source & destination drives. so, if you have only one, then, connect the other to execute this operation.
  • Default, segment & signature are the 3 modes that the application offers.

Using the Application

Now, it’s the time to use this application. So, follow the steps to complete the process.

1 ) Search for the ‘Windows Recovery App’

You should search in the search bar for ‘Windows Recovery App’ & press the Enter key. So, do it now. Then, you will get the User Account Control Dialogue. Further, click on the ‘Yes’ option in the displayed window to open it in the Command Prompt window.

2 ) Add the Command

Then, put the following command in the window & press the Enter key. Moreover, it needs to replace the source & destination drive according to your operation.

3 ) Pressing the ‘Y’ Key

Then, press the ‘Y’ key for disk scanning process execution. So, do the same.

4 ) View the Recovered Files

Now, again press the ‘Y’ Key. You will be able to see the files recovered.

Thus, you should perform this action.

Recovering Files In Various Types Of Modes

There are various modes available for recovering. Thus, let’s take a look at these various modes.

Default Mode

To recover from drive C to drive E, you need to enter the command given below. Then, press the Enter key.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Segment Mode

For the segment mode, you should use the following command for PDF & DOCS files from drive ‘C’ to ‘E’.

Signature Mode

In this mode, use the following command for JPEG files from drive ‘C’ to ‘F’.

Thus, you should go for this.

In this way, following the above-mentioned information, you can achieve the final destination easily.

Curious about getting permanently deleted files back in Windows 10? Then, don’t worry, you can still get back those files using the three methods indicated in this blog. One of the best and safer methods is using a Windows file recovery software that can assist you in finding all the deleted files in just a few clicks.

If you remove a file from your Windows operating system, it will land in the Recycle Bin. You can restore or remove the files through the Recycle Bin. You can also use Shift+Delete to delete a file or folder, or run a device cleanup app to uninstall a file; however, you can not find the file yourself in this case. You need to put more work into locating a file and folder that has been deleted. Let’s check how a user can recover their deleted data on their original location.

How to recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10?

Microsoft developed a Windows 10 File Recovery software that restores files that have been deleted and failed to notify someone.

Someone has mistakenly deleted a file and then remembered they did not have a backup. If this file is sensitive, then you can restore the deleted data using a third-party file recovery system.

Windows sleuth WalkingCat has finally found a software developed by Microsoft called the Windows Recovery Software. Now, you are thinking of what exactly the Windows recovery tool means. So, here we are telling you all about it in the next section.

What is Windows File Recovery Software?

Windows File Recovery is a command-line tool that can restore various types of files, including images, documents, photos, etc. Software capabilities include:

  • This allows recovery of JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office, MP3 & MP4, ZIP files, and more
  • Targeting file names, keywords, file locations, or extensions
  • The program enables the file systems NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS
  • You will recover files from HDD, SSD, USB and Memory cards

This tool offers three modes including default mode, segment mode, and mode signature. Those files that are unintentionally deleted from a USB drive can be easily recovered through the Signature mode. This can extend to work with storage devices besides NTFS recovery.

Working of three-modes:

Default Mode: It uses the Master File Table (MFT) to find missing files. This mode performs a correct operation in the presence of segments MFT and Register (File Record Segments).

Segment Mode: This mode enables segments but does not include the MFT. Segments are descriptions of file information stored in the MFT by NTFS, such as name, date, size, sort, and index of the cluster/allocation unit.

Signature Mode: It mode allows the data to be present, and searches for different types of files. Small files don’t work. You can only use the Signature mode to open a file on an external storage device, such as a USB drive.

The Windows Recovery Tool allows file recovery on hard drives, SSDs, USB drives, or memory cards. One warning is that TRIM restricts file recovery on SSD storage. Users can run Windows 10 version 19041.0 or higher on ARM, ARM64, x64, or x86 PC architectures for using the tool. You can find full instructions on how to use switches in the device here and the app can be downloaded.

After downloading the tool, let’s check how it can be used for recovering deleted files.

How to use New Windows File Recovery Software in Windows 10?

  1. First, launch the tool from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Now, hit the Windows key, then in the search box, type Windows File Recovery. Pick Windows File Recovery.
  3. When requested to allow the App to make system adjustments, select Yes.
  4. In the Prompt command window, enter the command in the format below:
  • winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches]
  • There has to be a separate source and destination drive. Using /n and /y: switches to define the user files or folder when loading from the operating system drive (often C:).
  • Microsoft can automatically build a recovery folder on the destination drive for you called Recovery.
  • Three modes are used to recover files: Default, Segment, and Signature.

Regrettably, the recent history of Microsoft’s issues with Windows Updates, like triggering LSASS failures and reboots may lead some users confused about upgrading to a compatible Windows version to properly use the tool.

Conclusion:

Deleted files can be easily now recovered with the Microsoft newly launched Software i.e Windows file recovery Software. Here, we have described what it is and how to use it to recover all the deleted Windows files. I hope you get some knowledge about the tool.

Microsoft launches its own Windows file recovery tool to help you recover files that you have accidentally deleted. Windows File Recovery is a command line application that can recover a wide variety of files and documents from local hard drives, USB drives and even camera SD cards. However, it does not support file recovery from cloud storage or network file sharing.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

It is a Win32 command line application described as a solution for recovering personal data that has been accidentally erased, perhaps when a hard drive is erased. It can recover most file types, with Microsoft listing JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office, MP3, MP4 and ZIP files, but it also adds “and more”. It works with hard drives, solid-state disks and memory cards, including support for NTFS, FAT, exFat and ReFS file systems. So it covers most configurations in which Windows 10 would run.

Windows File Recovery App Requirements

In order to use the Windows File Recovery Tool, you need to meet a few requirements.

July 2021 Update:

We now recommend using this tool for your error. Additionally, this tool fixes common computer errors, protects you against file loss, malware, hardware failures and optimizes your PC for maximum performance. You can fix your PC problems quickly and prevent others from happening with this software:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

  • You must be using Windows 10, version 2004 (build 19041) or later.
  • You can download the Windows File Recovery Tool from the Microsoft Store.
  • The source and destination drives must be different. If you do not have a second drive on your computer, you can use a USB drive as the recovery destination. If you are recording from an SD card or external drive, you can use the system’s internal drive (often the C: drive) as the destination.
  • The tool supports various file systems such as NTFS, ReFS, FAT and exFAT. If you are restoring files from a non-NTFS file system, you must run the commands in signature mode with the /x parameter.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

How to Use Windows File Recovery App

The three modes available in Windows File Recovery are Standard, Segment, and Signature.

Only the Signature mode allows files to be recovered from non-NTFS file systems, such as FAT and exFAT for SD cards and USB drives or ReFS for Windows Server and Windows Pro for workstations.

Default mode uses the Master File Table (MFT) to recover lost files. “Standard mode works well when the MFT and file segments, also called File Record Segments (FRS), are present,” explains Microsoft.

Segment mode does not require MFT, but it does require segments. “Segments are summaries of the file information that NTFS stores in the MFT, such as the name, date, size, type and index of allocation units/class,” he says.

The signature mode requires only the existence of the data and searches for specific file types. “It doesn’t work for small files. To restore a file to an external storage device, such as a USB stick, you can only use signature mode,” says the accompanying note.

Conclusion

For more information about using the tool, how it works, and the files it can recover, see the Microsoft support page. You can download Windows File Recovery free of charge from the Microsoft Store, a link to which is provided below. Just make sure you are using Windows 10 2004 or later to install the application.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

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Until recently, you’d have to turn to third-party software if you wanted to get back accidentally deleted files.

Once they’d left the Recycle Bin, there was no official recovery option on Windows 10.

However, that has all changed with the release of Windows File Recovery, Microsoft’s own tool for retrieving files.

What is Windows File Recovery?

Windows File Recovery is Microsoft’s own tool for retrieving files that have been accidentally deleted. It covers photos, documents and videos, across a wide variety of file types.

Functionality extends to cameras and SD cards, where it can recover files from the storage of a number of external devices. However, for the purposes of this tutorial we’ll be using Windows File Recovery to get back data you’ve deleted from your PC.

How to use Windows File Recovery?

It’s important to start the process of file recovery as soon as possible after you’ve realised they’ve been deleted. This gives you the best possible chance of getting your files back, as well as ensuring they’re not corrupted or unusable.

For the recovery process to work in its current form, you’ll need to remember where the file/s were stored when on your computer.

  • Download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store. It’s only compatible with Windows 10 devices running version 19041.0 (May 2020 update) or higher
  • Upon opening the app, you should be presented with a screen similar to the one below
  • If you don’t see the list of options above, type ‘winfr’ and then hit enter
  • From here, you’ll need to input your specific information into this command:

‘winfr (sourcedrive): (destinationdrive)’

    For the ‘destinationdrive’ section, you’ll need a detailed breakdown of the file location.
    That might sound confusing, but it’s easier than you think. If I had a file called ‘testdocument.pdf’, my command would look something like this:

    ‘winfr C: UsersAnyronCopemanDocumentsWorkFilestestdocument.pdf’

  • You could also restore a whole folder by simply removing the ‘testdocument.pdf’ section of the above command
  • Finally, you can also restore directly to an external storage device. Connect it to your PC and then add the letter that appears after it in File Explorer (this is usually E:). Adding this to the command would look like this:

    ‘winfr C: E: UsersAnyronCopemanDocumentsWorkFilestestdocument.pdf’

It’s worth noting that this is by no means a foolproof method. The app has mixed reviews on the Microsoft Store in the US, with some people are reporting that the software won’t install on their devices.

As alluded to above, Windows File Recovery isn’t the only way to get back files that have previously been deleted. Check out how to recover deleted files for more options.

Windows File Recovery tool is available on Windows apps store and it is a command line app that allow users to recover deleted files and documents

BS Web Team | New Delhi Last Updated at July 2, 2020 10:17 IST

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

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Microsoft recently released Windows File Recovery tool, an app that helps its users on Windows 10 operating system retrieve deleted files and documents. The tool is available on Windows apps store and it is a command line app that allow users to recover deleted files and documents from local hard disc, pen drives and SD cards. Here is everything you need to know about the app and how it works:

Windows File Recovery tool: Supported system, formats and drives

  • Platform:Windows 10 build 19041 or later
  • File systems: NTFS, FAT, exFAT and ReFS
  • Drives: HDD, SSD, USB, and memory cards
  • Formats: JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office files, MP3 & MP4, ZIP files, and more

Windows File Recovery tool: Scope

The Windows File Recovery tool allows you to target file names, keywords, file paths, or extensions in your recovery. However, being a command line app, it does not support files recovery from cloud storage and storage drives on network.

Windows File Recovery tool: How it works

  • Download and launch the app from the Microsoft Store.
  • Press the Windows key, enter Windows File Recovery in the search box, and then select Windows File Recovery.
  • When you are prompted to allow the app to make changes to your device, select Yes.

In the Command Prompt window, enter the command in the following format:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches]

The source and destination drives must be different. When recovering from the operating system drive (often C: ), use the /n and /y: switches to specify the user files or folder.

Microsoft automatically creates a recovery folder for you called, Recovery_ on the destination drive.

There are three modes you can use to recover files: Default, Segment, and Signature.

Default mode

Recover a specific file from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an E: drive.

winfr C: E: /n \Users\ \Documents\QuarterlyStatement.docx

Recover jpeg and png photos from your Pictures folder to the recovery folder on an E: drive.

winfr C: E: /n \Users\ \Pictures\*.JPEG /n \Users\ \Pictures\*.PNG

Recover your Documents folder from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an E: drive.

winfr C: E: /n \Users\ \Documents\

Don’t forget the backslash (\) at the end of the folder.

Segment mode (/r)

Recover PDF and Word files from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an E: drive.

winfr C: E: /r /n *.pdf /n *.docx

Recover any file with the string “invoice” in the filename by using wildcard characters.

Signature mode examples (/x)

When using signature mode, it’s helpful to first see the supported extension groups and corresponding file types.

Recover JPEG (jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfif, jfi) and PNG photos from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an E: drive.

Recover ZIP files (zip, docx, xlsx, ptpx, and so on) from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an E: drive.

winfr C: E:\RecoveryTest /x /y:ZIP

When you are prompted for confirmation to continue, enter Y to start the recovery operation.

Depending on the size of your source drive, this may take a while.

To stop the recovery process, press Ctrl+C.

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Anyone who has accidentally deleted a file knows the panic that comes with the mistake. Sometimes you can find the files in the recycle bin and restore them, but other times the files are just plain gone. Anyone familiar with how Windows and other operating systems work might know that files aren’t actually deleted, they’re marked to allow other data to overwrite them in the future. That means with the right recovery software, there is a chance to recover “deleted” files like images or documents. To that end, Microsoft has quietly launched a new tool specifically to help with this task. The new tool is called Windows File Recovery and it’s free.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Windows File Recovery is a command line tool that can recover multiple file types including photos, documents, videos, and others. Features of the tool include:

  • The ability to target file names, keywords, file paths, or extensions
  • Recovery of JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office files, MP3 & MP4, ZIP files and more are supported
  • Files can be recovered from HDD, SSD, USB, and memory cards
  • The tool supports NTFS, FAT, exFAT and ReFS file systems

The app supports three modes, including default, segment mode, and signature mode. Files accidentally deleted from a USB drive can be recovered using Signature mode, which can expand beyond NTFS recovery to work with storage devices. Signature mode only requires the data to be present and searches for specific file types, but won’t work for small files. Default mode uses the Master File Table (MFT) to locate lost files. Segment mode doesn’t require MFT, but does require segments.

How to use microsoft’s “windows file recovery” on windows 10

Recovering files is supported on hard drives, SSDs, USB drives, or memory cards. One caveat is that file recovery on SSD storage is limited by TRIM. To be able to use Windows File Recovery, users must be running Windows 10 version 19041.0 or higher on ARM, ARM64, x64, or x86 PC architectures. Full instructions on using switches in the tool can be found here, and the app is available to download here.

Here’s how to use the tool:

  • Download and launch the app from the Microsoft Store.
  • Press the Windows key, enter Windows File Recovery in the search box, and then select Windows File Recovery.
  • When you are prompted to allow the app to make changes to your device, select Yes.
  • In the Command Prompt window, enter the command in the following format:
    • winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches]
    • The source and destination drives must be different. When recovering from the operating system drive (often C: ), use the /n and /y: switches to specify the user files or folder.
    • Microsoft automatically creates a recovery folder for you called, Recovery_ on the destination drive.
    • There are three modes you can use to recover files: Default, Segment, and Signature.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s recent history of issues with Windows Updates, such as causing LSASS failures and reboots, may leave some users unsure about updating to a supported version of Windows to actually use the tool.