Free recovery tool for Windows
Windows File Recovery is a free file manager software that enables you to recover lost data. Developed by Microsoft, this handy little tool can work on accidental deletions, drive wipes, corrupted data, and dozens of file types. Compared to other full-fledged data recovery programs, this one seems to lack advanced features. However, just by being an application optimized for the Windows operating system, it already has a bit of an edge over other software.
Tricky to use
Windows File Recovery is, first and foremost, a command-line program. It relies on typed instructions, rather than a graphical user interface. This makes it difficult for those who don’t know how to use the command-line function to even make do with the tool. However, you can always learn online. You can also check out the link, aka.ms/winfrhelp, for the user guide. The program is available on Windows 10, 2004 and above.
The default mode for this utility was made for NTFS file systems. It will recover files from a corrupted disk or after you’ve formatted a disk. If you’d like to extend beyond NTFS, however, you can try the Signature Mode, which allows you to recover specific file types across FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems. This mode may take longer, but it can also target file names, keywords, file paths, or extensions in its search.
The program can also recover from cameras, SD cards, HDDs, and flash drives. It supports various file formats, too—from documents and images to Office files and ZIPs. However, to get the most optimal version of the lost data, it’s recommended that you immediately use this tool as soon as you lost a file. This ensures that it hasn’t been overwritten, and you need to avoid using your computer during this period.
All in all, Windows File Recovery is a great application to have in your arsenal. Its lack of a GUI severely limits its use to most of Windows’ userbase, but those who know command-line well can benefit a lot from its features. This software could use some more advanced features that are often found in other data recovery programs, but even in this state, it’s a recommended tool to try out.