Good, or even mediocre, file recovery apps are rarely free. Some have a trial version that allows users to run a basic scan, but for a more in-depth scan they have to purchase the program. That’s not to say that these apps don’t justify their price; they work and they work well.

If you need to recover a file urgently and you don’t know which recovery tool to use (or buy), try the free Windows File Recovery tool developed by Microsoft for Windows 10.


Windows File Recovery with File Recovery Tool

Windows File Recovery is a new command line application released by Microsoft for recovering lost / deleted files. It supports file recovery from hard drives, SSDs, SD cards and USB drives. It supports recovery of different file formats and allows users to recover files by type. The tool works from Windows 10 2004.

Using Windows File Recovery

To use Windows File Recovery, follow these steps:

  • Install the tool from Microsoft Store.
  • Open Command Prompt with administrator rights.
  • Run the following command to recover the files.
winfr source-drive: destination-folder [/switches]
winfr D: "E:Test Folder" /n *.mp3

Windows File Recovery Commands Explanation

To recover files with Windows File Recovery Tool, you need to run the command below. However, you need to understand these settings and what they represent before you can modify the command to suit your needs.

winfr source-drive: destination-folder [/switches]
  • winfr: Since this is a command line tool, you will need to call it with this command.
  • source-drive: This is the drive where the tool will recover files.
  • destination-folder: This is the location where the recovered files will be saved.
  • [/switches] : These are switches, that is, parameters that tell the tool which files to recover or what to look for when recovering a file.
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Note : The source drive must not be the same as the drive where the destination folder is located. If the path to the destination folder has a space, you must enclose it in quotes.

Windows File Recovery Switches

The Windows File Recovery tool gives a brief explanation of the switches it supports, and what each switch does. If you need to know which switch to use to recover recovered files by type, this is the switch /not.

To use the switch /not, add it at the end of the recover files command, and then specify the type of file you want to recover by appending its extension.

/ n * .mp3 will recover all MP3 files. The asterisk will replace the “name” of the file, which can be anything, that is, it will recover all MP3 files, regardless of their name.

Complete online help is available in French on page Rrecover lost files on Windows 10 from the Microsoft website.


Windows File Recovery does not claim to be able to recover all files. In fact, no recovery tool does. During testing, the application was able to recover files that had been deleted and / or copied / pasted to other external drives over a week ago. The system itself had been restarted several times since the files were deleted. If you’ve just lost a file, it’s a good idea to run this tool before trying anything else.

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