How to use Windows File Recovery Tool in Windows 10

Good, if not bad, file recovery apps are rarely free. Some have a trial version that allows users to perform a basic scan, but for a more thorough review, they need to purchase the product. This is not to say that these apps don’t justify the price; they work and work well. If you need to recover a file by pinching it and don’t know which recovery tool you want to use (or buy), try Microsoft’s free Windows File Recovery Tool.

Windows File Recovery Tool

Windows File Recovery Tool is Microsoft’s new command line application 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 restore files by type.

Use the 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 administrator privileges.
  3. Run fthe following command to restore the files.


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


winfr D: "E:Test Folder" /n *.mp3

Windows file restore command explained

To restore files with Windows File Recovery, you must run the following command, but you must still understand these settings and what they represent before you can customize the command to suit your needs.

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

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

sour reader: This is the drive from which the tool recovers the files.

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destination folder: Files restored here will be saved.

[/switches]: These are switches, that is, modifiers that tell the tool what files to restore or what to look for when restoring a file.

Please note The source drive must not be the same as the drive where the destination folder is located. If the destination folder path contains a space, you must enclose it in quotation marks.

Windows file recovery switches

The Windows File Recovery Tool provides a brief explanation of the switches it supports and what each switch is used for. If you want to know which switch is used to narrow the recovered files by type, this is it / n switch.

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

/ n * .mp3 restore all MP3 files. The asterisk replaces the ‘name’ of the file, where the name can be anything, meaning it returns all MP3 files regardless of their name.


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 have been deleted and / or cut / pasted deleted from other external drives more than a week ago. The system itself had been booted several times after the files were deleted. If you have just lost a file, you may want to use this tool before trying anything else.

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