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How to recover deleted files on Windows 10 with Microsoft’s new free app

23 mayo, 2021

Microsoft has launched in the Store ‘Windows File Recovery’, an unexpected free application (and surprisingly, Win32) that allows you to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

This is an important release, because normally, when files are lost by mistake, you have to resort to paid applications. The fact that Microsoft releases it so that anyone can use it without paying can help millions of users to restore important lost files to their hard drive or SSD.


How Windows File Recovery, a command line application, works

Windows File

Windows File Recovery has only one drawback, which can be an advantage for advanced users. ** To use it, we will have to do it through the command line **, since it is an application without a graphical interface. This can cause many users to look for options that are simpler in appearance and in operation.

The first thing to do is install it, something that you can only do if you are on the latest version of Windows 10, the Windows 10 May 2020 Update or version 2004. Once installed, you have to give it administrator permissions, and a screen will appear that indicate, in English, some instructions. As indicated by Microsoft itself from a support web page, Windows File Recovery has three modes.

  • Default: This is the mode they recommend to use for recently filed files on disks with an NTFS file system. Use the Master File Table (MFT). Microsoft mentions that it works fine when File Segments (FRS) are present.

  • Segment: this mode is recommended in NTFS to recover files deleted some time ago, after formatting or with a corrupt disk, and it does not require MFT but it does require segments, which according to Microsoft are file indexes such as date, size, type, etc. Microsoft recommends testing Segment first, then Signature.

  • Signature: For FAT, exFAT or ReFS file systems, Microsoft recommends Signature mode, which requires that the data be present on the disk, but allows this to be an external drive, such as a hard drive or USB stick. It does not work with small files.

Windows File Recovery

Microsoft explains how Windows File Recovery works. Always use the “winfr” command, and if for example we want to recover a specific file from C: in Default mode and copy it to a folder on disk E :, we would have to do this, with ‘Antonio’ ​​being the name of the user folder, and ‘Genbeta.docx ‘the searched file name:

winfr C: E: / n Users Antonio Documents Genbeta.docx

If we wanted to search in C: by file type (PNG and JPEG in this case) in Default mode, and we wanted to paste in E :, we would have to execute this on the command line:

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

To search in C: PDF and Word files in Segment mode, and copy them in E, enter (/ r) in the action, and it would look like this:

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

With Signature, it would be similar, using (/ x) in the syntax:

winfr C: E: / x / y: JPEG, PNG

Although at the moment it is not in Spanish, the most complete that there is is the Microsoft support website, where they also indicate tricks such as using “winfr /!” to access all the more advanced action syntax.

Via | The Verge