[Full Guide]: Windows File Recovery Utility

Here, you are going to learn how to recover deleted files on Windows 10 2004 and above with the Windows File Recovery utility.

Brief introduction of Windows File Recovery utility

WinFr recover deleted files

Windows File Recovery is a command-line file recovery program released by Microsoft in 2020. It not only has a high success rate and high security, but is also suitable for different file systems and file loss scenarios. If you need to recover accidentally lost or deleted JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office files, MP3 and MP4, ZIP and more files from local hard drive, USB drive, SD card, then you must not miss it.

However, as a command line program, Windows File Recovery lacks a friendly graphical user interface, which can confuse many users. Fortunately, this article will show you how to use the Windows File Recovery utility with detailed steps.

Step by step: Using Windows File Recovery to recover lost files

winfr source-drive:destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches] is the syntax of Windows File Recovery, but users need to change the syntax parameters according to their own situation. Now I will explain in detail what each parameter means.
  • source-drive: The drive where the lost file is located.
  • destination-drive: The drive to where you want to restore the lost file.
  • [/mode]: Users need to select the corresponding mode according to different scenarios and file systems.
  • [/switches]: It refers to reducing the scope of the scan.

How to choose mode?

There are two basic file recovery modes here: Regular and Extensive. The former is used for undamaged NTFS drives, and the latter is used for all file systems. You can choose the appropriate mode according to the file system of the disk.

File system




Deleted recently



Deleted for a while



Formatted disk



Corrupted disk


FAT and exFAT



How to choose switch?

You can select the appropriate switch to scan for specific files and their filename/path/type etc.



Supported mode(s)


To filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.



Recovers system files.




Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.



Step 1. Get Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store first.

Step 2. After installation, open Windows File Recovery and input the syntax: winfr source-drive:destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches].

Step 3. Hit Enter to apply operations.

Windows file recovery

An alternative to Windows File Recovery utility

Did you see that? Using Windows File Recovery to recover lost files requires users to have the ability to type a command line, which is not an easy task for ordinary users.

Don't worry, I'll introduce you to its alternatives. WinfrGUI is a file recovery freeware that fully invokes the functions of Windows File Recovery, allowing users to recover lost files in an easier way.

WinfrGUI has the following advantages:
  • Friendly interface. Provides a user-friendly graphical user interface.
  • Easy to use. Deleted files can be recovered in just a few clicks.
  • Free and efficient. 100% free recovery of media/office/compressed files etc.
  • Compatible and safe. Support Windows 10/11, NTFS/FAT/exFAT/ReFS.
Step 1. Select the partition where the deleted file is located and select the path to restoring the file.

Step 2. Choose one Scanning mode.

Step 3. Click “Start Recovery” and wait patiently, the lost files will be recover to the target drive.

Wrap things up

From what has been discussed above, this article explains how to recover lost files with Windows File Recovery utility in detail. Besides, Windows File Recovery alternative software WinfrGUI is also mentioned. If you have tried Windows File Recovery before, I’m sure you already know how easy it is to use WinfrGUI. If you are troubled by losing important files on Windows 11 and 10, you should have a try!

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post