Windows 10 Gets File Recovery Tool

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has released a tool for recovering deleted or corrupted files. However, it may be too technical for many casual users.

Windows File Recovery only works with Windows 10 version 2004, which is the latest branch of Windows 10 released on May, 2020. The Windows File Recovery is only available through the dedicated Microsoft Store, rather than users being able to download and install it from a website. (Source:

It might therefore seem natural that the tool would be in an easy-to-use format aimed at a mass audience. Instead, it runs on the command line, meaning users can only control it using specific typed instructions.

No Guaranteed Success

The tool works on hard drives, external USB drives and memory cards, though doesn't work on anything that requires a network connection such as a network file share or cloud-based files.

As with all file recovery options, it works best when used as quickly as possible after file deletion. That's because when a file is deleted, the space occupied by the file becomes marked as available free space. The actual data remains on the drive until another file is written to the available space.

External Drives Slower To Recover

The default mode in Windows File Recovery tool lets users search for specific files, specific formats of files, or specific locations (such as a drive or folder). Meanwhile, the "segment mode" lets users combine details, for example recovering all PDF documents on a particular drive.

Both these modes only work on internal drives and rely on the computer still having some records of where it kept files, meaning it won't always work if a drive has been corrupted or damaged.

A third "signature mode" will work on external drives and doesn't need the file records. It has some limitations however: it can only search for a specific file type, it won't work on small files, and will typically take longer to run than an internal hard drive. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Would you use this tool? Are you familiar and confident with the command line? Would you find it easier to use third party recovery tools or to simply rely on backups?

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