[Guide]: How to Use Windows File Recovery

Description: Do you want to know how to use Windows File Recovery on Windows 10 and 11? Here is a step by step guidance you can learn.

Keywords: how to use windows file recovery, windows file recovery software, windows file recovery windows 10

Summary: Are you looking for how to use Windows File Recovery on Windows 11 and 10? You can find the answer in this tutorial.

What is Windows File Recovery?

Windows File Recovery is a file recovery tool released by Microsoft in 2020 for Windows 10 2004 and above systems. It can recover files from various storage devices, such as healthy/formatted/damaged SSD/HDD/USB/memory card, including recovering PDF, JPEG, PNG, ZIP, MOV, DOCX, EXCEL files, etc.

Due to its security and authority, Windows File Recovery software is loved by most users. But unlike most software in the market, it is a command line application, which means that users need to type a command line to perform file recovery, which is very unfriendly to people without a computer background. 

If you are interested in Windows File Recovery, read on.

Why we need to use Windows File Recovery?

In this information age, computers have become our everyday tools. Whether at work or in life, we are all used to storing data on our computers, such as documents, photos, videos, etc. But sometimes we encounter accidental deletion, computer formatting, virus intrusion and so on.

When this happens, a good windows file recovery utility would come in handy. We can use it to recover lost files. If you find it complicated, don’t worry. This article aims to show you how to use Windows File Recovery on Windows 10 and 11.

How to use Windows File Recovery step by step

As mentioned earlier, Windows File Recovery is a command-line program, so you need to know the parameters before using it. Next I will list for you the syntax of Windows File Recovery and the parameters you need to pay attention to.

What do I know before using it?

Standard syntax: winfr source-drive:destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]


Source driveWhere the lost file located
Destination driveNew path to store
ModeRegular & Extensive
SwitchNarrow the scanning range


File SystemScenariosMode
NTFSDeleted recentlyRegular
NTFSDeleted for a whileExtensive
NTFSFormatted diskExtensive
NTFSCorrupted diskExtensive
FAT and exFATAnyExtensive


SwitchesMeaningSupported Mode
/nTo filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.All
/y:Recovers system files.NTFSSegment​​​​​
/uRecovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.NTFSSegment

How to type it in Windows File Recovery

Step 1. Get Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store.

Step 2. Install and run it. Then, type in winfr source-drive:destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches](change parameters according to your needs ) on Windows File Recovery running window.

Now, do you know how to use Windows File Recovery? For professional users with computer experience, Windows File Recovery is probably best because it’s fast. But for the ordinary user, this can be confusing. Because typing the command line requires you to be very careful, the slightest error will fail. And ordinary people don’t expect to spend so much time researching how to use it.

To avoid this trouble, I recommend you to use WinfrGUI. Although it is a third-party utility, it offers an intuitive graphical user interface. Users can recover lost files with a few clicks. Also, it’s free and doesn’t carry bundled software when installing it. Besides that, it has the following advantages:

  • Recover from the location of lost files

Recover lost Windows files from SSD/HDD/USB/memory card, including JPEG//PDF/DOCX/MP3/EXCEL/ZIP, etc.

  • Applicable scene

Recover accidentally deleted files; recover files from formatted hard drives; recover files from damaged hard drives.

  • Compatible

Support NTFS/FAT/exFAT/ReFS.

  • Two scan modes

A quick scan can recover files with directory structure and filenames under the NTFS file system; a deep scan can recover more files with missing directory structures and filenames.

Step 1. Download and install WinfrGUI on Windows PC. Then select a partition to scan and another partition to save target files.

Step 2. Choose one Scanning mode. Otherwise, you can go to “Advanced Settings”.

Step 3. Finally, you can click “Start Recovery” to start the scanning process. Wait a moment, you can find the lost files that have been restored in the destination drive.

This is the whole process of recovering lost files with WinfrGUI, is it easier? Both methods are reliable, you can choose one method according to your needs.

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