Microsoft releases Windows File Recovery tool

Twitter user WalkingCat recently did some digging and found an official Windows File Recovery tool in the Microsoft Store. It doesn’t seem that Microsoft has announced the release of this tool, but it is available for those with Windows 10 build 19041 (version 2004). The store page also includes a URL that redirects to a user guide for the tool.

Accidentally deleted an important file? Wiped clean your hard drive? Unsure of what to do with corrupted data? Windows File Recovery can help recover your personal data.

The Windows Files Recovery tool is currently a command line only utility called winfr.exe. However, according to WalkingCat, the package includes a folder titled “gui” in addition to a “WinFRUI.exe” executable. The executable doesn’t work at the moment, but it hints at an updated version of the tool with a full user interface.

The tool can be used to recover deleted files from hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards, so long as the deleted files haven’t been written over. The tool does not support cloud storage or network file shares. There are three modes of operation, each of which goes about attempting to recover deleted files in a different way:

  • Default mode: This mode uses the Master File Table (MFT) to locate lost files. Default mode works well when the MFT and file segments, also called File Record Segments (FRS), are present.
  • Segment mode: This mode does not require the MFT but does require segments. Segments are summaries of file information that NTFS stores in the MFT such as name, date, size, type and the cluster/allocation unit index.
  • Signature mode: This mode only requires that data is present, searches for specific file types, and doesn’t work for very small files. For non-NTFS storage devices, only Signature mode is supported. For more information on file systems, see the “About modes and files systems” section.
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Nathan Wasson

Inquiring mind, tech journalist, car enthusiast, gamer.

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2 years ago
Reply to  chuckula

if Trimmed – there is no recovery. If Windows disabled/deferred trim and the SSDs garbage collection was disabled/deferred , drive performance would suck.

2 years ago

I’d be curious to see how useful this is on TRIM-enabled SSDs. Unless Windows is deterring TRIM operations on deleted data or is keeping the deleted files in a shadow volume.

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