Ways to recover files on Windows 10 computer

February 17, 2021
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Ways to recover files on Windows 10 computer

Until now, there was no official way to recover deleted files on a Windows 10 computer. Finally, Windows 10 has introduced a way to add file recovery tools through an update. You can recover deleted files through the tool. Let’s find out how to recover deleted files on a Windows 10 computer using Windows File Recovery Tool.

All you need to do is restore the deleted file

To recover deleted files using Windows File Recovery Tool, you need to have Windows 10 Build 2004 or higher installed on your computer. In this case, it is necessary to have any update of Windows 10 installed on May 2020 or later.
Note, that Microsoft’s file recovery tool software does not have a graphical interface. This is a command-line utility. This means that the entire process of retrieving files through the command-line interface (CMD) will be completed.
Also, whether Microsoft File Recovery Tool can recover a deleted file depends on the type of drive. Deleted files are not immediately deleted from the hard disk drive (HDD). However, in the case of SSD storage, the matter is different. Usually, after deleting a file on a solid-state drive (SSD) it is permanently deleted from the drive.

Windows File Recovery

How to recover deleted files on Windows 10 powered PC

To recover files, first, download the Windows File Recovery Tool from the Microsoft Store. If you search by typing ‘Windows File Recovery’ from Microsoft Store, you will get this software. Once installed, search by typing ‘Windows File Recovery’ from the Start menu or from the search options and select ‘Run as Administrator from the options.
Then select the drive from which the deleted file will be retrieved and the drive on which it will be saved via info command. Example:
info source-drive: destination-drive: [/ switches] After running the command, a folder named ‘Recovery_ [date and time]’ will be created on the drive where the recovered file will be saved. Recovered files will be saved in this folder.
You should know about winfr command for Windows 10 file recovery. For more details, visit Microsoft’s official documentation page. You can also see a list of all commands by typing the following command:
winfr /?
You can also see the advanced options by typing the following command:
winfr /!

Which mode should be used?

Before recovering a deleted file on a Windows PC, it is important to determine which model you will use to recover the file. There are three types of file recovery modes: default, signature, and segment. The default mode is the fastest method. The segment approach is much the same, but a bit slower. Files can be searched on file types in signature mode. It supports ASF, JPG, JPEG, MP3, MPEG, PDF, PNG, ZIP, etc. files. Searching for ‘ZIP’ files will find Office documents, such as DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX.
It is important to know which file system is formatting the drive you are scanning. To know the file system, go to the ‘General’ section of a drive to find out what type of file system the drive is formatted on. Selecting the data recovery mode on the file system is an advantage. Example-

  • Use default mode to recover deleted files from a drive formatted by the NTFS file system in Windows 10.
  • If the drive becomes useless after deleting and formatting a file from the NTFS drive it is better to use segment mode first and then signature mode.
  • If you want to recover files from a drive formatted by FAT, exFAT, or reFS file system, use signature mode. Default and segment mode only works on NTFS drives.

However, if you are unsure about the drive’s file system, you can try default mode first and then other modes later.

Ways to restore Windows files to default mode

Using the default mode, you have to add / n next to the drive letter that you are searching for. To find a file named file.txt you have to type / n file.txt. Also, complete file paths can be written, such as / n\ users\ Admin\ Documents\ file name.txt
If you want to scan all the files in the Documents folder; type / n \Users\John\Documents. Find all files with .docx extension & again type / n \ Users \ John \ Documents \ *. docx
In other words, to see the file recovery command, you have to look like this:
winfr C: D: / n *. docx
Here. docx is the file format. After entering, you have to confirm by typing y to continue working.
You must also type to find all the files with a specific name:
winfr C: D: / n * project *
In order to find many types of files at the same time, you have to write all the file extensions in the following way E.g.
winfr C: D: / n *.docx / n *.xlsx / n *.pptx

Ways to restore Windows files to segment mode:

Segment mode works just like the default mode. However, the only r is used here instead of / n. Suppose you want to recover all deleted mp4 files in segment mode. In this case, you have to write:
winfr C: D: / r * .mp4

Ways to restore Windows files to signature mode:

The functioning of the signature mode is slightly different than the other two modes. It is more efficient to find certain types of files. In signature mode, / x specifies the signature model and / y: specifies the file type and group. The following are file types and file group extensions according to Microsoft’s documentation:

  • ASF: wma, wmv, asf
  • JPEG: jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfif, jfi
  • MP3: mp3
  • E MPEG: mpeg, mp4, mpg, m4a, m4v, m4b, m4r, mov, 3gp, qt
  • PDF: pdf
  • PNG: png
  • ZIP: zip, docx, xlsx, pptx, odt, ods, odp, odg, odi, odf, odc, odm, ott, otg, otp, ots, otc, oti, otf, oth

You can try this extension list anytime using the following command:
winfr / #
Suppose you want to save the mp3 file on drive F to drive E. Then you have to write the command;
winfr F: E: / x / y: mp3
Multiple file groups can also be added, e.g.
winfr F: D: / x / y: JPEG, PDF, ZIP, JPG

N.B: The Windows File Recovery Tool is definitely a unique addition. However, the use of SSD’s for faster file transfers and performance improvements is currently growing at a significant rate. At the time, it was doubtful how effective the file recovery tool would be for hard drives alone.

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