Accidentally deleting a file in Windows only to find it can’t be recovered from the Recycle Bin usually results in a Google search for “file recovery software.” Microsoft has decided to give us a first-party solution, though, with the launch of an app called Windows File Recovery.
As ZDNet reports, the Windows File Recovery app is now available through the Microsoft Store. It’s a Win32 command line app, described as a solution to recovering personal data that may have been accidentally deleted, perhaps while wiping a hard drive. It can recover most file types, with Microsoft listing JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office files, MP3, MP4, and ZIP files, but also adding “and more.” It will work with hard drives, solid-state drives, and memory cards, with support for NTFS, FAT, exFat, and ReFS file systems included. It therefore covers most configurations Windows 10 would be running in.
The only system requirement is the need to be running Windows 10 version 19041.0 or higher, with architecture support extending to x86, x64, ARM, and ARM64. A guide on how to use the tool can be found on Microsoft’s Support website, which is an essential resource considering you’ll be typing in commands in an attempt to recover your files.
While this certainly isn’t a tool for beginners, it’s nice to have it available in case the worst happens and a file gets unintentionally deleted. One thing to keep in mind, though, is not to wait to use it once you realize a file or files are missing. As Microsoft points out in the documentation, “If you want to increase your chances of recovering a file, minimize or avoid using your computer. In the Windows file system, the space used by a deleted file is marked as free space, which means the file data can still exist and be recovered. But any use of your computer can create files, which may over-write this free space at any time.”