Microsoft has released a new tool for Windows 10 that allows users to attempt to recover deleted or damaged files via the command line.
Windows File Recovery is available for free from the Microsoft Store for users whose system has already been updated to the new Windows 10 2004, or May 2020 Update.
“Accidentally deleted an important file? Erase your hard drive? Not sure what to do with corrupted data? Windows File Recovery can help you recover your personal data, ”says the app description.
The tool is suitable for trying to recover files from local storage including internal and external drives, USB devices and SD cards. Recovery from cloud storage or network shares is not supported.
Windows File Recovery requires some command line knowledge. The commands you need and steps to perform are well documented by Microsoft in a support document. The tool works for a variety of file types, including PDFs and Office files, JPEGs and PNGs, MP3s and MPEGs, and ZIP files.
Depending on the file system and the circumstances in which the file has been lost or damaged, Windows File Recovery supports different modes: Defailt, Segment and Signature. Microsoft made the table below to indicate which mode you use when.
Finally, Microsoft warns that you should stop using the computer as soon as possible when a file is lost, to increase the chances of recovery.
In the Windows file system, the space used by a deleted file is marked as free space, which means that the file data can still exist and be recovered. But any use of your computer can create files that can overwrite this free space at any time. ”