Microsoft makes the Windows 10 File Recovery tool easier to use

Windows 10 File Recovery tool now easier to use

Microsoft released today a new simplified version of the Windows File Recovery tool to test on the latest Windows 10 Insider build.

In June, we reported that Microsoft quietly released a new file recovery tool on the Microsoft Store called ‘Windows File Recovery’ (WinFR) that allows you to recover mistakenly deleted files from your hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards.

“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,” reads the Microsoft Store page for the Windows File Recovery app.

When the tool was first released, it contained a confusing mix of recovery methods, and it was not particularly clear as to which one should be used.

Simplified version of the Recovery tool released

With today’s release of the Windows 10 Insider build 21286Microsoft has released a new version of the Windows File Recovery tool (winfr.exe) that includes new modes that are easier to use. This new version is only available to Insiders, and users on the public releases will not be able to download it.

With this release, Microsoft introduces two new ‘regular‘ and ‘extensive‘  modes that can be used to recover files in Windows 10, as shown by the help instructions below.

The ‘regular’ mode is used to recover files that were recently deleted and when the hard drive is not corrupted. The ‘extensive’ mode, on the other hand, is used to recover a file that was deleted a while ago, when a disk has become corrupted, and when a disk has been formatted.

To make it easier to determine which mode to choose, Microsoft released the following table:

File system Circumstances Recommended mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted a while ago Extensive
NTFS After formatting a disk Extensive
NTFS A corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive

To try out the new version of WinFR, you will need to install the Windows 10 Insider build 21286 from the Dev channel.

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