Microsoft has quietly released a new utility called Windows File Recovery for Windows 10 version 2004 or newer. But here’s the thing: Windows File Recovery is a command-line application. And it’s only available from the Microsoft Store.
“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 Store listing for the app explains. “For photos, documents, videos[,] and more, Windows File Recovery supports many file types to help ensure that your data is not permanently lost. Recovering from a camera or SD card? Try Signature mode, which expands beyond NTFS recovery and caters to your storage device needs. Let this app be your first choice for helping to find what you need from your hard drive, SSD (*limited by TRIM), USB drive, or memory cards.”
You can find more information about Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Support website, which notes that the tool operates in three different modes:
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 the data is present and searches for specific file types. It doesn’t work for small files. To recover a file on an external storage device, such as a USB drive, you can only use Signature mode.
Seems like a good option if you’re stuck. Thanks to Walking Cat on Twitter for the tip.