New, free Windows 10 tool from Microsoft could prove to be invaluable

Sabrent Rocket Pro
Sabrent Rocket Pro (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft released Windows File Recovery in the Microsoft Store.
  • The free tool helps you recover files that have been lost or wiped.
  • It can work with internal files or external devices such as USB drives and SD cards.

If you've ever accidentally deleted files that were important, you know the dread associated with losing data. Now, a new tool from Microsoft is here to reduce that stress, Windows File Recovery. The new tool is a command line app that can recover files and documents from your PC as well as USB drives, hard drives, and SD cards. Windows File Recovery is free through the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab).

You should use Windows File Recovery as soon as you realize you've wiped files that you want to keep. The more you use a storage device and save new content, the less likely it is that you'll be able to recover your files.

Windows File Recovery has two modes, default and signature. The default mode is for NTFS file systems. This mode can be used to recover a drive after you've formatted it or when a disk is corrupted. The signature mode expands further than NTFS file recovery and adjusts to specific storage devices. For example, it can recover wiped data from an SD card.

If you haven't backed up files that you've accidentally deleted, or have external media that's been corrupted or wiped, Windows File Recovery might be able to get your data back.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • Requires Windows 10 v2004. Thanks will bookmark.
  • I feel like Microsoft is such a big company, it's not really surprising that one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. 2004 is still blocked for many of us (including me), so I can't install this yet, as it requires 2004. Sometimes it feels like Microsoft is it's own microcosmos of small companies doing their own thing and not coordinating at all. A tool like this should be included with the OS by default.
  • Waahhh waaahh and wahhh. There are ways to install it. Better to be safe than complaining that MS trashed your install. It's not as if you cannot continue using or working with your device. Moan and moan. P.s. I updated my Surface Pro 7, despite MS blocking the standard method. Issues? No Cortana in my region and refreshing the Surface (to sell) failed. The issues, TO YOU, might not be obvious so many have patience and wait.
  • Wow! Shocking this is actually in the Microsoft Store. So few Microsoft apps actually make it there. But hey, score one for the Microsoft Store!
  • What a nice easy tool, i hope i won't need it at all.
  • This has been available for years (decades) by 3rd party tools.
  • Gosh! Good to hear.
  • So Apple will redefine the computing industry, overhauled their entire OS visuals for 1 year, shipped so many updates to their OSes and all we got from Microsoft is a command line tool for file recovery?
  • Blah, blah, why are you here?!
  • That is quite the exaggeration. Quite trollish.
  • Thirty year old technology in 2020...Laughable...!