By Penny / Last update May 16, 2022

Today, people usually save their data on hard drives or cloud backup. Apart from that, you may also store your essential data on your USB or other electronic devices. However, if you encounter the malfunction of a storage device, logical failure of storage devices, or accidental deletion, you may lose your files and folders.

Thankfully, many file recovery software and services make it possible to recover deleted files and folders on your computer. Because deleted files might still be on your hard disk drives before overwriting. Let’s have a closer look at these three file recovery software.

The first type: Windows File Recovery

Let’s begin with Windows File Recovery. It mainly involves the following three parts.

Part 1. What is Windows File Recovery?

Windows File Recovery is a command-line software program from Microsoft without a graphical user interface. It is now available for Windows 10 2004 and later, which can recover files from a local hard disk drive (HDD), USB flash drive, or memory card such as an SD card. However, recovery from cloud storage and network file share is disabled. 

screenshot/en/data-recovery-disk/others/how-to-use-windows-file-recovery.

Windows File Recovery comes with two basic modes. The default mode is for the NTFS file system. That means your corrupted or formatted files could be recovered using this software. Another one tries to restore certain file types from FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

As mentioned above, avoiding being overwriting is a contributory factor in recovering files. In the Windows file system, the space used by a deleted file is designated as free space, implying that the file can still exist and be recovered. That implies if you want to improve or maximize the chances of recovering a file, you’d better avoid or minimize using your computer as soon as possible.

You can recover MP3 files, MP4 videos, PDF documents, JPG images, and typical office documents like Word, Excel, and PPT. We’ll show how to install and work with this software with the command prompt in the following two parts.

Part 2. How to install Windows File Recovery?

Here are the basic steps to install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store.

Step 1. Open your Microsoft Store and enter “Windows File Recovery” in the search bar.

Step 2. Select the app you need and click “Get”. Then this app begins to download.

screenshot/en/data-recovery-disk/windows-file-recovery/microsoft-store-get.

Step 3. Open your “Start” menu and find “Windows File Recovery” after installing.

screenshot/en/data-recovery-disk/windows-file-recovery/windows-file-recovery-run-as-adminstrator.

Step 4. Launch it and "Run as administrator".

Tips:
▶ You’ll be offered a Command Prompt window with Administrator access. This is where the File Recovery commands will be executed. On the Start menu, right-click the one you need and select “Run as administrator”.

▶ Ensure the source and target drive should not the same. That means you need to save your recovered files on a different partition rather than the scanning partition.

Part 3. How to use Windows File Recovery?

The most confusing step is to enter the correct command lines. So you’re expected to learn more about 4 modes and different switches from Microsoft official support. Then you can change the basic command format for different situations.

The basic command format likes this: winfr source-drive: destination-drive : [/mode] [/switches]

If you want to avoid this troublesome step, please scroll down. 

The second type: WinfrGUI

What is the best free file recovery software? Despite the lack of a graphical user interface, Windows File Recovery is a good program. Here, WinfrGUI fills this gap. It might seem like a convenient tool for computer novices without using the command line. Please check for updates to ensure your software is the latest version.

These explicit instructions below describe how to recover documents, photographs, movies, audios, web pages, zipped files, and custom suffix files using this tool. 

Step 1. Download and install it on your PC. Enter the main interface of WinfrGUI after loading the disk. Then all the partitions on your Windows can be seen.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above

Step 2. Select one partition to scan and another partition to save the recovered files.

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 3. Pick a suitable scan mode according to different file systems: Quick scan or Deep scan.

(Quick scan and Deep scan are available for NTFS. Only Deep scan can support non-NTFS.)

choose-scan-mode-to-recover

Step 4. Click “Advanced Settings” to select your needed file types. Then click “Start Recovery” to begin the recovery process.

click-start-recovery

Step 5. After scanning, your recovered files will be saved in a new folder or in your destination folder on the destination drive.

The “Start Recovery” button can be clickable if the disk partition, storage location, and scan mode are successfully applied. If you cannot click this button, you can go back and correct the errors. If there’s a stop during the scanning process, this software will recover data from the scanned files. Please don’t worry about this.

The third type: AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows 

The third type is the reliable and user-friendly AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows. Supported by AOMEI Tech,  this utility has made significant progress in Windows data recovery. 

Compared with WinfrGUI, AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows has the ability to recover the deleted files in their directories and original file names. And it is also accessible to retain its format for the deleted and lost data. 

If you prefer to recover several files rather than one file by one file, you could download and try it. There're other highlights of this best file recovery software.  

☁You're allowed to recover the deleted/lost files from SSD/HDD.

☁It offers good coverage of 200+ types of data: MS Office, Videos, Photos, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files.

☁According to your situation, the software will automatically run Quick Scan & Deep Scan. 

☁It works well with Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server. 

☁It can apply to border data loss scenarios: deletion, disk formatting, system crash, or more. 

Step 1. Download and AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows on the computer, then run it.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 2.  After loading the disk, select a disk/partition that includes your needed files. Then click "Start Scan".

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 3. The combined scanning method of Quick Scan and Deep Scan will scan all the deleted/lost files.

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Step 4. Locate a new location to save your recovered data, and click "Recover x files" to begin the recovery process. 

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Wrapping up

This post offers you three types of best free file recovery software windows. Built-in Microsoft, Windows File Recovery can recover the deleted files and folders before overwriting. Given that GUI is not enabled, you have to enter the specified command prompt to recover files. You can adopt this tool if you can accept this drawback.

Honestly, most people are not clear about more advanced computer skills. So you can opt to utilize the WinfrGUI or AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows to address your issue. Naturally, the latter software can attain maximum recovery efficiency as simply as possible.

As mentioned above, we can retrieve the deleted data before overwriting it. It turns out it is necessary to make regular backups. AOMEI Backupper, this free Windows backup software provides basic and advanced features to ensure data safety. You can also retrieve deleted files easily. That sounds great! Why not have a try?