[Fixed] Windows File Recovery There Was an Error Parsing Your Command

How to fix the “Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command” error? The troubleshooting tutorial is ready for you.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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User case of “Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command” error


Microsoft released a file recovery tool in 2020 – Windows File Recovery. It is available for all Windows 10 & above users in Microsoft Store.

According to Microsoft, Windows File Recovery can recover several types of lost files from local storage devices, including photos, videos, docs, and more.

Despite so many amazing features, it is quite unfriendly for common users who are not familiar with commands, because it is a command-line app without a graphical user interface.

So, quite a bunch of users will wonder how to use Windows File Recovery, and also will meet some errors when using it. One particular is “Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command”.


I accidentally deleted files from a folder on my Desktop. I'm trying to use the Windows 10 File Recovery but keep getting errors. The folder is LAPTOP 2019 and it was on my Desktop, and the recovery file can be on the D drive. The command is:

winfr C: D: /regular /n \desktop\laptop 2019\

but all it says is "There was an error parsing your command. What should I fix?


- Question from Reddit


The user in this case was confused by the complex syntax that Windows File Recovery uses. There were some mistakes in the command he/she used.

If you have met the same error, then don’t worry, the Windows File Recovery troubleshooting tutorial aims to help you fix this question.

How to fix “Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command”?

"There was an error parsing your command“ means that errors occur when the software tries to analyze the command you use. When meeting this error, it is very likely to have something to do with the syntax. You could check your syntax by following the instructions and hints here.

What’s more, a good Windows data recovery tool will be offered to help you get rid of the commands if you find them hard to handle.

Solution 1. Check your command line syntax

Pay attention to the syntax, structure, spelling, and punctuation. The complete correct Windows File Recovery command format is:

winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/mode] [/switches]

Part 1. Source drive & destination drive

One of the noteworthy points in the Windows File Recovery command syntax is the source drive and target drive you chose.

To make it clear, the source drive is the drive where you have lost files, while the target drive is a place where you choose to store the recovered files after processing.

Now check if you have met these requirements.

Point 1. The source drive and target drive should be different.

Point 2. Use a valid drive letter. Or you may meet the error "Windows File Recovery failed to create destination folder".

Point 3. Both the source and target drive should be followed by a colon – e.g., C drive goes like C:

Point 4. There is a space between the source drive and the destination drive – e.g., if you want to recover files from the C drive to the D drive, then it goes like C: D:

Just as shows in the sample:


Part 2. Slashes and backslashes

Slashes and backslashes are marks mainly used in computing. In Windows File Recovery commands, slash / is used to work with recovery modes and switches, while backslash \ is used to denote a directory, e.g., a folder under C: drive named DataRecovery should be:


So there are some points you need to pay attention to.

Point 1. Don’t forget the slash / when using a recovery mode or switch.

Point 2. When denoting a recovery mode or a switch, there is no space between the slash / and the recovery mode or switch, e.g., /regular or /n

Point 3. There is a space between the recovery mode pattern & the switch pattern, e.g., /extensive /n

Point 4. When denoting a folder, use backslashes, and don’t forget to put a backslash at the end of the folder name, e.g., /n \foldername\

Part 3. Directory

Denoting the directory of the files, i.e., targeting the files is the most difficult part. On one hand, users sometimes are prone to fail in targeting the correct location of the files; on the other hand, the spelling of the file directory is required to be very precise, otherwise, the system will not be able to find the specified path.

Point 1. When targeting the file path, please offer the original location of the files, i.e., where the file was before deleting/missing.

Point 2. To target the exact file path, go to the folder and copy the file path in the location bar.


Point 3. If your deleted files were on the desktop, the correct file path is C:\Users\username\Desktop\foldername\

Point 4. If there are spaces in the file/folder name, please put quotation marks at the ends of the file/folder. E.g., “\Program Files\Clash for Windows\”

Let’s put it in the command line:

winfr D: E: /extensive /n “\Program Files\Clash for Windows\resources.pak”

Solution 2. Use WinfrGUI to get rid of difficult commands

Still finding it difficult to get rid of the error “Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command”?

Rather than struggling against complex commands and parameters, we always prefer to save our labor, isn’t it? WinfrGUI could save you from the commands.

WinfrGUI, a free & easy file recovery tool, can recover deleted/lost office/media/compressed files from HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
Secure Download
Fully invoking Windows File Recovery's function, there is no guarantee of a 100% success rate in file recovery. 
The same as Windows File Recovery, this tool only applies to Windows 10 2004 and above. 

Step 1. Install and run WinfrGUI > select the drive where you have deleted files > choose another place to save the recovered files.


Step 2. Choose a scanning method. The scanning duration depends on the size of the disk, please wait in patience.


Step 3. Then click “Start Recovery” to get all deleted files back effortlessly.


Thus you could get assisted with an intuitive user interface.

How to recover deleted files easily and keep the original format?

Since Windows File Recovery and its alternative WinfrGUI cannot ensure a high recovery rate in file recovery, and they can't keep your file's original format after recovery, we suggest you choose a professional Windows data rescue tool.

Here MyRecover will be recommended.

As a utility supported by a sophisticated team with 10+ years of experience, it has an advanced in-built scanning method, which can scan the hard disks for deleted data easily.

Apart from that, you will also be impressed with its other amazing features.

Trustworthy. Restore deleted files and keep the original format/path/name. 
Easy-to-operate. Within only 3 steps, you could get deleted data back. 
Efficient. Restore over 200 types of data. 
Comprehensive. Apply to all-inclusive data loss scenarios. 
Compatible. Now only for Windows 10, it is available for Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1 & Server users.

Don't hesitate to download MyRecover to recover deleted and missing files in a breeze.

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

Step 1. Launch the program > Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 2.  Files can be sorted by file name, size, path, and file type as you want. If you still remember the filename/file type, you could search for your target file in the search box.


Step 3. Select the data you need > Recover x files.


What’s more, you could also utilize this app to get permanently deleted files back in Windows 10/11.

Related suggestions: keep data & file safe

The error “Windows File Recovery there was an error parsing your command” is well-settled in this article with several tips and a good Windows data recovery utility - MyRecover.

Data/file loss can be quite unaffordable for users, no matter who you are, individual, or company, losing files and data is the last thing one wants to see.

To escape from data loss, taking some actions to keep your data safe and sound is a good choice.

  • Avoid visiting/using malware and dangerous sites in case files get attacked and corrupted.
  • Use Antivirus programs to scan and protect your data.
  • Save the file from time to time when editing.
  • Keep your files backed up properly in different places, e.g., one stored on an external hard drive, one saved on the cloud, and one kept on your computer.

To back up data easily, you might as well utilize the professional backup program – AOMEI Backupper. The amazing feature “File Backup”, “Disk Backup”, and “System Backup” can help you.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.