By Stephanie / Last update May 11, 2022

WinFR error: WinFR requires admin privileges to run

Windows File Recovery (abbr. WinFR) is a free command-line utility, released by Microsoft in 2020. For Windows 10 and above, it’s convenient for users to recover deleted files from HDD/SSD/Memory Cards/external hard drives via Windows File Recovery. You could install WinFR from the Microsoft Store. Windows File Recovery supports NTFS, ReFS, FAT, exFAT file system.

However, due to the usage of commands, not everyone could use WinFR correctly, especially for those who are not familiar with Windows commands. There are kinds of errors when using WinFR. When running WinFR on the computer, you may see the command windows shows the error “WinFR requires admin privileges to run. Please try again in a terminal with administrator privileges.” Read the following to learn the three ways to fix this issue.

winfr-error-admin-privileges

3 solutions to fix the Winfr.exe error

Aside from accidental file deletion, the Windows File Recovery app is useful in a variety of situations, such as when a user has wiped clean their hard drive or needs to recover corrupted data files.

When it comes to recovering valuable personal files/data, for example, the app can assist in recovering photos, documents, videos, and more. But if WinFR doesn’t recognize you as an administrator, you could do nothing. There are three solutions to help you solve the problem.

Fix 1. Use WinfrGUI-Windows File Recovery GUI tool

Because Windows File Recovery is a command-line app without a graphical user interface (GUI), users may encounter different problems. To solve “WinFR requires admin privileges to run”, you could try the freeware-WinfrGUI to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11.

WinfrGUI is a 100% free tool, fully invoking the function of Windows File Recovery. It makes recovering files easier than WinFR commands. This tiny tool helps users to use Windows File Recovery correctly and easily.

Users don’t need to input commands to restore files anymore. It could solve the WinFR doesn’t recognize you as an administrator and other errors caused by wrong commands.

Step 1. Download and install WinfrGUI on your computer.

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Step 2. After launching WinfrGUI, select a partition to scan and a path to save recovered files.

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 3. According to your file system, choose “Quick Scan” or “Deep Scan”. Quick Scan has a fast scanning speed and can recover files with the directory structure and file names, but it only supports NTFS. Deep Scan can recover more files that have lost the directory structure and file names with a slow speed, supporting NTFS, FAT, and exFAT.

And then you could click “Advanced Settings” to target file types and folders that you want to recover and scan.

choose-scan-mode-to-recover

Step 4. Click “Start Recovery”. The tool will start scanning. After it completes, you could check the recovered files in the destination folder.

click-start-recovery

Fix 2. Check the Microsoft account

When you download the Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store, you will be required to login into a Microsoft account. When you receive this error, you could go to Windows settings to check whether the account logged in as an administrator. Follow the detailed steps below.

Step 1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard. Click the gear icon to open settings. Click “Accounts”.

windows-settings

Step 2. Check “Your info” to confirm whether the account is the administrator. 

check-your-info

Step 3. If the account logged in is not an administrator, click “Email &  accounts” to view all accounts on the computer. Click “Add an account” to log in to the account when you download Windows File Recovery.

email-and-account

After you log in to your Microsoft account, you could close the WinFR and then open it again. If this error still exists, you could keep reading to find the other solutions.

Fix 3. Open Windows File Recovery in Microsoft Store/PowerShell

Sometimes, if you input “Windows File Recovery” in the Search bar and then choose “Run as administrator”, you will get this error message. You could try to open Windows File Recovery in other ways to fix this issue.

Step 1. Input “Microsoft Store” in the Search bar and open it.

Step 2. Search “Windows File Recovery” and click “Open”.

open-winfr-in-store

Then the application will be booted normally. The error message will disappear. Alternatively, you could try to open Windows File Recovery in Windows Powershell.

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys on your keyboard and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.

Step 2. Input “winfr” and hit Enter. Windows File Recovery application is running. You could input commands according to your needs to recover deleted files.

powershell-run-winfr

Fix 4. Use professional data recovery software

If those methods couldn't solve your problem or you could recover the files you want via Windows File Recovery, a professional data recovery tool can meet your needs. It's recommended to use AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows to restore deleted or missing files from HDD, SSD, USB drive, SD card, etc. due to accidental deletion, system crash, virus attack, and others. 

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▶ Recover deleted files from SD cards, USB flash drives, HDDs, SSDs, external hard drives, and other storage media.
▶ Support for permanently deleted files recovery, formatted file recovery, and other data recovery methods.
▶ Recover lost Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, photos, videos, audios, emails, and hundreds of other file types.
▶ Compatible with Windows 7/8/10/11 and Windows Server.

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Step 1. Launch AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows on your computer. Select a partition and click "Start Scan". 

select-a-partition-to-scan

Step 2. The program runs the scanning process quickly and finds deleted files and other missing files in this partition.

scan-lost-data

Step 3. During scanning, you could recover any file you want. Select the file or the folder that you want to recover and click "Recover files".

recover-lost-data

To sum up

When encountering the error “WinFR requires admin privileges to run”, you could try WinfrGUI to recover deleted files. Compared with Windows File Recovery, AOMEI Data Recovery for Windows has a simple and user-friendly interface with a higher success recovery rate and fast speed, applying to all users. If you want to insist on using Windows File Recovery in a command-line way, checking the Microsoft account and opening wnfr.exe in different ways are good solutions to fix the issue.

Although you could try Windows File Recovery to recover deleted files, it couldn’t guarantee a 100% success rate for recovery. The most important to avoid data loss is to make a regular backup. AOMEI Backupper is a professional backup tool for Windows users to make data backup easy and secure. There are kinds of backup ways to choose and it could help you to restore data with one key.