Windows File Recovery

Free Recovery Apps for PC Available on Windows Store


Key Takeaways:

  • WinfrGUI-APP is a favorite choice, offering advanced search capabilities to recover specific sites within your drives.
  • Free recovery apps will offer, in most cases, basic functionalities; a paid app will give advanced features.

App 1: WinfrGUI-APP

WinfrGUI-APP completely installed ready to to recover deleted files

WinfrGUI-APP is a free data recovery solution for Windows PCs that is both convenient and potentially effective. It employs the capability of Microsoft’s built-in Winfr data recovery tool, which provides potent file retrieval capabilities, making it a dependable option for retrieving deleted files.

Benefits of WinfrGUI-APP include:

  • Its availability on the Microsoft Store simplifies the software download and installation process.
  • WinfrGUI-APP undergoes Microsoft’s quality checks, assisting in reducing the risk of malware, unlike some data recovery software downloaded from websites.
  • Also, downloading and installing from the official store is typically quicker and more user-friendly.
  • It recovers deleted files with a user-friendly graphical user interface.
  • Although some limitations exist compared to paid data recovery alternatives, WinfrGUI-APP provides a dependable foundation for free file recovery.

Its accessibility, potential effectiveness, and association with Microsoft make it a compelling choice for Windows users who face data loss.

How to Use WinfrGUI-APP

  1. Download the WinfrGUI-APP on Microsoft Store.
    WinfrGUI-APP completely installed ready to to recover deleted files
  2. After the download, open WinfrGUI-APP on your computer and click Yes if you get a prompt from the User Account Control.
  3. Then, select the drive where you intend to recover the files on the application.
  4. Open the Scanning modes drop-down menu and select whether to do a Quick Scan or Deep Scan.
    Select WinfrGUI-APP scanning mode before it begins to recover deleted files
  5. You may click Advanced Settings to perform more specific recovery.
    WinfrGUI-APP advanced settings button to access specific deleted files and folders to recover
  6. You may also select the drive to save the recovered file(s) using the Save to box.
  7. Once done, click Start Recovery to begin to free deleted file recovery.
    Start WinfrGUI-APP recovery process
  8. Wait patiently for the scanning process to complete.
    WinfrGUI-APP is scanning
  9. Finally, click the View Recovered Files button to view recovered deleted files.
    Deleted file recovery was successful

App 2: Recuva

Recuva is one of the best deleted file recovery apps

Recuva is a powerful file recovery application for restoring a wide range of lost files, including pictures, music, documents, videos, emails, and more, going beyond the recycle bin to recover deleted. In addition to your hard drive, it can recover files from external drives, memory cards, and USB sticks.

Benefits of Recuva include:

  • Excellent file recovery capabilities for different file types
  • Recovery from damaged or newly formatted drives, expanding recovery prospects.
  • Advanced deep scan mode for uncovering hard-to-find files
  • Secure file deletion feature that permanently deletes files using industry-standard methods, ensuring they can’t be recovered.

How to use Recuva

  1. Begin by opening the Recuva app after downloading it and clicking Next.
    Welcome to recuva wizard, one of the free recovery apps
  2. Then, select the desired file type and click Next.
    Recuva file type selection in the free Recuva recovery apps
  3. Next, select the deleted file location and click Next. We clicked the Browse button next to the In a specific location field for this example.
    Open the Deleted file location to store the file for free using Recuva, one of the recovery apps
  4. Afterward, select the particular location of interest and click OK.
    Select specific location where files were deleted
  5. Then, click Start to begin recovering. Check the Enable Deep Scan box before clicking Start if you desire a more intense scan. Wait for the process to complete.
    Begin free file recovery with Recuva apps
  6. After completion, check the box for the file you want saved and click Recover.
    Check box for desired recovered file
  7. Finally, select a location to save the file(s) and click OK.
    Location to save recovered file in one of the free recovery apps

App 3: Disk Drill Data Recovery

disk drill file recovery is one of the best deleted file recovery apps

Disk Drill is another fantastic tool for free data recovery on Windows PCs, conveniently available via the Microsoft Store. It boasts a user-friendly interface and impressive recovery capabilities, making it a strong choice for your recovery needs.

Here’s what sets Disk Drill apart:

  • It retrieves accidentally deleted documents, photos, and more for up to 500MB at no cost.
  • It lets you see what you’re getting back with file previews before completing the recovery.
  • It helps to recover deleted files from internal hard drives, external drives, flash drives, memory cards, and more.
  • It offers free byte-level backups of your storage device.

As a bonus feature, it offers free protection with a recovery vault that monitors deleted files and moves them to a secure vault to enable easy retrieval when you’re ready.

How to use Disk Drill Data Recovery

  1. Begin by opening Disk Drill on your PC and locating your connected device.
    Locate device on Disk Drill free recovery apps
  2. Then, click the Search for lost data button.
    Search for lost data on Disk Drill, one of the free recovery apps
  3. Afterward, wait for Disk Drill to find deleted files.
    Wait for recovery to complete scanning on Disk Drill, free recovery apps
  4. Next, click Review found items to see recovered files.
    Review found items on Disk Drill, free recovery apps
  5. Then, check the boxes for the files you want and click the Recover button.
    check boxes of files to recover and click Recover on Disk Drill ,one of the free recovery apps
  6. Additionally, select a location to save the recovered file using the Recover to box and click OK.
    Recover file to location
  7. Wait a few seconds following clicking the OK button.
    Allow recovery to complete
  8. Finally, click Show recovered data in Explorer when data recovery is complete.
    Recovery complete

App 4: Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is one of the best deleted file recovery apps

Windows File Recovery is a powerful tool for recovering deleted files developed by Microsoft. Despite its lack of a graphical interface, operating solely through a command-line utility, its effectiveness makes it valuable for data recovery. It is arguably the best of the free recovery apps because:

  • Windows File Recovery allows you to recover unlimited data for free.
  • Since it’s an official Microsoft tool, it is trustworthy with critical files and malware-free.
  • Windows File Recovery retrieves a wide variety of file systems.
  • It can recover deleted files from internal drives, external drives, USB devices, and more.
  • While SSDs may limit file recovery due to TRIM, Windows File Recovery still performs excellently.
  • It recovers files based on their metadata and searches for file segments across the drive.

How to Use Windows File Recovery

I recommend you have advanced knowledge of using command consoles before this step and not use the Windows File Recovery for the primary system drive (usually C:). Use it for external drives or secondary storage devices.

  1. Begin by downloading and opening the app as an administrator.
    Window File Recovery
  2. When prompted by the UAC, click Yes to confirm.
  3. Enter the command into the console in the following format:
    winfr source-drive: destination-drive: [/switches]
  4. Ensure the source and destination drives are different.
  5. When recovering from the primary system drive (usually C: ), use the /n <filter> and /y:<type<(s)> switches to pinpoint the user files or folder.
  6. Microsoft will then create a recovery folder for you automatically called Recovery_<date and time> on the selected destination drive.
  7. You may then recover files using one of the three modes below.

Default mode examples

  • Recover a specific file from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an D: drive.
    winfr C: D: /n \Users\<username>\Documents\QuarterlyStatement.docx
  • Recover jpeg and png photos from your Pictures folder to the recovery folder on an D: drive.
    winfr C: D: /n \Users\<username>\Pictures\*.JPEG /n \Users\<username>\Pictures\*.PNG
  • Recover your Documents folder from the C: drive to the recovery folder on an D: drive.
    winfr C: D: /n \Users\<username>\Documents\
    Don’t forget the backslash (\) at the end of the folder.

Segment mode examples (/r)

  • Recover PDF and Word files from your C: drive to the recovery folder on an D: drive.
    winfr C: D: /r /n *.pdf /n *.docx
  • Recover any file with the invoice string in the filename by using wildcard characters.
    winfr C: D: /r /n *invoice*

Signature mode examples (/x)

  • I recommend seeing the supported extension groups and corresponding file types first when using signature mode.
    winfr /#
  • Recover JPEG (jpg, jpeg, jpe, jif, jfif, jfi) and PNG photos from your C: drive to a recovery folder on an D: drive.
    winfr C: D: /x /y:JPEG,PNG
  • Recover ZIP files (zip, docx, xlsx, ptpx, and so on) from your C: drive to a recovery folder on an D: drive.
    winfr C: D:\RecoveryTest /x /y:ZIP

When you get a prompt to confirm if you want to continue, enter Y to proceed with the recovery operation. The time elapsed will depend on the source drive size. Stop the recovery process anytime by pressing Ctrl + C.

Using Cleanmgr.exe before doing data recovery can boost your chances of retrieving lost files by maximizing the available space for potential recovery.

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Richard Omachona
Richard is a techie in providing fixes and solutions for computer issues of various kinds. Among his contemporaries, he is a preferred choice. His experiences are vast in Windows operating systems, and several other skills in programming such as Python, Web Frontend designing implementing at industry standards, best practices in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. and basics in Web Backend. He also loves traveling, gaming and music.