How to Recover Lost Files on Windows 10 in 2024

Do you want to know how to recover lost files on Windows 10 for free? You can find the answer from this article.

What do we do when losing data?

When we work with computers, we often encounter the situation of losing important files. Accidental deletion, virus attack and computer formatting can all lead to file loss. When faced with these situations, most people always ask: “How to recover lost files on Windows 10”.

In fact, there are many ways to recover lost files. But I will tell you the most effective ways to recover lost files on Windows 10 for free. By the way, if your files are lost, you should stop working as soon as possible to prevent the copy on your hard drive from being overwritten, as the success rate of recovery depends on it.

Check Recycle Bin to Retrieve lost files

When a file is deleted, it is temporarily saved in the Recycle Bin. So when your files are lost, you can check the recycle bin for the first time. If you find the desired file in the Recycle Bin, it is very easy to restore it to the original location.

Step 1. Open your Recycle Bin on your desktop and find the target file.

Step 2. Right-click the target file, and then click Restore.

Windows 10 recycle bin

If you can’t find your lost files or empty the Recycle Bin, you’ll need to rely on other methods.

How to Recover Lost Files on PC in Windows 10

In this part, I will introduce you to Windows File Recovery, which is an official data recovery program released by Microsoft (for Windows 10 2004 and above). It supports file recovery freeware various types of files from HDD, SSD, USB, and memory cards, including JPEG, PDF, PNG, MPEG, Office files, MP3 & MP4, ZIP files and more.

windows file recovery

But unfortunately, it is a command line program and lacks a graphical user interface. You need to type the appropriate parameters to perform the operation.

Now, let me tell you how to use Windows File Recovery to recover lost files on PC Windows 10. First, you should get it from Microsoft Store. Then, the following table shows some parameters that you need to understand because you will be using them when typing in the command prompt.

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

Source drive Where the lost file located
Destination drive New path to store
Mode Regular & Extensive
Switch Narrow the scanning range


File System Scenarios Mode
NTFS Deleted recently Regular
NTFS Deleted for a while Extensive
NTFS Formatted disk Extensive
NTFS Corrupted disk Extensive
FAT and exFAT Any Extensive



Switches Meaning Supported Mode
/n To filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc. All
/y: Recovers system files. NTFS


/u Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin. NTFS



Finally, after understanding these parameters, you can type command line in the Windows File Recovery running window.

windows 10 file recovery command line

Do you think this is too difficult? Take it easy, there is a WinfrGUI that is more suitable for you. It fully invokes the functionality of Windows File Recovery and provides a graphical user interface. You can recover lost files with a few clicks, which is very easy for users who have no computer background.

If you want to know how to recover lost files on Windows 10 easily and quickly, WinfrGUI must be your best choice. Please reading the following steps to learn how it works.

Step 1: After install WinfrGUI. Select the partition to scan and a destination folder to save the lost files.

WinfrGUI folders

Step 2: There are two Scanning mode you can choose. Quick Scan only supports the NTFS file system. You could target file types or folders to scan via “Advanced Settings” if you need.

WinfrGUI scan mode

Step 3: Click “Start Recovery” to start the scanning process. After the scanning completes, the files found will be saved in the destination folder.

start recovery

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How to recover lost files on Windows 10 may be a common question for most users. But don’t worry, this post will introduce you to a free and powerful data recovery utility.


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