If you have dual boot with Windows and Linux, you will probably want to access files from Windows to Linux and vice versa. By default, Linux can read the Windows partitions (FAT and NTFS), but Windows can't read the Linux partitions (EXT 3/4) without any external software. In this brief guide, I will show you how to access Linux partitions from Windows 10 and Windows 11 and transfer the data from Linux partitions to Windows using a freeware named Linux reader.
What Is Linux Reader?
Linux reader is software that allows you to access files and folders on Ext, UFS, HFS, ReiserFS, or APFS file systems from Windows 7, 8, 10 or 11.
Linux reader comes in two editions. The free version is just enough to access and copy files from the aforementioned filesystems from Windows OS.
The paid version has many additional features such as data recovery, RAID recovery, partition recovery, VMFS recovery, MySQL recovery, NTFS recovery and photo recovery etc.
Currently Linux Reader and Linux Reader Pro versions can able to access files from the following filesystems:
- ReiserFS, Reiser4
- HFS, HFS+(reader)
- FAT, exFAT
- NTFS, ReFS
- RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, 50, 10, and JBOD
- APFS (reader mode)
- ZFS (preview only*)
- XFS (preview only*)
- Hikvision NAS and DVR (preview only*)
* Linux Reader Pro™ license is required to obtain full access to files.
Access Linux Partitions From Windows 10,11 Using Linux Reader
Go to the Linux reader website, download the free version and install it on your Windows system.
Launch Linux reader from the start menu:
The default interface of Linux reader looks like below.
As you can see in the screenshot, Linux reader shows all Linux and Windows partitions. Open a Linux partition that you want to copy the data from. Right click on a file or folder and click the "Save" button.
Choose "Save files" and click Next.
Select the output folder location to save the files/folder. Also, make sure you have chosen the "Save directory structure" option. This option will preserve the same parent directory structure in the destination folder.
In the next wizard, you will see the list of recovered files and directories. Choose the files or folders that you want to save in Windows and click Next.
Now, the selected files/folders will be recovered and saved in the destination location.
It will take some time depending on the contents of the selected files/folders from the Linux partition. Once the recovery is complete, choose the another file/folder and follow the same steps to recover them.
The other day I had to fix a high school student's Laptop that is loaded with Windows and BOSS Linux (a Debian variant developed by CDAC, India).
The Windows OS is corrupted, so I formatted the C drive and reinstalled it with Windows 10. After installing Windows, I copied the data from the Linux partitions and saved them in one of the Windows partitions using Linux Reader quickly and easily, without any Live CD or external drive.
Linux reader pro version has many useful features like mounting the Linux partition in Windows, recover erased files, recover NTFS, VMFS, RAID, deleted partitions, MySQL and Photo recovery. I just wanted to move the data from Linux partition to Windows, so the free version was just enough for me!