Lately I’ve been toying with MIG (Windows Migration Backup) files and I’ve found no helpful viewer programs for looking inside. Fortunately there is a utility, MigRecover.exe, floating around. Unfortunately I don’t know the original developer of this software to give proper credit to, though it is likely developed by Microsoft. This utility has been quite handy for me, and I was looking to create a Viewer so I could look inside MIG files faster. Eventually I decided to pop in extra commands to allow for extracting the data as well. Please note, this is merely a wrapper for this handy utility! The utility is built into my program so you will not need MigRecover.exe.

MigRecover Interface 0.5

I figured, while currently its incomplete and full of bugs, it still may be better for some people than the command line at the moment. To extract, the only way at the moment is to right click on directory (single file extraction incomplete) and click Extract To…

Will work on this in my spare moments depending if this would be a utility that would actually provide help for the online community. All credit to the original developer!

Mike Morawski’s MigViewer Utility 0.1 (alpha) – (Download 2.6mb – Jan 17 2011 – screenshot)
Mike Morawski’s MigViewer Utility 0.2 (alpha) – (Download 2.6mb – Jan 18 2011 – screenshot)
Mike Morawski’s MigViewer Utility 0.3 – (Download 2.6mb – Apr 7 2011 – screenshot)
Mike Morawski’s MigViewer Utility 0.4 – (Download 5.5mb – Aug 26 2011- screenshot)
Mike Morawski’s MigViewer Utility 0.5 – (Download 5.5mb – Feb 11 2013- screenshot)
Note: This program requires Windows Vista/7 and cannot be adjusted for XP. Testing is minimal, please report any bugs or issues!

Jan 25 2015- 0.5 Source

Development has been discontinued for some time. I am uploading the source for anyone that may find it useful.

MigViewer Latest Source Code – Download

Feb 11 2012- 0.5 Released

  • Applied patch for bug which should help those getting error trying to open file dialog select prompt.
  • Sorting fixed on right side file view. Now alphabetical grouped by files/folders.
  • Selecting individual files and folders on the right file view now allows for extraction as opposed to only being able to extract directories from the left.
  • Folders can be navigated into from the right hand side
  • Highlighted current directory when folder tree loses focus

Aug 26 2011 – 0.4 Released

  • Add more verbose console messages, console messages will not repeat
  • Added MigRecover capability for USMT v3 files
  • Added detection to warn user if file may be USMT3 (though not 100% as there is no concrete way)

Apr 4 2011 – 0.3 Released

  • Added lots of debugging code for future problems
  • Added console window for visible end user tracing of logs and errors
  • Added ability to open encrypted MIG files
  • Allow for all file extensions in open dialog
  • Several bug fixes
  • Deletes temporary files after use
  • Allowed for code to continue on minor errors in some places
  • Disabled interface when waiting for file extraction and opening of MIG

Jan 18 2011 – 0.2 Released

  • Fixed fatal bug upon loading MIG
  • Improved form design
  • Listed folders in right hand side
  • Bugfixes
  • Debugging alerts on failure


  • Extraction file queue/progress
  • Ability to cancel opening or extraction of MIG files
  • Extra Debug Info and Testing
  • Look into any hacks to get this working on XP.
  • Possible bug: Missing files on extraction containing international characters


  • If you are getting a LARGE AMOUNT OF NUMBERS LISTED when trying to open a MIG file you have a VERSION 3 Mig file. There is now functionality to do this via the USMT3 Extractor menu.


I was curious on how data recovery would work starting from scratch. While I have most of the needed knowledge down to complete an extraction tool, it appears that the utility my GUI is based off of appears to work on a similar premise. In any case, below is a download of a rough experiment which was stripped down to just finding file names. May be helpful to someone for some reason so I may as well post it here. This merely reads data however I must say if the data is important back it up first, even if it is corrupted to begin with!

MiG Recovery Experiment


  • Fantastic tool! This worked great for me to open up an ancient .mig file in Windows 10 that I found on an old external harddrive. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Thank you, just what I’ve been looking for! Opened a Win 8.1 Mig file without problems.

  • Very cool tool, thank you it helped me out greatly!

  • Thanks for this. Windows 10 can’t open .MIG files and this utility is a whole lot easier than firing up a virtual machine just for that purpose..

  • Thank you
    Very helpful tool. Opened an old MIG file from XP. I am using Windows 10.

  • great tool, it works on Windows 10!

  • Very nice little tool.

    Looking for something to help with our Windows 10 Deployment as a “Backup” to the Backup!!

    VHDX is ok but just getting back into the MIG file is better πŸ™‚

  • hi there, i do have mig 3 file, but i am a bit lost, dont know how to extract data, could you help please?

  • Hi
    Use usmtutils.exe from the USMT package from the Windows ADK. usmtutils.exe came with USMT 4 and Im pretty sure it can extract Mig 3 files
    Syntax is described here:

    If you have trouble finding the USMT4 package let me know.

    In the event it doesnt work, try the very old Migrecover utility

    With kind regads
    USMTGUI development

  • Thank you thank you!!!
    I downloaded the latest Utility 0.5 and it extracted 90G of my MIG file.
    No need to do those damn DOS commands.

    You the MAN!!!

  • Is there a license agreement? I love the tool and want to use it in my organization but I don’t see a end user license agreement.

  • Make a tool that mounts it like an ISO I’ll paypal you! πŸ™‚

  • I have MIGrecovery version 5 on my win 10 pro 64bit machine. i have moved the win 7 easy transfer file (161GB) to this machine. I can review it and search through it without problem, but i cannot extract a file to a DVD or a folder in the win 10 machine.

    What am I missing?

  • Sadly MIGrecovery is very old.
    IF you can see the files you want to restore, you can do it with USMTutils.exe.
    USMTutils.exe is part of USMT that yet again is part of Microsofts ADK

    But i stead of downloading and installing the whole ADK, just to get hold of USMTutils.exe, you can get USMT from my homepage.

  • worked perfectly! Thank you for making this tool works just fine in windows 10.

  • My brother recommended I mmight like this web site. He used to be totally right.

    This publish actually made my day. You cann’t consider just how
    a lot time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Unfortunately, it didn’t help me. All unpacked files are 0 and description is corrupted. The whole 570GB archive to the trash :(((

  • Hey I just wanted to say that your tool really helped me!
    I just couldn’t open the usmtutils command line and then after a frustrating phase of google searches and trial and error I finally came across this website, so thanks!!!

  • Sir, you are truly a miracle worker. I had a crash with my Dell laptop and during their backup they created all .mig files. I have been racking my brain all week trying to figure this out. I truly cannot thank you enough, you have no idea the amount of stress you relieved from me by creating this great program.

  • Great you save my work ! THX for great software !