How to Fix Desktop Files Missing after Windows 10 update?

How to fix desktop files missing after Windows 10 update? This post shares five efficient methods and other data loss prevention tips with you to solve this issue.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I restore my desktop after Windows 10 update?


After the Windows update, I noticed the files on my desktop were missing. I decided to search them in Windows search. I found and placed them on the desktop as they were before the update. Also, my wallpaper and several settings have changed. The next day after logging in, my wallpaper and settings went back to the state before the update, but I noticed my files are not on the desktop again. But this time I couldn’t find them. These files were important to me. Please help me!

- A user from Microsoft

Are you wondering how to locate the desktop files missing after Windows 10/11 update? Please scroll down to find your missing desktop files with efficient solutions.

Five ways to fix desktop files missing after Windows 10 update

Although there’re several reasons, the system loading errors comes first for desktop file missing Windows 10. In a nutshell, the system or disk crashes could lead to files/folders disappearing from the desktop.

Please pay attention to the corresponding reason for each method. Then you can make a wiser decision to follow one of these solutions.

Method 1. Search missing desktop files using Windows File Explorer

Sometimes these missing desktop files are not gone after the Windows update. You can search them on your PCs.

Step 1. Press “Win + E” to open Windows File Explorer.


Step 2. Go to these two paths:

This PC > Local Disk C > Users > Username > Documents.

This PC > Local Disk C > Users > Public.


Method 2. Unhide to show missing desktop files/folders after Windows 10 update

As the title suggests, this solution aims to find hidden files and folders if your Windows operating system has been set up by default to hide some files.

Step 1. Open Windows File Explorer by pressing the “Win + E” keys. After selecting your local disk C, then click “View” > “Options” to open Folder Options.


Step 2. Under the View tab, select the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option. Please remember to “Apply” it and close the window by clicking the “OK” button.


Method 3. See if you’re signed with a temporary profile

If the desktop file missing Windows 10, it’s necessary for you to check whether you’ve logged into a temporary profile.

Please go to Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings. If you see “You are logged on with a temporary profile. Roaming options are currently unavailable” the note, you need to restart your computer and log in to your user account again. Then you can find your missing desktop files.


Method 4. Recover the deleted/lost/damaged desktop files via File History

It’s easy to see that the above methods are not the targeted treatment for the deleted/lost desktop files. There’re three ways for you to recover deleted desktop files.

If you accidentally deleted desktop files, you can press “Ctrl + Z” to Undo Delete them. Or you can go to the Recycle Bin to restore them to the original location.

For permanently deleted desktop files, you need to restore them from backups like File History or seek help from top-rated data recovery software for Windows.

Please ensure you’ve opened Control Panel > System and Security to enable File History. If not, this solution is useless for you.   
File History can backup files in Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Desktop files, and OneDrive offline files saved on your computers.
After activating File History, you can restore the original files even if they were deleted, lost, or damaged.  

Step 1. Enter “Control Panel” in the search box and open it. Then go to System and Security.


Step 2. Click “File History” > “Restore my files with File History.”


Step 3. Click the “Restore personal files” button.


Step 4. Click the Restore” button to retrieve your selected desktop files to the original location.


If you want to change the saved place, right-click on “Restore” and select the “Restore to” option.

Method 5. Recover the deleted/lost desktop files using data recovery software

There’s no better way than using powerful data recovery software to recover deleted or lost desktop files. So why not give MyRecover a shot?

With the aid of this powerful software, you can recover the deleted/lost files from HDD, USB, SD cards, and other electronic storage devices in three steps. And it can keep the original path, and filename for the deleted files without changing their format.

There’re other features of MyRecover.

Recover Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Videos, Audio, Emails, Webpages, Compressed files, and other 200+ types of data. 
During scanning, you can search your targeted desktop files by typing filenames in the search box or wait to find all the deleted and other lost files on your computers after running Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.   
Be compatible with NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.

Are desktop files missing after Windows 10 update? So don’t hesitate to download it to solve the deletion, disk formatting, and other data loss scenarios.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run the tool on your PC and hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.


Step 2. Search or wait to see all the deleted files and other missing files after scanning.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted files folder, and choose the desktop files you want to restore. Then click the “Recover x files” button.


You can also go to the Other missing files folder to find your missing desktop files.

Wrapping up

This post lists five solutions to tackle the issue of desktop files missing after Windows 10 update. If you’re not sure whether your missing desktop files are in a deletion state, you can start with the first three methods.

The last two methods can help you recover permanently deleted desktop files. Moreover, you can use Windows features or freeware, AOMEI Backupper to backup your files, folders, partitions, disks, or the system.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.