File Automatically Deletes Itself – How to Stop & Recover?

This article is to help users fix the “File automatically deletes itself” issue with multiple solutions applied to different situations and recovering deleted files.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“Why my files are deleting automatically?”

Windows users create, view, edit, modify, share, and delete files using Windows PC. With the help of a Windows machine, they can smoothly work, study, have fun, and cooperate with others.

But beyond the calm everyday life, they will also be annoyed by abrupt problems; for example, some users find files suddenly disappeared from folder/desktop/specific path, which indicates that the file automatically deletes itself without warning.


Windows 10 Deleting Files Itself- Any Solution?


My File used to get deleted itself. I am having no idea how it is happening. Several times it happened in front of my eyes, folders, and files disappearing from the desktop.


- Question from Microsoft Community


While feeling confused and annoyed, they also wonder why this happened and how to fix it. Have you ever met the same issue? Don’t be frustrated; this article will offer you explanations and solutions to help you.


Causes of files being deleted automatically in Windows 10

Generally, there are several possible reasons behind this issue.

  • Antivirus suspected the files were virus-infected.
  • You have enabled Storage Sense to remove files automatically when running out of space.
  • Malfunctioned updates brought some bugs/errors.
  • Virus deliberately deleted/hid your files.
  • ...

In the following part, you can learn how to fix it and perform an easy deleted file recovery.

Troubleshoot: file automatically deletes itself

Corresponding methods are ready to help you fix the files being deleted automatically in Windows 10 issue. You could choose suitable methods according to the specific symptoms you met.

Case 1. If you find files getting deleted automatically when clicked/after downloaded

One prominent symptom you may encounter is that files disappear as soon as you click them/after downloading them.

The possible reason is that the Antivirus you use has detected them and suspected them as virus-infected. Then the Antivirus would quarantine/remove them immediately.

If you can ensure the files you downloaded is trustworthy and secure, you could stop this by adding exclusions to the Antivirus.

Here we take Windows Defender as an example. Follow the steps to stop Windows Defender from automatically deleting files.

Step 1. Click the Start menu > Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Step 2. Locate the Virus & threat protection settings > Manage settings.


Step 3. Find Exclusions > Add or remove exclusions.


Step 4. Click Add an exclusion > add file/folder/type/process as you need. E.g., if you have repeatedly lost files from the Downloads folder, then add the folder to it.


Thus you can stop the “file automatically deletes itself” issue.

Case 2. If files are lost from Recycle Bin

Different from files getting deleted automatically when clicked, if the case is that you wanted to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin/an idle folder but oddly found files were not there, then maybe Storage Sense is the culprit.

This feature removes unused files from Recycle Bin to free up space and optimize the machine’s performance.


If you have enabled this feature and then found Recycle Bin deleted files automatically, you could turn it off to solve this issue.

Step 1. Windows Start > Windows Settings > System.


Step 2. Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now.


Step 3. Switch off the Storage Sense.


Case 3. If files getting randomly deleted

If things are worse than usual, you may find files randomly deleted without any warning or clues.

This may result from viruses and malfunctioned updates. If viruses have attacked your computer or your newly-installed update went wrong, you may also run into the “file automatically deletes itself” issue.

Solution 1. Uninstall the faulty update

If an obvious symptom occurs after you install an update, then the update might be the case. Uninstalling it can be a fix to solve files missing after Windows 10 update.

Step 1. Click the Start menu > Windows Settings > Update & Security.


Step 2. Windows Update > View update history.


Step 3. Click Uninstall updates.


Step 4. Please find out the update you downloaded > right-click it > Uninstall.


Thus removing the malfunctioned update and fixing the issue.

Solution 2. Scan and remove the virus/show hidden files

What’s worst, your files may have genuinely been infected by viruses. A notable symptom is that the exe file automatically deleted in Windows 10.

Exe files are hazardous from the perspective of the Windows system because an exe file is executable and can write its codes to your host program and cause severe loss/damage.

Even though the infected files were removed/quarantined already, it is better to perform a full scan to ensure there are no other threats on your device.

Step 1. Go back to Windows settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Step 2. Scan options.


Step 3. Choose Full scan > Scan now.


Follow the instructions to remove threats.

How to perform deleted file recovery after data loss?

After measures to prevent files from being deleted again, another question arises: how to recover the deleted files?

If you know where to download the wanted files or have an extra backup, getting your files back won’t be challenging.

However, many users don’t possess any backup files and urgently need methods of deleted file recovery.

These users might as well turn to efficient Windows data recovery apps for help – MyRecover, designed for Windows users, facilitates users to scan the hard disk for deleted and missing files.

>> MyRecover – make data recovery easier

  • Easy. All users without expertise can operate it effortlessly to recover data in 3 steps.
  • Efficient. 200+ recoverable data types, including photos, videos, documents, zip files, etc.
  • Comprehensive. Apply to deletion, formatting, trash bin emptying, virus, system crash, etc.
  • Compatible. Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Server. Windows Server users can also use it to recover deleted data from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

Download and enjoy easy data recovery from internal and external HDD, SSD, and USB, SD card.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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While scanning, feel free to choose files to recover directly.

Step 1. Run MyRecover > Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. The search box and filters like Type, Size, Path, etc., help you target wanted files quickly.


Step 3. Choose Deleted files > go to the original file location > select the files needed > click Recover x files. If no wanted files were found, go to Other missing files > select specific types to retrieve.


It can also help you recover missing files from SD cards and other external storage devices.

Wrapping up

Users who find the file automatically deletes itself can refer to this article and get some help to fix it.

According to various reasons, users can utilize Windows Defender, Storage Sense, uninstallation, and other features to stop files from being removed again.

Moreover, the professional data recovery app for Windows – MyRecover, will be helpful in deleted file recovery.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.