How to Prevent Files Automatically Deleted from Desktop?

How do you avoid files automatically deleted from desktop? This article is worth reading to help you fix it and learn how to restore desktop files easily.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why are my desktop files automatically deleted?

Windows constantly release updates to fix known bugs and errors and brings new functions and improvement. Windows users won't be unfamiliar with the regular updating process.

But updates sometimes bring errors as well.

A bunch of Windows users has discovered a strange issue: files disappearing from desktop. Sometimes they find the files vanish after the update/once clicked, some notice that desktop files deleted after restart, and so on.

It isn't very pleasant that users must re-download/recover the files after they get deleted repeatedly. And now, they are wondering why this happens and if there are any feasible means to prevent files automatically deleted from desktop.


Files are being Deleted Automatically


Help! My desktop files and any other file I create are being deleted automatically. I noticed I could not make a folder on my desktop or in my documents. If I try to open a file, it gets deleted automatically. It deletes the new folder on the desktop automatically. Is this a virus?


- Question from Microsoft Community


Have you ever suffered from a similar dilemma? Rest assured, this post answers the question and gathers multiple fixes to help you fix it and recover deleted files from desktop.

The reason why Windows 10 desktop files deleted automatically

Except for malfunctioned updates mentioned, more causes lead to data loss from desktop. Now, let's go over the detailed explanation of why updates lead to this issue and other reasons.

  • Malfunctioned upgrade. After the upgrade, your files are covered in a Windows.old folder for 30 days, and your files might be there or removed after 30 days.
  • Virus attack. If Windows detects suspicious/dangerous files (especially .exe files), they might get removed/quarantined right away to protect your machine.
  • Storage Sense. If you have turned on Storage Sense, it will delete unused files, e.g., temp files, recycle bin files, etc., to free up disk space.
  • Wrong account. After updating or restarting, you may log into a temporary account automatically, and the desktop files are all gone.

Now check the solution below to fix the "Windows 10 desktop files deleted automatically issue".


Fix: files automatically deleted from desktop

This part covers several viable fixes. Please choose the methods according to your specific situation.

Quick fixes before solutions

Before the formal solutions, try some quick fixes first. When you find files lost from the computer, these fixes will be easy and fast and might be of some help.

  1. Seek the missing files in the Recycle Bin. Go to the Recycle Bin on the desktop to see if your files are there. If deleted files were not in Recycle Bin, they may have been permanently deleted or stayed elsewhere. Please check the next fix.
  2. Make sure the files are not hidden. Since viruses also hide users' personal files, you could go to the original location of the missing files and try to show hidden files. Please note that it is not suggested to show system-protected files to avoid misoperation or damage.
  3. Restore files from Windows.old folder. After upgrading, a Windows.old folder will be generated. It covers all the operating system files and personal files of the previous Windows version. Try to access this folder and locate your missing files in the path: C:\Windows.old\Users\your_user_name

If all these quick fixes fail, your files might be somehow removed. Check the following methods to stop Windows from deleting files again and get the files back.

Solution 1. Uninstall/remove suspicious files/apps

If the auto deletion occurs repeatedly, it is dangerous because viruses might infect your computer.

For the sake of security, it is suggested to perform a full scan right now using antivirus software. You could also use Windows antivirus if there are no third-party antivirus programs on your device.

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


Step 2. Click Scan options.


Step 3. Toggle Full scan > Scan now. You can also carry out a Microsoft Defender Offline scan as you like.


Then follow the instructions to remove viruses if detected.

Solution 2. Add exclusions if you are sure the files are safe

After running a full scan to ensure there are no viruses, you could manually add the file/folder/file type to the excluded list if the issue is still not fixed. Thus stopping Windows Defender automatically deleting files.

But it is only advised to do so when you are 100% sure the files/folders are safe.

Step 1. Go back to the Virus & threat protection page > scroll down to Virus & threat protection settings > Manage settings.


Step 2. Go to Exclusions > click Add or remove exclusions.


Step 3. Click Add an exclusion > add File/Folder/File Type/Process as you like. E.g., add the Desktop folder.


In this way, you could stop files disappearing from desktop again.

Solution 3. Uninstall malfunctioned updates

Sometimes, updates bring improvements as well as bugs and errors. Some users have reported that the automated Windows 10 updates delete files from their computers.

If the file missing issue breaks out after an update, then the malfunctioned upgrade files are the culprit. You could uninstall it if you know which one caused this issue.

Step 1. Go back to Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history.


Step 3. Click Uninstall updates.


Step 4. Find the newly-installed update > right-click it > Uninstall.


Thus to remove the faulty upgrade.

Solution 4. Switch off Storage Sense

Storage Sense also automatically deletes files. It is an auto-deletion app designed to remove unwanted temp files and files in the Recycle Bin to save disk space. When your computer is running low storage, you could enable this feature.

Now, check the steps to disable it and prevent it from removing files again.

Step 1. Go back to Windows Settings > System.


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


Step 3. Switch off the Storage Sense.


Thus, no files will be removed silently without your permission.

How to recover deleted files from desktop?

Then how to deal with the removed files? Is it possible to get them back? Of course, yes.

Though it will be challenging for ordinary users to perform data recovery after deletion/virus attack, etc., they could turn to professional file rescue apps for Windows.

MyRecover is one of the eligible Windows data recovery tools. It is designed to help users restore deleted and missing files under multiple data loss situations, e.g., deletion, formatting, virus attack, recycle bin emptying, system crash, etc.

With the help of its valuable features, data recovery will be an easy task.

Easy. Select disk, scan data and then save recovered data wherever you like in 3 steps. 
Efficient. Restore over 200+ types of data, e.g., jpg/png/gif/avi/mp4/mp3/wav/doc/xlsx/ppt/zip, etc. 
Convenient. Recovered files can keep in original filenames, formats, and paths. 
Compatible. Support Windows 11/10/8/7 SP1 & Server.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Now follow the instructions to learn how to restore desktop files with ease.

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


Step 2. Extensions, filenames, and filters like Type, Size, Path, etc., help you target the needed files faster.


Step 3. Choose Deleted files > go to the desktop folder > select what your need and click Recover x files.


Using this powerful tool, you can perform desktop data recovery with ease.

Related suggestions

Check out this article; you can learn how to prevent files automatically deleted from desktop in multiple methods.

Also, to avoid the same issue in the future, some suggestions are ready.

  • Do not run the computer without antivirus protection.
  • Update the antivirus software regularly.
  • Delete unwanted files prudently.
  • Do not clean the Recycle Bin readily.
  • Back up essential personal data from time to time.
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.