Files on My Computer Disappeared: How to Fix

Here in this post, we list 6 ways to fix “Files on my computer disappeared” on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 as well as the reasons causing the issue. Keep reading if you need it.


By Ellie / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Why do files on my computer disappear?


For some reason, files have been randomly going missing on my computer. One day they're there, and the next gone. However, when I looked in my "recently opened" the files are there, but I couldn't open them because they had been "renamed or deleted". Why do files disappear from my computer?” 


- Question from Microsoft Community

File Disappear

Have you ever encountered files disappearing as the user in this case and don’t know why it happens? Generally, the situation is not rare and it happens all the time. There are many factors causing the issue, but when it comes down to major reasons, they can be listed as follows:  

  • Accidental deletion. When we clear the cache on the computer to free up more space, it is common to delete something accidentally but we didn’t notice the loss. So, when we need them, they just go disappear.  
  • File corruption. File corruption may happen due to a virus attack or a system problem. And it may go disappeared if it’s being attacked.  
  • Files are being hidden. Another reason is that the files are being hidden so that you are not able to find them.

How to fix “Files on my computer disappeared” 

Here in this part, we’ll talk about how to fix the issue “Files on my computer disappeared” on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. Keep reading!

Way 1. Check Recycle Bin

If we cannot find the files on the computer desktop, Recycle Bin would be our first place to get them back. And the operations won’t occupy your too much time. Keep reading to find your missing files.

Step 1. Open the Recycle Bin on the desktop.

Step 2. Locate the deleted files. Right-click and then select View > Details to locate your files.

Recycle Bin

Step 3. Right-click on deleted files and click Restore.


Then you will find the deleted files will be recovered to the original location and the issue “Files have disappeared from my computer” would be gone.

Way 2. Show hidden files and folders

As we said, if the files are hidden, we could also find that the files and folders go disappeared. For this reason, configuring the settings to show hidden files and folders is necessary.

Step 1. In the search box, input file explorer and then open it.

Step 2. When File Explorer Options window opens, locate the View tab and then click Options.

View Options

Step 3. Go to the View tab and then scroll down and find the Hidden files and folders option. Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

Show Hidden Files

Step 4. Click Apply and OK to save changes. Go to the original place to see whether the files appear.

Way 3. Turn off Fast Startup

It is also said that a fast startup could cause the files to vanish. If you are unsure whether the problem is caused by this reason, do the following to have a look.

Step 1. Press Win + R to bring up the dialog box, type powercfg.cpl and hit the Enter key. A window will pop up. Click Choose what the power buttons do on the left pane. 


Step 2. Scroll down to Shutdown settings and uncheck the box for Turn on fast startup


Note: If these options are greyed out then you may need to click "Change settings that are currently unavailable".

Shut Down

Way 4. Change Index options

If random files or folders are disappearing, checking or changing index options is also a great choice to get them back.  

Step 1. Press Win + S and type Indexing Options. Select Indexing Options from the list of results.

Step 2. When the Indexing Options window opens, click on Advanced.

Index Options

Step 3. Go to the Index Settings tab, and in the Troubleshooting section click the Rebuild button.

Rebuild Button

Way 5. Check Hard Drive

Sometimes, the system errors can also lead to the file disappearing. For this reason, we can check the hard drive to restore files.

Step 1. Open This PC and right-click on the hard drive and then select Properties.

Local Disk Properties

Step 2. Locate the Tools tab and click on Check. When the check is accomplished, the hidden files or folders will be restored.

Check Tools

Way 6. Switch user account

And the possibility that you save your files on another user account cannot be ignored. If you have another user account, you can switch and check whether it’s the root issue.

Step 1. Go to Settings > Accounts. You could check your user account and find your old user account.

Step 2. Click on the old account and then you’ll switch to the older account.

Switch Account

AOMEI Data Recovery--- Find your disappeared files with little effort

What to do if files on my computer disappeared? In the last part, we illustrate 6 ways to fix the issue. However, if all the ways above cannot help you get the files back, choosing software that is devoted to recovering the files is far more reasonable, for example, MyRecover.

With MyRecover, you could enjoy the following advantages:

  • User-friendly interface and operation. With MyRecover, you could figure out the operations instantly once you download and install it, even though you are new to the computer.
  • Multiple compatibilities. It is workable for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 and Windows Server, which means it’s unnecessary to update your Windows version and eliminate troubles for you.
  • Supporting many kinds of file types. It allows you to recover many kinds of files type, such as deleted Word documents, PPTX files, photos and so on.

Get one and operate with me.

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

Step 1. Install MyRecover on your Windows computer. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan to scan.

Select Partition to Scan

Step 2. The scanning process will start with a quick scan and then a deep scan to find more missing files. You could perform data recovery during the scanning and you don't need to stop the scan.

Scan Lost Data

Step 3. Tick the deleted folder and click the button "Recover files" to save the recovered folder. Finally, check whether the disappeared files are in this column.

Recover Lost Data


Files on my computer disappeared and what can I do to recover them? Here in this post, 6 ways are listed for you to find and recover the files, such as checking Recycle Bin, showing hidden files and folders, turning off Fast Startup, and changing Index options. But if they are not working for you, MyRecover can be your best choice.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.