5 Effective Methods to Restore Documents Folder in Windows 11

You will learn 5 effective methods and how to restore Windows 11 documents folder effortlessly, whether it’s deleted completely or simply missing files in this folder.


By Ivy / Updated on April 2, 2024

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My Documents folder Disappeared!

"Greetings! I'm currently utilizing an SSD (containing OS) and a hard drive, and relocated the My Documents folder to the hard drive. This worked smoothly until my hard drive encountered issues. So I need to transfer this folder back to SSD. However, I'm unable to locate the My Documents folder on the hard drive and it’s disappeared. Is there a way to restore the default Documents folder in Windows 11?"

Restore Documents Folder Windows 11

The My Documents folder serves as a central repository within a user's profile, designed for storing personal data, and all the files & folders are actually stored in a network location. However, you may encounter the My Documents folder disappeared issue in Windows 11 or other systems. Worry not, this article will introduce you to the possible reasons and how to fix this issue effortlessly.

Why Need to Restore Documents Folder in Windows 11?

Various reasons below can lead to the My Documents folder missing issue. Thus, in order to get files or folders in it back, you need to restore Documents folder in Windows 11.

  • accidental deletion of files or entire folders.
  • location shift problems. 
  • power surges or other electrical problems.
  • virus or malware infeaction.
  • disk formatting.
  • ...

If you find yourself facing a similar predicament, the first thing is to locate Windows 11 documents folder location. Usually, it’s saved on the drive with Windows installed and related to the user profile. So the location should be C:\Users\username\Documents.


If you have ever changed this folder location, you can go to the registry editor and check the following key. It will tell you the new location. Once the location is determined, you can continue to explore the following methods and restore deleted files or the entire Documents folder in Windows 11.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\Personal

Part 1: Restore Deleted Files in Windows 11 Documents Folder

If your problem is just files deleted from the Documents folder, you can try the following 4 methods to recover deleted files in Documents folder. To keep a high success rate of data recovery, please don’t do the following things. They will overwrite your old data here.

  • Continue using the drive containing deleted files in the Documents folder.
  • Add new data to the Documents folder.
  • Perform any operation on this drive, such repair bad sectors, format disks, etc.

Method 1: Restore My Documents Folder from Recycle Bin

The deleted files on local disk are usually moved to the Recycle Bin folder and retained for 30 days temperarily. So it’s worth trying to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin first.

Step 1: Open the Recycle Bin on your PC and locate the deleted files in the My Documents folder.

Step 2: Right-click on the folder and select "Restore" to return it to its original location.


Method 2: Recover Deleted Files using Data Recovery Software

Restoring files from backup is a well-known method to recover deleted files, but many users don’t have one. If you don’t have either, try powerful data recovery software like MyRecover.

  • Recover with a high success rate and fast speed, whether it’s deleted, formatted, virus infected, etc.
  • Recover Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, photos, audio, videos, emails, webpages, and compressed files and 200+ file types.
  • Filter and recover files from specific folder, internal or external disk, USB drive, SD card, etc during the scanning process.
  • Keep the recovered files with their original path, filename, format and quality.
  • Support Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1: Install and launch MyRecover on your computer. Hover the mouse over the C drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2: It will run two advanced scanning methods - Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically and display all the found files in the following. You can filter and preview deleted files in the My Documents folder.

  • Click Filter and select Documents. Then, type the file name or file extension in the Search for files or folders box.
  • Expand the Deleted Files tab and go to the My Documents folder.


Step 3: Select all the deleted files in My Documents folder and click the Recover x files button. You will then be asked to select a location. Please select a new location instead of the original location.



  • The restore button will display the number of selected files and their full size. You can use it to determine the integrity of the recovered files.
  • Saving the recovered files to original location may cause data corruption or permanent data loss.
  • You can recover deleted files in My Documents folder for free, up to 500MB. To recover unlimited files, try advanced editions.
  • Except for the Documents folder, you can also use it to recover accidentally deleted Downloads folder, recover picture folder in Windows 11, recover files lost in cut and paste, etc.​

Method 3: Recover Deleted Files from Previous Versions

Previous versions are copies of your files from the restore point and File History. If you turn either of them on, try this method to restore deleted files from My Documents folder in Windows 11.

Step 1: Open Windows File Explorer by pressing the "Win + E" keys, then locate the folder containing the files you wish to retrieve.

Step 2: Right-click on the selected folder and click the "Properties" button.


Step 3: Within the Properties window, click the "Previous Versions" tab. Select the desired folder version from all the available versions and click the "Restore" button.


Part 2: Restore the Entire Documents Folder in Windows 11

Sometimes, you may encounter the entire Documents folder missing in Windows 11. Here are two useful methods for this problem. Most likely, you have hidden this folder instead of deleting it. Please confirm this first.

Method 1: Show Hidden Folder to Make Documents Folder Visible

If you suspect your Documents folder is hidden, try to show hidden folder and confirm this first.

Step 1. Open File Explorer. Click View > Options to open the Folder Options window.

Step 2. In the View tab, go to Hidden files and folders and check Show hidden files, folders and drives. Click Apply and OK to make My Documents folder appear.

Show Hidden Files Folders

Method 2: Create a New Documents Folder in Registry

If you still can’t see your Documents folder, try to create a new Documents folder in the Registry Editor and update the Windows 11 Documents folder location. Any small error in Registry may cause data loss. So please backup files in Documents folder if necessary.

Step 1: Go to the default Windows 11 Documents folder location (C:\Users\Username) and create a new folder named Documents or My Documents.

Step 2: Press Win + R and type regedit in the Run window to open the registry editor.​

Step 3: Navigate to the following registry path. Locate the personal registry key, input your Documents folder location, and click OK.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders


Step 4. Type cmd in the Run window. It will open the command prompt window with the administrator.

Step 5. Type attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Documents /s /d and press Enter to restore default Documents folder in Windows 11.

Restore Default Documents Folder Windows 11


✍How do I restore default Documents folder in Windows 11?

Here are two common methods to restore default Documents folder in Windows 11, depending on your Documents folder status. If it’s missing, try to recreate a new Documents folder. If you moved it to another location, right-click this folder, select Properties and Restore Default.

✍ What to do if the Windows 11 Documents folder is empty?

If it contains data previously but now empty, you can try to restore from a previous version. Open the Documents folder, click Home > History, then select the data you want to restore and click the green restore button.

✍ How do I get my documents folder back on my Mac?

If you cannot find the Documents folder using Finder, it’s likely this folder is hidden. Open Finder on your Mac. Select Preferences and in the side bar, check the Documents option.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.