How to Restore Pictures Folder in Windows 11? [4 Ways]

How to recover emptied Recycle Bin in Windows 11 to get back permanently deleted files? This article gathers 4 ways to help you. Check it out.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Where is my Pictures folder in Windows 11?

Many users upgrade their Windows operating systems from Windows 10 to Windows 11 due to the new features, designs, and improvements. With the improvements it brings, users can deal with their work files much easier.

For example, users store their family photos in travel in the Picture folder in C drive; what’s more, some artists also use this folder to keep their artwork in progress for easier management.

However, like users of other versions of OS are still seeking ways to restore lost pictures on computer, Windows 11 users will also meet this problem.


The Pictures Folder Is Gone


After the latest windows update, my pictures folder was gone, I thought it was the update that basically deleted my pictures folder and I want to know how to get it back.


- Question from Microsoft Community


Some of them find the Pictures folder is missing from the File Explorer, while some just notice that this folder was moved anywhere else. They are all asking, “Where is my Pictures folder in Windows 11”.

If you also need help to restore Pictures folder in Windows 11, this article will be worth reading with several methods and helpful content gathered. Firstly, let’s check the possible reasons for this issue.

Why is my Pictures folder missing from Windows 11?

Check the possible causes and see if it meets your case.

  • Location change. If you could not locate this folder in its original location, it might have been moved due to human error or viruses.
  • Accidental deletion. The Pictures folder might have been inadvertently deleted because of viruses or misoperation.
  • Faulty updates. Sometimes malfunctioned updates can bring problems from mild to intense. E.g., some users have reported that “Windows 11 update broke my computer”.

Don’t worry; the following methods can help you fix this issue.

How to restore Pictures folder in Windows 11?

According to the causes above, we could try these methods to recover the lost Pictures folder.

Method 1. Try moving it back

Since the Pictures folder might have been moved to another place and you fail to find it, we could access it in File Explorer and move it back to its original location.

Step 1. Start File Explorer > input shell:My Pictures in the address bar > press Enter. Thus you can open the Pictures folder wherever it is.


Step 2. Click the three-dot menu icon > Properties.


Step 3. Click Location on the toolbar > then you can view and check the current location of the Pictures folder > to change the location, click Move.


Step 4. Choose a preferred or the original place > Select Folder.


Thus you can access the Pictures folder where it was originally/as you like. File Explorer is a good tool to manage your files. If you find the recent folder missing from File Explorer, its inbuilt tool can help you fix it.

Method 2. Restore pictures folder via Restore Default

In addition, you could directly choose Restore Default to reset the settings and the location modifications.

Step 1. Start File Explorer > locate the Pictures folder or input shell:My Pictures in the address bar to navigate to it.

Step 2. Click Properties > Location > Restore Default > Apply.


Step 3. If it warns you “The folder does not exist. Would you like to create it?”, just click Yes. Thus your photos in the Pictures folder will be moved to the default location where they should be.

Method 3. Check your OneDrive folder

Also, there is another worth trying way – checking your OneDrive folder. Many users are willing to automatically back up photos and videos to OneDrive.

 If you have enabled the back up Pictures folder to OneDrive, your pictures might be on your OneDrive storage and will be easier to find.


>> Start OneDrive via File Explorer or by double-clicking the OneDrive icon. See if your Pictures folder is there. Please don’t forget to create a folder copy before moving it away.


All the methods above are based on that there are no photos lost from the Pictures folder. If you find some photos are lost from the folder, you might need to seek help and undelete files in Windows 11.

Then, how to get them back? Check the following part.

How to restore Pictures folder in Windows 11 after permanent deletion?

Changing the folder location can help you restore Pictures folder in Windows 11 to its original status and place. But what if you find the photos in it are missing or deleted?

In this case, some users might be lucky with backups to restore; however, there are way more users who don’t make any backups. How can they recover permanently deleted files like photos in Windows 11?

If you are one of them, what you need is trustworthy photo recovery software for Windows. Using a tool, you could directly search it from the hard drive within several minutes, saving time.

MyRecover will be one of the best choices. It is specially designed for Windows users, available in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Server.

Developed and supported by a sophisticated team, it is equipped with advanced scanning methods and techs, offering high user experience and efficiency in photo recovery.

User-friendly. It is easy to use and doesn't require any prior knowledge or photo recovery expertise. 
Comprehensive. It applies to situations like deletion, disk formatting, emptying recycle bins, system crashes, etc. 
Efficient. It recovers most used files, including 42 kings of images: jpg/png/gif/bmp/tif, etc. 
Compatible. Available in Windows 11/10/8/7/Server, NTFS, fat32, exFAT, ReFS, etc. 

Now learn how to recover deleted photos from Windows 11 using MyRecover.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Install and run this app > Hover the mouse over the C drive > Click Scan.


Step 2. You may sort the files while scanning by Date updated, Type, Size, Path, etc. Inputting the names or extensions to target your desired files more quickly is also possible if you can still remember the filenames.


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


Also, navigate to the Documents folder, you could recover accidentally deleted My Documents folder easily.

Wrapping up

This article teaches users how to restore Pictures folder in Windows 11. By using the “shell:My Pictures” command, users can access the Pictures folder wherever it is;

Then, by moving it or using Restore Default, the Pictures folder can be restored to its original location.

Also, if unluckily, you find images missing from the folder, MyRecover will be your helper to undelete files in Windows 11.

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.