Will Upgrading to Windows 11 Delete My Files? Answers Here

Will upgrading to Windows 11 delete my files? On this page, you will get a satisfying answer and 5 ways to recover lost files after upgrading to Windows 11.


By Zoey / Updated on April 2, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Will upgrading to Windows 11 delete everything?

In October 2021, Microsoft released Windows 11, the latest major release of Microsoft's Windows NT operating system. It is the predecessor to Windows 10 (2015). If your Windows 10 device meets the new system requirements, you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free.

However, you are always considering whether to update your systems. Because you will be afraid of losing files during the process of updating the system. For example, when Windows 10 was introduced, people also worried about files missing after Windows 10 update as well.

“Will upgrading to Windows 11 delete my files?” You may ask such a question. In fact, once you have chosen Keep personal files and apps while upgrading, your files will not be deleted. However, your files may be deleted or you cannot find the files in the original location after upgrading to Windows 11.


By the way, some programs and settings will be deleted as well because they are not supported in Windows 11 anymore like Math Input Panel, Quick Status from the Lockscreen and associated settings, Tablet Mode, Wallet, and more.

But you don't have to worry, and we provide you with 5 very effective file recovery methods to use. In this way, you can upgrade your Windows system without any worries. First, we will give the detailed steps to upgrade to Windows without losing data.

How to upgrade to Windows 11 without losing data

If you are using Windows 10 on your PC now, you can follow the steps below to upgrade to Windows 11 for free:

1. Go to Settings in the Start menu.


2. Choose Updates & Security on this page.

Update And Security

3. On the Windows Update page, press the Check for updates button. When you see the Windows 11 upgrade in the list, select that file and click Download and install.

Check For Updates

How to recover files after updating to Windows 11

Will upgrading to Windows 11 delete everything? If your data is lost, unfortunately, here are 5 useful methods on how to find a lost file on your computer.

Method 1. Recover files with data recovery software

First, the most direct way to recover your files is to use professional recovery software. Here comes an easy data rescue tool - MyRecover.

MyRecover can help you to recover lost files from different situations like deletion, formation, system crashes, and more. After upgrading to Windows 11, you can use it to scan the drives on your PC and recover your lost files with ease.

Powerful Data Recovery Software


  • Available in all Windows operating systems like Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.
  • Provide 2 advanced scanning methods Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
  • More than 200 types of files can be recovered: Word documents, Excel, PPT, JPG, GIF, 3FR, MP3, MP4, MOV, VWM, ANI, ZIP, etc.
  • You can filter, search, and preview deleted files during the recovery process.
  • Provide a clear graphical user interface and simple operating steps.


If you want to get your lost files back after upgrading to Windows 11, click on the Download Software button to install MyRecover on your computer. And follow the easy 3-step tutorial to recover files:

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

1. In MyRecover, hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Select Location To Scan

2. After Quick Scan and Quick Scan, you can see your deleted files and other missing files. You can type your filename in the search box to search for your lost files or use the Filter feature to locate your files quickly.

  • Search: If you remember the file name or extension, you can use it to locate deleted files quickly.
  • Filter: Set the file type (e.g.: image), date modified, and size to narrow down the search range. 

Scanning Drive

3. At last, click on the Recover X files button to recover lost files after upgrading to Windows 11.

Recover Download Folder

  • After confirming the scanning result, please select a new location to store your recovered files to avoid data overwriting.
  • To recover deleted/lost files larger than 500MB, upgrading MyRecover is a better and more cost-effective choice

Method 2. Find lost files with the Search feature

Your missing files may not have been deleted, so you can use the search function to retrieve your files. If you still can't find your files, they may be hidden. Follow the steps to do:

1. Open File Explorer. Choose the View tab, and click on the Options button to open Folder Options.

File Explorer View Options

2. In the Advanced settings section, tick the box next to Show hidden files, folders, and drives. Choose Apply and OK. After that, search for your lost files again.

Show Hidden FIles Folders

Method 3. Recover files in Windows previous update

There is another way that you can go to the previous update to find your deleted files on Windows 10. Just refer to the easy guideline to go back to the previous upgrade:

1. Navigate to Windows Settings and choose Update & Security.

Update And Security

2. Choose Windows Update on the left menu, then select View update history.

View Update History

3. Click on the Uninstall updates link here.

Uninstall Updates

4. Now, you can choose the Windows update that cause your files lost uninstalled. Then restart your computer and your deleted files will be back.

Windows Updates

Method 4. Enable a Windows Administrator account

Will upgrading to Windows 11 delete my programs? If you lost them and created a new Microsoft account after upgrading to Windows 11, your files and programs may be in a disabled administrator account. All you need to do now is to enable this account and log in again to recover them. Follow the steps below to do it:

1. Input Computer Management in the search box to run it.

2. Double click on Local Users and Groups > Users. Right-click on the Administrator account, and choose Properties in the pop-up window.

Administrator Properties

3. Choose the General tab, and make sure the Account is disabled option is off. Click Apply then OK.

Enable Account

Method 5. Recover files from Windows backups

If you have made backups of your files in Windows, you can try recovering files from backups. But this approach is only suitable for users who have enabled the Windows Backup and Restore feature before. If you want to know how to recover data without backup, you can go to Way 1.

1. Navigate to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

2. Choose Select another backup to restore files from.

Select Another Backup To Restore Files From

3. Click on the backup > Next.

Select A Backup

4. You can click the Browse for files or Browse for folders button to find your lost files after upgrading to Windows 11. Then select a location to save your recovered files.

Restore With Windows Backup

Tip: Make a backup before upgrading to Windows 11

Before upgrading to Windows 11, it is advisable for you to make backups of your computer data to prevent accidents. Using professional backup software like AOMEI Backupper can help you to do it easily.

File backup, schedule backup, incremental backup, and file sync are all supported in AOMEI Backupper.

Once you create a backup before upgrading, you can restore files from backup directly if upgrading to Windows 11 deletes your important files.

AB Click File Backup

To sum up

“Will upgrading to Windows 11 delete my files?” This article has given you the answer and 5 efficient ways to recover files after upgrading to Windows 11. The easiest and most direct method is using a professional data rescue software like MyRecover. You can go to upgrade the system on your PC without worries.


Do I need to backup before upgrading to Windows 11?
It depends on your usage habits and needs. But please use the proper way to upgrade to Windows 11 without losing data.
Should I upgrade to Windows 11 in 2023?
Definitely, you can if the used space of larger drive is smaller than or equal to the smaller drive and the cloning software you choose supports the "Intelligent Clone" feature. It only cloned the used sectors of a drive to another by default.
Can I choose to perform a clean install of Windows 11 to avoid file deletion?
Yes, you can opt for a clean install during the upgrade process, which erases everything on your system drive. This approach will result in data loss, so back up your files before choosing this option.
Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.