Troubleshoot: Windows Automatically Deleting Files

How to prevent Windows automatically deleting files? This article will be worth reading to help you fix it and learn how to recover deleted files in Windows 10.


By Lora / Updated on May 27, 2024

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Why does my PC automatically delete files?

While using Windows, users might download photos, videos, documents, and exe files. Strangely, some may find that the files disappear after being downloaded/clicked – Windows automatically deletes files.


Windows 10 keeps deleting my files.

Why does Windows 10 keep deleting files? What is the purpose of this process? I have restored it at least 5 times, and it is all becoming very frustrating. Every time that I shut down my computer, the issue begins again.

- Question from Microsoft Community


Except for standard files, some users found downloaded files disappear in Windows 10. It is indeed very upsetting to re-download the removed files again and again.

So, many users are wondering why this happens and how to stop Windows 10 deleting files automatically.

Don't be frustrated; this article aims to give feasible solutions to fix this issue. Firstly, let's discuss the causes of this issue.

>> The causes of files being deleted automatically in Windows 10

Hidden files. If you find files missing from your machine, check if they were hidden instead. The virus can hide users' personal/system files maliciously. 
Storage sense. This tool automatically deletes unused/temporary/recycle bin files when your hard disk space is low once enabled. 
Windows defender. This antivirus feature protects the computer from viruses and will delete suspicious files automatically. 
Update. Installed updates might be faulty and incompatible with your machine and thus cause data loss.

These are some common reasons for auto deletion/file loss in Windows. In the next part, you will learn how to stop files being deleted automatically Windows.


If Windows has already automatically deleted your important files, please turn to the second part to get the effective file recovery method we provide for you.

How to fix Windows automatically deleting files?

If you meet the Windows automatically deleting files issue, there are some easy and useful solutions in this part. If you want to learn how to recover deleted files in Windows, please head over to the next part.

Method 1. Show hidden files

When you find files suddenly disappeared from folder, check the folder first.

Viruses sometimes hide your files deliberately. If the wanted files were just hidden, you could head over to the target folder and try to show hidden files.

Step 1. Start File Explorer > locate the upper/parent folder containing the missing files.

Step 2. View > Options > View > Show hidden files, folders, and drives.


Check if the missing files are visible now. If not, it means that the files were not hidden but deleted. Please take a look at the following methods.

Method 2. Turn off Storage Sense

Storage Sense deletes unused files (temporary files and Recycle Bin files) to free up disk space, allowing the hard drive to run smoothly.


If your found Recycle Bin deletes files automatically, Storage Sense might be the "culprit". Now follow the instructions to disable it and prevent files from being deleted in the future.

Step 1. Click Start menu > Windows Settings > System.


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


Step 3. Turn off the Storage Sense. If you want to keep temporary files, uncheck the Delete temporary files that my apps aren't using under Temporary Files.


Thus you could prevent Windows automatically deleting files again.

Method 3. Specify Windows Defender settings

Another possible cause of abrupt data loss is that the files you downloaded are viruses/suspected as viruses.

Windows Defender scans and protects your computer from viruses and threats. Once detected, fishy/suspicious files (especially exe files) will be quarantined/removed immediately.

If you are 100% sure the files you download are safe, you could change the Windows Defender settings to stop them from being removed again.


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


Step 2. Locate Virus & threat protection settings > click Manage settings.


Step 3. Locate Exclusions > click Add or remove exclusions.


Step 4. Click Add an exclusion > Add the downloaded files/particular folder/file type/process to the excluded list according to your situation. For instance, add the Downloads folder to it.


In this way, you could stop files being deleted automatically in Windows.

Method 4. Uninstall the newly-added update

As has been discussed, an inaccurate/faulty update can also lead to data loss. If the update you installed is incompatible with your machine, errors and issues can occur.

The Windows auto deletion issue could be down to this update if you have recently updated your computer. Now, check the steps to uninstall it safely.

Step 1. Click the Start menu > Windows Settings > Update & Security.


Step 2. Windows Update > View update history.


Step 3. Click Uninstall updates.


Step 4. Locate the update recently installed > right-click it > Uninstall.


How to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11?

After the Windows automatically deleting files issue is appropriately settled, you could move on and deal with removed data.

Since Windows has already wiped a bunch of data from your computer, and it is almost irreversible in ordinary ways, we suggest you choose professional Windows data recovery tools to help you.

With the help of an efficient data rescue app, you can quickly and readily scan the hard disk for deleted and missing files.

MyRecover is your second-to-none choice. It is specially designed for Windows users, possessing advanced and helpful features.

Powerful Data Recovery Software
  • Recover deleted files at a fast speed and high recovery rate.
  • Provide 2 professional scanning methods: Quick Scan and Quick Scan.
  • Keep the deleted files' original filenames, formats, and paths when recovered.
  • Restore 200+ types of files, includingWord documents, Excel, PPT, JPG, GIF, 3FR, MP3, MP4, MOV, VWM, ANI, ZIP, and more.
  • Compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1 & Server.


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

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


Step 2. Input extensions, filenames, etc., to target the wanted files quickly. Also, you could use filters like Type, Size, Path, etc., to sort the scanned files.

  • Name: Type the filenames of your desired files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Choose Deleted files > go to the original file location where you store the files > select what your need > click Recover x files.


If you find no wanted files, go to Other missing files > select specific types to retrieve.

  • Please save the recovered files in another drive to avoid data overwriting.
  • MyRecover provides free data recovery up to 500MB. For deleted files larger than it, an advanced edition is cost-effective and better.


In this article, you can learn how to fix Windows automatically deleting files and how to recover deleted files in Windows 10 with a professional data recovery tool MyRecover.

Firstly, you could check if the files were hidden, turn off Storage Sense, change Windows Defender settings, or uninstall the newly-added update.

Then, use a practical Windows data recovery utility to restore deleted files from the computer.

If possible, use data backup software for Windows to protect your important data and avoid data loss.


Is there a built-in feature in Windows that deletes files automatically?
Windows has features like the Disk Cleanup tool that can delete certain files to free up space, but it usually requires user confirmation before deleting anything.
How can I recover files that were automatically deleted by Windows?
You may recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin or use file recovery software if they were not permanently deleted.
Can Windows Updates delete files?
Windows Updates shouldn't delete personal files, but it's still a good practice to back up your data before performing major updates.
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.