By Ivy / Last update August 18, 2022

Files Missing after Windows 10 Update 

Some users report files missing after Windows 10 update in 2018/2019/2020/2021/2022, just like the following user case: 

"My photo files were empty after a windows update. have tried to restore them from recycle bin and from an earlier date which hasn't been resolved. Does anyone know how to 1/ get these folders back and 2/ ideas for a contact person for support? Thanks in adavance."

Usually, this happens after install a new Windows 10 update or upgrade from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10. Don't worry about it too much. Learn the causes and corresponding solustions to Windows 10 update missing files problem.

5 Solutions: Recover Files after Windows 10 Update

The Windows 10 update deleting files issue may be caused by a temporary user profile or disabled administrator account after upgrading from Windows 7 or 8, etc. In view of these situations, we summarize the following 5 solutions.

  • Restart your computer and log into your user account under normal conditios.
  • Show hidden files or folders.
  • Enable user account in Windows 7 or 8.
  • Restore from Windows.old folder.
  • Recover files with data recovery software - Recoverit.

And remember to search for your files or folders in search solution. If it is not available, try next way until you find your data.

Way 1. Restart Your PC (Not Shut Down)

1. Check if you are using temporary user profile. Go to Start -> Settings -> Accounts -> Sync your settings to check.

If shows the message: You are logged on with a temporary profile. Roaming options are currently unavailable, which means you’re in temporary profile. 

Logged on with A Temporary Profile

Or see a prompt: We cant sign into your acount, this problem can often be fixed by signing out of your account and then signing back in. 

We Cant Sign into Your Account Windows 10

◈Tip: If you created files, install programs in temporary user profile, please backup to external hard drive, because any change will be deleted after a restart.

2. Restart your computer 4 times or so before the files visible. Be sure it goes to the desktop each time and then restart. Note the restart will complete the Windows 10 update and restore all the original user accounts and files.

3. Log into your user account to see if your lost files or deleted files is available.

Way 2. Show Hidden Files or Folders

Make sure you are not logged into a temporary user account, some files and folders might be hidden, and let them be visible, refer to the following steps:

1. Please press Windows + E key combination to open Windows File Explorer.

2. Click View on the toolbar, then tap Options to open Folder Options.

File Explorer View Options

3. At the View tab, check the checkbox before the Show hidden files, folders, and drives at the Advanced settings, click Apply and OK.

Show Hidden Files Folders

Way 3. Enable Windows 7 or 8 User Account

You need to enable Windows 7/8 user account if you created a new user account after upgrade from Windows 7/8, a disable administrator account will not show your files. Below are the steps: 

1. Input compmgmt.msc in Windows 10 Search box and hit enter to open Computer Management.

2. Then, go Local Users and Groups -> Users -> Administrator. 

3. If the Administrator owns a down arrow icon, it’s been disabled. To enable Windows 7/8 account, right click the Administrator account -> choose Properties. 

Administrator Properties

4. In the Administrator Properties window, go to General tab and uncheck Account is disabled option. Then, click Apply and OK.

Enable Account

Way 4. Restore Files from Windows.old Folder

Windows.old folder contains all the files and data from your previous Windows installation, thus you can rollback Windows 10 to previous system within 10 days. Similarly, you are able to restore files from Windows.old folder if you want to get back your Windows 10 update missing files. Steps are below:

1. Go to the Windodws.old folder and find the files or folder you want to recover. Usually, it's located on C:\Windows.old\Users\YourUserName\.

Windows Old Folder

2. Copy files you want to and paste to another location, external hard drive, for example.

Way 5. Recover Files with Reliable Data Recovery Software - Recoverit

Recoverit is a reliable data recovery software that brings a record-high data recovery rate and is capable of recovering all deleted files including photos, videos, documents, and so forth. Check the following steps and repair Windows 10 update missing files error: 

Before that, you could download the Recoverit software on your Windows 10. Then use it to recover the missing files with just 3 steps:

1. Download the Recoverit software and launch it after installing. Then, choose Deleted Files Recovery mode.

Data Recovery Mode

◈Tip: Deleted Files Recovery mode applies to the scenarios: accidental deletion, “Shift+Del Deletion”, Power failures and other deletions.

2. Select a hard disk to restore lost files after Windows 10 update, and hit Start.

Select Hard Disk to Recovery

3. Then the program will automatically scan all your missing files on your computer. Tick the deleted files you want to restore, click Recover.

Scan Completed Select Deleted Files

◈Tip: You could find the missing files by the classification selection: File Types and File modified date. Or you could enter a name or path to search the Windows 10 missing files after 1809/1903/1909 update.

Enjoy Windows 10 November 2021 Update: 

Yes, Windows Update can sometimes cause problems, but it does help to provide users with various security updates or critical updates to fix bugs or enhance the security of their computers. So, you may want to install its new update, a feature update released by Microsoft called Windows 10 21H2 focused on productivity, management and security. And you can enjoy the following new features.

  • Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security.
  • Windows Hello for Business introduces a new deployment method called cloud trust to support simplified passwordless deployments and achieve a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes.
  • GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows.

This year Microsoft will release the Windows 10 22H2 update. This update will continue along these tracks rather than introducing new features.

Windows 10 22H2

Prevention Measure to Against Lost Files after Windows 10 Update

The "Windows 10 Update deleted all my pictures" issue can happen at any time you update it. And we can't predict what problems we will encounter in future updates (such as Windows 10 22H2 update). To protect your system and data, it is recommended that you create regular file backup or system backup.

This is what free backup software – AOMEI Backupper Standard can do for you. And you can enjoy multiple backup features during the process.

Schedule Backup: You can backup files, system, partition or disk in daily, weekly, monthly. 
Incremental Backup: By default, this software use incremental backup as default backup method. It's based on full backup and backup only changed files since last backup. Thus, you don't need to worry about backup time and disk space.
Create bootable USB: It is an emergency bootable disc for system startup. You have 3 options, namely using USB, CD/DVD or ISO files. 
Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(PS: this software applies to Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.)

Here is how to backup important files automatically in Windows 10 with AOMEI Backupper Standard:

1. Perform AOMEI Backupper, select Backup -> File Backup in turn.

File Backup

2. Click + Add Folder or + Add File to choose the files or folders that you would like to backup. Then, select a destination to save the files and folders.

Add Folders Files

◈Tip: you could backup files and folders to local disk, external hard drive(HDD/SSD), USB flash drive, NAS, and CD/DVD, even clouds (Google drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more), etc.

3. Click Schedule Backup -> Enable Schedule Backup and select daily, weekly, or monthly intervals to backup files automatically. 

Schedule Settings General

5. Confirm the backup settings and click Start Backup. You can choose to Add the schedule and start backup now or Only add the schedule.

Start Backup Scheduled

Options: You could modify the file backup image, comment, split, compress the backup image file, enable email notification, use VSS, etc.
Backup Scheme: You could use advanced backup method - diferential backup or delete old backup images automatically with one of cleanup methods. They are available on the professional version of AOMEI Backupper. 

Now, with a file backup in hand, if the Windows 10 update missing files error occurs again or files are deleted or corrupted due to other reasons, you could restore your files and folders easily. 

Navigate to the Restore tab, choose Select Task and then file backup. Then, tick files or folders you want to restore. At last, select a restore destination and click Start Restore.

Select Image

Besides, you could try sync feature, such as, real time file sync, mirror sync, two-way sync, etc. It makes an exact copy of files but not compress them to an image file. Thus, you can easily mofify or use it. 

For system, disk or partition, try clone feature. Unlike sync feature, it has the ability to clone system files and ensure secure boot if you migrate OS from HDD to SSD or clone hard drive to SSD.

Brief Summary

You can easily fix the file missing after Windows 10 update in 2019/2020/2021/2022 with above ways. But not forget to create a file backup to fight against data loss due to this error or other reasons. Then, you can restore lost or deleted files at any time if needed.

And believe me, backup is the savior of your computer life. No matter what problems occur, you can revert your computer back to a working state. So, take backups, enjoy your life. Fell free from data loss.