Learn Practical Ways To Recover Missing Files On Windows 10

Part 1 – Files Are Missing or Disappeared on Windows 10

Windows 10 becomes very hot since its release. However, did you ever have the experience of losing important files in Windows 10 suddenly without being aware of the exact reasons? You may have started the computer and opened a hard drive or a folder on it to be ready to take a look at the files, only to find they are disappeared. The following user is also troubled by such situations.

"I have a couple of folders containing files I have not looked at in over a year. When I went to look at them, I cannot find them? Does Windows 10 automatically archive older unused files or folders?"

– asked by w1ksz on TenForums

What happens? The more important thing is what can be done to fix the problem? In other words, how to recover missing files on Windows 10? Please don't worry; we brought you the good news – Windows 10 file recovery is not so difficult.

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We have a good file recovery tool and we want to share it with you all; it is called MiniTool Power Data Recovery. This software is totally clean (it includes no bundled spyware or virus); besides, it is very user-friendly (it doesn't require any data recovery knowledge or experience); more importantly, it is very powerful (it can not only help you recover your deleted files in Windows 10/other Windows operating systems, but also find back files disappeared due to partition loss/damage or system crash).

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We'll firstly show you how to recover lost or deleted files from Windows 10 with this software. And then, in the second part, we plan to introduce some cases in which the disappeared files are not lost in the real sense (they may be moved to another place or hidden in somewhere of the computer). So, are you ready to find missing files in Windows 10 and master the skills of making files appear again on Windows 10? Please roll up your sleeves and follow the tutorials given below.

Part 2 – How Do You Recover Missing Files on Windows 10

Summary: have no background knowledge of Windows file recovery? Haven't done missing files recovery work in person? These are not a problem since MiniTool Power Data Recovery will offer you the operational tips in almost all the software interfaces. Besides, we'll tell you what to do exactly in this part.

The ways to find lost files on Windows 10 are not all the same. Here, we'll only focus on the most common situation – how to recover deleted files in Windows 10.

Use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to Recover Your Deleted Files

Things to do before the recovery:

First step: open your recycle bin to check whether the missing files are put there. If they're kept in this place, they're not really deleted and no file recovery tool can help on this occasion.

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Second step: please click on files and choose "Restore" to put them back to original place. Or download MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition 7.0 if you can't find the files you need in recycle bin; and then, install it on your Windows 10 (Please remember not to choose the drive that may include missing files waiting to be recovered.). Now, please read the following paragraphs to know how to recover missing files in Windows 10.

Things to do during the recovery:
We'll take recovering deleted files in Windows 10 as an example in the following steps.

First step: run MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition 7.0 and you'll see its main interface. Then, choose "Undelete Recovery" from it. (By putting the cursor on "Undelete Recovery", you can see its specific usage – "Quick scan, recover deleted files"; then, you'll know this is exactly what you need.)

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Second step: after clicking on "Undelete Recovery", you'll see the interface as shown below. Here, you can easily see the prompt "Select the drive you like to recover", so you need to choose the drive includes deleted or lost files. Then, click on "Scan" button to search for them.

Note: of course, you may choose "Load manually saved scan result" in this step if you do have saved a scan result previously. If you don't know how to save scan result manually, please move to the next step.

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Third step: when the scan is finished, all the files and folders found by the software will be listed automatically in the following interface. Now, 2 options are available:

a). take a look at the found files & check the ones you need, and then click on "Save" button to set a safe storage path (this only works when the total size of checked files is no more than 1GB);
b). click on "Export Scan Result" in the upper part of the interface to save it to a local partition or external disk (this helps a lot when you don't have time to wait for the recovery at that moment or when you find the total size of files exceeds 1GB & the software doesn't allow you to recover).

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Note: if you have more than 1GB of data to recover, you'd better get a license to recover lost files in Windows 10 completely. You may firstly use the "Export Scan Result" function to save out the result; then, upgrade your software with the license and run the software again; after that, choose "Load manually saved scan result" as we said in the second step to continue recovery.

This is the introduction to the process of how to find a disappeared file after accidental deletion. If you're still curious about how to get back files missing after Windows 10 update or how to recover files that have disappeared due to other reasons, please keep reading the next part.

This is the end of Windows 10 file recovery by using MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

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If you're interested in how to recover missing files after reinstalling Windows 10, you may as well go to this page to know more details.

Part 3 – Why Files and Folders Are Disappeared on Windows 10

Summary: sometimes, files and folders are disappearing from Windows 10, but this is not caused by mistaken deletion, formatting or other obvious wrong operations. So, today, we're going to unveil other unusual reasons why files and folders are disappeared on Windows 10 and the corresponding tips to fix this.

Tips on how to find missing files in Windows 10 when they are not really disappeared from the computer.

1. User Account Is Changed

There's a situation in which files and folders are disappeared after you upgraded your OS to Windows 10 – during the upgrading process, Win10 may create a new account for you and it will be set as the default one. Of course, your old account still remains, but you are not logging in with it after the upgrade. So you need to switch to your old account to access the missing files and folders.

solution 1 Click on the Start Button in the lower left corner of the screen -> click your username at the top of the window -> choose "Sign out" from the drop-down list -> you'll be driven to the login screen, here, you should click to the different user account you want to switch to.

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Note: you can also click the username which indicates the account you want to switch to, and then enter your password to log on.

Click here if you would like to watch a video to know more vivid details on how to switch between user accounts.

2. Drive Index Is Corrupted

There are also cases when files and folders are missing because the drive index has been corrupted. In this way, those files become invisible to you. In order to see them again, you should check your disk.

solution 2 Open "This PC" -> locate the correct drive here -> right-click on the drive -> choose "Properties" from the pop-up menu -> navigate to the "Tools" tab -> click on "Check" button.

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Note: when the scan is completed successfully, the hidden files and folders will appear again on your computer.

3. Files and Folders Are Hidden

Your missing files and folders could be hidden somewhere on your computer occasionally. At this time, you ought to show hidden files and folders to make them visible again.

solution 3 Open "File Explorer" in Windows 10 by typing it in the search box on taskbar -> click on "View" menu -> choose "Options" from the submenu -> choose "Change folders and search options" from the drop-down list -> navigate to "View" tab -> find "Hidden files and folders" under "Advanced settings" -> check "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" -> click on "Apply" button.

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Note: you can also access the control panel and view by "Small icons" in order to find & open "File Explorer Options" directly.

4. Files Have Been Moved to Another Place

Situation: if you find certain files are gone from the original location after you've finished Windows 10 upgrade. Don't be anxious, they may not disappear from your computer; in most cases, they are only moved to another location on the hard drive.

solution 4 Click "This PC" icon on the desktop -> choose "Local Disk (C:)" -> open "Users" folder -> now, you have two choices: the first one is opening "lula" (the User Name) folder & "Documents" successively and the second one is opening "Public" to check files inside.

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Besides, the files may be moved to AppData\Temp folder sometimes. So you may follow this to check.

solution 5 Click C: drive to open -> choose "Users" folder -> click on the folder named by your username -> open "AppData" folder -> open "Local" folder -> click on "Temp" folder to open.

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After all of those steps, you need to do some manual searching in order to find the missing files and folders. By the way, you have to show hidden files and folders in order to see "AppData" folder. (See the previous reason – reason 3)

5. Hard Drive Letters Get Changed

After you have finished upgrading your OS to Windows 10, you also probably run into this problem – the letters of drives are changed somehow. Thus, you need to check other partitions thoroughly when you can't find some files and folders in the partition you think they should locate. And after that, you can change the drive letter to its original one as you like.

6. Fast Startup Causes File Missing

Fast Startup is said to be responsible for the disappearance of files and folders on Windows 10 sometimes. Taking this into consideration, we suggest all users turn off the Fast Startup to try to fix the issue.

solution 5 Click on the Start Button -> choose "Settings" from the menu -> select "System" from the pop-up Settings window -> select "Power & sleep" in the next interface -> click on "Additional power settings" at the bottom to enter Power Options window -> click on "Choose what the power button does" -> click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable" -> uncheck "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" under the Shutdown settings at the bottom -> click on "Save changes" button.

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Note: you can also type "power options" in the search box on the taskbar and choose it from the results list directly.

7. Indexing Options Needs to Be Changed

When you find random files and folders are missing on your Win10, you can try changing the "Indexing Options" to help.

solution 6 Press "Windows" + "S" on the keyboard -> type "indexing options" & choose it from the result -> click on "Advanced" button in the Indexing Options window -> find "Troubleshooting" area in the "Index Settings" tab -> click on "Rebuild" button under "Troubleshooting" -> click on "OK" button in the "Rebuild Index" prompt window.

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Part 4 – Conclusion

Maybe you are a new Windows 10 user upgrading from the previous Windows versions (such as Windows 7 and Windows 8), maybe you're a user who has used Win10 for a period of time; either way, you may run into file missing problem. When finding useful and important files & folders disappear from your Windows 10 computer, what should you do? Of course, you have to recover missing files on Windows 10 by adopting the methods we introduced in part two and part three.

Our advice is taking measures as soon as you discover the problem. And we hope you all find your missing files through the ways we mentioned here. If you have any doubts or questions, please feel free to leave us a message below.


Common problems related to partition recovery and our solutions: