Windows 10: Lost Desktop Files

Discus and support Lost Desktop Files in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; I'm worried I may have done something very stupid. I just moved to another country and forgot my extra hard drive, so I didn't back up my files before... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by Scoontaque, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Lost Desktop Files

    I'm worried I may have done something very stupid. I just moved to another country and forgot my extra hard drive, so I didn't back up my files before upgrading to Windows 10.
    The installation went fine. After the install was done, I tested out a number of programs with no problems. Satisfied, I migrated my old desktop files over (for some reason Window's decided to not migrate them on its own). Upon restarting my computer for updates, I noticed my desktop had reverted back to what Windows 10 had originally set it up has, with little more than recycle bin and a few really random programs shortcutted. Curious as to where it migrated my old desktop files, I began to search ... nothing in my old user settings desktop file ... the recently found links all display the message 'file may have been deleted or moved' ... windows search turns up nothing for any file I had on the desktop.
    I am beyond confused and closing in beyond afraid that I've lost all of the files on my desktop in some glitch or migration error.
    If anyone has any insight or tips that could help, please help!


    Scoontaque, Jul 29, 2015

  2. lost desktop and files

    Hi Jon,

    Thank you for posting in Microsoft Community.

    I understand that you have lost files after Windows 10 update. We will help you.

    To assist you better, I suggest you to answer the below question.

    • Did you face this issue after upgrading to Windows 10 from previous Windows?
    • Did you face this issue after updating in Windows 10?

    I would suggest you to refer the below link and check if it helps finding your files.

    After updating your PC to Windows 10, you may be having trouble finding your old files. Here are some things to try.

    Refer: Find lost files after the update to Windows 10

    Please post us back with more information to help you better.
    Sachin Venkatesh, Jul 29, 2015
  3. LarryEB Win User
    lost desktop file

    I installed w10. Had a file of documents on the desktop which has disapeared. can't find it anywhere.
    LarryEB, Jul 29, 2015
  4. KarstenV Win User

    Lost Desktop Files

    Unfortunately, I experienced exactly the same scenario.
    My manually transferred old desktop files can't be found anymore after the reboot.
    I tried various recovery tools to search for deleted items, but still can't find them.

    Apparently, the Windows update was not finished yet when I migrated my files.
    I noticed that my standard apps and programs weren't configured or even working at that moment and was worrying about that. But after the reboot, everything was working and configured the right way again... but my files disappeared. I'm worrying about that now...

    Is there someone who has a solution?
    Thank you so much!
    KarstenV, Jul 30, 2015
  5. Arachas Win User
    Hi all,
    I just registered to say that the same thing happened to me.

    After the upgrade, my desktop looked as usual. But after the first reboot, almost all my folders and shortcuts disappeared into thin air.

    Already checked the Windows.old folder, nothing. This issue is serious, data loss after an upgrade is unacceptable.
    Arachas, Jul 30, 2015
  6. I had similar issue. I migrated over to 10 and everything was fine and all my desktop files and folders were in place, I even used it for a few days and I was so glad to be out of 8.1, but then I made this mistake. I was doing the usual upgrades to programs that had needed to be upgraded like Adobe etc. When I upgraded a random utility program I use for video stuff, the program froze about half way through the process while it was removing the old one and installing the new. I waited for a hour and then had to task manager it to stop the process. When I did and closed task manager my screen refreshed and my desktop was empty except for a few random short cuts and all my files were GONE, even from my documents folder, my music, my movies, everything. PDF were missing, absolutely everything gone. I ran word, excel, and the recent history showed that I had opened them and used them in WIN 10 but when I tried to use the recent link it told me the file was missing or deleted. Also my Outlook did not work when I tried to run it its starts, the Outlook screen comes up, but it just hangs there! The Microsoft knowledgebase said to migrate back to 8.1 because I would have a restore point and my system would go back to normal, NOPE. In fact, when I was in WIN10 I checked for a restore/history point but there were none so I thought okay this is just because I upgraded, but after the roll to 8.1 all my restore/history points were GONE and the system settings were as if I never had been on???? At this point I call Microsoft and talked to TS they did over a hour of checking & scanning, they couldn't figure it out so, they started the process to roll me back to 10, and 5hrs later I was back in 10 and in the same position. All Microsoft said before they rolled me back was "if your files don't come back you will have to call a data recovery service! We are not responsible for third part software." Well if a simple upgrade can devastate a persons system that bad, you oughta be concerned, because that's a serious glitch. Anyway, I got some data recovery software and from what I can see is that this glitch deletes your original user configuration and then its as if you are a brand new computer, but all your programs are installed. But anything with respect to your original settings and configurations are GONE, your desktop, your "my" folders, your email settings, etc. Yes I know I'm a idiot for not having a current back-up and I have NEVER upgraded this fast to any of the Windows operating systems this fast, I usually wait 6 months before I even look at doing it. But I couldn't stand one more day using 8.1 with all its infuriating quirks, that I just had to get out of it and I did so without pause or THINKING. Anyway I'm 30hrs into a file recovery process that looks like its going to be 50/50 on what I recover and what I lose.
    SpeedRacer, Aug 4, 2015
  7. marosk8 Win User
    Please did you find the solution? Because i have similary issue.
    marosk8, Aug 6, 2015
  8. Luke Win User

    Lost Desktop Files

    I had this EXACT thing happen to me and i am furious!

    After windows booted up for the first time i assumed it was done - i was so confused as none of my settings were saved and had to completely redo my outlook account and everything, but anyway i did that and assumed this was final because there was no message telling me that there were still updates to install. So i went ahead and copied my files from my user/desktop folder to my desktop and then i went to windows update and saw there were more updates to do. So i did those updates and then the system restarted. Well well well, what a shock to find that none of my files were on the desktop and none of my files were in my users/desktop folder - it didn't even make a duplicate copy! it just copied the whole thing across!

    I am absolutely fuming, as i had a lot of important documents on my desktop, and now no way to recover them. I have tried about 5 different file recovery programs, none of them have worked - it's as if the files simply disappeared without a trace like the bermuda triangle.

    It;'s just so crazy that they release such a amateur piece of software out there, with such basic flaws!!!!!

    If anyone has any idea of how to get my fiels back i would appreciate it, hell id even pay you!

    Goodluck - oh and dont bother with windows 10! stick with 8.1 it works well enough.
    Luke, Aug 7, 2015
  9. Arachas Win User
    Update: I found the culprit. In my case it was AVAST ANTIVIRUS.

    After the update to Windows 10, Avast didn't work. I thought it was uninstalled during the upgrade process, but in fact it wasn't. It was stuck in a sort of limbo. So I had to use the *official* Avast uninstall tool. And that was my greatest mistake. It was this piece of crap of a software that deleted random files and shortcuts on my desktop.

    Someone experienced the exact same issue back in *february* 2015:


    And the Avast fanboys denied everything.

    After experiencing this with 2 of my PCs, I can say Windows 10 is innocent, it's definitely Avast's fault.
    Not gonna use Avast again. What a bunch of clowns.
    Arachas, Aug 10, 2015
  10. Paulito Win User
    I also had this exact issue and I'm very upset! I lost precious pictures and home videos of my kids from all of 2014! I had completed the update without issue and had gone about setting up my new desktop (not knowing that apparently it wasn't complete getting set up). I started a picture and video project where I was compiling all of them into a folder on my desktop to review and then move to another folder that was getting backed up to the cloud, but before I completed that project I happen to reboot my machine at one point and POOF!, everything was gone!!!

    I don't have Avast Anti Virus installed, so this is definitely an issue with the Windows 10 update. I am soooo upset! Microsoft, you really messed up this time. PLEASE tell me there is some way to get these files back!! *cry
    Paulito, Aug 16, 2015
  11. Hi,

    I recently had the same problem. I upgraded to Win 10 and had both the new and old desktops. After a few day I found that I could no longer flip back to my old desktop (as I had been doing) by using the Windows an'D' keys.

    Eventually this worked for me - Go to Settings and then System and then switch Tablet Mode option to Off. Windows and 'D' key now works.

    Hope it works for you.

    simplytedd, Aug 22, 2015
  12. Winuser Win User
    This is why it's important to make backups. I don't understand why if something is so important that people won't back it up. I'm sorry this happened. Wish I could help but without backups of the lost files I don't know of any way to get those files back.
    Winuser, Aug 23, 2015
  13. NovakFan Win User

    Lost Desktop Files

    After looking in different places this might be the first one I found with people having the same problem than me. To be honest I was starting to think it was some sort of virus and for I could read at the Windows site, they claim to be clear of fault.
    In my case I did the upgrade to W10 and everything seemed fine. A few days after that I noticed that a random pic I have saved on my desktop was missing but I thought nothing of it since it was not really that important. At some point I even thought I had deleted it by accident. But just today I tried to open a Photoshop file ( that I have been working on a day before I might add) and apparently it didn't saved it. I'd see it in the Quick Access thing but it didn't let me open it. And after a quick look I found out that other files were missing too. To my disbelief everything in that folder and a few others folders from the Desktop and the Dowloads folder were also gone along with their own files. Images, music and even video. All deleted. And the windows.old folder was also empty. I still can see all the files in the Quick Access but when I try to open one I get the "you can't open this file blah blah blah'" message. Fortunately I DO have the habit of backup my stuff, so not everything is gone forever,but the Photoshop file that I have been working on almost for a whole day? that one was lost >:|
    Honestly I don't know what to do. Because in my case it wasn't just old files, it was a new file, one that it was created AFTER the freaking upgrade was also lost or not saved all, I really can't tell. And it makes me mad because I'm always so careful with my laptop. I run antivirus/spam, I do the constant backup etc etc. In fact I just got my antivirus/malware to do a run and found nothing. I'm using Avast though, so there's that.
    It's really upsetting that this is happening. Like, if I turn on my laptop tomorrow what it will gone now? Programs? Tbh I don't know if I should go back to 8.1 and if I do the problem will be fixed? Gah!!
    NovakFan, Aug 24, 2015
  14. arsent Win User
    Hi guys, after upgrading from 8.1 to 10, i lost my desktop files, too. Then I clicked the restore option in settings and went back to windows 8.1 and all my lost files are recovered. Just click settings from start menu and use recovery.

    A weird issue i experienced in win 10 was about a shortcut i created which was deleted after reboot. it's really creepy.
    arsent, Sep 1, 2015
  15. Hi guys, I made an account just so I could post this. I think I found a solution, that is, it worked for me.

    Like so many of you I upgraded to win10 and after I thought it was done, it made me log in with my password. I found a nearly empty deskop, with only a few of my usual icons and the win10 default background. So, I looked up my c:\users\username\desktop folder and transfered what I felt was most important to the shiny new desktop. Then, a while later, I had to reboot for some more updates and when I logged back in, there was my old desktop, as I had left it before the upgrade, only with the important bits I had transfered missing.

    Apparently, when you upgrade to win10 the first time it you don't log into your own account, but a TEMP user account, that is, conveniently, deleted upon the next reboot. Wish I'd known that beforehand. But I was able to recover my lost files by using the ShadowExplorer app. If it's not too late and the shadow copies of your files have not yet been overwritten you can find them under c:\users\TEMP\desktop and recover them.
    I sincerely hope this helps anyone and Microsoft fixes this issue soon.
    Notkaeppchen, Nov 13, 2015

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