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Files Disappeared and Missing from Hard Drive

Why do files or folders suddenly disappear from computer hard drive without deleting or formatting the disk? Where to get them back? Here are 4 ways to fix files and folders are missing error on your hard drive in Windows 10, 8 and 7 with ease.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Table of Contents

Files Missing from My Hard Drive in Windows 10

"I updated Windows 10 this morning. After restarting my computer, I found all my personal files are gone! Did Windows 10 update delete my files? I am so worried right now. Please help me find disappeared files."

Actually, files missing like this are common in every version of Windows. Being not by deleting, removing the partition, or formatting disk, computer files and folders just automatically disappeared from the Desktop, Libraries, Camera Roll, Pictures, and Videos.

No worry. In this step-by-step guide, you will get 8 ways to restore the missing files. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. (Fast & Easy) Use EaseUS Data Recovery Software Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Software...Full steps
Fix 2. Other 7 Ways

Show Hidden Files & Folders...Full steps
Switch to Your Old User Account...Full steps
Check Your Hard Drive...Full steps
More ways...Full steps

Why Did Computer Files Suddenly Disappear

To find a way to restore the lost items on your computer, you'll need to figure out how they vanished. Following are the most common situations in which you might lose your users files or personal documents, pictures, videos, installed programs, games, etc. without notice.

  • Windows 10 automatic upgrade or update (desktop files and installed apps are the most likely to be removed).
  • The virus deleted or hid personal files.
  • You logged in a new user account.
  • The hard drive is failing.

As soon as understand how your files were gone, select one of the following methods to recover deleted, hidden, or unknowingly lost files & folders in Windows 10 without trouble.  In the next part, we will show you how to recover files missing from the computer hard drive.

Method 1. Recover Files Missing by EaseUS Data Recovery Software

We put EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard in the first place to help you restore missing data because it can recover files lost in many situations, including those of the above mentioned. 

EaseUS Hard Drive Recovery Software

  • recover deleted files from Recycle Bin, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • You can initiate, pause, or resume a data recovery scanning process at any time so you can customize your data recovery schedule.
  • Support data recovery for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations
 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

How to Recover File Missing from Hard Drive

Step 1. Scan the hard drive partition

Select the drive on your hard disk where you lost or deleted files. Click "Scan" and let EaseUS data recovery software scan for all lost data and files on the selected drive.

select a location and scan hard drive

Step 2. Check the results

When the scan completes, you can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" option to find the lost files on the hard drive.

Find and preview all lost hard drive data

Step 3. Restore lost hard drive data

Select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click "Recover" to save them to another location.

Restore lost hard drive data.

Method 2. Show Hidden Files & Folders

There might be a chance that your computer files are just invisible, hidden silently. You should check for hidden files and folders.

Step 1: Go to "This PC" and double-click to open your hard drive.

Step 2: Click "View". In the Show/hide section, make sure "Hidden items" is checked.

 show hidden files

All hidden items, or perhaps the disappeared ones, should now reappear.

Method 3. Switch to Your Old User Account

You may not believe that sometimes Windows 10 update creates a new user account, which is set as the default account. Since you didn't notice the account difference, the strange thing happens: "computer files suddenly disappeared", "all my files are gone"...

Step 1:Go to "Settings" -> "Accounts". There you should find your old user account.

Step 2: Click on your old account in order to switch to it.

Missing files should show up again.

Method 4. Check Your Hard Drive

Your files can also get disappeared if your hard drive gets corrupted. You must check your hard drive to fix it:

Step 1: Open "This PC/Computer", right-click the hard disk or partition which you want to check and click "Properties".

Step 2: Select "Tools" and click "Check" under Error-checking.

Step 3: Check Disk Options dialog will show up and select any one of the following options to check and repair hard disk.

Step 4: Select and check both "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of back sectors", then click "Start"

check hard disk drive

Method 5. Check User Folder

In another case, your files are likely to change location while the file disappeared from the computer happens.  

Follow the path to check the user folder on your PC: This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Users > Public

If you don't find your files, you can also follow another path: This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Users > User Name > Documents

Method 6. Find Your Files with Copy of Backup

Have you made a backup plan for your PC? If you have backed up your important files, go and check your backup folders to find the missing files and folders. If it's the other way around, you may need to read other methods. For data backup, we highly recommend EaseUS Todo Backup.

file backup 1

Method 7. Turn Off Fast Startup

The fast startup is one of the reasons that cause your files missing in Windows 10. To tackle the "file disappeared issue", we suggest closing Fast Startup. Check the steps and see it work:

Step 1.  Input Power Options on the search box. Choose it. (Or you can press Windows + X and choose Power Options on the second line.)

Step 2. Select Choose what the power button does.

file disappeared - power option 1

Step 3. Choose Change settings that are currently unavailable.

file disappeared - power option 2

Step 4. Move to the next page, unclick Turn on fast startup.

file disappeared - power option 3

Method 8. Change Indexing Options

Change indexing option is available to check random files or folders. If your random files disappeared, these steps below may be helpful:

Step 1. Input Indexing Options on the search box. 

Step 2. Click on it and the window pop up. Choose Advanced.

file disappeared - indexing option 1

Step 3. Under the Indexing Setting tab, move to Troubleshooting part, click on Rebuild.

file disappeared - indexing option 2

Find Your Missing Files with Fast Speed

In this article, we have introduced 8 ways to fix the "file disappeared from hard drive" issue. These ways can work well, the first one, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the most straightforward solution. To bring your data back, trust EaseUS. 

If you have any questions, please click the live chat icon on the right side. Also, you can send an email to us: [email protected]

Files Suddenly Disappeared in Windows 10 FAQs

Do you still have problems with Windows 10? Read this part to get additional help.

1. Why did my files suddenly disappear?

Here are the reasons:

  • Windows 10 automatic upgrade or update deleted the file
  • The virus deleted or hid personal files
  • You logged in to a new user account

2. How do I recover lost files on Windows 10?

You can use these solutions to recover deleted files in Windows 10:

  • Recover deleted files in Windows 10 using undo delete
  • Restore deleted files in Windows 10 from Recycle Bin
  • Recover permanently deleted files Windows 10 with data recovery software
  • Restore deleted files in Windows 10 using Windows File Recovery
  • Recover permanently deleted files in Windows 10 from File Backup

3. Can a virus delete files?

Yes. A computer virus might corrupt or delete data on a computer, use an email program to spread the virus to other computers, or even delete everything on the hard disk.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved by Evan Galasso

Evan Galasso is a digital forensics and data recovery engineer with over 10 years of experience in the field. He presents opinions on the current state of storage media, reverse engineering of storage systems and firmware, and electro-mechanical systems of SSDs and HDDs.

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