Files Disappeared and Missing from Hard Drive

Jean updated on Sep 17, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


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.

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 is 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. To find a way to restore the lost items on your computer, you'll need to figure out how they vanished.

Why Did Computer Files Suddenly Disappear

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.

How to Recover Files Missing from Computer Hard Drive (4 Ways)

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.

Method 1. Use EaseUS data recovery software

We put the third-party EaseUS hard drive recovery software 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.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS hard drive recovery software.

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select the drive on your hard disk where you lost or deleted files. Click "Scan" and let this program scan all lost data and files on the selected hard drive.

select a location and scan hard drive

Step 2. Check and preview all lost hard drive data.

Find lost hard drive data from "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or use "Filter" to quickly navigate the lost data. Check and double-click to preview these found files.

Find and preview all lost hard drive data

Step 3. Restore lost hard drive data to a safe location.

After the preview, select wanted files that you lost on the drive and click "Recover" to save them. Browse to choose a safe location on your PC or other external storage devices to store these restored hard drive data.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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