Restore Deleted Downloads Folder and Data in Windows 11/10/8/7

Downloads folder gets deleted or disappeared in Windows 10. Relax! Here are the solutions. First, recover the Downloads folder with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This professional data recovery software can get back missing files and folder easily. Then, follow the three solutions in Part 2 to restore disappeared Downloads folder manually.

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Table of Contents

Lost Downloads Folder, Help!

"Hey there, do you know how to restore Downloads folder in Windows 10? I accidentally got it deleted, and yesterday I was trying to download a movie online. But after downloading, I could not access the Downloads folder to find the downloaded program. So how can I restore the deleted Downloads folder? Help me please."

"Downloads folder icon is missing in Windows 10. I was trying to clean up the Downloads folder to leave more available useful space on my PC with faster running speed. But when I opened This PC, I could see no Downloads icon. It's missing. Do you know how to fix this issue?"

Windows Downloads folder is a default folder which is used to save downloaded stuff. You can access most downloaded files and data in the Downloads folder. It will also automatically store and save all downloaded files, programs and software for you. As a result, if you lost some previously downloaded files or folders, you can try to find them in the Downloads folder. 

what is a downloads folder

However, if the Downloads folder is deleted, disappeared or missing in Windows PC, you'll not be able to find any downloaded files or data anymore. When you try to download new files or program, you might not be able to access it either. So how to fix this issue? Here below, we'll provide you with effective methods to restore deleted Downloads folder in Windows 11/10/8/7 with ease now. 

Part 1. Restore Lost Downloads Folder Data with Software

If you indeed lost some important personal files and data in the Downloads folder, relax! The professional data recovery software will help. This trustworthy and highly recommended data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard shall be your best choice and you can directly download this software right here now: 

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard helps you to restore whatever you've lost in Windows 11/10/8/7 by deleting, formatting, virus attacking, system crash or other reasons within 3 simple steps. Install it and just follow the steps below to restore your lost Downloads folder data with ease now:

Step 1. Select location to scan

If you lost files in Downloads folder, move your mouse on "Select Folder" and click "Browse". Select "This PC" > "Downloads", and click "OK".

If the whole Downloads folder is missing, select C: drive (the default location of the Downloads folder) and click "OK" to scan and find your lost Downloads folder.

select a location and scan lost downloads folder

Step 2. Check and preview the found Downloads folder

When the scanning process finishes, use Search to find the "Downloads" folder with lost files.

Or, you can use the left pane and browse "Uses > UserName" or "Other Lost Files > Files Lost Original Name" to find files in the Downloads folder.

Preview lost folder data.

Step 3. Restore the Downloads folder and save it to a safe location

Click "Recover" to save the Downloads folder to another safe location on your PC.

Restore lost Downloads folder.

Part 2. Restore Disappeared Downloads Folder Manually

Here in this part, we'd like to provide useful and effective methods to you to restore deleted, disappeared or missing Downloads folder in Windows 11,10, 8 or 7. You may selectively follow any one of the below-recommended methods to restore Downloads folder with ease now:

Method 1. Replace missing Downloads folder with File Explorer

  • Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Users\Default folder.
  • Right-click on "Downloads" in the right side panel and select "Copy".
  • Navigate to C:\Users\your name folder and right-click the folder.
  • Select "Paste".

Then the missing Downloads folder shall be replaced and you'll be able to use it properly again.

Method 2. Restore the default Downloads folder through desktop.ini file

This method is suitable for restoring all user folders in "C:\Users\%USERNAME%" folder, so if you lost other folders such as Music or Videos, etc folders, you can also apply below guide to restore lost folders.

Let's see how to restore default Downloads folder with the desktop.ini file now:

1. Press and hold Win +R to open the Run dialog.

2. Type: shell: downloads and hit Enter.

3. In Folder options, set protected operating system files to show.

4. Download the file containing the desktop.ini file; (You can directly Google to search and download the file.)

Step 3 must be done before downloading and extracting the content of this zip file. Otherwise, you'll just see an empty archive when you open

5. Extract content and right-click on the desktop.ini file which is a .txt file, select Properties.

6. In the General tab, click the Unlock button and select OK.

7. Replace the desktop.ini file in C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Downloads with the one you've extracted from the file and then close the folder.

Confirm any additional dialog boxes that may appear, including the ones alerting about the dangers of moving system files.

8. Open an elevated command prompt and type: attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Downloads /S /D and hit Enter.

9. Close the command prompt and restart Windows.

You'll be able to find and reuse the Downloads folder again.

Method 3. Restore Downloads folder to the original version by System Restore

System Restore will help you fully solve Downloads folder lost, disappear or missing issue in Windows 11,10, 8 or 7. It's highly recommended for all Windows users to create system and data backup first in case of unexpected errors from happening.

Here below we'll guide you to perform a system restore in Windows 10 as an example to restore Downloads folder to the original version with ease now:

  • Go to the Microsoft software download website and create Windows 10 installation media.
  • Insert the installation media with PC and restart PC.
  • On the Install Windows screen, select Repair your computer.
  • On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Safe Mode > Advanced Options > System Restore.

There you'll be able to use the Download folder again without any further problems.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Product Reviews

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