Solved: Files Saved to Desktop Not Visible in Windows 10/8/7

Jean updated on Dec 11, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

The problem of files saved to desktop not visible or showing up in Windows 10 has now been perfectly solved. Follow this tutorial which shows you how to easily make your saved and downloaded files appear normally on the desktop. For the case that files and folders not found anywhere on your computer, try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to get them back before applying all fixes here.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Search for Missing Files Open Windows File Explorer by double-clicking "This PC". Follow the paths...Full steps
Fix 2. Show Hidden Files Open Windows Explorer > Go to Views > Options > Folder Options > Go to View Tab...Full steps
Fix 3. Recover Desktop Saved Files Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select location to scan lost folder...Full steps
Fix 4. Switch User Account Click the Windows icon and click your username at the top. Select the other visible account...Full steps
Fix 5. Check Hard Drive Errors Run SFC CMD to fix file system error and run Disk Error Check...Full steps

Files and Folders Saved to Desktop Not Visible in Windows 10

"I saved lots of files and folders on the desktop but some of them did not appear on the actual desktop (even there is space). They are only seen in the Windows Explorer. Does someone have the same problem?"

"I saved a modified PDF and Excel documents to the desktop in Windows 10. But they are not there when I revert back to the desktop. What's worse, I could neither find the saved files elsewhere on the computer hard drive. How I can get the disappeared files back?"

In general, the problem of files saved to desktop not visible can be divided into two symptoms:

  1. 1. Files are still intact in the Windows Explorer, in the C drive (Desktop files are originally in the C drive), you don't lose them at all.
  2. 2. The saved files are showing up neither on the specified location nor anywhere on the entire computer hard drive. They are completely lost.

To completely resolve this issue, you should first learn the causes of why the saved files not showing up on the desktop and then try the related solution to restore the invisible files.

Reasons for Files Saved on Desktop Are Not Showing Up

Since the symptoms are not unique, the reasons and causes of this problem are varied. This issue might have been generated by the following factors:

  • Saved files were lost
  • Files and folders were hidden
  • Save path error
  • Logged into a wrong user account
  • Hard drive file system error

Some of you may still don't know how to get rid of this issue from these causes. Stay cool. Follow the provided solutions in the next part to bring your missing files on Windows 10/8/7 desktop right now.

5 Fixes for "Files Saved to Desktop Not Visible" Issue

In this part, we've collected several verified and practical solutions to help you find the missing files on Windows 10, 8 or 7 desktop. Follow to see how to find your saved files and folders back.

# 1. Search for Missing Files and Folders Manually

Due to Windows upgrade, sometimes, the saved files on desktop may disappear. In most cases, they are just moved to a different path.

If you are a Windows 10 user, you may refer to the below steps to manually search the not showing files or folders:

Step 1. Open Windows File Explorer by double-clicking "This PC".

Step 2. Follow the below two paths to open the folder where Windows stores the desktop files:

  • C:\Users\Public
  • C:\Users\UserName\Documents

Step 3. Open the listed folder to find your missing files or directly search the invisible files at the right search bar.

Manually search missing files on Desktop.

If you didn't find the invisible saved files by searching on your PC, try the following methods for help.

# 2. Show Hidden Files

If you have set to hide files on Windows computer, you would not be able to view or see any saved files. So you can set to make the files show up with the following steps:

Step 1. Open Windows Explorer > Go to Views > Options > Folder Options > Go to View Tab.

Step 2. Check "show hidden files, folders and drives" (uncheck the option "Hide protected operating system files" if there is this option), and click "OK" to save all the changes.

show hidden files in file explorer

Step 3. Close the Folder Options window and then go back to the desktop to see if you can find the saved documents and files.

# 3. Recover Missing, Disappeared, Lost or Invisible Desktop Saved Files

Reliable file recovery software -  EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard specializes in fully scan selected devices, finding all lost, invisible or missing files saved on Windows hard drive, computer desktop or even external storage devices.

You can choose this data recovery software to scan C drive to find the not showing files on the desktop:

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select location to scan lost folder.

Under the Specify a location section, click "Browse" on Select Folder to choose the location where you lost the folder and click "OK" to scan the lost folder.

Run folder recovery software.

Step 2. Find and preview found files in the lost folder.

You can find the lost folder with the "Search" feature to quickly find the lost folder by searching the folder name. Then open the found folder and double-click to preview lost files.

Scan and find lost folder data.

Step 3. Recover and save the lost folder with files.

Last, select the folder and files and click "Recover", browse to choose a new & secure spot on your PC and click "OK" to save it.

Restore lost folder data.

# 4. Switch User Account to Find Missing Files Saved on Desktop

Sometimes, when you have more than 2 user accounts and you logged in a wrong account, the saved files on Desktop may disappear. 

Step 1. Click the Windows icon and click your username at the top.

Step 2. Select the other visible account on the list, click to switch to it.

Switch user account to find missing files.

Step 3. Sign in with the password of the other user account.

After this, your files and folders should be available again.

# 5. Check Hard Drive Errors

When the system hard drive contains file system error or bad sectors, the computer may have problems in accessing and showing desktop saved files, folders. To resolve this issue, you may try below two quick methods to check and repair hard disk errors on your own:

Method 1. Run SFC CMD to Fix File System Error

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box in Windows 10.

From the result, right-click on the Command Prompt and choose "Run as Administrator".

Open CMD command prompt

Step 2. Type sfc /scannow in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.

Wait for the process to complete.

Run SFC command.

Method 2. Run Disk Error Check in File Explorer

Step 1. Open My Computer/This PC, right-click the C: drive that your invisible Desktop files were saved on and click "Properties".

Step 2. Click "Tools" under Error-checking, select to scan existing errors in your drive.

  • On Windows 7, click "Check now" to continue.
  • On Windows 10/8.1/8, click "Check" to start the process.

Check and fix existing disk errors.

Step 3. Let the utility to scan and repair any found hard drive errors:

On Windows 7, select "Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of back sectors" and click "Start".

On Windows 10/8.1/8, click "Scan drive" to begin the scan.

Scan hard drive error.

When the scanning and repair process finishes, you can go back to your Desktop to check if the files have been found. 

Bonus Fixes for Missing or Disappeared Desktop Icons

Sometimes, when the Desktop icons disappeared on Windows PC, users may also have problems to access their saved files. Here are some bonus fixes for you to follow and restore the missing Windows icons on your own.

Fix 1. Show desktop icons

Step 1. Right-click on the desktop, go to View and uncheck Show desktop icons. Important! That's not the end. 

Step 2. Try multiple times repeatedly to re-check and uncheck the box.

Show desktop icons.

Sometimes, the invisible desktop files would then appear after some refresh.

If this view option fails, try the other option in the same way in View - Auto arrange icons:

Step 1. Right-click on your desktop, select "View".

Step 2. Check or uncheck "Auto Arrange Icons".

Auto Arrange desktop icons.

It would make all files and folders appear on the left side. And you can drag and drop them where you need them to be.

Fix 2. Manually Check and Set Windows Icons to Show Up

This would reset your desktop icons and finally saved files show up.

Step 1. Open "Settings" and click on "Personalization".

Step 2. Click "Themes", then click "Desktop icons settings".

restore desktop icons

Step 3. Select the icons you want to see on the desktop, like Computer (This PC), User's Files, Network, Recycle Bin, and Control Panel.

Click "Apply", then "OK".

add desktop icons in Windows 10

After this, you can view your Desktop icons and check the saved files again. If the saved files are still missing on the Desktop, go back to Method 3 in Part 1 and apply reliable EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan and restore all your missing files immediately.

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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, so 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.

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