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3 ways to fix folder not showing files and retrieve lost data

Updated on Nov 06, 2018 by Abby Haines to File Recovery


Three solutions for folder not showing files issue are created here. Try it to retrieve your important data in Windows 10/8/7 if you find your files not showing up in folder or folders not showing up in File Explorer after double clicking.

If you come into this page, you might be a victim who is experiencing a terrible situation where you are not allowed to access your data on hard disk, USB drive or other memory storage device because folder not showing files. And just like you, a large number of other users are suffering the same problem and urgent to find a data recovery solution. So, here, we offer 3 easy ways to help you fix the issue and rescue your data.

2 common cases of folder not showing files issue

Files not showing up in the folder

"When I connect my USB drive to PC and try to open a folder for data transfer, I just couldn't see any files. I'm quite sure that I have stored some important working documents there. It seems that something goes wrong and make the folder not showing files. Is there any way to find and retrieve my data back?"

Folders not showing up in Windows File Explorer

"I saved my family pictures and videos in two different folders on my laptop, but when I double click to access my data, Windows File Explorer not showing the folders just like they have never existed. It really drives me crazy! Please help me fix the issue."

As you can see from the two situations mentioned above, the issue of files not showing up in folder usually happens in two cases: folder not showing files and Windows File Explorer not showing folders. And sometimes, you may also get an error message says "This folder is empty".

Note: Here, if you encounter folder won't open issue and are prevented from accessing your data, please refer to how to fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10 to get a solution. 

What cause files not showing up in the folder

Whatever situations you are caught in, you just want to figure out why folder shows empty but files are there so that you can take measure to fix the issue. Here, we can tell you that the most possible reason is that your hard disk, USB drive or other memory storage device are attacked by some malware or virus. And all these threats can hide your files, so you won't see them in the folder. So, is there any way to recover virus infected files?

How to fix folder not showing files in Windows 10/8/7

Having found the reason why files not showing up in the folder, now you can take operations to fix the issue and unhide your files. Here are 3 ways you can try! 

Fix 1. To fix folder not showing files by unhiding files 

1. Click on Start --> In the search box, type "folder options" and press Enter. 
2. In the Folder Options Window, click on the View tab.
3. Check the option "Show hidden files, folders or drives" and uncheck the "Hide protected operating system files".
4. Click OK button to save all the changes. 

At most time, these steps will help you unhide missing folders/files which were hidden by the virus. So, please open the device to check if your files are showing up in the folder after all the operations. If it does not help, just try the second way.

Fix 2. To fix folder not showing files using cmd 

1. Click on Start --> In search box, type in "cmd".
2. Right-click cmd.exe to open the command prompt.
3. Type the drive letter of your disk, e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc. 
4. Type "dir /ah" . It will show you all the files/folders with hidden attributes.
5. Type "attrib -r -a -s -h". e.g. "attrib photo -r -a -s -h" 

The command will quickly find and recover your hidden files or folders. When it finished, please check your external hard disk or USB drive, you will find that folder not showing files issue is fixed and all your files are there. 

Fix 3. To fix folder not showing files with EaseUS disk data recovery

Both of the above two ways are free, but they are a little bit complicated for users who know little about computer. So, we finally offer a non-technical solution – EaseUS disk data recovery. The program can search and retrieve data lost in all situations. If you happen to find an easy way to fix the folder not showing files issue, just let it help you. 

To recover data when folder not showing files:

Step 1. Select a location to start finding data

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, please select a location where you lose your data and start to scan, like Desktop, Libraries, hard drive, external storage devices or lost partitions.

select the device

Step 2. Scan your partition

Click the "Scan" button and the software begins to scan your partition to find as much lost data as possible.

the software will scan the drive to find all of your data

Tips for finding wanted data

  • Extra Files: find files that lost names or paths
  • Filter: a quick way to your wanted files
  • Search: e.g. file name/file extension

Step 3. Preview and recover lost files

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard allows you to preview specific recoverable files. After the preview or file filtering, you can target the tracked files and press the "Recover" button to get everything you want back. 

recover wanted data from your devices