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Folder shows empty but files are there Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Apr 02, 2018 by Jean to File Recovery

Summary

You only have three options to go when a folder shows up empty but you know that the files are still there inside Windows 10, 8 and 7. Solutions include: show hidden files from Windows Explorer, command prompt line and third-party data recovery software.

The folder shows empty when files are really there

"How strange! The folder shows empty but files are there. I transferred all of my pictures the other day from my Canon camera to PC and kept them in a folder on drive D. Today I click on the folder but nothing is there! I am sure that ALL files were successfully transferred, but I just lost them due to unknown reasons. Bad thing is that I didn't keep a copy on my camera storage. So how can I recover files when the folder wrongly shows empty?"

Are you seeing an empty folder that should have contained files in it? Imagine this. You've created a folder to store some specific files, whether they're downloaded apps, photos, documents or video files, and one day when you try to go and open the folder to view the contents inside, it does not allow you to open, nor does it allow you to move it to another storage location. There's nothing worse when you hover over the mouse cursor on the folder, and it shows you that this folder is empty! What a major stress!!!

Why would a folder shows empty even it keeps files there

Most of the case for files/folders not showing up though they still exist suggests a hidden attribute, or perhaps file corruption that prevents from correct viewing. And, such bad results are usually caused by virus, or improper removable of an external hard drive, USB flash drive or memory card,

How to solve a folder empty issue and recover its missing files?

You basically have three options to solve the problem for when you encounter a  folder that shows its empty but files are sure to be in it for Windows 10, 8 and 7, including, show hidden files from Windows Explorer, the command prompt line and third-party data recovery software.

Fix 1. Show hidden files in an empty folder in File Explorer

Microsoft gives a detailed guide to help on how to display hidden files in all its Windows’ versions, including Windows 10, 8.1 and 7.  Despite a small difference in performing this action for each version, the final path is basically the same and that would be to find the folder option inside the File Explorer. For example, in Windows 10, you can unhide all files with these two steps.

Step 1. In the search box on the taskbar, type folder, and then select Show hidden files and folders from the search results.

Step 2. Under Advanced settings, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and then select OK.

Fix 2. Show hidden files in an empty folder from command prompt line

A high-level way to see hidden files as well as the most efficient.The troubleshooting steps are the same for each Windows version. Let's carefully learn how to start.

Step 1. Open the command prompt as an administrator, by pressing Windows + R keys together and inputting cmd in the search box.

Step 2. Make certain on which drive the folder shows empty, for example, drive D, then type the command attrib -h -r -s /s /d d:\*.* and press enter.

Fix 3. Recover hidden files in an empty folder with data recovery software

The last but the most prevalent way to view and show hidden files is with a third-party data recovery software. For example, EaseUS file recovery software is free yet very professional in retrieving all kinds of data files that were deleted, hidden or disappeared for no reason. It requires no computer skills, what's more, the recovery procedure is effortless.

Step 1. Select the drive or partition where folders showing empty and click Scan button.

select a location where folder shows empty but files are there and click Scan

Step 2. Run a quick scan and deep scan to find all hidden files on the selected location.

run quick scan and deep scan to find all data files on the selected location

Step 3. From the scanning results, find the unseen files in the folder that shows as empty and click Recover button.

select files in the empty folder and click Recover

In conclusion, don't be easily taken aback when a folder that should have contained files shows up empty. By applying the above quick fix methods, you can certainly retrieve all of your missing folder contents.