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

Posted by Jean to File Recovery 2017-07-11

Summary

You got 3 options to go when folder shows empty but files are there in Windows 10, 8 and 7, including show hidden files from Windows Explorer, command prompt line and third-party data recovery software.

Folder shows empty when files are really there

"How strange! Folder shows empty but files are there. I transferred all pictures the other day from my Canon camera to PC and kept them in a folder on drive D. Today I click into the folder but nothing is there! I am so 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 the camera storage. How to recover files when folder wrongly shows empty?"

Are you seeing an empty folder that should have contained files? Imagine this. You've created a folder to store some specific files, let it be downloaded apps, photos, documents or video files, someday when try to open the folder to view the contents inside, it does not allow to open, nor allow to move it to another storage location. What's worse, hovering the mouse cursor on the folder, it shows this folder is empty! You must get tensed for losing all files there.

Why 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 folder showing empty issue and recover files within the empty folder?

You got 3 options to go when folder shows empty but files are there in Windows 10, 8 and 7, including show hidden files from Windows Explorer, command prompt line and third-party data recovery software.

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

Microsoft has given a detailed guide to help how to display hidden files in all Windows versions, including Windows 10, 8.1 and 7. A slight difference to perform the action in each version, however, the final path is the same, which is to find the folder option in File Explorer. For example, in Windows 10, you can unhide all files by 2 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 higher-leveled way to see hidden files as well as the most efficient.The troubleshooting steps are the same in each Windows version. Let's carefully learn how to start.

Step 1. Open 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 third-party data recovery software. For example, EaseUS file recovery software is free yet professional in retrieving all kinds of data files that were deleted, hidden or disappeared without reason. It requires none of the 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 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 in when a folder that should have contained files shows empty. By applying the fixing methods above, you can certainly get back all the missing folder contents.