Top 9 Ways to Recover Desktop Files Disappeared on Mac and Windows 10/8/7

Roxanne updated on Oct 27, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

If your folders disappeared from desktop Mac or Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, you can restore lost desktop files in 9 ways. One of the most effective ways to retrieve desktop files is using EaseUS data recovery software. With it, you can get back lost or missing files with simple clicks.

Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop on Mac and Windows

Users like to place their frequently-used folders or files on the desktop so that they can get quick access to those files whenever they need them. But they don't know that this habit dramatically increases the danger of data loss caused by accidental deletion, system crash, or sudden power failure. As a result, the demand for recovering folders disappeared from the desktop arise. In this article, we will show you various ways to recover desktop files disappeared on Mac and Windows computers

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Top 6 Ways to Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop on Mac
  • Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop with Software
  • Restore Missing files on Mac via Trash
  • Get Back Deleted Files on Mac with Terminal...Full steps
Top 3 Ways to Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop on Windows 10/8/7
  • Recover Missing Desktop Files on Windows with Software
  • Restore Lost Desktop Files from the Previous Version
  • Show Disappeared Files Using CMD...Full steps

Part 1. Top 6 Ways to Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop on Mac

If you are a Mac user, you can get 4 effective ways to restore Mac desktop files. Among them, the most effective way is to recover missing Mac files with EaseUS Mac data recovery software. If you don't want to use data recovery software, you can try other ways below.

  1. Tip 1. Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop with Software
  2. Tip 2. Restore Missing files on Mac via Trash
  3. Tip 3. Get Back Deleted Files on Mac with Terminal
  4. Tip 4. Use Finder to Find Missing Mac Desktop Files
  5. Tip 5. Turn Off iCloud Drive to Restore Missing Desktop Files
  6. Tip 6. Disable Desk Stacks on macOS to Find Missing Mac Folder

Tip 1. Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop with Software

The most effective way to get back disappeared desktop files is by using the professional Mac data recovery software. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac can perfectly support all versions of Mac operating systems (macOS 10.15 ~ 10.9). It can restore deleted files, and data from formatted and inaccessible hard drive partition with simple steps.

Follow these steps to recover desktop files on a Mac device: 

Step 1. Select the disk location (it can be an internal HDD/SSD or a removable storage device) where you lost data and files. Click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will immediately scan your selected disk volume and display the scanning results on the left pane.

start scan on the Mac

Step 3. In the scan results, select the file(s) and click the "Recover Now" button to have them back.

click recover now button to recover lost data on your Mac

Tip 2. Restore Missing files on Mac via Trash

If you accidentally deleted Mac desktop files, you can retrieve them from Trash easily. Follow these steps to get back deleted desktop files on Mac.

Step 1. Open the Trash Bin icon on your desktop, and you can see all the deleted files there.

Step 2. Find the files you want to recover, drag them to the desktop. Or right-click on them and select the "put back" option to recover deleted files on Mac from the Trash. The files will return to their original location.

restore Mac desktop files with trash

Tip 3. Get Back Deleted Files on Mac with Terminal

The terminal command can only recover deleted files from Trash on Mac. If you drag your Mac files to Trash, you can get them back with Terminal.

Step 1. Go to "Finder > Applications > Utilities" and double-click "Terminal".

open terminal

Step 2. Type command cd .Trash and press the "Return" key on your Mac 

Step 3. Input "mv xxx../" and hit "Return". (xxx means the name of the deleted file)

Step 4. Type "Quit" in the Terminal to exit the Terminal window.

get back mac desktop files with terminal

Tip 4. Use Finder to Find Missing Mac Desktop Files

First, relaunch the Finder by clicking the Apple logo at the left top corner > Force Quit > Finder > Relaunch. If this doesn't work, you can try troubleshooting with the Finder.

Step 1. Open "Finder", select your folder/file, then right-click on it and select "Get Info".

Step 2. In the info panel, click on "folder/file preview" in the top left corner. And hit backspace ( ← ) on your keyboard when the preview is highlighted.

Step 3. Login as administrator to authorize your action when asked.

Tip 5. Turn Off iCloud Drive to Restore Missing Desktop Files

You can sync the local desktop and document folder to iCloud Drive on Mac. The desktop and documents folders will be moved to the iCloud section of your Finder sidebar. If you find the folder disappeared from Mac desktop, you can turn off iCloud to recover the lost documents folder.

Step 1. Go to "Apple menu" > "System Preferences" > "iCloud".

Step 2. Click "Options".

Step 3. Uncheck "Desktop & Documents Folders" and click "Done".

get back disappeared files on mac with icloud drive

Tip 6. Disable Desk Stacks on macOS to Find Missing Mac Folder

Another way to show disappeared desktop files on Mac is to disable Desk Stacks. Here are the steps to make it.

Step 1. Go to "View" on the top of your desktop and choose "Use Stacks".

Step 2. Select "Group Stacks By" and check the way your files were organized.

Step 3. Find your missing folders and place them at the destination. 

disable desk stacks to find missing Mac files on the desktop

Part 2. Top 3 Ways to Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop on Windows 10/8/7

If you are a Windows operating system user, you can get back disappeared desktop files by using Windows 10 data recovery software, CMD, or previous version.

  1. 1. Recover Missing Desktop Files on Windows with Software
  2. 2. Restore Lost Desktop Files from the Previous Version
  3. 3. Show Hidden or Disappeared Files Using CMD

1. Recover Missing Desktop Files on Windows with Software

If you are a Windows user, you can also use the Windows version disk data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This tool is famous for its high recovery rate and ultimate data recovery features. You can use it to recover deleted files from emptied recycle bin,  formatted disk/partition, corrupted internal/external hard drive, lost partition, and more. 

Now, download this top-ranking data recovery tool to recover folders disappeared from the desktop on a Windows computer within three steps. 

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 in "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or use 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.

2. Restore Lost Desktop Files from the Previous Version

If you want to try a manual solution to show files disappeared from the desktop on Windows 10/8/7, you can follow these steps.

Step 1. Create a new folder on the desktop and name it with the same name as the disappeared folder.

Step 2. Right-click the folder and click "Properties" > Previous Versions". And then Windows will search for and list the previous versions of the deleted or lost files or folders.

Step 3. Choose the latest one and click "Restore" > "OK" to recover the disappeared folder from the desktop.

restore windows desktop files with previous version

3. Show Hidden or Disappeared Files Using CMD

Your desktop files may get missing from your Windows PC if they are hidden. But you can let them show up with the command prompt. Here are the steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (CMD) as an Administrator. 

Or you can click the Windows icon, select "Search" and type the command prompt. Right-click on it and select to open Command Prompt as Administrator.

Step 2. Determine the drive or storage device where the files are hidden and you want to recover.

Step 3. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* and hit "Enter". (If it's drive D, then replace G: with the drive letter for your device). 

Conclusion

This article shows 9 methods to recover lost desktop files. Among them, the most effective way is to recover disappeared desktop files with EaseUS data recovery software. It provides you both Windows and Mac versions. You can bring back lost files easily.

FAQs to Desktop Files Disappeared on Mac

You have learned these effective ways to show missing files from the Mac desktop. If you have related questions, you can read these questions and answers to know more.

Where did all my desktop files go Mac?

If your desktop files have disappeared from Mac and you have saved those files & folders on iCloud Drive, they will be moved to the iCloud section of your Finder Sidebar.

Why did everything on my desktop disappear Mac?

When it comes to everything disappearing from the desktop, the first problem must be the missing folders or hidden Mac folder icons. There would be a problem with system settings or you might have accidentally deleted something as well.

How do I restore my desktop files?

To restore desktop files on Mac:

  • Tip 1. Recover Folder Disappeared from Desktop with Software
  • Tip 2. Restore Missing files on Mac via Trash
  • Tip 3. Get Back Deleted Files on Mac with Terminal
  • Tip 4. Use Finder to Find Missing Mac Desktop Files
  • Tip 5. Turn Off iCloud Drive to Restore Missing Desktop Files
  • Tip 6. Disable Desk Stacks on macOS to Find Missing Mac Folder

To restore desktop files on Windows:

  1. 1. Recover Missing Desktop Files on Windows with Software
  2. 2. Restore Lost Desktop Files from the Previous Version
  3. 3. Show Hidden or Disappeared Files Using CMD

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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.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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