What to do if Windows 10 update deletes all your files

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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In October 2018, users reported on Microsoft forums that the Windows 10 October 2018 Update had deleted their files.

One user stated,

Last night I updated to 1809, and it all went smoothly, but then I find that all my files in Documents are DELETED.

So, Windows 10 updates have deleted files for a small minority of users. It’s worth noting that it’s unlikely users will lose files after an update. Users are now upgrading to Windows 10 1903, and they haven’t posted about data loss on Microsoft forums as of yet.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t necessarily mean further Windows 10 updates will never delete user data. Here are a few tips for recovering data in the rare event of a Windows 10 update deleting files.

How can I recover lost files after a Windows 10 update?

1. Recover Files From the Windows. old Folder

  1. Windows 10 creates the Windows.old folder that includes backup copies of user files after a build update for 10 days. Users can recover lost files from that folder (for 10 days) by pressing the Windows key + E hotkey to open File Explorer.File Explorer window windows 10 deleted all my files
  2. Users can open the Windows.old folder at this path: This PC > C: > Windows.old.
  3. Thereafter, open the User subfolder in the Windows.old folder.
  4. Next, open a user account subfolder.
  5. Then users can recover deleted files from their user account. Select a file, or group of files (press Ctrl + A), and then press the Copy to File Explorer button to open the drop-down menu below.Copy to menu windows 10 deleted all my files
  6. Select another folder to copy the files to.

For some users, the Documents folder is not in windows.old. In this case, make sure the folder is not hidden.

For more information on what to do if certain files and folders are missing on your PC, do check out this guide.

2. Retrieve Files With EaseUS Data Recovery

  1. Users can also utilize the unregistered EaseUS Data Recovery version to recover lost files after a Windows 10 update. Click Free Download on the EaseUS Data Recovery page to save the setup wizard for that software.
  2. Open the EaseUS Data Recovery installer to add that software to Windows 10.
  3. Then launch EaseUS Data Recovery.EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard window windows 10 deleted all my files
  4. Thereafter, select to scan the C: drive. Users with drive partitions can also select to scan those partitions.
  5. Thereafter, EaseUS will display deleted files that it can recover. Users can click files to open previews for them.
  6. Select the files for the software to recover.
  7. Press the Recover button.

Setting up a system backup is probably the best way to ensure against data loss before updating Win 10. Then users can recover lost files from the system back up after updating Windows 10 to the latest build version.

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