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Summary :

When files disappear from PC, they're not really lost; on the contrary, they can be recovered through special ways. Here, you can recover the data with a professional data recovery software - MiniTool Power Data Recovery. 

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If you find your important files disappear from PC suddenly, you must feel disappointed, right? Certainly, it's human nature. But, what we want to say here is that you don't need to be anxious when files missing from PC. That is because it's not a problem; it has already been conquered. And if you're interested in knowing how to recover missing files, please just keep reading this passage.

files disappear from pc

Chapter 1 – Watch the Problem: Files Disappear from PC

Files can easily disappear from your computer and many people have reported that they have ever been caught by the PC file loss issue. Now, we're going to show you a specific case and then teach you how to regain the lost files on PC effectively.

Hello, recently i played Planetside 2 and it worked just fine in the morning and then an hour later I tried it again and it did not work so I verified the files and 5 gigs of files were just not there so I had to re-download them and then verified it a separate 3 times and all of it was there. And just today I played it again and exited then went back to it again and it did not work and now 280 mb of files are gone. My files are disappearing for no reason.noobie121 in Tom's Hardware Forum

This user said that his files are gone but he doesn't know the exact reason for causing this problem. Under such conditions, we think the first thing he should do is to recover files & folders disappeared from computer completely.

According to users' feedback, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a wonderful choice for file recovery on Windows system. So in chapter 2, we'll mainly walk you through the way to find back files disappeared from hard drive Windows using the best free file recovery software.

After that, we'll illustrate what causes a file to suddenly disappear in chapter 3. And then give you some suggestions about the related solutions. Of course, you can skip chapter 2 and go to chapter 3 directly if you're more interested in this part.

Chapter 2 – Learn the Solutions: Recover Missing Files on PC

As you know, Win10 has a large number of users till now; and we have also discovered that "where are my files in Windows 10" becomes a hot question asked by a large number of people on Google. Taking these aspects into account, we plan to offer a specific guide on how to find lost files on Windows 10. Please keep reading.

Files Disappeared in Windows 10 – Recover Deleted Items

One of the most common causes for files missing from PC is unintentional deletion. You delete a file or folder by accident, but you didn't realize it until you need to use this file/folder. Right now, we'll tell you how to recover deleted data from a computer running Windows 10.

If you want to use this software to recover your data, please choose the Personal Edition or more advanced edition.

Free Download

Next, you should select the drive you'd like to recover data from. Then, click on "Scan" button in the lower right corner to search for deleted files and folders included in the selected drive.

main interface of minitool power data recovery

At last, a lot of files and folders will be found and listed in the interface shown below. Please look through them carefully in order to pick out the file/folder you need (usually you can find them in the Recycle Bin). Add check marks for desired files and then click on "Save" button to set a storage path for them.

click save button

When all selected files have been stored in appointed place, you will see a prompt window in the software, indicating that you can end the work to retrieve permanently deleted files from your computer.

save files

Files Disappeared in Windows 10 – Partition Gets Lost

Well, another question arises: how do I find a folder that has disappeared due to other reasons, for instance, all partitions are gone. In this case, another functional module – "Hard Disk Drive" – should be chosen.

How do I find my files in Windows 10 lost partitions?

Acquire a license for MiniTool Power Data Recovery (we guess you have a lot of data to restore when a whole partition is damaged or lost). Install the software and use the license to register it.

Firstly, navigate to "Hard Disk Drive" at Home. You will see all hard drives connected to PC are listed there. Besides, all lost partitions and unallocated space (if there are) are also there waiting to be recovered. If all partitions on a disk drive get lost, select the whole disk drive to scan; otherwise, scan a lost partition instead.

choose a hard drive

Note: If you desire to regain files missing from external hard drive, you should connect the external hard drive to PC first and foremost. If the external disk does not show up, please try reconnecting or pressing "Refresh" button.
If you only need certain types of files (for example, JPEG pictures), you may as well click on the "Settings" button to change the scanning range.

Secondly, you should wait for the full scan to complete. During the scan, you can see the following window, which contains "Total Files Found", "Remaining Time" and other information. Actually, the found partitions will be displayed gradually along with the ongoing progress bar.

full scan

Thirdly, after scanning, all found partitions will be listed in the left panel. (If too many partitions are found, this data recovery software will only list the most possible ones; you can press "Show More Partitions" to load the rest ones if no useful files are found.) Please browse currently listed partitions firstly and identify which files you want to recover.

show more partitions

At last, please check all the files you decide to recover and press "Save" button to recover them to a place with enough free space.

This is how I find lost files on my computer running Windows 10.

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Top Recommendation:

1. If you need to find back files disappeared from hard drive on Mac, you should choose MiniTool Mac Data Recovery instead. How Can You Perform Mac File Recovery Easily tells all you should know in order to recover files on a Mac computer running well.

2. But if you need to recover files from a Mac that won't boot, please read Hurry To Get Files Off Failing Hard Drive On Mac With Great Tool.

Chapter 3 – What Causes Files to Disappear

As a matter of fact, files can be missing from any of your storage devices, without your acknowledgment. Are you curious about how they get disappeared? Now, we'd like to answer this question for you.

We have summarized mainly 5 factors that should be responsible for the missing files.

1. Human Error

  • Shutting down computer improperly
  • Typing a wrong file name.
  • Disconnecting removable device forcibly.

human errors

Actually, most of the files lost due to these kinds of human errors can be recovered with the help of above file recovery software. Besides, Windows provides you with useful solutions to recover deleted/lost files in Windows 7.

2. File Corruption or File System Corruption

A file may corrupt suddenly by virus attack or any disk errors that stop your computer from writing the file when saving. Sudden power outage, system crash and software conflict can easily lead to file corruption.

The file system, as a property of the drive, is actually used to control how data are stored and retrieved on that drive. Virus invasion, the improper restarting/shutting down of PC, or closing a program when the recording or data transmission is still processing constitute the main causes for file system corruption.

file corruption

Please read Error: "Windows detected file system corruption on OS (C:). You must check disk for errors before it can be restored" while running System Restore to know more details.

You have no choice but to resort to your backup when file corruption happens, while the data recovery software could be helpful if you encounter file system corruption.

3. Virus or Malware

According to our knowledge, some viruses attack your system to alter the directory structure of drive & eliminate users' files upon opening. While others will overwrite your files while keeping the file names, making the data disappeared from your PC.

Well, as for the malware, they are often used to run rampant on storage devices so as to delete and damage your files.

virus attack

Neither of them can be completely avoided. But you are advised to install a powerful anti-virus program on your system and keep it always updated.

4. Files Being Moved Unawares

We also found that files are not really disappeared from PC in a few cases; they just get moved stealthily. Sometimes, you may move an item to a different place (folder) inadvertently. While in other cases, the files may be moved by a virus or other programs, without letting you know.

Under such circumstances, the best way to work out is searching files by filename on the computer. How do I search for a file on my computer? Please refer to this guide:

Click on the start at the bottom left of the screen -> type the exact file name into the search box -> press "Enter" to see search results.

search in Windows 10 search

If you'd like to know more details on how to find a file on your PC, please click this.

5. Files Being Hidden

If you can't find any files after searching file name, there's another possibility – the files are hidden. When the attributes of files are set to "hidden" and the File Explorer is set to not show hidden files, they will disappear from the computer.

That is to say, if the file properties are configured as "hidden" by a virus, you won't be able to find the certain files on your PC. At this time, you can try to change the properties to recover files hidden by virus or other programs.

Chapter 4 – Conclusion

File loss is not a rare situation; on the contrary, it happens now and then. When your files disappear from PC, what are you expected to do? To regret? To cry your eyes out? Of course not!

The best way to deal with files missing from PC is trying your best to recover them. But many of you would ask how can I find lost files on my computer, right? Considering this, we give some solutions in chapter 2. Apart from this, in chapter 3, we also introduce the main causes for file loss problem and give corresponding solutions for you to refer to. Hope you all can recover missing files from your PC successfully after reading these solutions.

If you have any questions or doubts about missing files from computer, please feel free to leave a short message below or contact our support team. Thanks for your attention!

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