You might find your important files get lost after upgrading to Windows 11. If you have backed up your data beforehand, you could just restore them from the backup. If not, do you know how to get your lost data back? MiniTool Software tells you what you should do to recover lost files after upgrading to Windows 11 in this post.

Files Get Lost after Upgrading to Windows 11

How to Download and Install Windows 11 on Your Computer?

The announcement of Windows 11 is breaking news. Many users couldn’t wait to experience Windows 11. The official Windows 11 has not been released to the public. But the Windows 11 Insider preview build is available now. If your computer meets the basic Windows 11 system requirements, you could download and install Windows 11 on your computer with two steps:

Step 1: Join the Windows Insider Program

Step 2: Upgrade your computer to Windows 11

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[SOLUTION] Windows 11 Update Downloading Stuck at 100%

If your Windows 11 update downloading stuck at 100%, you can use the solution mentioned in this post to solve the issue.

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Files Are Lost after Installing Windows 11

Windows 11 Insider preview build is not stable. Some unexpected issues might happen during or after the Windows 11 update process.

For example, some users reflect that their files get lost after upgrading to Windows 11. Actually, this is not a rare issue, and it might happen when you update to any version of Windows.

If these files are important to you, you should want to get them back. Well then, is it possible to get lost data back after installing Windows 11? Of course, yes. There are multiple methods. We will show them in this post. You could use one or more to find your lost files based on your situation.

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[Best Fixes] Windows 11 Installation Stuck at 35%/85%...

If your Windows 11 installation stuck at 35% or 85%, you could try the methods mentioned in this post to help you out.

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How to Recover Lost Files after Upgrading to Windows 11?

Way 1: Check Whether You Signed in with a Temporary Profile

Perhaps, you might sign in with a temporary profile by mistake. In a situation like this, you will be unable to find your files on your computer.

To rule out this possibility, you should restart your computer to sign in again. This operation could remove the temporary account and you could see your files again.

Way 2: Use Windows Search to Find Your Lost Files

If you couldn’t find certain files or folders on your computer, you should not worry about it. You might just forget the locations of them. You could try Windows search to find them.

Windows search is a Windows built-in tool to search for files, folders, installed programs, and websites on your computer. The search method is to use the name or name segment of the file, folder, or program, or content you want to search.

For example, I want to search for a photo which name contains test. Here, I will show you how I find it on my computer.

1. Click the Windows search icon (it is a magnifying glass in the taskbar) to call out Windows Search.

2. Type test to the top search bar. This tool automatically shows you all the search results by default.

use Windows Search to search for a file

3. If the automatically displayed search result is not the one you are looking for, you could click More to select the data type you want to find.

select data category

4. Here, I select Photos. Now, I could see the file I am looking for.

5. You could just click the found file to open it. Besides, you can find the file’s location from the right section of the interface. You could just click the location address to open the folder where the found file is saved.

the found file

You could repeat the above steps to find all the files or folders you want to find from your Windows 11 computer.

However, if you couldn’t use this method to find your needed items, they should get lost for some unknown reason. The followings are two methods to retrieve the lost and deleted on a Windows 11 computer. You could try them to help you recover lost files after upgrading to Windows 11.

Way 3: Restore from Your Previous Backup

If you have backed up your computer before upgrading your computer to Windows 11, you could restore your files from the previous backups.

For example, you might have backed up your files using File History. If so, you could restore your files via File History. Or, perhaps, you have backed up your files via a cloud backup method like OneDrive or Google Drive. Then you could restore your files from the cloud backup.

Here are three related articles for your reference to recover data after ungrading to Windows 11:

On other hand, you might have used third-party data backup software to back up your files to an external hard drive. In this case, you could restore your data using the corresponding method according to which data software you are using.

Way 4: Use Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is a free Microsoft data recovery tool and it is available since the release of Windows 10 20H1 (Windows 10 version 2004). It is a command-line utility that is used to recover deleted and lost files from an internal hard drive, a USB flash drive, a pen drive, or a memory card like an SD card. To be specific, it uses the winfr command to recover your lost and deleted files in Windows 11.

This tool has two data recovery modes: Regular Mode and Extensive Mode. The Regular Mode could only recover the recently deleted files from an NTFS partition or drive. If the files are deleted a while ago from an NTFS disk or partition, or if the NTFS disk is formatted or corrupted, you could use the Extensive Mode to recover files.

How to Recover Data Using Windows File Recovery?

Step 1: Install Windows File Recovery on Your Computer

Microsoft’s Windows File Recovery is not preinstalled on your Windows 11 computer. You should go to Microsoft Store to find it and download & install it on your computer.

get Windows File Recovery from Microsoft Store

Step 2: Use the Winfr Command to Recover Your Data

1. After installation, you could just click the Open button in Microsoft Store to open this Microsoft’s data recovery tool. You could also click the Windows Search icon, type windows file recovery to the search box, and select the first result to open it.

open Windows File Recovery

2. Click Yes if you see the User Account Control interface.

3. First, you will see the usage of the winfr command. The rule is winfr source-drive: destination-folder [/mode] [/switches].

winfr usage

For example, I want to recover data from the test folder from E drive to F drive, I need to type the following command: winfr E: D: /extensive /n *test.

4. Press Enter.

5. When seeing Continue? (y/n), you should press the Y key to continue.

use the winfr command to recover your data

6. The data recovery process will start. You should wait until the whole process ends. Then, you can see a message saying View recovered files? (y/n). You could press the Y key to directly open the destination folder.

press Y to open the destination folder

You need to remember these command lines if you use Windows File Recovery to recover your files. If you type a wrong command, this tool will not work. Perhaps, you want to use an alternative to easily rescue lost files after upgrading to Windows 11. You could try MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

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In this post, we will show you how to use Microsoft’ Windows File Recovery tool to restore deleted files in Windows and a safe & reliable alternative.

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Way 5: Use MiniTool Power Data Recovery

This is a special data recovery software that is designed to recover data from all kinds of data storage devices under different situations. As long as the lost files are not overwritten by new data, this software could work to help you get back your needed files.

This software has a free edition, which allows you to recover 1GB of files without paying any cent. You could first try this freeware to scan your computer drive for lost files.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

1. Download and install this free file recovery tool on your computer.

2. Open the software to enter its main interface. By default, you could see all partitions of the drive on your PC under the Logical Drives tab.

If you want to recover data from a certain drive, you should hover over that drive and click the Scan button to continue.

select a drive to scan

If you want to rescue data from the whole drive, you should switch to the Devices tab and select the entire device to scan.

select a while device to scan

3. The software will begin to scan the selected drive or device. The scanning process will last for a while. You should wait until the whole process ends to guarantee the data recovery effect.

4. On the scan result interface, you could open each path to find your needed files. You could also use the Type and Find features to find your files.

Type and Find

5. This software supports previewing up to 70 types of files. So, if you are not sure whether it is the item you want to recover, you could select that file and click the Preview button to preview it for confirmation. (In the free edition, the previewer package is not downloaded and installed. You need to first download it for use for the first time.)

preview a file

6. Select your needed files and click the Save button to choose a suitable location to save these files. The destination location should not be the original location. Otherwise, the lost files could be overwritten and become unrecoverable.

recover your selected files

If you want to recover more than 1GB of files, you could upgrade this software to an advanced edition and recover data without limits.

How to Upgrade to Windows 11 without Losing Data?

Since there is a risk of losing files when updating to Windows 11, we strongly recommend that you back up your computer data beforehand.

There are many available Windows data backup methods. You could use the Windows snap-in tool File History to back up your Windows data to an external drive. You could also use a cloud backup service to perform a data backup. A more reliable solution is to use third-party data backup software to achieve automatic data backup.

MiniTool Software gives you a good choice: MiniTool ShadowMaker.

This software is a professional data backup tool with many useful features: files/system/disk backup, file sync, system backup and restore, incremental backup scheme, backup schedule, etc.

This software has a trial edition, which allows you to use it for 30 days for free.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Here, I will show you how to perform an automatic data backup on Windows.

1. If you want to back up your data to an external hard drive, you need to first connect that external drive to your computer.

2. Open the software and switch to the Backup section.

3. Click the Source section to choose the Disk and Partitions / Folders and Files you want to back up.

select source

4. Click the Destination section to select the connected external drive.

select the destination drive

5. Click the Schedule button at the bottom-left corner.

6. Turn on the button at the bottom-left corner to enable the data schedule feature.

7. Select a time for a data backup schedule according to your requirements.

8. Click OK to save the setting.

schedule a data backup time

9. Click the Back up Now button to start backing up your data. Besides, this software could automatically back up your data at your specified time.

click Back up Now

Wrapping Things up

If you need to recover lost files after upgrading to Windows 11, just try the methods mentioned above to help you out. There should be a suitable solution for you. Besides, you also know how to upgrade to Windows 11 without data loss: just back up your data in advance.

Should you have any other related issues or suggestions, you could let us know in the comments or contact us via [email protected].

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