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Thread: Disappearing/Deleting files. So much data lost

  1. #1
    grave is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2020

    Angry Disappearing/Deleting files. So much data lost

    I have been stressing out trying to solve a new issue thats just arised today. I have a laptop thats only about 3 months old, running windows 10 1909 and when I turned it on today I saw my downloads folder is empty. I tried to download another file which it did successfully but within 3 seconds it disappears from the downloads folder.

    Its not windows update, I have that disabled and blocked.
    Its not automatic maintenance, I have that disabled
    Its not storage spaces, I have that disabled
    Its not disk clean up, I didn't run it.
    I disabled windows defender and firewall, didn't help.
    Uninstalled norton AV that was bundled with my laptop, didn't help
    Checked event logs and couldn't find anything useful.
    Scoured the forums and found nothing useful.

    I can download to another location and it appears to be ok, but its a school laptop and I'm scared to continue using it and losing my course material and assignments.

    I don't know what else to try and where else to look. Any advice greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    AshishM is offline Moderator =Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Kolkata, India


    Go to Settings > System > Storage.
    Toggle on the Storage Sense feature.
    Toggle off the Storage Sense

    If that's not the issue, then School configured your laptop? It is possible they have to do something with it.

  3. #3
    pratibha91 is offline Beginner
    Join Date
    Jul 2020


    Files can go missing on your storage devices if they get corrupted, are infected with malware, are unknowingly hidden or automatically moved by a program without user acknowledgment. ... Undeleted malware-infected files can re-infect a system if they aren't probably cleaned before use.

  4. #4
    johnson_br is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2020

    Default How to restore

    You may selectively follow any one of the below-recommended methods to restore the Downloads folder with ease now:

    Method 1. Replace missing Downloads folder with File Explorer
    • Open File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Users\Default folder.
    • Right-click on "Downloads" in the right-side panel and select "Copy".
    • Navigate to C:\Users\your name folder and right-click the folder.
    • Select "Paste".
    • Then the missing Downloads folder shall be replaced and you'll be able to use it properly again.

    Method 2. Restore the default Downloads folder through desktop.ini file
    This method is suitable for restoring all user folders in the "C:\Users\%USERNAME%" folder, so if you lost other folders such as Music or Videos, etc folders, you can also apply the below guide to restore lost folders.

    Let's see how to restore the default Downloads folder with the desktop.ini file now:

    1. Press and hold Win +R to open the Run dialog.

    2. Type: shell: downloads and hit Enter.

    3. In Folder options, set protected operating system files to show.

    4. Download the file containing the desktop.ini file; (You can directly Google to search and download the file.)

    5. Extract content and right-click on the desktop.ini file which is a .txt file, select Properties.

    6. In the General tab, click the Unlock button and select OK.

    7. Replace the desktop.ini file in C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Downloads with the one you've extracted from the file and then close the folder.

    8. Open an elevated command prompt and type: attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Downloads /S /D and hit Enter.

    9. Close the command prompt and restart Windows.

    You'll be able to find and reuse the Downloads folder again.

    Hope these methods help you.
    Bruno J.

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