Lost files after the update to Windows 10?

After updating your PC to Windows 10, you may be having trouble finding your old files. Here are some things to try.

Check to see if you’re signed in with a temporary profile

Go to Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings. If you’re signed in with a temporary profile, you’ll see a message at the top that says You are logged on with a temporary profile. Roaming options are currently unavailable.

This means that Windows attached an extra account to yours, so you’ll need to restart your PC and sign in again to access your account settings and data.


  • Be sure to copy anything that you’ve worked on since you upgraded to an external drive, or it will be deleted when you sign out.

Look for the files using Search

Select the search box on the taskbar and search for your files. If you still don’t see them, and you’re not logged in to a temporary profile, use the troubleshooter to fix problems with Search. In the search box on the taskbar, enter indexing, then select Indexing Options. Select the Advanced Administrator icon button to view more options, then select the Troubleshoot search and indexing link and follow the steps.


  • If you’re having trouble finding files that you stored on OneDrive, have a look at this topic

Here are some other things to try:

  • In the search box, enter Show hidden files and folders. Under Hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files, folders and drives. Then try searching again.

  • Look for all of your files of a certain type. For instance, for Word documents, search for *.doc. For your music, search for*.mp3.


  • When you switched to Windows 10, some of your files may have been moved. Check the location of files you find by right-clicking (or pressing and holding) the file and selecting Open file location. Then copy all of the files there to another location. Files kept in Windows.Old are deleted after 28 days.

If you still can’t find your files, you may need to restore them from a backup

  • In the search box, type Backup and restore. Open Backup and Restore and select Restore my files. Then follow the instructions.

  • Sometimes, you can recover a file by creating a new one with the same name and file type. Once you’ve created the new file, select Properties, select the Previous Versions tab, then pick the file version to restore.

Re-enable a Windows 7 Administrator account

If you updated from Windows 7 and created a new Microsoft account when you moved, your files may be stuck in a disabled administrator account. Reenable the account and log back in to see them.

  1. In the search box, type computer management and select the Computer management app.

  2. In the left pane, expand Local Users and Groups, then open the Users folder. If the user named Administrator has a down arrow on its icon Disabled account icon, it’s been disabled.
  3. To enable this account, double-click the Administrator icon to open the Properties dialog box. Clear the Account is disabled tick box, then select Apply to enable the account.

    Account properties dialog
  4. Now log out and log back in using the Administrator account.

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