9 Methods to Recover Lost Files after Windows 11 Update

Microsoft created a worldwide buzz when they announced the newest version of its operating system Windows 11. As promised, Microsoft has started rolling out the update to a variety of devices and many customers have started using and reviewing the new update. But, don’t shut your windows yet! (Pun intended) There have been many reviews that mention lost files after the window 11 updates.

Does Windows 11 update delete/lose files?

Not always, Updating to Windows 11 from Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 is generally not only easy but also flawless. The update does not mess with files and everything is restored just as it was before the update. But, in some cases, users have reported that Windows update has deleted their files. There can be many reasons for documents or files to be removed or be hidden after the update, vis-a-vis: –

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  1. A temporary Windows account was used for updates.
  2. The account used for the update may not be working presently.
  3. Files have moved to different locations in the hard drive.
  4. Some files got unintentionally deleted.

How to Recover Deleted Files after Windows 11 Update?

How to recover deleted files after Windows 11 update? Below we present 9 different ways to recover lost files after the update.

Check if you have logged in with a temporary account

Checking if you are logged in with a temporary account may also help.

  • Click on the start menu then settings,
  • Go to Accounts and then to “Sync your settings”

If there is a message at the top that states, “You are signed in with a temporary profile. Roaming options are presently unavailable”, restarting the PC and signing in once more should eliminate the temporary account, making the documents accessible.

Use the search bar to find lost files

Look for the missing file(s) through the search box on the taskbar. To discover a record, you can look by the document name or the file type. If you want to search a document file with extensions .docs type “*.docs” without the asterisks in the search bar. (Check the image below)

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Use the search bar to find lost files

Recover lost files with Windows backup feature

You can also use the Windows backup feature as a way to recover lost files. To use this feature, go to the Start Menu, open Settings > Update and Security> Backup, and select Backup and Restore. Select “Restore my documents” and follow the commands on the screen to recover the files.

Enable administrator account

After the Windows 11 update, the administrator account may get disabled. To enable this account, you need to follow the steps underneath:

  1. Type “Computer Management” in the hunt box on the taskbar and click open it.
  2. When the “Computer Management” window opens, click on “Local Users and Groups” on the left side of the screen.
  3. Double-click Users on the right-hand side of the screen.

computer management

  1. Double-tap “Administrator” to open Properties.
  2. Check if it is disabled and enable it.
  3. Click Apply and Ok.
  4. Sign in with the administrator account and try to find the lost files.

Recover deleted files using Tenorshare 4DDiG

Tenorshare 4DDiG is an all-in-one data recovery solution. It can recover data from all scenarios like lost partition recovery, deleted files recovery as well as formatted drive recovery. To use Tenorshare 4DDiG, download the software, and follow the steps below: –

  1. Select the location of the lost data.

Recover of lost data

  1. Scan and preview the lost files. This step takes time as 4DDiG will scan the location for deleted files.

Scan and preview the lost files

  1. Recover the lost files from the list that will appear after the scanning process finish.

Recover the lost files after scanning

Restore files using Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery is a free Microsoft data recovery tool. It is used to recover deleted or lost files from internal hard drives, or USB flash drives, memory cards etc. 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:

  • Download and install Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store.
  • After installation, open Windows File Recovery
  • Learn the usage of the winfr command. The rule for the command is: For example, Iif you want to recover data from the test folder from E drive to F drive, you need to type the following command: winfr E: D: /extensive /n *test, and press Enter. Press Y to continue.
  • The data recovery process will start. Then, you can see a message saying View recovered files? (y/n). Press Y if you want to view the recovered files.

Restore files using Windows File Recovery

Recover deleted files using Windows File History

This method requires a backup before updating. Once you turn on File History, you can restore deleted files from the backups in the steps below.

Step 1. Look for File History in the Search box and choose “Restore your files from File history”.

Step 2. The File History window will pop up. All the backup files and folders will be displayed there.

Step 3. You can preview the selected file. Then click the green arrow to restore the files.

Restore deleted files from previous versions (Requires Backup)

Right-click the folder that used to contain the lost files. Select “Restore previous versions” from the menu. Choose a version and click Open to preview to make sure it’s the version you want.  Click the “Restore” button to restore a previous version.

Find your hidden files with File Explorer

Some files or folders may be hidden after Windows 11 upgrade. To view these files, click on the “View” tab on top of the screen and check the ‘Hidden items’ option.


While there has been much sensation regarding problems associated with early versions of Windows 11. Most of these will definitely be addressed with upcoming updates as time goes on. But for early problems regarding missing files, the above methods should prove very useful for recovering lost documents or files.

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