[SOLVED] Windows 10 desktop files gone

Apr 24, 2020
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I had restarted my computer and I had logged in when my background was the default Windows 10 background and there were no files on the desktop and the taskbar had none of the programs that I had pinned. I thought maybe the desktop just reset or something. So I went and found the desktop folder and there were my files. I moved them over to the desktop and then continued on with my work and eventually turned off the computer. I come back later and login and all my files are gone off the desktop. The original programs that I had pinned onto the taskbar were there and my old background was back. I've tried looking around for my old desktop files but I can't find them. Is there somewhere where you think I haven't looked yet? Sound if you can help me
 

gardenman

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I looked at this yesterday but didn't want to answer because it's just a guess. But my guess is, that sometimes Windows creates a temporary user account when the normal one can't be loaded. This temporary user account will be plain, have no background, missing shortcuts, etc. It sounds like you moved some important files from the real user account, to the temporary user account. Then when you booted up the next time, it went back to the normal account, and removed the temporary account, therefore deleting any important files you had moved there.

It's just a guess, and I could be wrong. I'm not sure how temporary user accounts work (how they are created / used / deleted).

Look in the C:\Users folder and look at each folder in there, which should have a Desktop folder. Maybe you'll get lucky and find the files there. Or, maybe they were deleted because it was a temporary user account.

My guess is the files are gone. Read this: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/lost-files-due-to-moving-files-from-main-user-to/1d7dc6a5-ceb0-41b1-b707-4f426027e82a
 

Colif

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gardenman

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I looked at this yesterday but didn't want to answer because it's just a guess. But my guess is, that sometimes Windows creates a temporary user account when the normal one can't be loaded. This temporary user account will be plain, have no background, missing shortcuts, etc. It sounds like you moved some important files from the real user account, to the temporary user account. Then when you booted up the next time, it went back to the normal account, and removed the temporary account, therefore deleting any important files you had moved there.

It's just a guess, and I could be wrong. I'm not sure how temporary user accounts work (how they are created / used / deleted).

Look in the C:\Users folder and look at each folder in there, which should have a Desktop folder. Maybe you'll get lucky and find the files there. Or, maybe they were deleted because it was a temporary user account.

My guess is the files are gone. Read this: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/lost-files-due-to-moving-files-from-main-user-to/1d7dc6a5-ceb0-41b1-b707-4f426027e82a
 
Apr 24, 2020
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Sounds like your user profile is buggy

Try making a new local user
make it admin
while logged into broken user, copy the contents of C:/users/oldusername foilder into C:/users/newuserfolder
that will give new user same access to installed files so no need to reinstall. ONly need to login to programs like steam and Onedrive again... if you use them.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/4026923/windows-10-create-a-local-user-or-administrator-account

See if a new user fixes problem.
Thanks for the reply man, I tried doing that but there was no luck
 
Apr 24, 2020
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I looked at this yesterday but didn't want to answer because it's just a guess. But my guess is, that sometimes Windows creates a temporary user account when the normal one can't be loaded. This temporary user account will be plain, have no background, missing shortcuts, etc. It sounds like you moved some important files from the real user account, to the temporary user account. Then when you booted up the next time, it went back to the normal account, and removed the temporary account, therefore deleting any important files you had moved there.

It's just a guess, and I could be wrong. I'm not sure how temporary user accounts work (how they are created / used / deleted).

Look in the C:\Users folder and look at each folder in there, which should have a Desktop folder. Maybe you'll get lucky and find the files there. Or, maybe they were deleted because it was a temporary user account.

My guess is the files are gone. Read this: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/lost-files-due-to-moving-files-from-main-user-to/1d7dc6a5-ceb0-41b1-b707-4f426027e82a
Sound as well for the help. I'd that is what happened. I'd say the computer made a temporary account, I don't know why it would do that since I entered the details for my main account. I tried finding the deleted files with Recuva and a program called EaseUS but I wasn't able to find any of the files through the mass of files that they brought up. Thanks again for the help
 

Colif

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That is what it does, it creates a guest account. I know as I have had it happen to me, its why I suggested the new user as you just don't know when it will break for good and you can't log back in again.

It beats a clean install everytime.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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That is what it does, it creates a guest account. I know as I have had it happen to me, its why I suggested the new user as you just don't know when it will break for good and you can't log back in again.

It beats a clean install everytime.
So by making a new user account and copying everything from c drive is it just kind of like a backup?
 

gardenman

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This is poor design by Microsoft. It should say right on the desktop that it's a "Temporary" account and all files within it will be deleted (including the desktop) each time a temporary account is used. Otherwise, many people will do the same thing (and I'm sure they have). They login, see their background and shortcuts and files are missing, they set things back up, including moving files to the desktop, not knowing it will all disappear when they reboot.
 

Colif

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It's not really a backup, it allows you to keep using pc as if nothing happened. Only change is user name and password. Need to set up desktop as well.
It happened on my last install but only once. It is not a common problem but I recognised what had happened to you.
It should show a watermark saying it is a guest account but that is too obvious for Microsoft.
Naturally, if it happens again I would consider a clean install and start a fresh
 
Apr 24, 2020
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It's not really a backup, it allows you to keep using pc as if nothing happened. Only change is user name and password. Need to set up desktop as well.
It happened on my last install but only once. It is not a common problem but I recognised what had happened to you.
It should show a watermark saying it is a guest account but that is too obvious for Microsoft.
Naturally, if it happens again I would consider a clean install and start a fresh
Would I then be able to login with my Microsoft account? Right now I'm using a free version of Windows 10
 

Colif

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what you can do is link the local account to your MSA.

I originally set this PC up as a local account but you can login into services such the store, and Onedrive with an MSA account and it will still let you use the local account. I would have to look up my password for my MSA if I were to use it now, I have been using the local since Feb last year.

Free as in unactivated? did you just not buy a licence yet? Windows happily run without a licence, just adds a watermark to desktop. and reminders in settings.

I don't think there is any restriction to using a MSA on unactivated win 10... I don't have a lot of knowledge about it
 
Apr 24, 2020
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Yeah, it has no license, I could probably find a cheap key somewhere but the effort of that. I did up some code that gets rid of the watermark so it's grand but I'll have to do it up again cause it was on my desktop.
So if I just want to have a local account I go into settings and create a local user without a Microsoft account and all my files from the other account will be there yeah? Just without the steam logins and all that stuff. Might do that there now. Thanks a lot for the advice btw man
 

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