I Lost My Download Files in Windows 10

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  1. Posts : 40
    Windows
       #1

    I Lost My Download Files in Windows 10


    Hi all,

    I don't know what I did but there is no longer anything shown in my Windows 10 download file. I suspect my downloads are still on my desktop somewhere because everything seems to be running OK so far. My Download File is just empty now, and it says there are no files. Can someone please tell me how to get them back?

    Thanks, Mark
      My Computer

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,978
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, depends where you saved them. I suggest these options.

    a. Your browser's download history.
    If these were fairly recent downloads, your browser may stiil have a record of where they were saved. For example Firefox has this:
    I Lost My Download Files in Windows 10-1.png
    - so I can open the folder where they were saved.

    b. Perhaps they were deleted- check your Recycle bin

    c. Search your PC. A convenient way to find anything anywhere is to use one of the various 3 fast search file indexing tools such as
    Locate32
    Everything (by voidtools)
    Ultrasearch

    Install one, let it index- a minute or two perhaps- then try searching for your files.

    E.g. by date, extension, name...
    I Lost My Download Files in Windows 10-1.png

    d. Try downloading a new file and see where it is saved. Perhaps your others are there.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 40
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Hi again dalchina!

    You recently helped me on another issue a few days ago and I hope your suggestions are as successful as the last ones. I will try them out and get back to you today, or Monday.

    Mark
      My Computer

  4. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 23,321
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #4

    Hope that you didn't check to purge Downloads folder in Storage Sense (Settings / System / Storage / configure Storage sense)

    I Lost My Download Files in Windows 10-image.png
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 40
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Hi dalchina!

    Sorry to say nothing worked this time, but let me tell you what I did:

    a. Your browser's download history.
    I checked my Chrome browser's download history and the only thing that came up were files I downloaded after reading your reply to this thread.


    b. Perhaps they were deleted- check your Recycle bin
    My recycle bin is empty

    c. Search your PC. A convenient way to find anything anywhere is to use one of the various 3 fast search file indexing tools such as
    Locate32
    Everything (by voidtools)
    Ultrasearch
    I downloaded and tried the top two on your list. Locate32 didn't help because I suspect it's 32 bit. Everything (by voidtools) gave me a list going all the way back to 2011 when I got this desktop with Windows XP, but it didn't tell me what to do with the list, meaning how to get the list restored onto my"Downloads" file. Note: My downloads file has had downloaded stuff on it from Microsoft, Me, iTunes etc since before I switched from Windows XP to 10.

    Install one, let it index- a minute or two perhaps- then try searching for your files.
    I guess I didn't know what to do with either of the two I downloaded.

    d. Try downloading a new file and see where it is saved. Perhaps your others are there.
    That worked as I said. After reading your instructions I downloaded I picture, and of course, the two files you suggested I try.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi AndreTen,

    I may have, but I don't recall anything that said "Purge" or the other words you said. What I did do was run my disc cleaner as I have many times before, and I checked all the boxes to clean which included Downloads.

    Mark
      My Computer

  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,978
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #6

    Best check your Settings for Storage Sense.

    Locate32- I use regularly on my x64 PC.
    Start with File, Update Database - wait- let it index.. then search is find-as-you-type

    If no luck, try a data recovery tool e.g. recuva, and specify the downloads folder as the location.
    You might recover some.. but deleted files become space on disk which is overwritten by normal use.

    Do you have a recent disk image? E.g. Macrium Reflect- as frequently recommended here? If so you can recover the files from that.
      My Computers

  7. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 2,837
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit 20H2
       #7

    You may be logged in as a Default User instead of your User Name Profile.
    In File Explorer, go to C:\Users do you see another similar name User Profile as yours? See if the downloads in these folders has your stuff.
    Also, if you setup One Drive it may also have moved your Downloads there.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 40
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Hi dalchina and spunk,

    dalchina:
    I don't know how to check my settings for storage sense. I will try Locate 32 again. I will also try recuva. I don't know what a recent disc image is.

    spunk:
    I am the only one who uses this desktop, so I am the default user. Right? I just logged on this morning like I always do. But, I will try what you suggested too.

    To both of you:
    Since my desktop seems to be running fine even without all the files listed on my "Downloads" page since 2011, should I even care if they are no longer there? I mean, the stuff I have downloaded myself I can download again if I want to, but the stuff like Microsoft Installer or iTunes Installer etc which are no longer there, seem to have no affect on my desktop's performance




    • Your best friend should probably be a search engine or a disk imaging program.
      My Chinese students always asked "How to....?" - but it's never a proper question in English.



      My Computers
      Thank


    • spunk

      Guru

      Joined : Jun 2016
      Los Angeles
      Posts : 2,140
      Windows 10 Pro
      Local Time: 01:10 PM


      2 Minutes Ago

      You may be logged in as a Default User instead of your User Name Profile.
      In File Explorer, go to C:\Users do you see another similar name User Profile as yours? See if the downloads in these folders has your stuff.
      Also, if you setup One Drive it may also have moved your Downloads there.



      My Computer

  9. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 29,978
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #9

    I don't know how to check my settings for storage sense.
    See picture in post #4 with the red underlines.
    Open Settings, search for 'storage', click on 'Change...'


    I don't know what a recent disc image is.
    A disk image is a compressed copy of the used part of 1 or more partitions.
    It is a backup.

    Programs like Macrium reflect (free-paid) - so often recommended here; Aomei Backupper and more are used to create and manage disk imaging as a valuable backup method.

    For example, if Windows becomes corrupt or your disk fails, you can restore Windows to a previous good state- even if you need to replace the disk.

    Google can tell you a lot more about disk imaging- if you don't use it, how could you independently recover when your PC becomes badly infected by viruses, ransomware, or unbootable, or affected by a recent problem that can't be fixed?

    If the downloads are not valuable to you, the only thing that matters is making sure this doesn't happen when you don't want it. I.e. you need to understand why it happened.

    Do you have more than one user account?
      My Computers

  10. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 2,837
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit 20H2
       #10

    You may be the only user on your computer, but if for some reason your User Profile doesn't load, Windows will load a Default Profile, allowing you to login and troubleshoot. If you try to download something or save something while logged in as the Default Profile, it will be removed on the Next Bootup as this profile is just for troubleshooting and nothing is saved to it
    In the File Explorer If you browse to the C:\:Users directory, you should see a couple of User Profiles (ie) Administrator, the Hidden Default User, Guest, and Public. And your User Name. You may have more then one of your profiles that are similarly named.
    Also, in File Explorer, on the Left Side Open up One Drive the cloud drive and go to the Downloads folder in there, are your Downloads in there?
      My Computer


 
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