Beware of Windows 10 Update deleting your files
The latest Windows 10 Update (1809) due for automatic download next Tuesday has been reportedly deleting users Documents, Photos, Music etc for early adopters of the update.
Microsoft has since pulled the automatic update:
We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.
– but regardless of that I strongly advise that Windows 10 users take pre-emptive action before Tuesday and make sure they have a precautionary discrete backup of their User files at least.
You will need an external disk drive (PC World / Amazon/ John Lewis/ etc) with enough space. Portable ones just connect and power themselves via the USB socket. These are very useful anyway for backups of your PC etc so just bite the bullet and buy one! They don’t cost too much, you don’t need a more costly one with bundled software or security for this process.
If you are familiar with using programs such as CCleaner to reduce the space used by temporary files etc then run that first. But if you’re unsure then proceed as below; it might take longer but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
First determine how much space your User profile (which includes Documents etc) is using:
- Open File Explorer
- Choose This PC in the left pane
- OR enter This PC in the Search Box
- Scroll down the list of folders in the right pane to show the Users folder
- Right click on the Users folder and choose Properties from the context menu
- This will show the disk space used in Gigabytes as Size / Size on Disk.
Get an external disk drive with more than enough space (make sure it’s connected to the PC) then use File Explorer to Copy the Users folders to the external disk dive or somewhere else on your C: drive by:
- If still showing, Cancel the Properties display.
- Right click on the Users folder, choose Send To and then choose your external disk drive.
You may have to enter your Windows password to allow access to the Users folders:
It will ‘discover’ the files to copy:
And then start copying them:
Click More Details to see detailed progress:
This may take minute or hours, depending on home many files thee are in your Users folders. It will copy all files in their profiles, including hidden folders such as AppData (Roaming, Local …) where some apps and programs store important user data such as emails etc.
You’ll need to keep and eye on progress as Windows will ask for response to errors or interrupts during the copy for files in use by the system, transient files that are ‘not found’, items with un-copyable properties or special folders such as Dropbox etc, if these are for files stored elsewhere, e.g. in the Cloud, or files in use by the system you can skip and choose to do that for all current items:
When it’s finished you can confirm that the files have been copied by exploring the external drive’s folders:
Then make sure you safely eject/remove the external drive by clicking the ‘remove devices’ icon in the right side of the task bar and choosing the external drive:
Windows will complete any outstanding writes and updates to the drive’s file system and tell you when it’s safe to remove it after a few seconds.
Now you can put it aside and recover your files from it if necessary.