Serious bug in Windows 10 October 2018 Update wipes entire Documents folder

Posted 04 October 2018 16:34 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Two days ago, Microsoft started to roll-out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update and it didn’t take long before the first complaints about bugs were posted on the internet. One of the bugs is a serious issue for affected users. They lost their entire “Documents” folder after the update.

Microsoft aims to release two major updates to Windows 10 each year. The updates aim to bring improvements to the OS and to eliminate both major and minor bugs. In reality however, the updates usually also introduce new bugs. With an install base of 700 million users that’s no surprise, bugs are inevitable. However, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, does have a serious bug that can have major impact on affected users.

Several Reddit users report that the latest Windows 10 update wiped their “Documents” folder. This includes the folder “C:\Users\Public\Documents” and “C:\Users\Documents”. Users report that after installing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update their files in these folders are gone.

One user reports he searched his computer and browsed the usual suspect folder “C:\Windows.old\” but didn’t find his files back. An user also reports that also other “User” folders like “Desktop” and “Downloads” were gone. In this case however, the files weren’t removed, after the update the location of the folders were changed and automatically relocated to the user’s secondary drive. Nevertheless, the removal of his Desktop and Downloads folder caused the user to lose 60GB of data.

Interesting is that the bug was already reported to Microsoft more than 3 months ago. In the Windows 10 Insider Feedback Hub a user writes,  “I foolishly decided to enroll in the Windows Insider Program. Not wanting to put everything into the \Users\USERNAME\OneDrive\Documents folder, I had created my own Documents folder under \Users\USERNAME\Documents. After the update, my Documents folder had been overwritten with a new Documents folder, complete with custom icon. All contents were gone.”

The post also received three up votes indicating more users suffered from the same issue.

Initially some Reddit users thought the files were deleted due to a malformed group policy, but that was quickly dismissed as several users with Windows 10 Home (which doesn’t user group policies) also reported they saw their files removed. The cause is currently unknown.

Microsoft also hasn’t confirmed the issue and it’s unknown when the company will fix the issue.


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