Why Are My Files Not Showing Up in File Explorer?

System Settings And Customization

Have you ever wondered why your files are not showing up in File Explorer?

Check for hidden files: Sometimes files may not show up because they are marked as hidden. Change your settings to show hidden files in your file explorer.

Refresh File Explorer Views

File Explorer window with a refresh button

If your files are not showing up in File Explorer, you may need to refresh the views. Sometimes, the file explorer may not automatically update to show new files or changes to existing ones. To refresh the file explorer views, simply press the F5 key on your keyboard. This will force the file explorer to update and display the most current files and folders. If pressing F5 does not work, you can also try restarting the File Explorer process in the Task Manager.

This can sometimes resolve issues with files not showing up. After refreshing the views, your files should appear as expected.

Sometimes files may not show up due to a technical glitch or a software malfunction.

Restart the Computer and File Explorer

Computer and file explorer icons

To resolve the issue of files not showing up in File Explorer, the first step is to restart your computer. This can help to refresh the system and resolve any temporary glitches that may be causing the problem. After restarting, open File Explorer to see if the files are now visible.

If the issue persists, you can also try restarting File Explorer itself. To do this, open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, locate “Windows Explorer” under the “Processes” tab, right-click on it, and select “Restart”. This will effectively restart File Explorer without the need to reboot your entire system.

By restarting both your computer and File Explorer, you can often resolve the issue of files not showing up in File Explorer without the need for more complex troubleshooting methods.

Unhide Files and Folders

If your files and folders are not showing up in File Explorer, they may be hidden. To unhide them, open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where the files are supposed to be. Click on the “View” tab at the top of the window. Then, check the box for “Hidden items.” This will reveal any files or folders that are currently hidden on your computer.

If the files still do not appear, you can use the Command Prompt to unhide them. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator and navigate to the folder where the files are located. Then, enter the command “attrib -h -r -s /s /d *” and press Enter. This will remove the hidden, read-only, and system attributes from all files and folders in that directory.

If you are still unable to see your files, it is possible that they have been moved to a different location or deleted. You can use the Search feature in File Explorer to look for the files by name, or use a data recovery tool to try to retrieve them.

Clear Cache and Thumbnail Cache

To clear cache and thumbnail cache, you can try pressing Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Then, type cleanmgr and hit Enter. Select the drive where Windows is installed and click OK. Check the box next to Thumbnails and then click OK.

To clear the cache, open the Run dialog box again and type %temp% and hit Enter. Press Ctrl + A to select all files, then press Delete. If any files are in use, just skip them. This should help resolve the issue of files not showing up in File Explorer.

Repair and Recover Corrupted Files

To repair and recover corrupted files that are not showing up in File Explorer, you can try using the System File Checker tool. Open Command Prompt as an administrator and type “sfc /scannow” to scan and repair any corrupted system files. You can also try using the Check Disk tool by typing “chkdsk /f” in Command Prompt to fix any errors on your hard drive. Another option is to use a third-party data recovery software to retrieve the missing files. Make sure to run a full system scan for viruses and malware using your preferred antivirus program. If the files are still not showing up, you may need to consider restoring from a backup or seeking professional help.

Tweak Search and Indexing Options

Windows search bar

Option Description
Check Indexing Status Verify that the indexing process is complete and all locations are being indexed.
Modify Indexing Options Customize which folders and file types are included in the index.
Rebuild Index If files are still not showing up, rebuild the index to fix any corruption issues.
Check Search Service Status Ensure that the Windows Search service is running and set to start automatically.
Change Search Settings Adjust search settings to include non-indexed locations or file contents.

Scan for Malware

If your files are not showing up in File Explorer, it’s possible that your computer may be infected with malware. To check for malware, you can perform a full system scan using your antivirus software. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date before running the scan.

If you don’t have an antivirus program installed, consider downloading a reputable one to scan your system for malware. Running a malware scan can help identify any malicious programs that may be causing your files to disappear from File Explorer.

After the scan is complete, follow any instructions provided by the antivirus software to remove any malware found on your system. If the issue persists, consider seeking help from a professional to troubleshoot further.

Use Command Prompt and Recovery Tools

Command Prompt and Recovery Tools

If that doesn’t work, you can use the Recovery Tools in Windows to restore your system to a previous point in time when the files were still visible. To access these tools, open the Start menu and search for “Recovery” and select “Recovery options.” From there, you can choose to “Open System Restore” and follow the on-screen instructions to restore your system.

Using these Command Prompt and Recovery Tools can help you troubleshoot why your files are not showing up in File Explorer and hopefully resolve the issue.

Update Windows and System Drivers

Windows update screen

To ensure that your files are showing up in File Explorer, it’s important to regularly update your Windows and system drivers. Outdated drivers can cause issues with file visibility and performance. To update Windows, click on the Start menu and type “Windows Update. ” Select “Check for updates” and install any available updates.

To update system drivers, open Device Manager, right-click on each device, and select “Update driver. ” You can also use third-party software to automate the driver update process. Keeping your system and drivers up to date will help resolve file visibility issues in File Explorer and improve overall system performance.

Perform System Restores and In-Place Upgrades

System Restore and In-Place Upgrade settings

  • Perform a System Restore
    • Open Control Panel and navigate to Recovery
    • Select Open System Restore and follow the prompts to restore your system to a previous point in time
  • Perform an In-Place Upgrade
    • Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool
    • Run the tool and select Upgrade this PC now
    • Follow the prompts to complete the in-place upgrade process
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