User Files Disappear After Botched Win10 Update

John Lister's picture

Two different Windows 10 updates have caused a host of problems, including some files disappearing from the desktop, or deleted permanently. Microsoft has pulled one update and is investigating the other.

The update with the more serious problems - which is the one Microsoft has withdrawn - is numbered KB4532693 and has a couple of major bugs. The first is that some users have discovered their desktop has returned to its default state. In other words, any customizations such as the arrangement of icons and short cuts, or a background image, have been removed.

The most credible suggested explanation so far is that a temporary user profile is created during the update, then the update fails, then Windows fails to revert back to the original user profile. (Source:

Desktop Files Disappeared

While that bug is merely annoying, the problems are even greater for some users who have discovered that any files that were actually stored on the desktop (as opposed to creating a shortcut on the desktop) have completely disappeared.

In some cases users have figured out a way to track down their user profile and rename it so that it works again, complete with custom settings and files returning. In other cases, the files appear to be gone for good, though some reports suggest simply uninstalling the update puts things back to how they should be.

Microsoft says it's aware of the problem and is working on a solution.

Reset This PC Not Working

The second problematic update is numbered KB4524244.

This update wasn't as widely distributed as it was a security update for specific machines, namely those running third-party boot manager software. The problem here is that the update has blocked the "Reset This PC" feature that lets users revert back to a "clean" installation of Windows 10 without needing an installation DVD or downloaded file.

In this case, Microsoft plans to reissue the update in a way that fixes the original security problem while fixing the new bug. It says users can wait for the reissued update or manually uninstall the original update if they can't wait. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Have you experienced any of the problems listed here? Has Microsoft dealt with the bugs appropriately? Do you think Windows 10's update process has serious flaws, or is it just a case that frequent updates mean every bug draws more attention?

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bulajap's picture

I don't know if this is an update issue:

While clearing out taskview items I right clicked and cleared. Most items were clear but some remain and are greyed out and will not remove. I then went to privacy--activity history--pressed clear activity history. Those greyed out items still remain.

glen's picture

I use a mouse with my HP laptop and an update last fall, I think that it was KB4524147, installed a MS driver to replace the HP driver for my touchpad. The HP driver allowed me to disable the touchpad, however the MS driver grayed out that option. Since HP has a large touchpad, I constantly hit it while trying to type! Thanks a lot MS for screwing things up again!

buzzallnight's picture

M$ could contract with a company that knows how to write software
like maybe Apple or IBM or similar.

kitekrazy's picture

Apple is out to make your hardware obsolete. The best solution is to make drive images. When an OS is basically free I doubt the best developers are working on it.

c'est ma's picture

My favorite quip in Dave Barry's 2019 "Year in Review":

"Meanwhile the city of Riviera Beach, Fla., pays nearly $600,000 in bitcoin to hackers who paralyzed the city’s computer system by attacking it with “ransomware,” which is sort of like a Windows update except that at least there’s somebody who knows how to fix it."