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    [ANSWERED] – Does Upgrading to Windows 11 Delete Files?

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      Summary: “Will I lose my data after upgrading to Windows 11?” In this post, we will try to clear some user doubts regarding upgrading to Windows 11 and any consequent data loss. We will also look at a way to reclaim our lost files using a data recovery software. You can try the software from here.

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      Windows 11 upgrade brings new features and bug fixes that aim to provide a better user experience. From updated taskbar design to fluid animations and more, Windows 11 is here to notch up the user experience.

      Upgrading Windows OS to the next version also provides enhanced security features that safeguard our data against malicious attacks. However, in some rare cases, updates could also go south and cause problems like data loss, malfunctioning apps, and more.

      In this post, we will be answering some burning questions related to data loss and upgrading to Windows 11. We will also look at a rare scenario where upgrading to Windows 11 will result in some important files and documents going missing. Let’s read further.

      Will the Windows 11 Update Delete My Files?

      Installing Windows updates or upgrading your PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is similar to updating your smartphone. In the majority of the cases, installing upgrades never alter or remove the data or files present on the computer. However, in some rare cases, this can happen if you are installing an insider build or beta version of the OS. Improperly installed updates can also lead to data corruption.

      Listed below are some of the features that you will lose if you upgrade to Windows 11 –

      • News & Interests
      • Math Input Panel
      • Desktop Wallpaper
      • Quick Status
      • Wallet

      However, some users also observed that games and game files containing game progress were deleted after updating to Windows 11.  Hence, it is advised to take a complete backup of the data before upgrading to Windows 11.

      How to Safely Upgrade to Windows 11 without Losing Data?

      It is always recommended to take a complete backup of your data and files on an external drive or cloud or both before proceeding with upgrading your PC to Windows 11. This is because there might be a chance of data loss as the storage drive is formatted while upgrading your OS.

      To avoid data loss in such a scenario, you can follow the following tips to safeguard your data & files from any unexpected data loss. Here are some tips mentioned below –

      • Take a complete backup of your data in at least 3 different locations.
      • Enable the File History feature in Windows Settings app for creating backups.
      • Don’t save any files on the desktop.
      • Keep a reliable data recovery software handy at all times.

      What to do If Some Files Got Lost Due to Upgrading to Windows 11?

      If you encounter that some of your files are permanently deleted or lost after upgrading to Windows 11, there could be numerous reasons like accidental deletion, corruption, etc. behind that. However, there are ways to recover such files and data. Listed below are some of the methods to recover deleted or lost files on Windows 11 –

      • Perform system-wide search
      • Check Recycle bin
      • Look for hidden files
      • Check external backup
      • Use File History

      Before you proceed with the methods to perform data recovery on your Windows 11 PC, do a little activity as suggested below –


      • Check whether you’re logged in using a temporary account or a secondary account.
      • Is the primary user account used before updating the OS working?
      • You could have accidentally moved files and documents to a different folder.

      Once you have checked the above points, proceed further and recover your files using our guide to find lost or missing files on Windows 11. Here, we have curated a list of easy-to-employ methods explained in detail. You can use these and recover your lost files and folders on Windows 11 in no time.

      Note – You can also read our detailed guide if you are already on Windows 11 and looking for simple ways to reset Windows 11 without losing data and files.

      Is there an Easier Way to Recover Lost Files and Folders on Windows 11?

      The methods mentioned in our guide should help you find your missing files on Windows 11 computer in no time. However, if you are looking for a way to end the hassle of fiddling with multiple settings, you can opt for a powerful data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery.

      It is an easy-to-use DIY data recovery software that can easily help you find and retrieve your lost files and documents on your Windows 11 PC. This tool can help you recover files lost in numerous data loss scenarios, like accidental deletion, formatting, malware attack, etc. It can perform data recovery from almost any storage device, like HDDs, SSDs, SD cards, Pen drives, etc. and can recover almost any type of file.

      Is it Worth Upgrading to Windows 11?

      As we all know that Windows 10 is coming closer to its end-of-life cycle in about 2 years, upgrading to the newer version of Windows OS is a great way to keep your device updated. Upgrades bring new features, and similarly, Windows 11 brings a slew of new features and enhancements like –

      • Updated layout
      • Updated look and feel
      • Redesigned Settings app
      • Reintroduction of Widgets
      • Snap Layouts
      • Updated default apps
      • Dedicated gaming features like Auto HDR, controller bar, etc.

      These new features and improvements definitely make upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 worthwhile. However, we also know that Windows 11 comes with its own set of bugs, so if you don’t want to upgrade to Windows 11 now and want to wait for a stable build release, you can do so and jump on the bandwagon later on.

      Final Words

      Losing your files after upgrading your Windows OS is rare but can happen. If you encounter some files to appear deleted or lost from your computer after upgrading to Windows 11, don’t worry, as they can be recovered easily. In this post, we answered some user queries from users who are skeptical about upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11. We also tried to address some concerns surrounding Windows 11 upgrades and data loss due to some specific OS updates and shared some tips to avoid data loss while upgrading your OS. Finally, we discussed about a powerful data recovery software, and how it can aid you in finding and recovering your lost files, in a few clicks.


      If you have signed in with a Microsoft account and all your data is backed up on OneDrive, then there is no need to worry as all your data will be transferred once you upgrade to Windows 11.

      No, Windows 11 doesn’t permanently delete files on its own. You can use a SHIFT + DELETE or a dedicated file eraser to permanently delete files from your Windows 11 PC.

      The main reason why your files are automatically getting deleted from your Windows 11 PC is because of a new feature called Storage Sense. This automatically clears unwanted files and frees up space.

      Once you have ensured that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for installing Windows 11, follow this guide to learn how you can get your system ready for the next update and install it.

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      About The Author

      Keshav Katyal

      A passionate writer, driven by his interest in everything tech, Keshav Katyal has always been captivated by the latest gadgets since childhood. His interest in gadgets grew when he got his first gaming console, the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced. Hours and days of tinkering with gadgets encouraged the inner geek in him who now loves writing about the latest technologies.

      1 comment

      1. For the longest time, I never updated the windows thinking of the same thing, your article is very informative and valuable.

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