Windows 10 update: Microsoft admits serious problem, here's how to fix it

Windows 10
(Image credit: yougoigo/Shutterstock)

It was recently discovered that the newest Windows 10 upate was somehow deleting users’ files. The update has been live for over a week now, but fear not (or at least not too much) Windows fans, Microsoft has now said (unofficially) that it’s found a fix.

Thanks to Windows Latest (via TechRadar), we now know how Windows is responding to the problem. The site interviewed unnamed Microsoft support team staff, one of which was quoted  as saying: “Microsoft is aware of this known issue and our engineers are working diligently to find a solution for it.” In addition, it’s been reported that the Windows team have been able to replicate the bug and find one potential way of restoring any lost files.

This troublesome security update (officially named Windows 10 KB4532693) had also caused users’ Start menu and desktop to reset to default, leaving them puzzled as to where all their familiar shortcuts, apps and wallpaper had disappeared to. However this obviously pales in comparison to the thought of people losing data due to some dodgy coding on Microsoft’s end.

It’s been a rough start to 2020 for Windows 10. Earlier in February, the Windows 10 update KB4532695 slowed down users’ Wi-Fi and caused problems for audio devices, while back in January a Windows 10 security update refused to automatically install itself, requiring users to do so manually.

How to fix the Windows 10 data loss problem

The problem, at least in some cases, seems to be caused not by the operating system deleting the affected files but opening a new temporary user profile with an existing user’s data. What Windows staff have found is that setting up a new account and transferring the data from the temporary account over to it solves the problem. Unfortunately, Windows hasn’t explained the exact process it used to do this, so it’s best that you refrain from this method unless you are very familiar with how Windows 10 works.

Alternatively, you can uninstall the update that caused the issue in the first place. This can be found by going to:

Settings -> Update and Security -> Windows Update -> Updatae History -> Uninstall updates

Once you’re there, find the offending update in the list (in this case, KB4532693), select it and choose to uninstall it.

That said, this doesn’t seem to have worked for everyone, some people failing to find their files or successfully restore them to a new account. It might be better to wait until Microsoft releases an official fix if you can afford to.

All this talk of data loss may be making you want to invest in an external hard drive or one of the best cloud backup services. If you're looking for physical storage, the Western Digital Elements portable hard drive is one of the best around.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.