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7 ways to fix Windows error showing an empty folder even though there are files inside

It’s confusing to see an empty folder, when the folder size says it’s not. The problem becomes more difficult if you need the files urgently. If you remember to definitely copy data to the folder (which is reflected by the size of the folder), but the folder appears empty again, don’t worry.

Many times files are hidden, resulting in empty folders. However, sometimes, the problem can be of a more serious level. Regardless of the problem, the following article will cover the fixes in this article to help you regain access to your files.

1. Get rid of system-specific problems

Restart your computer before trying any fixes to make sure it’s not a temporary glitch. If the problem persists after you boot your system once, check if the problem is folder-specific or persistent throughout the operating system.

If the problem is everywhere, your operating system is at fault. To solve the problem, update or reset the operating system. However, if the problem persists in only one folder, try the following fixes.

2.Make sure files are not hidden

Hidden files also contribute to the overall file size. Therefore, if you find that a folder of considerable size appears as an empty folder again, make sure that the files are not just hidden. To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to an empty folder, even if the size is displayed.

Step 2: Go to File Explorer’s View tab.

Step 3: Check the Hidden items box in the Show/Hide section.

Check the Hidden items box to see hidden files in Windows 10 File Explorer
Check the Hidden items box to see hidden files in Windows 10 File Explorer

If files were previously hidden, you can view them now.

3. Using Command Prompt as a tool

By running a set of commands in the Command Prompt, users can perform specific checks, run scans, and manage other processes. A built-in command can be used to check for missing or hidden files and folders on the hard drive.

The files in the directory are possible to be recovered if this command is run. Use these guidelines to run it:

Step 1: In the Windows search bar, type “cmd“.

Step 2: Right-click on the Command Prompt application and select Run as administrator to open CMD with admin rights.

Step 3: Enter the following command into the Command Prompt application:

attrib -h -r -s /s /d D:*.*

Step 4: Press Enter.

Run a command in the Command Prompt application to locate the missing items
Run a command in the Command Prompt application to locate the missing items

The “D:” in the command syntax refers to the drive containing the missing files. If the partition containing the missing files is different from “D:”, you should adjust the command accordingly.

Reboot the computer after allowing the processing to finish. Then, double-check the folder to make sure the files are still there. If not, keep making additional corrections.

4. Restart the Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer, also known as File Explorer, allows you to browse through files and folders. That’s why it is often called a Windows file manager application. When you open a file, organize a folder, copy or move it, Windows Explorer performs these actions.

Therefore, restarting it can help you recover files and folders that may have lost their preview due to problems with File Explorer. To restart Windows Explorer, follow the instructions in: How to restart the Windows Explorer.exe process.

5. Take a test drive

Hard drive problems can also be the cause of the problem. Therefore, before proceeding further, you must check the hard drive for errors. Although there are many ways to run the Windows drive check, this is the simplest:

Step 1: Right-click the Windows Start button and select File Explorer.

Step 2: On the left side, click This PC.

Step 3: Right-click the partition containing the empty folder and click Properties in the context menu.

Open Windows' drive properties
Open Windows’ drive properties

Step 4: In the Properties window, go to Tools tab.

Step 5: In the Error-checking section, click the Check button.

Run the disk checkup by clicking the Check button
Run the disk checkup by clicking the “Check” button.

Step 6: Whether showing any errors or not, click Scan Drive.

After completing the scan, check the problematic folder to see if the files have been recovered. If not, continue with the fixes below.

6. Scan for malware

The absence of files in a folder can also occur due to the presence of hidden malware. Therefore, if the fixes do not help you recover your data, you must rule out the possibility that malware is the culprit.

There are several ways to remove malware from a Windows PC; you can use a third-party malware removal tool to get rid of the virus, use Windows tools to clean your PC, or just run Microsoft Defender Offline Scan to make sure your computer is free from viruses/malware.

Once the virus has been removed, go back to the same folder and check if the files you were expecting to access are back. If the files are found, you will need to take further steps to ensure that other files and folders are safe from virus attack.

If malware scanning and virus removal don’t help, you may need third-party software to recover data.

7. Use a third-party data recovery program.

If none of the above fixes help you regain access to your files, a third-party data recovery tool should be the last resort. The data recovery software works by using different algorithms to find traces of lost files on the hard drive and then gives the user the option to recover the files that are no longer on their computer. them anymore.

Therefore, run a data recovery tool to see if it can help you find your lost data. Although many third-party tools can assist you in recovering your data, the article recommends that you check out the best data recovery tools available: EaseUS, Disk Drill and Recuva.

You should be able to retrieve the files that are hidden in the folder following the fixes listed above. Third-party data recovery programs won’t fail you if something goes wrong..

The Preview pane’s typical issues can possibly be the reason of this error. Make sure the problem isn’t being caused by something wrong with the Preview pane.

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