Windows 10 Upgrade Loses All of your Files And Settings
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Windows 10 Upgrade Loses All of your Files And Settings

We recently worked on site with a client who had upgraded their Windows 7 Home computer to Windows 10. The update appeared to have been successful but after logging into their computer they noticed that their files were missing from the desktop and their applications had lost all of the settings (including email, virus scanners, printers, etc.).

If this has happened to you then the fix should be relatively simple…


Why has this happened?

If your computer seems fine but your files are missing then typically this means that your user profile has not been loaded correctly. Your user profile contains all of your files and settings and without it your computer will revert back to default settings. You can tell whether your profile has loaded correctly in Windows 10 by following these steps:

  • Right click on the start (Windows) button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen
  • From the menu choose “Command Prompt (Admin)”
  • Click “Yes” to allow this program to make changes to your computer
  • In the black command window that opens type “SET” at the command prompt and then press the Return / Enter key:
         C:\WINDOWS\system32> SET
  • A large amount of text will be dumped to the screen. if you scroll upwards a little way then you should see some lines that look like this:
  • Here you can see the details of the profile that you’re currently using. In my case you can see that my username is Olly and  I’m loading the profile located at C:\Users\Olly

Chances are if you are experiencing problems then the value of USERPROFILE will be something like C:\Users\TEMP or C:\Users\TemporaryProfile. If you notice that your Username is not the same as your old (Windows 7) username then you might be logging in with the wrong user account or Windows 10 might have created you a new account to use which has not synchronised correctly with your old account.


My Username is right but the USERPROFILE is a temporary one

If your Windows 10 PC is running on a temporary profile then chances are that the account was not correctly assigned to the “Users” group during the Windows 10 setup. We can easily solve this using the following steps:

  • Follow the steps above to open up a command prompt window
  • At the prompt enter the following command replacing <USERNAME> with the value returned by the SET command above:
    C:\WINDOWS\system32> net localgroup Users <USERNAME> /add
  • So for example in my case the command would be:
    C:\WINDOWS\system32> net localgroup Users Olly /add
  • Once you press enter the command should return the message “Completed Successfully” or words to that effect.
  • Reboot your computer

Once your computer restarts you will receive a message that says “Configuring Windows” with a swirly loading animation. This might take several minutes to complete so go and make a cup of tea and make sure not to switch off your computer. Eventually the login page will appear and after logging in all of your settings and documents should have been restored.

Note that if your username has a space in it then you might have to use quotation marks for the above command  to work. For example:

     C:\WINDOWS\system32> net localgroup Users "Olly Lennox" /add

My Username is not the same as my old Windows 7 one

If your username does not look right then potentially you are not signed into Windows 10 with the correct. First:

  • Right click on the start (Windows) button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen
  • Choose the option “Control Panel”
  • Click on the option “User Accounts” (it might be a text link or an icon depending on your setup)
    • If the option was a text link then you might have to click “User Accounts” a second time in the next screen
  • Click the option “Manage Another Account” and select your old account in the list.
  • Try using the option to update the password on this account and also try upgrading it to an Administrator account.
  • Restart your computer

Once your computer restarts select your old username and enter your new password, this should load up your old profile with your old documents and settings


The Steps Above Did not work / My old username did not exist in User Accounts

If you’re still having problems then try some of the links below to see if they help fix the problem:

In a worse case scenario you can also follow these steps to roll back to Windows 7


We hope this helps!

One Comments

  1. Marnie says:

    Theer’s nothing like the relief of finding what you’re looking for.

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