If you are like me who is clearly excited about the Windows 10 October 2018 update and waiting for it to be rolled out to your system, then wait no longer. Microsoft just announced that they are stopping the October 2018 update rollout amid the mass file deletion issue some users are facing. It’s worth noting that you also cannot download Windows 10 ISO images directly with October 2018 update directly or using the Media Creation Tool.
Here’s everything you need to know about the file deletion problem and what Microsoft is doing to fix it.
What’s the problem with October 2018 update?
Well, to put it simply, some users who upgraded their system from April 2018 update to October 2018 update are facing an issue where Windows is deleting personal files stored in user library folders like Documents, Photos, Music, Videos, Downloads, and more. Even if you roll back to the previous update, there is no guarantee that your files and folders will be restored.
According to the all the evidence and discussions, the file deletion is limited to folders located in the C drive. i.e, Windows won’t touch files or folders stored in other drives or partitions.
What makes the problem more concerning is that the file deletion issue is nothing new. In fact, dig through the Feedback Hub and you will see the problem being reported by some users as far as three months back. Since there are a very tiny number of people reporting and low upvotes from other users, the issue might be buried in the Feedback Hub.
Compounding the problem, the October 2018 update didn’t go through the Release Preview channel. In case you don’t know, Release Preview channel is where insiders realistically upgrade their machine from April 2018 update to October 2018 update. No releasing the update to Release Preview channel means that that upgrading process has gone through very little testing.
That being said, that should be no excuse. Any problem reported by users should have higher priority. Especially when you hear “Windows is deleting my files”. After all, not everyone backs up their files before upgrading to new version.
This is clearly a quality control problem with Microsoft.
Check if Windows 10 October 2018 update deleted your files
If you’ve already upgraded to October 2018 update and are not sure whether Windows deleted your files or not. Just go to the Documents folder and see if you still have files or folders in that folder. If the files are there, then Windows didn’t delete any of your personal files.
If you have files in your Docs folder still, none were deleted.
— Dona Sarkar @ #MSIgnite (@donasarkar) October 6, 2018
What is Microsoft doing about the problem?
After three whole days of confusion, Microsoft finally acknowledged the problem and blocked rolling out the October 2018 update. Additionally, users are also blocked from downloading the October 2018 update ISO either directly or using the Media Creation Tool. As of writing this, you can only download April 2018 update from Microsoft website or using the Media Creation Tool. Of crouse, that will change once Microsoft fixes the problem.
Though there is no guarantee that you can recover files by simply downgrading, Microsoft is offering free help to bring back files for users affected by October 2018 update. So, if you are the unfortunate user, then do make use of it.
update: here’s the procedure Microsoft is following to recover files deleted by the October 2018 update
That’s it for now. Like I said, only a tiny percent of users who upgrade to October 2018 update faced file deletion issue.
For instance, I’ve upgraded both my computers on day-one and everything went fine. That being said, my experience may not be your experience. So, even if you’ve already downloaded the Windows 10 October 2018 update ISO, I recommend you to not upgrade to October 2018 update until Microsoft fixes the problem.