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Microsoft pulls the Windows 10 October 2018 Update as it investigates user files going missing

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Cloudwallpaper Dark (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has pulled the Windows 10 October 2018 Update from Windows Update and its media creation website as it investigates issues with the update deleting users files upon install. Users first started reporting that their documents folder had gone missing after an upgrade to the October 2018 Update a few days ago and Microsoft has since confirmed that it is looking into the issue.

For now, until the issue is fixed, the October 2018 Update has been pulled. It is no longer available for download officially, and there is no word on when it will be made available again. This is the second time Microsoft has had a major issue with a new feature update for Windows 10, the first of which happened earlier this year with the April 2018 Update, which resulted in a three week delay.

Microsoft's support website (opens in new tab) details the following:

We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.

Microsoft also advises not clean installing the new update either. It's possible that this issue will be fixed in a cumulative update, or it may be a big enough problem that requires Microsoft to compile another RTM build, just as it did with the April 2018 Update. Microsoft has been struggling to assure quality with its last few feature update releases at launch, which does not paint a positive picture for customers.

If you have already upgraded to the October 2018 Update and are experiencing issues, you should be able to recover back to the previous update by heading into Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Go back to the previous version of Windows 10. This will restore your OS to the previous feature update that was running, likely the April 2018 Update. If you have already upgraded and found that your files are missing, Microsoft recommends you contact their support hotline at 1-800-MICROSOFT.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

202 Comments
  • Lol Microsoft
  • All my Favourites that were saved in Edge have vanished since the update 😳
  • Had the same thing happen to me. I was fortunate that my second PC and Phone hadn't synced that change and was able to back them up.
  • Your whole porn collection! Gone!
  • How hard is it to remember RedTube and PornHub?
  • Gotta ask him lol
  • I also lost my favorites in Edge, but it was before the update, either the same day or a day before. Thankfully my first PC to update had all the favorites intact.
  • It is kind of weird because in my situation, after Surface 3 updated to the October update it was microsoft edge from my Android S8+ that erased all my favorites while I was watching it. But my Surface still has them.
  • Same thing happened to me. Surface Pro 3 updated fine with favorites unaffected. But they are gone on my Galaxy S8+.
  • Well this effect has passed to my 1803 build Pro4 since it sync. This sucks pretty bad.
  • Upgraded my SP4 and lost all synced favorites on all my other devices. The favorites are still on my SP4 so I'm hopeful once MS figures it out they will start syncing again.
  • In the future you should back-up your favourites (besides other important files/documents) every once in a while to an external hdd, preferably also backing it up to the cloud or a 2nd hdd.
  • I make backups, and backups of the backups
  • It's good that Microsoft thought of the necessity of backups when it came to their UWP platform and you can easily back up your apps and data then. Oh wait....
  • Ha! Hey Simon! Happy for ya! Little doubt when the Update does come crashing down the tubes, it will restore your Favorites. Till then, hang in there buddy.
  • I'm already upgrade to 1809 and doesn't have any issues. Should I go back to 1803?
  • You should be fine.
  • Kinda scared to turn my main pc on after the update.
  • Some have wondered if this is related to Storage sense being active or its settings, any ideas yet?
  • Storage Sense shouldn't be deleting the Documents folder in any case.
  • Some of those weird programs like that can & will just out of the blue begin deleting file after file after file after file after file after file after file (especially if you set it to do so) till suddenly you realize the computer begins emitting little puffs of green smoke and the think is bricked. Yes, it's not a Laptop but a Desktop and it's still bricked. Just the thought of it has me becoming emotional. Sorry.
  • Same here, I'm totally fine here. Kinda got scared too after the news.
  • I guess I was lucky , the update for 3 of my devices went swimmingly
  • 4 here with no problem
  • I updated 2, and my favorites and reading list disappeared in Edge on one, but I was able to export them on the other, so I'm fine now. 😃
  • Well, lucky you indeed. While my documents were left intact, it rendered my school Surface Pro unusable by making it impossible to save Word documents. Yay.
  • Congrats Simmy! But I'm certain those so called missing files aren't. Hope you have a good school year.
  • I don't have any issue after updating all 4 of my computers.
  • 4 here too 😅
  • All 8 of my computers were updated without issues as well. I almost panicked when I saw the news this morning, but all the PCs and documents are perfectly fine
  • well my pictures library was completely vanished … apart from that yeah everything's fine
  • Check Pictures folder in OneDrive?
  • Many of is do not use OneDrive... at all.
  • Why? It's built in and free.
  • Only 5 GB is free (after yanking storage from users a couple years ago), it entails giving your files to Microsoft which some aren't comfortable with and it has a history of randomly moving files to the recycle bin. I used to use it a lot in high school but I couldn't trust it to keep my files safe and I couldn't trust Microsoft to not pull-the-rug out from under me.
  • That comment was based on the 5GB of free storage. Refusing to use the offered service seems like such a waste. I understand that people need over that size of storage (I was super pissed when they lowered it), but it's at least something. As far as the fear of giving your files to Microsoft, I just can't understand the fear, because these companies mostly have the same policies.
  • Some of us never store photos or documents we are worried about losing on external cloud storage at all. No matter the company involved. There are tiers of importance for documents and photos as well and while some could possible be saved in the cloud without issue others will never end up on anything but a local storage.
  • the October 2018 update may force you use of OneDrive even you don't know it. So files in pictures might move to OneDrive even you don't know it. So please check for 'Pictures' folder in OneDrive (your Microsoft Account log in). May be it is there even you don't know it! Get the point?
  • And for users that will never have a microsoft account? Why would Microsoft even think about moving anything without the users explicit permission?
  • The get an external hard drive and backup using file history, there is NO excuse for not having a backup of your data. I backup to both OneDrive and an external drive using file history.
  • No issues with 6 Computers
  • The implementation of OneDrive link to Document folder and Desktop folder is making user confusion and can lead to that problem. Microsoft did nothing to inform consumers about this change. At least ask customer if they want it or not and have easy option to opt out. Easy option may be hard for Microsoft to do.. It gotta be complex option as always!
  • The simple copy of Document folder and Desktop folder to safe place will copy nothing! It stay in OneDrive instead. Imaging customers don't know anything about this and computer isn't connected to internet for a while and sync isn't complete, then you reset your PC. Your files will be gone forever. Stupid..
  • I didn't know you couldn't manually copy them anymore, but I do welcome the change of them being the OneDrive folders now. It makes it extremely easy to move PCs.
  • The October 2018 update has fatal communication error with user because it force use of OneDrive even you don't know it. The problem is if user try to backup files by manually copy of //user/Pictures, //user/Documents,... All files will not be there!! It is automatically moved to OneDrive. And some user doesn't connected to internet all times and there is big chance that your files isn't sync already. User think they already backup.. sorry, it's all gone!! The point is Microsoft need to INFORM CUSTOMERS!! for this change. It isn't about hard or easy or it is good choice.
  • You are assuming a lot that people will actually READ where it tells them that the files are now not considered local storage, but I see your point.
  • If you already had OneDrive set up then no changes were made. I haven't had any issues with missing data but I have OneDrive setup and working.
  • So glad this didn't happen to my family computer- everything went fine. Though I did join the release preview Insider ring and then updated... I wonder if that's what saved me...
  • I didn't take part at the Insider program and installed the update with the official tool on the microsoft website. And it went completely fine without data loss, too.
  • Quality control also isn't good enough for my opinion. Windows insider mostly just want to try the new update, new features. They don't care about reporting anything. I don't understand Microsoft is trying to save money for hiring special bug hunter as Windows 7 era?? Rely on Windows Insider is really wrong..
  • Nadella wanted to save cash so he canned the dedicated qa teams.
  • Agreed, this failure is more proof that the Insider program is insufficient by itself. Microsoft risks losing its standing as the business OS of choice if it can't deliver updates without problems as serious as this one. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call.
  • This I agree with, makes me wonder if Insiders in the Fast and Slow rings actually provide feedback or just use it as a way of bragging that they have the latest version of Windows. The Windows Insider program should be run like the Xbox Insider program, you can unlock a higher ring only when you have provided enough feedback.
  • Microsoft didn't eliminate QA when they added the Insider Program. The Insider Program is primarily about feature communication (both directions), and not a replacement for QA. That's a myth propagated by Microsoft haters. That said, by the time you get to the Release Preview ring, that's also a huge number of users able to alert if any serious problems across a wider array of hardware and software configurations, beyond what any QA team could ever possibly test as part of a test plan. Do all of those users report things? Of course not. But some do. And if you're in any ring and your documents suddenly disappear, there's a good chance you're going to report it. Whatever the problem is that some users are having, it must be quite rare to have missed their QA and most Insider reporting (though I read that this was reported by some Insiders and still missed/ignored by MS -- if that's true, that's a serious but separate problem). I had upgraded several computers via Windows Update, even putting it on a WSUS server before I heard any reports of problems. All of mine went fine. My biggest complaint with 1809 is that the newer version of Skype broke SMS sync with my Windows Phone, but there are so few of us still using Windows Phones, it's hard to hold that against them.
  • So pajama parties, outsourcing to goat lovers and promoting a rainbow freak culture wouldn't have anything to do with this, right?
  • Nailed it. After Windows 7, MS pinched too many pennies and offshored too much coding & testing to s-holes. Or to unqualified & inexperienced H1B's. They need to stop this and hire well-trained American coders.
  • 😶. Take your bigotry elsewhere. It's a well known fact Microsoft laid of the quality assurance team and programmatic testers during the massive bouts of lay offs.
  • What was bigoted about that? It's true. MS is pandering to SJW nonsense and outsourcing everything they can. It's anti-American at the very least.
  • Imagine thinking that outsourcing is new or based on "SJW nonsense." Sorry, companies outsourcing has been going on for decades and it's exactly a result of free-market economics that you love. If things are prohibitively costly here, they outsource it. Also "goat-lovers" - that's quite a bigoted thing to say. Or "rainbow freak".
    Remember that Microsoft is a multinantional company and also has no obligation to be "American." It's a private organization.
  • I'm tired of my tax dollars being spent by the billions to support their BS. Government at EVERY level is paying their bills and what does the host country get but a parasite draining our lifeblood and feeding other countries with the scraps. As to the goat lovers and rainbow freak brigade, FACTS ARE FACTS! They've been pushing the SJW crap on their Twitter presence which quite frankly makes a lot of us extremely uncomfortable. Don't like it? TOUGH COOKIES SNOWFLAKE!
  • @Silent Patriot to be honest with you, you are the one going on about it. So really, who is the snowflake here?
    Best go outside and get some fresh air, better still travel. It would do you some good.
  • "s-holes" - you follow your president like parrots, don't you? This revisionist BS is out of hand lol. Windows 8 had huge quality control and most of it was developed in-house.
    Satya Nadella fired huge portions of the quality team to replace with us Insiders hoping it'd be just as good. Obviously, it's not.
    "Unqualified and inexperienced H1Bs" -do you even know the requirements for an H1B hire? They have to submit extensive documentation, they cannot be replacing an American employee, and they can't be paid any less (it's not about undercutting).
    They would hire "well-trained American coders" if they existed in a number that's the demand. I go to a huge university and a significant portion of Computer Science students here are international. Your kids just don't want to do the study or the job. And even among those who are Americans, it's mostly kids from families that immigrated at some point. Just look around. It's facts. Don't care about your feelings as y'all like to say.
  • Also the visa process is insanely loooooooong. It can take several decades to even get a green card.
  • Yeah it's the Muslims and the gays and the lazy millennials, right? Honestly, you're an ignorant *******. And FYI: The word "patriot" is hard to apply to Trump supporters.
  • Just as expected, you start losing the debate to facts and the name calling begins.
  • I believe the term "rainbow freak culture" would be considered the same thing to some.
  • Nope, you're a moron. There is no debate. Isolated and lonely pc enthusiast supports a troll.
  • I am a patriot and a Trump supporter. I also don't give a flip who you left wing nuts want to **** with. You have a problem with that?
  • Perhaps I would if I understood what you were trying to say with that statement.
  • I was replying to Andrew.
  • This is Windows Central. Not RedState.com. If you have something to say about Windows/Hardware/Software/Xbox/etc., please proceed, otherwise, keep the political posturing to yourself.
  • Are you going to defect to Russia with him?
  • I suppose you would rather the stuck up, racially divided, drunk in the office atmosphere of Mad Men?
  • Dona Sarkar must be bricking it right now. Can see her getting pulled into a senior leadership meeting on Monday and her boss starting the conversation with "you had one job..."
  • updated 3 PC'S without no problem. She did her job.
    Whoever thought it was a good idea To start roll it without any patches that's person they wanna talk to.😏
  • She controls/manages roll.out. That's her job?
  • Funny, right?
  • That won't happen...they don't care about quality and anyway, she can't be held accountable for a program involving users, not employees
  • It really depends on what information she had. If she had a lot of clear feedback that this is happening then yes. Otherwise this is actually approved by the board (by laying of previous quality control department), and unless Microsoft stock doesn't go down because of this, and it won't, no one cares, business as usual...
  • @Jcmg62. It's not Dona Sarkar's fault, the fault is with the fact Microsoft laid off quality assurance and programmatic testers whose entire job is to prevent issues like this from happening.
  • Check her Twitter. Tweet about this issue isn't even pinned and it is covered with "ninja cats." I hope they discuss my feedback about the dark theme before boss gets down to the "you had one job..."
  • no problems here 👌
  • Till now; I have updated three laptops that are including a lot of documents to Windows 10 October 2018 update; without missing any files... No Problems Here...
  • Here's my scenario: 1. I have a separate partition on my SSD. So there are two drives, drive C and D. All my important
    files are saved in Drive D. I also change the location of documents folder to D, same with Music, Video and Downloads folder. 2. As soon as I freshly installed Win10 last year, I uninstalled One Drive anywhere. I search google on how to disable and uninstall One Drive. So since the beginning, no One Drive task is present in my system (I use Google Drive). All my files are safe after installing the October update. Does the scenarios above spared me from file deletion?
  • Probably but what happens when drive D catastrophically fails and you have no backup, either to the cloud using OneDrive or on a completely separate external drive? I would rather have OneDrive take care of that for me and I also have a separate File History backup as well.
  • Like I said, Google Drive does all the backup for me. Google drive was installed and all my files in D are saved over Google Drive folder.
  • You probably shouldn't rely only one
    Type of cloud storage just in case.
  • Hello sir. As much as I want to use multiple cloud storage, I can only afford one since my internet connection is not that fast. But I make sure that have more than one physical backup of all my important files. 1. I have a 2TB seagate external storage so all imporant files (data, documents, music, videos, installers, etc) are all saved there.
    2. I also have a 128GB USB flash drive where the more important files that I access everyday is saved.
    3. Most of my multimedia files are burned in a DVD disc
    4. Of course, there is a google drive storage I'm not worried about storage actually. In the first place, I was trying to figure out what saved my files from becoming a victim of this deletion issue. Because if the two I initially mentioned (having a separate partition and uninstalling one drive) spared me from the deletion. If it does, then this is what I will suggest for other users to do so they, too, may be spared as well.
  • I which case that's fine you have one backup but I wouldn't rely on it, get yourself an external drive and set up file history for an offline backup.
  • Nope, it didn't 😃 I use OneDrive for everything, and I haven't had any issues like that. So I guess this has nothing to do with OneDrive 😃
  • If you had OneDrive set up already then the issue in question wouldn't have affected you, if you didn't.... well that's another matter entirely.
  • I have used one drive from the beginning on the same partition as windows and have never had an issue, so no that isn't what saved you. Software bugs are weird.
  • I always have backups and I didn't have that problem on either my Surface Pro or my Dell desktop, but better safe than sorry I guess.
  • My guess is the files missing is related to the recent changes to OneDrive. I decided I wanted separate local document folder and a Cloud document folder so my data are fine. Upgraded 2 PCs so far, too busy and tired to upgrade the other 6. So far the new update is ok for me.
  • If this is the case, then the files will come back in a few hours or days as the PC synch back to the internet version.
  • Well thank god MS has no mobile presence, just business users (sarcasm intended). If I was still in business I would be jumping ship quick smart because this sort of upgrade stuff up happens too often for comfort and I could not afford the downtime MS appears to cause.
  • Business wouldn't be using this branch or getting this update now though. Quick smart, you say? Word? Mmk
  • Agreed most business are doing like we're doing staying an update behind. we're rolling out 1803 now and will roll out 1809 around when 1903 drops. You need that time to test all of your LoB apps to make sure nothing breaks.
  • The PCs at my workplace are still on the anniversary update 😄
  • Quick smart is a colloquialism in the English speaking world Burnsy. In TX we usually said "right smart".
  • Business users don't have to put up with this kind of nonsense. The enterprise version actually allows you to control updates. Where I work, we are still running 1607.
  • All fine on my pc. Just updated as i had been on release preview. Unfortunate for those who has this experience.
  • Same. I feel sorry for those who are frustrated over their files being deleted after updating.
  • What a nightmare. I don't have One Drive installed (except the UWP app which doesn't have desktop sync), and all my files are stored on a separate partition. The only issue I've found is a driver problem which causes INTERNAL_POWER_ERROR BSOD after waking from sleep
  • These are my setup, too. And these are what, I probably assumed, spared me from this deletion issue.
  • Nah, I use OneDrive and had no issues with the update across multiple of my PC's (a work computer had a problem with Internet connectivity and Edge accessing web sites, but I think that's somehow related to Group Policy security settings and something that changed or tightened in 1809 being incompatible with the company's defaults). All my own computers are great. OneDrive alone is not the culprit (though it could be related to the problem as others have suggested here, perhaps based on whether or not it was already setup prior to the update). Certainly, I would not accept for a moment that you are safer because you use Google Drive, as you mentioned in a prior comment. If anything, I'd say that's a slightly greater risk overall, simply because it will be even less thoroughly tested than OneDrive. Whatever the problem, it must be quite rare, or it would have been caught before general release.
  • This is why all my important documents and things are in the cloud
  • I update two devices and everything it's fine so far.
  • I updated 4 pc's no problem I was going to update the rest of the home devices today (sigh), I thought this one had gone really well.
  • Does people keep their important files and data in C drive without doing partition and keeping them in D drive to avoid missing important files and data ?
    In my case, I have been doing insider previwer for years and updating a week but never meet this kind of problem.
  • Almost all PCs, Laptops, Tablets come with a single (visible) partition set up for o/s and data. The average joe is not going to fiddle around with partitions. Heck, most people don't even defrag their mechanical drives. Fragmented mechanical drives are the main reason why PCs slow down over time.
  • Agreed. The average person barely knows the difference between local and cloud storage. Personally I'm glad that MS made the folders the same, this should actually PREVENT this type of occurrence in the future for most people who don't know how or even that they should back up.
  • My update didn't have any problems that I'm aware of. I'm in Kenya and I can still see the 'Update Now' under the October 2018 title on the Miicrosoft website. It must be a U.S. thing.
  • Microsoft overeacts when Americans have a problem.
  • I wonder if these problems are on non Surface devices. I have the OG Surface Book and haven't had any problems. I'm only curious because I would hope that at least on Microsoft own hardware that there were no issues which is the reason why I purchased a Surface device over a other OEMs.
  • no I have any issues my 2 pc and there are both on 18.09
  • Still trying to get everyone to use OneDrive, I see.
  • On my Surface Go, the update disabled the screen brightness control. Its stuck and doesn't change. Also weirdly, the labels changed to 25% 50% 75% and so on for a little while and then changed back to 'brighter, brightest, etc"
  • Happens occasionally on my SP4. Usually something happened to the sensor hub driver that controls all the sensors. Device manager will show an error next to it. uninstall and restart tends to fix it
  • Good and bad stuff from MS. Good that they're admitting theres a problem and reacting to it (unlike other companies), but bad that they didn't do enough testing. No issue from me as the update has yet to hit my devices.
  • no issues on Surface Go update. All files intact- both OneDrive and My Documents folder (local)
  • My Surface Go & Surface Laptop were updated. No problems. Also updated my Church's Surface Book 2 and Surface 3 without any issues. A Church Surface Pro 3 remains to be updated.
  • In both Windows machines (tower an laptop) that I have it went smoothly, whit no loss. Either way, I always make a backup before making any kind of update.
  • It is apparently better to save your files not in the default folders (documents, pictures etc) but instead in your own folders, seem to have happened in some previous big updates to for some folks.
    Can the desktop (folder) get accidentally cleaned this way to or is that safer to put your files in?
  • Upgraded using the Windows 10 Update Assistant with no problems. My files are usually in my OneDrive folder and nothing happened to them. I did have a handful of unimportant files that I forgot about scattered in the pictures folder but those were fine as well.
  • I think you actually mean "consumers"...
  • Offline backup for the win. I didn't lose anything after the update so all is good... On my end.
  • Another Nadellasoft screwup. This issue was actually reported before rollout but since Nadella relies on social mobs to upvote issues instead of professionals to judge them it never got fixed.
  • Man that is a bummer for those folks. They should have backed up their data before the upgrade like recommended... Personally I don't really care what my Windows 10 OS does with my files. I have learned many years ago to always expect the unexpected, and always have a redundancy now for important data. It is more of an inconvenience for me than a devastating blow that way :)
  • I haven't had any files deleted and everything is running fine. In fact, I had an issue where Timeline/Task View would no longer work for me and updating to this new build fixed that.
  • Same here. No issues and the issue with my Settings app having broken Display settings (Night Light/Brightness/etc) is fixed now. All is working smoothly and faster.
  • Something is going on here! I understand this is an isolated issue but some users here reported the same. Either Microsoft is not testing the build enough or insiders are not reporting their issues.
  • It's impossible to test, reit