Last week, Microsoft put the brakes on its Windows 10 October 2018 version 1809 update after some reports of post-update data loss. The company has released Windows 10 cumulative updates to several previous versions of the operating system, including the April 2018 Update, Fall Creators Update, Creators Update, and the Anniversary Update.
Microsoft has now fixed this problem, and Windows 10's October 2018 Update should stop deleting these "old" folders full of files.
For everyone else, the updated October 2018 version has been released to Windows Insiders, who can now install and test it out.
As Microsoft's John Cable explains in a post on Microsoft's Windows Blog, the problem was with the "Known Folder Redirection" feature. However, it appears to affect files from Documents, Pictures, and other folders. "Based on feedback from users, we introduced code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders".
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If you installed the update and were stunned to find your photos wiped, Microsoft says you should "minimize your use of the affected device" and immediately call the company for help directly at 1-800-MICROSOFT. Windows Insiders can get their hands on the updated release starting today, and Microsoft says it will "carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data" from Insiders before continuing the public rollout.
The update can be downloaded by Checking for Updates in Settings.
"Once we have confirmation that there is no further impact we will move towards an official re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update", Microsoft explains.
Dona Sarkar, engineering leader of the Windows Insider Program has tweeted that Microsoft is able to restore the removed files.