The Windows 10 1809 update has a bug that is possibly one of the worst bugs that a Windows update has ever had. This bug is deleting user data. It’s affecting users both on Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. It doesn’t seem to be affecting a lot of users but the bug isn’t something to be ignored. As for the fix, you can only apply it before you update to the next version and, unfortunately this fix is only for users on Windows 10 Pro. If you’re on the Home version, you should back everything up before you update. Here’s how to fix, or more precisely, prevent Windows 10 1809 deleting user files.
Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged this bug. This fix comes from Reddit user NordicDodge.
Windows 10 1809 Deleting User Files
Open the Group Policy Editor and navigate to the following location.
Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/User Profiles
Look for the policy called “Delete user profiles older than a specified”. Right-click it and select Edit from the context menu. Set the policy to Not Configured or Disabled.
That should make it safe you to upgrade to Windows 10 1809 but, to be safe you should still back your important files up before you upgrade.
Since this fix isn’t from Microsoft, it is possible that it may not work to prevent the bug. The key is to be careful. If you can, you should opt for a clean install instead of using Windows updates. You can also delay the update until a patched update can be pushed but that might not be for a while because Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged this problem. It may do so eventually and a fix could come but in the mean time, exercise extreme caution.
If you’re wondering which files fall victim to this bug, it’s everything you might have saved to your libraries, and to your desktop. These files don’t seem to make it to the Windows.old folder that is created after the update so using the restore feature will not be able to help you much.
Your safest bet really is to take a backup. It will allow you to update to the next version of Windows 10, be able to restore to the older version if you need to, and make sure none of your files are lost. It’s best to set the updating aside for the weekend when you know your work will not be interrupted or that, in the worst case scenario, if you end up with an unusable system you will have time to get it back in working condition.