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Fix Files Missing From External Hard Drive but Still Taking Up Space

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“Using an external hard disk of 1 TB on my Windows laptop. Lots of files saved on that. But, now I am not able to view any file. When I check the properties of the hard disk, it shows 700 GB of filled with data. Then, I realize those files missing from external hard drive but still taking up space. Even, I tried all kind of option to open the files but still, I did not succeed. These contents are vital for me & I don’t want to lose. Please suggest me a reliable solution to view the files disappeared from the external hard drive or How can I fix files missing from external hard drive but taking up space.”

files missing external hard drive

Is above query seem familiar to you? Are you also suffering from the same issue? If yes, then you are at the right place. I am here to guide you thoroughly to fix files missing from the external hard drive issue and enable you to get back disappeared files which are still taking up space on your hard drive.

Files Missing From External Hard Drive – Possible Reasons

  • Virus or Malware detection
  • Emptying the Files from Hard Drive
  • User Account Erasure from Drive
  • File deletion through Command Prompt
  • Deleting Large Files that bypass Recycle Bin
  • Maybe someone Hide your files from the external hard drive

How to Resolve External Hard Disk Files and Folders Disappeared Error

Here three manual solutions are listed to fix files missing from external hard drives but still taking up space. Perform the steps and resolve the issue:

  1. First, check and Display Hidden Files.
  2. From Drive-in Permission Settings Take Ownership.
  3. Check Drive Errors and Repair Them.

Method 1: Unhide Hidden Files on Windows 10, 8 & 7

Files are missing from the hard drive but taking space. There might be the chance that someone hides your files by changing properties. To unhide the hidden files, perform the steps listed below:

  1. Press Win + R key, and click Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. Now, Select the hard drive from which files are hidden.
  3. If it is a D drive, then type attrib -s -h -r /s /d *.* (here you can use your drive letter in place of D)
  4. In the end, press Enter to view disappeared files from hard drive on Windows 10, 8 and 7.

Method 2: Take Ownership of Drive-in Permission Settings

Taking ownership of drive permission setting is another way to fix files missing from external/internal hard drive but still taking up space error in Windows system.

1. Right-click on the hard drive then select Properties option.
2. After that follow sequence Security >> Advanced from the Advanced Security Settings >> Owner >> Edit >> Other users or groups.
3. Now, from Object Types, un-check everything except Users, Hit OK button.
4. Then, click on Advanced >> Find Now button.
5. From the Search results, hit username which you log into windows, then click OK button.
6. Now, verify correct username in the Object window, and click OK button.
7. Hit checkbox next to Replace owner on sub containers and objects.
8. Now a warning message will be displayed. Simply hit Yes to continue.
9. The status window will display “file permissions being rapidly replaced”.
10. If you are getting “Access is denied” error message. Then, Just Hit Continue.
11. At the end hit OK and check files not showing in external hard drive issue is fixed or not.

Method 3: Check Drive Errors and Repair Them

Microsoft provides chkdsk command to repair hard disk. Follow the steps listed below and fix data files are missing from the hard drive but taking up space.
1. Press Win + X key and hit on Command Prompt (Admin)
2. Now, type chkdsk g: /f (here g is drive letter).
3. Finally, hit Enter key then chkdsk will start to resolve the corruption on the hard drive.

Method 4: Recover Missing Data Files from Hard Drive Easily

The above-mentioned solutions are manual to resolve external hard drive shows used space but empty folders problem. But these methods are lengthy and it might take more time to finish. Also, it can be led to permanent data loss. Sometimes, they fail to find errors and fix. In such situation, the professional tool works best. One of the trusted alternate solutions is proposed by the experts is SysTools Hard Drive Data Recovery Software. This solution can easily retrieve the missing files from an external hard drive and if there is any corruption found on the hard drive then it is the best solution to remove errors and recover the hard drive. Also, this utility is capable enough to recover shift deleted, formatted and corrupted data files from internal and external hard drive.

The Final Words

In this write-up, we discussed all possible ways to fix files missing from external hard drive but still taking up space on hard drive. But as it is very much clear that a professional method is very effective as compared to manual methods. To resolve this external hard disk files and folders disappeared problem. So, the users can go with the professional tool for safe and secure data recovery.

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