Windows 7 Professional

I had a large number of files in a folder. I moved these files (selected and dragged them in Windows Explorer) to the users Documents Library (I meant to get their My Documents folder but had accidentally opened the library location instead). The files/folders never appeared in the library but disappeared from the original location. I tried using the "Undo" feature of explorer to restore the files and they did not return. When I go to the library properties, the library contains a the user's redirected network share \server\volume\username\documents with the words "Default Save Location" and then on the next line "Unsupported" next to the redirect.

Where did the files go and is there any way to get them back?

2 Answers 2


The way the libraries work, they are not meant to be used directly as folders in the way you used them, but rather are composites of whatever folder(s) you associate with that type of library. So you should never move files directly to a library; rather, add the folder location to the library, to have the files appear there.

Along with the ability to show the files from more than one folder (i.e. the Documents library could show files from C:\DOCS, D:\DOCUMENTS, etc.) the libraries are oriented around the content type. So the Documents library is, by default, defined to show only what Windows thinks are document files. Often it won't even show PDFs, nor exes, pictures, etc.

However, since you probably haven't changed the default library settings, you can still get to the files that you moved there. The default location for the Documents library is My Documents. So if you open the My Documents folder directly, you will likely find the files that you moved.

If they're not in the My Documents folder, they are likely in the "\server\volume\username\documents" location; again, open that folder directly, not through the Library.

Last, if still not found, the documents may be stored in the hidden Libraries folder, which is at C:\Users(User-Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries.

You may also want to right click on the Documents library folder, choose Properties, and then change the "optimize" setting to "general".

  • Thanks for taking time to respond (and to remind me about this question). I was able to resolve my problem and will post below).
    – scotru
    Mar 1, 2014 at 9:15

So this turned out to be an interesting permissions problem--not directly related to the Library issue. I should probably have included explicitly in my question that this is a AD domain environment using redirected folders on all user accounts. It turned out that while the user I used to move the files had full permissions to the target location, and had full rights to the files in the source location, the target rights where not set to cascade down the directory structure. As a result, the user had the ability to write to the target folder but did not have the needed permissions to view or read the files once they were moved (I think related to the creator permission). As a result, the copied files seemed to "disappear" as the user I used to drag the files across to the target folder no longer had permissions to list or read them. It was pretty disconcerting.

However, when I went to the server and browsed the same target location as the domain administrator, I was able to find all the files safe and sound. Using the domain admin account to assign the user account full permissions to the files resolved the issue.

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