Top 4 Ways to Fix “This Folder is Empty” on Windows 10/USB

Recently saved an essay to take a break only to return and see this folder is empty? You aren't alone. Windows displays this message whenever the folder doesn't contain files that are visible to the user although there can be deeper reasons too.

1Why Does "This Folder is Empty" Happen?

Aside from the simple reason of the folder actually being empty, the most common reasons for this error appearing are:

  • The hard drive is experiencing partition errors

  • The hard drive has been attacked by a virus or malware

  • You moved the folder to another destination

  • The system settings are such that some of the files are hidden from view

Disregarding human error, these reasons are troublesome and can cause this folder is empty Windows 10. Hope isn't completely lost and if you follow each of our fixes then the chances of being able to access your files again are high.

2How to Fix "This Folder is Empty" Error?

We've found 4 methods that are the most effective and below you can find steps for each of them.

1Show Hidden Files

Start by checking if your Windows settings could result in certain files being hidden. Typically this setting relates to program files that users don't normally need access to, but there's a possibility of it overlapping and hiding other files too.

Step 1. Open the folder which shows empty. Then click on "View".

Step 2. Next, click on "Options".


Step 3. Next, below "Advanced settings", scroll through the list to locate "Hidden files and folders".

Step 4. Select "Show hidden files, folders, and drives", press "Apply", then "OK".

windows 10 show hidden files

Doing this will make all hidden files and folders visible to the user. these usually appear with transparent icons.

2Using a Data Recovery Software

iMyFone AnyRecover has shown promising results in a lot of situations where data has been corrupted, accidentally deleted, or infected with a virus. As a result, it's the best software to overcome this folder is empty especially if your files were wiped.


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Why AnyRecover easily recovers data?

If  your folders show empty, or you accidentally lost some important files, you can easily recover your data by utilizing AnyRecover

AnyRecover supports over 1000 formats of different file formats such as documents, audio, videos, images, etc.

You can recover your lost data from any device ranges from internal to extremal hard disk drive and from Camcorder to digital camera.

It offers a free trial for you to determine whether it work or not.

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Step 1. Download iMyFone AnyRecover on your computer, open the program and select the "All-Round Recovery" feature.


Step 2. Locate the folder which shows empty by clicking "Browse", then press "Next".

all round location

Step 3. Select a specific file type to reduce the scanning time, or check "All File Types" for a broader scan, then click "Scan".

all round file type

Step 4. After the scan concludes, explore all of the data that was found and find the files you want to restore. Select them  to recover.

all round recover

If the empty folder problem occurs on a USB storage device then AnyRecover is applicable for that too. Just connect the USB device and from the main menu choose "External Device Recovery". The process is similar to the above steps and is just as effective.

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3Using Attrib Command

Windows includes hundreds if not thousands of useful features that users don't use as often as they should, and the Attrib command is one of those. By running this command in the Command Prompt app, there's a good chance of this folder is empty going away.

Step 1. Type "cmd" into your Windows search bar, right-click the system app, and click "Run as Administrator".


Step 2. If the storage device that the empty folder error appears on is a USB flash drive or external hard drive, connect it now.

Step 3. Type the command "attrib -h  -r -s /s /d G:\*.*" and press the Enter key. If recovering files from a USB storage device or a secondary hard drive, change G:\ accordingly.


Step 4. Wait until the command is processed and finishes running, then check if your files appear in the folder.

Messing around with the Command Prompt can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. For the best chance of this fixing this folder is empty Windows 10, follow these steps to the letter!

4Using Disk Check Tool

The final solution you can try is running the Disk Check tool that is built-in to Windows. This relatively straightforward feature can detect hard drive errors and most of the time will repair them too.

Step 1. Search and open "This PC" by using the search bar at the bottom-left of your taskbar.

Step 2. Right-click on the relevant storage device and click "Properties".

Step 3. Select the "Tools" tab and click on Error Checking's "Check" button.


Step 4. Follow the error detection process steps on-screen until the scan finishes.

With this type of scan, depending on your hard drive size, expect to wait for as long as an hour. Afterwards, you may find that there were system errors preventing files from being displayed and if that's the case, reparations can be made.


There you have it! Try each fix and we guarantee that one of them will make this folder is empty disappear. If you don't want to waste any time then we recommend jumping straight to iMyFone AnyRecover as this program offers the highest chance of resolution and will quickly make missing files reappear.

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By  Simon Marcus , to Deleted Files Recovery

Updated on Jun 01, 2020