How to get my restored files back

Hi. I have a Windows 10 OS and tried to do a System Restore b/c a downloaded program caused some problems. Well the restore didn't work and I did a system back up onto an external hard drive (backed up the system, photos, music, documents, etc). Then I did an original system restoration. So, now I have all of these files on the external hard drive (like: Back up, documents, N360 back-up, etc). When I click on the files I don't see my photos, etc. Can anyone tell me how to put my documents and photos back on this computer? Thanks.

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Clarification Request
So you tried backup with the Windows 10 backup?

That seems to get posts like yours. As it stands there are many backup options so restoring changes with each method.

1. File History.
2. System Image Backup.
3. Others.

Pick the method you used and google "Windows 10 restore files from" then the method you used.

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that's because some "folders" really aren't

They are 'symlinks'.

In Windows systems, Documents, Pictures, and the other main folders which appear instead link to one or more files which they are linked to, so when you open these "fake" or "symlinks" you see all those files. To find the files where they really exist, you need to run a Search for all files with *.jpg and other image format files. Same for *.doc files. That should find all folders which hold those file types.

If something breaks the symlinks, then all you see is often nothing appearing there, but the files are still there in the folders that were previously "symlinked" to the "fake" folder.

Post was last edited on March 14, 2019 1:42 AM PDT

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Thanks - But How?

Sorry - where do I do the search for the jpeg and doc files? They are currently on the external hard drive, I think.

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Re: how do I search

Since you didn't really tell how you did the backup, it's unsure where they are, and even if they are there. That's why James asked you to search for it.

Can you tell more about the way you did the "system backup" you mentioned? To backup files a "file backup" is better than a "system backup", but that doesn't mean that what you did didn't work.

And just a suggestion, in the future, if you do a backup, check you can actually find the data (instead of just assuming or hoping it), before deleting the original files.

Now to answer your question.
The common way to search is in File Explorer. Go to the (root file of) that external drive, and search for *.jpg or *.jpeg and *.doc or *.docx (picture and Word documents can be both). tells how to search in File Explorer.

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Re: files

You click on a file on the backup and you don't see the picture.

- What exactly do you click on? A folder on your external drive or a file?
- And what do you see then?

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