One Drive has taken my files out of my laptop hard drive and replaced with small icon.

Copper Contributor

I had to have Windows 11 removed (it was "upgraded" without my permission), because it was full of bugs and windows 10 reinstalled. When I copied my backed-up files back to my laptop, most had a "red circle X" symbol in the Status column after they were copied. NOW, when I go to my laptop hard drive (Documents Downloads and Photos), all the files are gone and there is a tiny icon that says, "Where are your files" and it takes me to the One Drive! (I had previously de-synced those folders in the One Drive app to try and get rid of the red X's. I also deleted files from the One Drive to make more room.

Microsoft has hijacked my laptop twice at the cost of many hours of frustration. Luckily, when the Windows 11 debacle started, I was able to back up most of my files. Now, I get constant errors telling me to purchase more One Drive space which is like a ransom request. HELP! Can anyone help me get back to my previous Windows 10 working status?

1 Reply


Sounds like you had your files in the cloud only, with files on demand set.

When you ran the backup this will have just backed up the "File on demand" file that links to the cloud.

You then went into OneDrive on the cloud and deleted your files.

You then removed win11 and returned to win10, and restored the backup that pointed to the cloud files (the ones you deleted)


So now the files are gone. Unlee you check the recycle bin in onedrive cloud.