Thousands of pictures have disappeared after I removed sync!!! Where are they?

Copper Contributor

All my pictures files have disappeared that were in my picture folder in Windows -- This PC -- Pictures. i have dozens of sub folders which all should contain photos but there are none there. zero. There should be thousands of photos  from more than 25 years. but only photos are screen shots in one drive. Where are my photos? I accidentally linked onedrive to my PC. I unlinked and deleted the onedrive files to free up my Hotmail email space. All documents, video and music and files were still on my PC except pictures. I restored the picture folder as the message from one-drive said I had 30 days to restore and it's only been about 10 days.  but it's empty except for screen shots that were saved directly to one drive. Where are all my thousands of photos. Where are they? I need them back.

3 Replies
1. Check your online OneDrive through a browser
2. Have you turned on redirection of key folders to OneDrive? The Pictures folder will have moved from your local user profile to OneDrive
3. Contact Microsoft support. A public user forum like this cannot investigate your account

Lastly restore from your backups, which I am sure you have been making over the last 25 years.

@Mike Williams  with the help of microsoft tech support I found that deleting the local drive C:onedrive was the culprit. I restored the thumbnail from my PC recycle bin and all the photos reappeared. It took 2 hours. I am not sure how MYPC/pictures is linked to C: Onedrive. I deleted the latter because I was told if I want to make sure onedrive did no backups from my PC, I had to delete the local onedrive version as well.  Microsoft support says I can go ahead and delete it through regedit but I am afraid the files will disappear again. What exactly is the connection between the directory MyPC/Pictures and C:Onedrive. How are they interconnected? why does deleting the latter remove the contents of the former?

" deleting the local drive C:onedrive " is going to delete the files inside. You need to check folder contents before deleting!

 

"What exactly is the connection between the directory MyPC/Pictures and C:Onedrive. How are they interconnected? why does deleting the latter remove the contents of the former?"

In Win11, look at OneDrive Settings > Sync and Backup > Backup import PC folders to OneDrive
There's a similar interface in earlier versions of Windows. This feature/behaviour has been around for a n umber of years. Key folders are redirected from local user profile on disk to OneDrive subfolders. Basically a version of user-profile roaming using OneDrive rather than local servers.

 

Plus, backup your files. Cloud-synced files are not backups. Every second post here is someone deleting their OneDrive files or forgetting to pay for cloud storage, and losing stuff.