Folder is empty but contains files and shows size in Windows 11/10

Are you freaking out over the unexpected This folder is empty message on the screen when you open a folder? This can become more alarming when you know, for a fact, that you specifically transferred the files from this folder. If you are still unsure and confused, go back and see if the Windows partition shows the size. If so, you’ve encountered the most common Windows folder error. A large number of users have encountered this problem. This article will help you fix the problem and find your files.

Why would a folder show empty when files are there?

  1. Hidden files: In most cases, the hidden attribute leads to folders displaying an empty error. Check and see if you have hidden the files by mistake.
  2. Malware/Virus/Red Files: Viruses or malware can sometimes change file attributes. The virus hides the files and shows the folder as empty.
  3. Damaged files: Did you know that corrupted or damaged files can lead to this folder error. The only solution is to repair the damaged device or files to restore them.
  4. Disk problem: Another reason for folders showing empty error is improper deletion or problem with external storage.

Fix folder is empty but contains files and shows size

Now that we know the reasons, follow these suggestions to bring the files back to your Windows 11/10 computer so that you can view them.

  1. Hidden files and folders
  2. Run the ChkDsk command
  3. Scan the folder with security software
  4. Use recovery software to find the files

You will need administrator permission to run some of these solutions.

1]Hidden files and folders

If a file is marked hidden, it will be visible with the default File Explorer settings. It’s possible that someone hid it or you copied a folder where the files were already hidden. You can reveal them and remove the hidden property using file explorer or terminals. Make sure to open the folder and check if you can view the files.

Enable via File Explorer

Show hidden items in File Explorer

  • To open File Explorer (Win + E)
  • Click on the Show menu in the toolbar to open the Explorer menu
  • Hover your mouse over it Show then uncheck the box Hidden option

If you can’t find it, click on the three-dot menu and click on Options

Show hidden file folder drives

  • In Folder Options, switch to the View tab.
  • Here you must enable Show hidden files, folders and drives option option.
  • Click Apply and press the OKAY to confirm the change made.
  • To remove the hidden attribute, select all files and click Properties.
  • Uncheck the box next to Hidden and apply the changes.

Activate via Windows Terminal or Command Prompt

  • Simultaneously press the Windows and R keys to open the Course box.
  • Type WT and press the Enter key
  • To select Execute as administrator from the pop-up window.
  • Type - attrib -h -r -s /s /d x:*.* (Here x is the drive where the folders are empty. Instead of g you can put the name of any drive) and hit enter.
  • Close the windows terminal, and refresh the folder.

If the solution is successful, you will immediately see the missing files!

Lily: Is it safe to delete empty folders or zero byte files?

2]Run the ChkDsk command

If the disk has problems (read, write), you can repair it. Windows has a built-in tool that it uses to repair various computer problems. One of them is a check disk utility that can find and fix drive problems.

  • To open Run Prompt using Win+R
  • Type WT and press the Enter key
  • Type chkdsk /f C: and press the Enter key to run the check disk utility. Replace C with your drive name here.
  • Please wait for the process to complete and check once it is complete.

If you have problems with the system drive, the computer restarts and checks the disk in console mode.

You can also use software offered by the OEM to check on your disk (HDD or SSD) to correct an error.

3]Scan the folder with security software

Sometimes an uncaught malware or virus can do this. It would be best to run different security software than what you already have and check.

We recommend enabling Microsoft Defender or Windows Security if you are using third-party software. If you already use it, download a free antivirus and check it.

4]Use recovery software to reveal the files

One of the best ways to recover missing files is to use third-party data recovery software. There are different software options you can choose from. However, the steps we mentioned will be more or less the same on each software. So, take a look at the steps you need to apply:

  • Choose drive you want to scan.
  • Click on Analysis.
  • Now you have to wait for the scanning to complete.
  • You can use filter type to speed up the detection process.
  • After the process is completed, the scanned (hidden) files can be previewed.
  • Now you can choose files you want.
  • Click on the Retrieve button.

It is advised to save the restored files in another location instead of where they disappeared.


Folders displaying an empty error is a common occurrence. There are various reasons that can lead to this problem. However, you can fix the problem using different solutions. Hopefully one of the fixes listed above will easily fix the problem. What are you waiting for? Use the patches and fix the empty folder issue immediately!

Lily: Free Software to Delete Empty Folders on Windows

How to repair a corrupt folder in Windows?

This is not a folder problem but a disk problem. You can use disk utility to run at disk level and fix if the problem is minor. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to use recovery software to recover the files.

How to Fix Empty Windows Desktop Folder?

Right-click on the desktop, click View and show desktop icons. If you still can’t see it, either you don’t have icons or you’re hidden. Enable the Hidden Folder option using File Explorer and you should be able to view them.

Folder is empty but contains files and shows size

Source link

Steven L. Nielsen