Exterminator

Community Manager
Staff member
Verified
Windows 10 Bug Causes Data Loss on Android When Copying Files with File Explorer

A bug in Windows 10 causes files copied from one location to another on a PC-connected Android device to vanish completely if the built-in file manager File Explorer is used for the operation.

The issue affects only files that are being moved or copied from an Android folder or storage device to another location on the same Android phone or tablet using an MTP or PTP USB connection, and doesn’t seem to impact copying data on a Windows 10 PC.

So basically, if you connect an Android device to a Windows 10 PC and try to move files with File Explorer from the phone to an SD card or vice-versa, this will result in your data vanishing completely. The transfer appears to be working, but the files do not end up being moved to the destination folder, with no recovery possible for the time being.

The bug has already been confirmed on Windows 10, with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 working correctly. Also, several Android phones appear to be affected, including OnePlus and LG models, Google’s Nexus and Pixel, HTC U11, Nokia phones, and several Xiaomi and Sony models. On the other hand, Samsung’s and BlackBerry’s devices are working correctly, user reports indicate.

Just copy data to the PC and you’re safe
While Microsoft hasn’t yet acknowledged the bug, the easiest way to avoid any data loss is to create a backup that would allow you to restore files at any given time.

And since the issue only affects Android-to-Android file transfers, a possible workaround is to copy data from your Android device to the PC first, and only then move it back to the new location on Android. This basically means that you’re shooting two birds with one stone, as you create a backup of your files and also move them to the new location.

We’re also seeing reports that a number of third-party file managers like Total Commander work correctly, so you could give this a shot as well, though we recommend doing this only after creating a backup. File Explorer, however, remains the most-used file manager on Windows.