We previously warned you that the October 2018 update for Windows 10 was deleting people’s files, and now Microsoft has basically confirmed the issue by pulling the update for now.
Over on Microsoft’s support site, they’ve updated with a note saying they are pausing the update while they look into the issue more—and they say very clearly that if you have already downloaded the update, you should not install it for now.
We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809)* for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.
If you have been affected by the file deletion bug, they also ask you to contact them to help sort out the issue, and to stop using the device until you do—which is interesting, and usually means the recovery option will include using a tool to recover deleted files—if you use your PC a lot, it can overwrite those files before they can be recovered.
If you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files after an update, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT, or find a local number in your area https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4051701/global-customer-service-phone-numbers. Alternatively use a different device to contact us at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/contactus/(link will vary according to country of origin).
This was also echoed by Dona Sarkar, who runs the Windows Insider Program, who mentioned that Microsoft has the tools to get your files back:
#WindowsInsiders If you've run into the "missing files after update" issue for 1809/October 2018 Fall update, please call our support line. They have the tools to get you back to a good state. This build is no longer available to download manually: https://t.co/Ce9WVILknp pic.twitter.com/fvisQi1c8g
— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) October 6, 2018
This is a very unfortunate bug, and it’s unlikely that it affected a huge number of users, but with 700 million installs of Windows 10, Microsoft needs to be more careful with their updates because even a tiny percentage of users being affected can still be millions of people.
It’s also a good warning to always backup your computer before doing anything major, including installing one of the Spring/Fall updates for Windows 10, which are always major updates with a ton of changes.