How to restore files automatically removed by Windows 10 update?

Hoping someone here can help me with this. I have been searching online for about 2 hours and found lots of answers in other forums, but none that seem to work for my situation. My computer skills are extremely limited. 
What happened, as far as I can tell, is that Windows 10 updated itself sometime last night and, in the process, deleted pretty much everything from my friend's computer, mostly from the desktop file I think.... After poking around for a bit, I found the missing files in "deleted apps" but I don't know what to do about it.  Do we have to download and install everything again? Or is there some way to recover/restore them? 

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Major Windows 10 updates (also known as Feature updates) may un-install apps and programs that are incompatible with the updated Windows version (annoying, yes.. but what do you expect from Microsoft).

This update process doesn't permanently delete anything, it will keep a copy of what it removed during the update in a Windows.old folder that it saves in the root of your C: drive. Updates don't usually remove your data, only the program files and data for the apps it uninstalls. Best thing to do is to re-install the programs it removed with the latest versions for best compatibility, check in Windows.old\Users for anything it might have removed from the desktop (more than likely just the app shortcuts).

As a last resort you can rollback Windows to before the feature update took place. To do this you need to open Windows Settings >> Updates & Security >> Recovery and select the option to "Go back to an earlier build". Note that this recovery option is only available for 30 days following the update, after which the recovery files are automatically removed.

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)  ThirdEarthDesign3 months ago

Thank you ThirdEarthDesign. The problem has been resolved, sort of. He got someone else to look at it who just downloaded new versions of some of what was missing. I had read about the windows.old file but couldn't seem to find it, or the recovery option. I was really tired and stressed at the time and I think the last version of Windows I used was probably XP. I will talk to him and see if he wants to try rolling it back or if he's happy with what he's got. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

iceng4 months ago

What you do is pull the web cable from W10, unless you need it.

And I do not believe your plight will inspire more then catch 22 random opinions..

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)  iceng3 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

Yonatan244 months ago

I believe the computer should have kept everything that was on the computer before the update, so if something went wrong, the previous version could be restored.

I think.

Google it.

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)  Yonatan244 months ago

Thanks, but I already spent enough time Googling it before I posted here. I was hoping to save time by discussing it with someone who could tell me specifically what to do instead of having to comb through hundreds of random opinions on the subject. I don't have any time to waste.

To do that we would need to know what exactly happened, if the files/apps are moved into a save location or instead into a quarantine section.
Last but not least: Windows does not delete apps if you update it.
The only way a lot of apps get lost during an update is if the windows defender was updated as well and the apps in question are pirated copies.

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)  Downunder35m3 months ago

Thanks Downunder. Windows 10 does in fact delete apps, whether they are pirated or not, and it does it automatically, without warning. At least that's what I've been hearing. The excuse is that it's removing old stuff that is incompatible with the new updated version of Windows, but it conveniently targets anything that is not from Microsoft. We found them all under "deleted apps", but no option for restoring/recovering them that I could see. Someone else looked at it for him yesterday and just helped him to download and reinstall some of the ones he wanted the most.