I accidentally deleted my Official folder and all its contents

How can I get the Official folder back without reinstalling MSFS. I think it will re-generate itself on start up, but I can’t get the sim to start.

Moved to Install, Performance & Graphics .

If you’re on the MS Store Version, try doing a file verification / File Checker (doing so on Steam is an instant re-install but I believe it works properly on Store).

I have to ask, how did you accidently delete the folder, If you delete it it goes to recycle bin, if you did shift-del to permanently delete it that isn’t accidental its deliberate :slight_smile: okay trying to help now, can the folder be undeleted, have a look at the properties of the parent folder and see if you can undelete it: Under previous versions:


even if the sim started up and “regenerated” the folder structure, you’d still have deleted all the data and have to re-download it…so…not sure why you don’t want to just re-install the sim.

The sim install itself is pretty small if I remember rightly…it’s all the data that takes ages…and since you’ve deleted that data, you’ll need to download it again.

That is correct, at least with the Store version; I know nothing about Steam.

If the data is in the Recycle Bin, which I doubt as it’s huge (but fingers crossed), the OP is golden. Otherwise, he needs to uninstall the sim and reinstall from scratch. The sim itself isn’t a big download at all.

You don’t need to reinstall the game. It’ll detect the missing files on startup and download them. Although “reinstalling” is not really a problem. That’s just a few GB and takes a few minutes. Downloading the missing packages is in-game and might take hours.

I know, but the OP says it won’t start. To help him, we have to work with what we’ve got.

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If I may make a suggestion…

Before future situations like this occur, download and install the free version of ‘Recuva.’
If you accidentally delete files/folders, do NOT do anything besides run that software and recover your data.

You can do the same with your Recycle Bin, but sometimes that folder is hidden. Recuva is much easier to use, and works very well, as long as you don’t make changes to the file structure after an accidental deletion.


Hopefully that software does not recover files that have been partially overwritten in the mean time. I know the sim can detect when entire folder structures are missing, but I don’t think it can cope with files that are broken. You may end up with a broken sim recovering deleted files, and then work out which folders are corrupt so they can be deleted then downloaded from scratch.

That’s why I said “If you accidentally delete files/folders, do NOT do anything besides run that software and recover your data.”

Of course, you could backup your drives on a daily basis…


Yes, the longer you leave it, and the more data gets changed, the greater risk of files being corrupted.

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Use it´s own uninstaller , and save your community folder first ~

I really appreciate all the replyies. This problem is the result of a long story. It started last week when I installed a Win 11 update. After that update my Nvidia Control Panel dissappeared. My MSFS is a three monitor display on Surround mode. And since the control panel was gone so was the nice surround I had set up. I could not get anything to download from the Microsoft Store so I uninstalled it but was not able to get it reinstalled. There were other things gone screwy besides the sim so I ultimately restored a System Image Backup that was 3 weeks old. This brought back the Microsoft Store and the Nvidia Control Panel. However, I still cannot get anything from the store for some reason unknown. The reason the Official folder got deleted is because I had moved it to another SSD with a pointer in the original drive. After I did the restore I went to the drive where I had moved the folder to and, yes, it was there, but it was also in the original location. As part of that move procedure I had to delete the Official folder from the original location. So I was thinking why is it back there again so I deleted it. When I did that it olso dissapeared from the new location and I then had no Official folder anywhere. As it turned out the sim now starts and after a short flight there were 38 items that needed to be installed showing up in my Content Manager. It was 109 GB, it took 4 hours to load it all in.
Everything is fixed now. What a hassle just because of Nvidia Control Panel. And what makes it extremely difficult is because you can’t get that app from anywhere but the Microsoft Store and if that’s not working, Oh Boy!

I’ve never used symbolic links; if that’s what you used for your Community folder, I think I read somewhere that File Explorer thinks the original (linked) object is still in its original location. It’s not, but it looks like it is.

If I’m wrong, someone please do correct me.

Symbolic Links work perfectly.

In Windows the link allows an app/program to address the original address of the file or folder and the link points to the real physical address of where the file or folder is.

That way, an app/program doesn’t have to be edited to program in the real physical address which would be a real pain for the programmer/developer.

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I’m sure they do. I was just saying that I’d read that they fool File Explorer into wrongly showing the objects in their original location. It was in these very forums, something to do with installation of MSFS.

I’m not asserting it as a fact. Maybe it only happens sometimes. Maybe it doesn’t happen at all. Maybe the post I read was mistaken. Maybe the post was right but it was a one-off, a glitch. Who knows?

Okay, I see what you are saying.

File Explorer displays the Symbolic links with the folder icon
having a blue arrow on it in the bottom left.

If you open a folder like the \LocalCache\UserCfg.opt file,
It will display the original location of the file in File Explorer
and shows it on the C: drive.

But the \LocalCache folder has a blue arrow displayed on it in File Explorer to signify that it is a Symbolic Folder and has a Symbolic Link.

UserCfg.opt is physically located on my D: Drive.

You see, the FS2020 app\program expects the folder to be on the C: drive.
If I move it to my D: drive, then FS2020 will not run.

But with the Symbolic Link, Windows can point the code to the correct physical location of the folder/file.

Also note that I can go to the C:\ …\LocalCache\UserCfg.opt file and edit it in Notepad.
Notepad will edit the physical file on the D: drive.

Also note that the D:\ …\LocalCache folder icon does not have a blue arrow displayed.
It is a physical folder.

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Thanks for the clear explanation.

Looking at the OP’s last post, I’m still wondering if that’s what he did - delete the original folder-that-wasn’t-really-there.

I took another look at the Official folder in both the original position and in the new position. In the original position all the file names are showing there but they are empty. At the time I deleted them I didn’t notice that they were empty. I think what happened is when I deleted these empty file names, it also deleted the actual files in the new position too since they were linked. Anyway everything is back where it should be and the sim is working just fine.