My Favorites file is gone, how can I recover it? I'm using Internet
Explorer and Windows 7.
Though you typically access your favorites via Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer's Favorites file actually stores and accesses the links to your favorite websites in a folder located on your hard drive. By default, this folder is located in C:\users\[user name]\Favorites. Like other files and folders on your hard drive, you can move this file to other locations or even accidentally delete it. In addition, the file could become damaged by a power surge, unexpected shutdown, or a malicious program.
If your Favorites file can't be accessed via Internet Explorer or is missing
from your hard drive, you first want to double check to be sure that you are
signed into your computer as the correct user. Since the file is meant to
store personal favorites for each user, each user has a personal file for
storing favorites. If you share your computer with someone else, or if you
have signed on using a guest or administrator account rather than your own
personal account, Internet Explorer will not necessarily retrieve your
personal favorites. Find out how you are logged in by clicking Start and
seeing if your user name appears at the top.
The user name at the top of the Start screen is clickable. Double-click your user name and your Users folder will automatically open. From there you can see if your Favorites file is where it is supposed to be. Since you said the file is gone, we won't expect to see it there. However, it could be in a different location on your hard disk. It's not unusual for a mouse-click gone bad to result in the accidental dragging and dropping of folders into other folders.
To search your computer for the missing folder, go to Start and enter the word "favorites" into the search bar. Windows 7 will search your hard drive and list all folders, files, and documents it finds containing this word. Because the Favorites folder is a system generated folder, if Windows finds it, it will list it near the top of the search results under Programs. If the Favorites folder is listed, right-click it, choose Properties, and then click the Location tab. You'll see its location and have the option to restore it to its default location.
Another common problem with missing files and folders is accidental deletion. If your Favorites file was accidentally deleted somehow, it could possibly be recovered by going to the Recycle Bin and searching for it. Sort the contents of the Recycle Bin alphabetically and scroll down to the "F" section. Is your Favorites folder there? If so, right-click it and choose Restore.