Suddenly my Ubuntu 14.04 is not showing any Desktop files or folders. Additionally when I click on Documents, Music, Pictures, Downloads, or Videos, I see this error message:

error screenshot

Output for running cat ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs is:

# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you're
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.

I also lost all of all files located at /home/username/A which directory is currently lost/hidden.

How I can get back all files? And get access to Documents, Music, Pictures, Downloads, and Videos?

  • 1
    There is an unexpected "|" at the end of the XDG_MUSIC_DIR line. Perhaps this causes the whole user-dirs.dirs file to be ignored? Please remove this and try again.
    – Jos
    Oct 10, 2015 at 10:44
  • 1
    @Jos That's the cursor, not a pipe.
    – UTF-8
    Oct 10, 2015 at 11:08
  • Did you install your system in a language different from English?
    – UTF-8
    Oct 10, 2015 at 11:08
  • Do you know the name of one of the files you're missing and can you try sudo updatedb&&locate szNameOfFile? We can then take it from there. Also, do a smartctl --all /dev/XdY of the device you're having trouble with and post that to paste.ubuntu.com and provide the link back into your question.
    – Fabby
    Oct 11, 2015 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


I changed nothing. I just created five directories named Documents,Music,Pictures,Downloads, Videos inside /home/partho/ and dragged and dropped the directories to the bookmarks bar left at the screen.

See the video how I dragged and drop.

Now Documents,Music,Pictures,Downloads,Videos are created as bookmarks and they are now accessible but lost data couldn't be retrieved.


It is usually the fault of some installed packages that unexpectedly hide user's files. In my case, it was LinuxDC++. In such a scenario, one's files are usually in the hidden folders in home directory. I found mine in one of the FileLists in .dc++ folder.

To view hidden files/folders, press Ctrl+H in the desired directory. The files/folders whose names begin with a . are the hidden ones; you are most likely to find your files there.

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