What is the AppData folder in Windows 10?

Every Windows PC contains the AppData folder. While most users may never need to access this folder, it can be useful if you want to reset settings or clear user-specific settings for a program.

Because so many applications use it, it’s important to know what the AppData folder is, how to access it, and what data it contains. This guide explains everything you need to know about the AppData folder in Windows 10.

What is the AppData folder?

The AppData (Application Data) folder is a hidden folder in Windows 10 that contains all the data specific to your user profile for the programs installed on your PC. Several apps, including: internet browsersEmail programs and games store data such as your profiles, bookmarks, signatures, short notes, add-ons, and saved files in the AppData folder.

The folder has three subfolders that contain the following data and settings:

  • Roaming subfolder: This folder stores important settings such as user profiles, bookmarks, and other data that is transferred (roamed) when you log on to other PCs on corporate networks.
  • Local subfolder: This folder stores data specific to a single PC and is not synced or transferred from computer to computer, even if you log on to a corporate network. You can find temporary data, downloaded cache files and other large files in the local subfolder, which is specific to a PC. You can delete the temporary data in the Local subfolder to free up storage space on your hard drive without any problems.
  • LocalLow subfolder: This folder contains Windows or program folders such as browser add-ons for applications that run with very limited security settings. For example, if you run Internet Explorer in protected mode, it can only access the LocalLow folder because it can’t access the root Local folder to write data to.

As long as you are signed in with the same profile, your data can be transferred from one device to another because this folder contains application data for many of your programs.

AppData vs Program Data

There is a difference between the AppData folder and the ProgramData folder. The ProgramData folder stores a single set of files or settings for a program, and the data is used by multiple users. For example your antivirus program can store its settings and scan logs in the ProgramData folder and share them with all users on the computer.

Remark: In earlier versions of Windows, the ProgramData folder was known as the All Users AppData folder.

These guidelines are not always followed, as a browser sometimes stores settings and user data in the local folder, but you should expect it to store in the Roaming folder.

In addition, some apps may store their settings in your documents folder or your power user account folder, while others may store data in the registry or another system folder. Windows app developers can also store data wherever they want.

Where to find AppData

If there are multiple user accounts on your PC, each will have an AppData folder with its own contents. In this way, Windows programs can store multiple sets of settings for many users.

The AppData folder for each user account can be found in the user’s directory. For example, if your username is Joe, you can find your AppData folder at C:\Users\Joe\AppData standard.

To view the folder, you can put the address in the address bar in File Explorer, show hidden folders and browse to your user account folder at C:\Users\Joe. You can also type %APP DATA% in the address bar and go directly to the AppData\Roaming folder of the user currently logged in to the computer.

What you can do with AppData files

Most Windows users do not need to know that the AppData folder exists, which is why it is hidden by default.

You rarely need to move or delete files from the folder as this can break any program that uses those files. However, you can backup the data or transfer some of it from one computer to another, or you can copy the files to a flash drive or cloud storage to keep the original folder on your PC intact.

You can also back up the save files of a PC game or the settings of a specific program. You can also dig into the AppData folder, find the program’s folder and copy it to another location. This way you copy the folder to the same place on a new PC and the game or program uses the same settings.

However, copying the AppData folder settings may not work for all programs because some programs store their settings in the Windows registry or elsewhere in the system. Many developers store files in the AppData folder so that you can easily export or sync the app’s data between devices.

How to access the AppData folder in Windows 10

While you normally don’t need to do anything with the AppData folder, it’s helpful to know how to open it and what you can find in it.

The folder is hidden by default, so you can only see it if you show hidden files in Windows Explorer. After making the AppData folder visible, you can open it and delete or copy all the files.

There are a number of approaches you can use to unhide the AppData folder, such as unhiding hidden folders through File Explorer or Control Panel.

Make AppData folder visible via file explorer

You can find the AppData folder through the search bar in Windows 10.

  1. Open Explorer
  1. Select VisionOptions and then select Change folder search options
  1. Then select the Vision tab, then select Show hidden files, folders and drives in the Advanced settings section. Select Apply Okay

Unhide AppData folder by unhiding hidden folders

If you can’t use the search function to find the AppData folder, you can go through the Control Panel.

  1. Open Control panelsearch File Explorer Options in the Control Panel search box and select File Explorer Options
  1. Select Vision tab in the File Explorer Options window, then select Show hidden files, folders and drives
  1. Then select ApplyOkay to save your changes.
  1. You can find the AppData folder at C:\Users\YourUsername, where the username is your Windows profile ID. Open ExplorerThis PCLocal Disk C:Users Your username

Find out what’s in the hidden AppData folder

The AppData folder may be hidden, but it contains a whole bunch of useful information that is unique to the apps on your Windows PC. The folder is useful when troubleshooting apps or programs, such as when Discord won’t open or the notification area or icons are missing on Windows 10 among others.

Leave a comment and let us know if you found this guide helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.