What Is the ProgramData Folder in Windows?
On modern versions of Windows, you’ll see a “ProgramData” folder on your system drive — usually the C: drive. This folder is hidden, so you’ll only see it if you show hidden files in File Explore. Read: where is the program data
Application data, registry and other location programs store data
RELATED: How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 7, 8 or 10Programs store data in several different places in Windows. It depends on how the developers code the program. They may include:
- Application data directory: Most applications store their settings in the Application Data folder at C:UsersusernameAppData, by default. Each Windows user account has its own Application Data folders, so each Windows user account can have its own settings and application data if programs use this folder.
- Document folder: Some applications — especially PC games — choose to save their settings in the Documents folder at C:UsersusernameDocuments. This makes it easier for people to find, back up, and edit these files.
- Registration Authority: Many applications store various settings in the Windows registry. Registry settings can be system-wide or per-user. However, the registry is just a place for individual settings — apps can’t store files or other larger pieces of data here.
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- App’s own program directory: Back in the days of Windows 95, 98, and XP, programs used to store their settings and other data in their own folders. So, if you installed a program named “Example” for C:Program FilesExample, that application can also save its own settings and other data files at C:Program FilesExample . This is not good for security. Modern versions of Windows limit the permissions programs have, and applications will not be able to write to system folders during normal operation. However, some applications — such as Steam — still save their settings and other data files in their Program Files folder.
What does a program store in program data?
There is also a ProgramData folder. This folder has the most in common with the Application Data folders, but — rather than having an individual folder for each user — the ProgramData folder is shared among all the user accounts on your PC . On Windows XP, there is no C:ProgramData folder. Instead, there is a folder “C: Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication Data”. Starting with Windows Vista, the All Users application data folder has been moved to C:ProgramData. You can still see this folder to this day. If you plug C:UsersAll Users into File Explorer or Windows Explorer on Windows 10, Windows will automatically redirect you to the C:Program Data folder. It will also redirect any programs that try to write to C:UsersAll Users to the C:ProgramData folder.Read more: Zelda Breath of the Wild Guide: How to Get the Thunder Helm As Microsoft says, “this folder is used for non-user-specific application data”. For example, a program you use might download a spelling dictionary file when you run it. Instead of storing that dictation dictionary file in the user-specific Application Data folder, it should store it in the Program Data folder. It can then share that dictation dictionary with all the users on the computer, instead of storing multiple copies in a bunch of different Application Data folders. Tools running with system permissions can also save their settings here. For example, an antivirus application might store its settings, virus logs, and quarantined files at C:ProgramData. These settings are then shared system-wide for all PC users.While this folder is conceptually just an Application Data folder shared by all computer users, it is also a modern, safer alternative to the old idea of saving Store the application’s settings in its own programs directory.
Is there anything important to back up in the program data directory?
RELATED: Which files should you back up on your Windows PC?In general, you probably won’t find many important settings that you need to back up in the ProgramData folder. Most programs use this as a cache location for data that needs to be available to all users or to configure some basic settings. Your most important application data, if you want to back it up, will probably be stored in C:UsersusernameAppDataRoaming. However, if you are concerned there may be some important settings or data in the ProgramData folder, you may want to check and see what program is storing the data there. It’s up to the program’s developer to choose where that program stores its data, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Read more: Where is Patricia esparza now.
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