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Thread: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

  1. #1
    Mike M Guest

    How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    1. I noticed that not all my temporary files were being deleted when I used
    TOOLS/INTERNET OPTIONS/Browsing History/Delete (all). Why is this so?

    2. However, when I tried to find them, in a subfolder of AppData, I
    couldn't find the AppData folder, even though I checked the box to show
    hidden folders. Why is this so?

    3. Also, why is Vista designed to frustrate us like this?

  2. #2
    Bruce Chambers Guest

    Re: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    Simply configure Windows Explorer to display hidden files and folders.
    In Windows Explorer, Tools > Folder Options > View > Advanced. Or, in
    the Control Panel, Folder Options > View > Advanced

    It isn't. It was necessary to take exactly the same steps to view such
    hidden systems files in both Win2K and WinXP (I don't recall if WinNT
    was the same), although they didn't have that specific folder.

  3. #3
    Wandering Guest
    App Data is a hidden folder. Go to Tool Options in an Explorer, and under
    the Advanced tab, select the option to view hidden files. It is located
    under the C:\Users folder. Good luck

    Vista is not designed to frustrate you or anyone else. It is simply a
    matter, that you have not yet learned how to use it properly. You, or
    anyone else, is not born knowing how to fly an airplane. You have to learn
    it. Simply because you know how to use Win98, or XP, does not mean you know
    how to use Vista, or Ubuntu or Mac OSX or any of a dozen other operating
    systems, none of which are designed to frustrate you or anyone else.

  4. #4
    Mike M Guest

    Re: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    As I said in my #2 question, I DID check the box to "show hidden folders",
    but Win-Ex still doesn't display the AppData folder.
    This appears to be a Vista problem, and not due to my lack of knowledge of

    Also, no one has answered question #1.

  5. #5
    Kerry Brown Guest

    Re: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    It's the way IE works. It doesn't clear the current day from the history. I
    don't know why this is. If you want to clear everything you'll need a third
    party program to do this.

    After you enable "Show hidden files and folders" and disable "Hide protected
    operating system files" exit Windows Explorer then restart it. You should be
    able to see AppData now

    It's designed to be more secure. More security almost always means doing
    things differently and more inconvenience to the user. This applies to
    everything in life not just software. Increase the security for your house
    and it takes more steps to get into your house. Increase the security at
    airports and it's more inconvenient to board an airplane. Increase the
    security of an operating system and it will be harder to do some things.
    Security is a tradeoff between stopping something unwanted from happening
    and allowing a legitimate user to do the same thing. You have to put up
    roadblocks that only a legitimate user can get past. Better security equals
    more and/or harder roadblocks to get past.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Re: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    I have pasted your response below. However this doesn't work. Microsoft has changed the way these folders behave and as an Administrator, with hidden files revealed and known file extensions shown, and "hide protected operating system files" unchecked, we still don't get access to appdata or Local Settings. What do we have to do? I'd like to check on my kids' browsing and see the cookies in the appropriate folders, but without access to these folders, I'm stuck. I see the folders but get an "Access is Denied" error when I try to explore it.

    What gives here? I am in c:\Users\[username] trying to access the Local Settings and AppData folders, which have an arrow icon on the bottom left corner. Rightclick, properties gives no useful information other than Everyone is denied access to this folder.

    So, what am I not getting here? I want to see cookies and history. Am I looking in the wrong place?

  7. #7
    Richard G. Harper Guest

    Re: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    The "folders" with an arrow on them are not folders at all, they are
    junction points. They exist only for application compatibility and cannot
    be opened or read. You need to open the actual location (for example,
    AppData instead of Application Data) to see the files that you wish to see.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Re: How to view Vista AppData folder in Windows Explorer?

    Have a similar problem displaying AppData folder!

    Even although changed folder options to display hidden folder/files, each time apply then close panel, the settings revert back to do not display hidden folders/files.

    Doesn't keep chosen options (logged in as administrator, vista business sp1) and doesn't show AppData or other hidden folders.

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