How to Access the Application Data Folder

There are times you may need to use the Application Data (AppData) folder in transferring your Firefox user profile to another computer. But note that you don’t usually need to access it. The issue here is that the AppData folder is not intended for user access, as such finding it is not as easy as finding other folders. Be it as it may, you can locate the AppData folder if you need to with an AppData shortcut in Windows 10, 8 and 7. Alternatively by revealing hidden folders and searching in the right place.How to Access the Application Data Folder

Understanding the AppData Folder

What is the AppData folder and how does it work? – AppData folder was first included by Microsoft in Windows Vista. However, Windows 10, 8 and 7 all have the folder too. The folder is designed to enable each user of a machine to have different settings for their applications, browser settings or the AppData for Minecraft or other games. AppData consists of three folders which are Local, LocalLow and Roaming.

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The roaming folder houses most of the application data stored in the folder. Specifically, it is intended for the data you need. Your user profile “roams” from machine to machine (assuming it was connected to a domain). Most of the settings, like browser settings that you might need to access, are in this folder.

The other two folders which are Local and LocalLow, are for data that is specific to one computer. The difference here is that LocalLow is only for programs that run with strict security settings. But you have to understand that not all programs do what you’d expect. For instance, Chrome stores the data you’d expect to find in Roaming in the Local folder. Some programs, on the other hand, put their data in ProgramData so that it’s the same for all users.

AppData Shortcut in Windows 10, 8, and 7

Looking for the easiest way of accessing AppData? You can easily access AppData folder by using the shortcut. If you are using Windows 10, 8, or 7, you can easily search for “%appdata%” in the relevant place. Then you’ll be taken directly to the Roaming section of the AppData folder. If you are using Windows 10, you can locate this place in the search bar beside the Windows icon. In Windows 8, you can use the Charms Bar, and in Windows 7, search at the bottom of the Start menu.

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To successfully access the main folder:

  • Click on the “AppData” option in the file path at the top of the window.
  • You can also type “%appdata%” into the file path area in any File Explorer window to go to the same place.
  • This method is the easiest medium of accessing the AppData for a program.
  • However, there is an alternate method if you prefer to use it.

Finding the Hidden Folder

In Windows, the AppData folder is hidden by default. This is because, you are not likely to need to it. But if you make hidden folders visible, you can easily navigate to it like you do any folder.

If you are using Windows 10:

  • Visit the “View” tab of a File Explorer window.
  • Click on the check box beside “Hidden items” in the “Show/hide” section.

For those using Windows 8, the process is quite similar.

  • However from the “View” tab
  • Go to “Options”, then “View”.
  • Scroll down to the “Hidden files and folders” section.
  • Click on the radio button beside “Show hidden files, folders and drives”.
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For Windows 7:

  • Click on “Organize” in a File Explorer window.
  • Proceed to the “View” tab.
  • Navigate down to “Hidden files and folders”.
  • Tap on the radio button beside “Show hidden files, folders and drives”.

After the hidden files and folders have been shown, you can locate the AppData folder by going to C:\Users[your username]  and searching there. You don’t require any special permissions to access it.  Simply double-click and you are in.

 

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