The apps you install on Windows store much of their data in the AppData folder. You rarely need to access it, but we’ll show you how in this guide.
Have access to the application data folder in Windows is important in different scenarios. However, the folder is hidden by default and you may not know how to locate AppData folder in Windows 11.
Each user account on your system has an AppData folder with content such as custom configuration files and other unique data for applications. It also includes the Local, LocalLowand roaming subfolders.
Each folder contains different data for applications such as your browser, email client, and other installed software. While troubleshooting or backing up your app and game settings, you may need to access AppData.
What is the AppData folder?
Microsoft introduced the AppData (short for Application Data) folder with Windows Vista and it has been in every version since. The hidden folder contains data that your system application needs to run.
The folder includes three subfolders and stores most of your application data, such as your browser’s bookmarks and cache, saved sessions, game settings, and more. You won’t need to access the folder very often, but you may need it when you’re trying to troubleshoot an app or back up specific settings.
He Local The folder contains files for the current PC and is not in sync with other systems. LocalLow it is similar to Local but includes low-integrity applications with restricted Windows security settings such as temporary files.
Finally, the roaming The folder contains critical application files: These are the files and folders that an application needs to run. This data will “roam” from PC to PC with your user account. For example, your Spotify settings or Mozilla Firefox profile data travels with you from one device to another.
Unless you have completely reconfigured your system, the folder is in C:\Users\
So if you need to access something in your AppData folder, we’ll show you some easy ways to do it.
How to open the AppData folder using Run
Since the folder is hidden, it’s hard to access unless you make Windows show hidden files or open them directly. So, for example, you can easily access it from the Run dialog with a few keystrokes and a basic command.
To find the AppData folder from Run:
- Press Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog window
- Type the following and click OK or press Get into:
- File Explorer will start on the roaming subfolder. Note that a lot of your installed app data is stored here, so if you don’t have a backup, know that it shouldn’t be deleted.
- Click application data in the File Explorer address bar to display the three subfolders in the AppData location.
How to display AppData and use File Explorer
The AppData folder is vital for the apps you install on Windows. To protect these files, Windows hides the AppData folder by default to prevent unnecessary tampering. If you need to find it, you can unhide the folder and view it with File Explorer.
For example, if you manually navigate to C:\Users\
To show AppData in Windows 11:
- Press Windows key + E to launch an instance of File Explorer.
- Click View from the top toolbar.
- Select Show > Hidden Items when the menu appears.
- navigate to C:\Users\
\and you will see the application data file. Replace with the correct folder for your user account. Note that it will be a bit transparent, indicating a hidden item in File Explorer.
Manage AppData and other folders from File Explorer
Whether you’re troubleshooting an app or backing up your favorite game’s settings, AppData is essential. But remember, the files in AppData are crucial for apps to work. Therefore, if you are not an experienced user, it is better to leave it and its subfolders hidden.
Of course, there are other ways to manage files and folders in Windows. For example, to improve file management, learn about File Explorer tabs. Or perhaps you’d prefer File Explorer to open to This PC instead of Quick Access.
To make items stored in OneDrive more accessible, you can open File Explorer in OneDrive. And sometimes you may experience problems with file and folder management and need to fix File Explorer not working.