How to Find and Access the AppData Folder in Windows

The AppData or Application Data folder stores all data about installed software as well as users registered in the system. It is hidden by default. The developers decided that the system owner shouldn’t be interested in how to find the AppData folder in Windows 10.

If you’re interested in the AppData folder, most likely they found out about it from someone because originally this directory was invisible to the user. If you want to access it, you need to change some system settings, but that is later, but if we try to answer the question: what is this AppData folder?

About AppData Folder

The AppData folder is a hidden folder on Windows 10/8.1/8/7. Most of you have never seen it let alone access that folder.

But in some cases, you just delete that folder or files in it by mistake. This will cause problems on your computer.


First, you should know what the AppData folder is.

The Windows AppData folder is a folder that contains all the files specific to your Windows user profile. That means, with these files, it will be easy to transfer your data from one device to another as long as you sign in with the same profile.

  • Some apps are using the AppData folder to save the profile data. Then, it will be easy to keep data synced between different devices.
  • The Windows web browsers, like Chrome or Firefox, save the profiles and bookmarks in the AppData folder.
  • The Email programs, like Thunderbird or Outlook, also store data in this folder.
  • Many computer games’ Save files also appear in the AppData folder.
  • And more…

Obviously, the files on the AppData folder are very important for you.

You have to keep them in all cases.

Usually, there is no need to open the AppData folder and edit the files in it. That said, it is useful to know where the AppData folder is and how to open it.

In the following part, we will show you this information.

AppData Not Showing up? How to Find AppData?

At the beginning of this article, we have mentioned that the AppData folder is a hidden folder. That is why AppData is not showing up on your computer.

But, you can open the AppData folder using Run or unhidden the hidden files/folders to make it show on your computer.

Where is the AppData folder and how to find AppData AppData? We will show you the answers in the following contents.

How to Open the AppData Folder Using Run?

You can directly open the AppData folder using Run. No matter the folder is hidden or not, you can always use this method to access it:

  1. Press Win + R at the same time to open Run.
  2. Type %appdata% and press Enter.

This will make you access the AppData Roaming subfolder. Then, you can click AppData on the address bar to open the AppData folder.

You can also make the hidden files and folders visible. To do this job, you need to make some settings on your computer.

How to Unhide the AppData Folder on Windows 10/8.1/8?

  1. Go toStart > Search, and then type Control Panel.
  2. Select the first search result to open Control Panel.
  3. Select File Explorer Options.
  4. Switch to the View

  5. Find Hidden files and folders under Advanced settings, and then select Show hidden folders, files, and drives.

  1. ClickApplyand OK to keep the change.

You can also go to File Explorer > View > Options > Change folder and search options > View to unhide the files and folders on your computer.

After that, all of your hidden files and folders including the AppData folders and the files in it will be shown on your computer.

Then, where is the AppData folder? The exact location of the AppData folder is C:users[YOUR ACCOUNT]. You can just copy this path to the File Explorer to access the AppData folder directly.

How to Unhide the AppData Folder on Windows 7?

The detailed process to unhide files and folders in Windows 7 is a little different from it in Windows 10/8.1/8:

  1. Go toStart > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization.
  2. SelectFolder Options.
  3. Switch to theView
  4. SelectShow hidden files, folders, and drivesunder Advanced settings.
  5. ClickApplyand OK to keep the change.

Then, you can find the AppData folder in C:users[YOUR ACCOUNT].

Can I Delete AppData on Windows?

Quick answer: No! You should not delete the AppData folder or the files in it.

You should not delete any files in the AppData folder because doing this will break the programs those files are connected to. Moving the files out of the AppData folder is also not a wise choice.

On the contrary, to keep them safe, you’d better back up the files in the AppData folder.

You can just copy the files using the cloud service or to an external storage drive. Besides, you can also use professional data backup software to make a backup.

Then, you can keep them intact on your new device.

This is especially useful when you want to use the current files and games from one device to another, transfer the specific settings to a new machine, or just want to back up your options and data in that folder.

How to Rescue the Missing Files from AppData on Windows?

There is no need to browse the files in the AppData folder. But, for some reason, you may mistakenly delete files in that folder, causing issues with the related programs.

To make your program back to normal, you will need to restore your missing AppData files. If you have backed up the files in the AppData folder, you can also restore them from the previous backup file.

If not, you can use professional data recovery software to get the missing files back.

How to Restore the AppData Files from Backup?

You can select the proper method based on your own situation:

  1. If you have copied the AppData files to an external drive, you can just connect that drive to your computer and then access the drive to transfer the needed files to the AppData folder directly.
  2. If you have used the third-party data backup software to back up the files in the AppData folder, you will need to follow the software guide to restore your missing files.

For example, if you use MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up your files, you will need to use the Restore feature to restore your needed files. 

How to Find the Lost Files in AppData Using MiniTool?

If there is no available backup file, you will need to use professional data recovery software to get your lost data back.

You can try MiniTool Power Data Recovery. This software is a free Windows file recovery tool, which can recover data from all kinds of data storage drives, including internal hard drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, and more.

As long as the lost or deleted files are not overwritten by new files, you can use this software to get them back.

This software offers a trial edition. With this free software, you can go to scan the target drive and then check whether it finds the files you want to restore. 

Here is a detailed guide on how to recover files from the AppData folder using this MiniTool data recovery software:

  1. Open this freeware.
  2. By default, the software shows all the logical drives it can detect on your computer. Then, you need to select the drive that contains the AppData folder. Usually, it is drive C. Move your mouse to drive C and click the Scan button to start scanning that drive.
  3.  The files’ size in drive C is usually large and the drive scanning process might last longer. You should wait patiently until the whole scanning process ends.

  4. After scanning, you can see the scan results that are listed by path by default. You can go to find the AppData folder to recover data.

    The path is Existing Partition > Users > Default > AppData. Then, you need to confirm whether your needed files are found.

    If yes, you can use a full edition to recover them without limits.

When choosing the location to save the files, you should not select the AppData folder because this may overwrite the deleted items in that folder and cause them to be unrecoverable.

Only when you are sure all your needed files are recovered, you can then move them to the AppData folder and then check whether the faulty program can run normally.

Bottom Line

At the end of this article, we will make a brief conclusion: the AppData folder saves files related to some programs installed on your computer and these files are important to guarantee the normal running of those programs.

By default, the AppData folder is hidden in your Windows computer. But, you can use Run to open it or make some settings to unhide it.

When some files are missing from this folder, you can restore the lost files from your backup file. If there is no available backup, you can also use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to get them back.

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Category: Data Recovery Services Profile: MiniTool Solution Ltd. is a software development company based in Canada. As a dedicated software development company, MiniTool Solution Ltd. provides customers with complete business software solutions in the data recovery and partition management industry.

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