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What's The C:\programdata Hidden Folder?

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#1 soggy26


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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:56 PM


I am using Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit), Service Pack 1 .

I have noticed that there's a hidden folder called C:\ProgramData and that it contains various folders corresponding to the softwares installed on my system but not as many as there are in C:\Program Files. Could anyone please tell me what purpose this C:\ProgramData folder serves?

Also, I have seen that there are some folders within C:\ProgramData corresponding to softwares that are no longer on my system. Is it safe to delete these folders?


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#2 Juha


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Posted 20 June 2008 - 09:18 PM

From what I could gather from Microsoft's site and other websites, the folder C:\ProgramData contains part of the Operating System.

It is not recommended that you change the location of the folder let alone deleting it! That probably explains why the folder is hidden from view.


"... By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the System volume, you will not be able to service your Windows installation. Any updates, fixes, or service packs will fail to be applied to the installation. Microsoft does not recommend that you change the location of the user profile directories or program data folders.


#3 Billy O'Neal

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:48 PM

Program data is just a folder where programs can put their stuff.

It is the same as this folder on XP:
<DRIVE>:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data

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#4 TynTin


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Posted 21 June 2008 - 03:49 AM

If its hidden its most likly best to NOT delete it.

#5 Dialga


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Posted 22 June 2008 - 05:46 AM

i only delete stuff from there if i have some files or folders left over from uninstalling programs and if your not sure of deleting something DON'T DO IT UNTILL YOUR SURE YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS. As one of my friends deleted the Microsoft folder and a few other things because he had a Trojan infection before and he wanted to delete files that looked suspicious even when it was in the virus vault safely and nothing else bad happened and so somethings did not work till he rebooted again and it did not boot i came over to see what was wrong and he showed me and told every thing he did and i told him that they were files to run the PC but.... he said i was wrong and that it was the virus and he got the local pc repair shop to reinstall the OS the next day when he could of done it himself... :huh: what an idiot my friend is lol! :huh:

#6 usasma


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Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:04 AM

If the folders correspond to deleted programs that you are sure are gone - they should be safe to delete...BUT...

Instead of deleting them, move (don't copy) them to a New Folder on your Desktop (and make a note of their location).
Leave them there for 2 weeks, then delete them to the Recycle Bin.
That'll give you another week or two before they're gone for good.

If, in the meantime, you find that you need them, it'll be easy to restore them to their location
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#7 soggy26

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:59 PM

hey, thanks for all the replies.

i did not intend to remove the entire folder of course. i only wanted to remove some subfolders corresponding to programs i uninstalled long time back, eg, VistaGlazz and LogonStudio. i hav deleted them now and my computer's running fine. thanx for all the info and suggested precautions.

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