What is the ProgramData folder in Windows 10

Windows 10 creates a number of system files and folders to support the running of the operating system. The ProgramData folder is one of those important system folders. It contains all the data for Windows classic and UWP applications. It is hidden by default because it is not meant to be seen by anyone or tampered with. This means that no user should even attempt to rename, move, or delete the ProgramData folder on their computer.

ProgramData folder in Windows 10

ProgramData folder in Windows 10

The ProgramData folder in Windows 10 contains all the data, settings, and user files that are required by the installed software and UWP apps. This directory contains application data for all users. This folder is used for application data that is not user-specific. This information will not roam and is available to anyone using the computer. If the data in this file goes missing, the app may not run properly.

This folder is located at:

C:\ProgramData

To see it, you have to make Windows show hidden files.

The path for this folder is:

C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming.

Now if some malware renames ProgramData folder, it is usually impossible for the end-user to rename it back to its original state. This is caused due to lack of permissions to the user.

Cannot rename the ProgramData folder

A user is not allowed to rename any pre-created folders in the operating system partition whatsoever. This means that this change cannot be done with any trick or guide. This is due to the lack of permissions for the user to tamper with the said folder. The only methods left for us to reverse this change are:

  1. Use System Restore.
  2. Repair install, Reset or Refresh Windows 10.

1] Use System Restore

Restore computer using System Restore

Type sysdm.cpl in the Start search box and hit Enter.

Navigate to the System Protection tab and then choose the System Restore.

Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your computer to a prior good restore point.

2] Repair Install, Reset or Refresh Windows 10

One can make use of the Media Creation Tool to Repair-Install Windows or Reset Windows 10 or Refresh Windows 10 Tool. This will help you in restoring all the default settings and configurations for Windows 10.

These are the best ways to get the default installation back.

I hope this article helped you in learning more about the ProgramData folder.

Related reads: Sysnative folder | WinSxS folder | System32 and SysWOW64 folders.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.