Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
By default, Windows hides certain files and folders. We'll look at the setting to change to display hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer.
I have my old Outlook .pst file on a flash drive, but I cannot get it to my hard drive. The location of the newly created Outlook .pst file is in the location - c:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook - but when I try to step into that location in \Richard\, there is no "AppData" folder. What am I missing? I'm trying to install Outlook 2007 into Windows operating system.
Windows is trying to be helpful by protecting you from yourself.
Or perhaps it's trying not to confuse you with too much data.
Or maybe it's trying to protect itself from you.
Whatever ... Windows is hiding that folder.
We know what we're doing, so we'll tell it to stop.
Windows has the concept of files and/or folders that are "hidden" from view. It's a simple attribute of the file or folder that, when set, causes many programs to simply not display them.
In Window's defense, there are files and folders that generally shouldn't be played with or that may simply cause confusion. I can understand why Windows might elect to hide them by default.
On the other hand, sometimes, we really do want to see them, as in this case.
Fortunately, for Windows Explorer at least, there's a simple setting.
Here's a view of "C:\Users\LeoN" on my machine:
You'll note there's no AppData folder.
Click the Tools menu in Windows Explorer (if the menu isn't visible, press the ALT key and it should appear), click the Folder options... menu item, and then click View tab in the resulting dialog box.
Change the setting to "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and click OK.
Lo and behold, there's the missing folder. If you look closely, you can see that the folder icon for the AppData folder is slightly lighter than the others. That indicates that the folder is marked as hidden.
I always have "Show hidden files, folder and drives" set. I don't feel that I need Windows' help in this regard.
"Dir" for "directory" is the command that you use in Windows Command Prompt to see the files in the current folder (also referred to as a directory).
Here's the results of a "DIR" while in C:\Users\LeoN:
Once again, no AppData folder.
There is no simple setting to always make the Command Prompt show hidden files. Instead, we add an option to the DIR command to tell it to display only the hidden files:
At the top of the list is the AppData folder.
By default, the Command Prompt will display all of the hidden files including system files and so-called "protected operating system files" - hence, the "<JUNCTION>" items and "NTUSER.DAT", the file containing the user-specific registry.
In Windows Explorer, you may also need to de-select several other Hide options if you want to see all of these files there as well.