Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

I have sever folders of the type:
C:\Documents and Settings\my name\UserData\06CF6PX2
where the last part varies. For the most part they are empty. Can these be deleted without causing a problem?

To begin with, be careful. There may be other directories called "UserData" on your machine. It's a common name for any number of different purposes, and used by several different applications.

But these, at that specific location in your Documents and Settings, are fairly clear.

I believe those directories, when located in C:\Documents and Settings\my name\UserData\, where "my name" is replaced by your user name on the computer, are temporary storage used by Windows Update.

Deleting shouldn't cause a problem. I deleted mine, and similar directories were recreated the next time I visited Windows Update.

Article C2425 - September 20, 2005 « »

Share this article with your friends:

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article Email a link to this article
Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

10 Comments
Greg Bulmash
September 23, 2005 1:27 AM

Watch out for deleting "temporary" directories. Long ago, in a temp job far away, I was on a PC that was bogging down due to low disk space. I tried deleting a "temp" directory and ended up deleting all the calendar data for my boss.

Just because something is called "temporary" doesn't mean that every programmer treats it that way. It's just bad coding to put permanent/crucial data in a "temp" directory, but it happens.

If you don't need the space, leave 'em alone, I say. And if you do need the space, be veeeeeery careful. You may be deleting more than you think.

tope
November 12, 2006 10:02 AM

how do i change to the directories of the following at dos:
1 documents and settings
2 my documents
3 a long folder name like "this is for backup"
please mr leo i need your kind response
tope

Leo Notenboom
November 12, 2006 10:23 AM

Just put the path in quotes. For example:

[c:\] CD "C:\documents and settings"

Brian
June 10, 2007 12:08 PM

I recently had to do a System Recovery on my computer and I've come to terms with the loss of all my old files but they're all stored in the USERDATA file and they're taking up way too much space, the thing is when i try to get into it I get a message that says Access Denied, how can I get passed this? please email me a response at caboose_rules_all@hotmail.com

Jon
July 18, 2007 5:27 PM

This has also happened to me recently:
I performed a system recovery on my computer, but all the files are now stored in USERDATA as well. When I check the properties of the folder it says there are no files and no space being taken up, and when I try to enter, it says Access Denied. When I use Norton antivirus it scans those supposed files! How can I fix this? please email me at:
[Email Address Removed] Please help me! I have no space on my computer and Im suffering~

Tim
November 9, 2007 12:02 PM

i got the same prob.. I performed a system recovery on my computer, but all the files are now stored in USERDATA as well. When I check the properties of the folder it says there are no files and no space being taken up, and when I try to enter, it says Access Denied. & i can't delete the folder.. When I use Norton antivirus it scans those supposed files! How can I fix this? please email me at: [Email Address Removed]

Billy
February 27, 2008 12:13 PM

i did the system recovery as well and i found a solution but not the program to do it. when you scan with norton after the scan hit the view quarantine and click 'add item'. then you can look threw the files in userdata. my theory is if you find a file extracting program you can restore these file than do as you wish with them.

Santiago
April 27, 2008 10:46 AM

Had same problem of not being able to access userdata after a system recovery. This is how you fix it. It says the access is denied. You need to take ownership of the folder (or perhaps even the entire drive!). Alright so reboot in safe mode, log in as admin, and right click on C: and go to security, go to owner, click on "Administrators" and then check the box at the bottom " Rewrite.. or whatever it says" and click apply. After its done you should be able to access userdata as admin. Restart in normal mode, go into documents and settings and into administrator, the folder userdata should be here and accessible to you now. Can now move the files to wherever you want. Cheers!

Hung Chau
January 21, 2009 12:11 PM

I have a Dell with an Xp home edition, microsoft 2003. There were 3 users in my computer. Now it is just me so I tried to rearrange my document folder. I made a mistake. Now when I scan a file, It scanned fine but then the computer said the source is not accessible. Please help.
H>C

Sheo
June 4, 2010 11:35 PM

there is an index.dat fils in that folder and if you open it you can see its made by windows update. but not only the windows update stores files there. other programs have files there like X-Fire.

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.