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How can I determine in Windows whether a program is installed per-machine or per-user from the command line? I am mainly concerned about Windows 7.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no simple way to detect this. The only difference between "per-machine" and "per-user" is if the program saves its settings in a place that is unique per user (HKEY_LOCAL_USER in the registry and the %APPDATA% or %LOCALAPPDATA% folder in the filesystem) or shared among all users (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the registry and %PROGRAMDATA% in the filesystem)

All that is internal and custom to every program ever written and there is no generic "flag" you could read somewhere that could tell you which method a program is using.

If you want to know if a specific program is installed as per-user or per-machine, open a new question and be sure to include the details of which program you want to know about.

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Also %LOCALAPPDATA% for user-specific non-roaming data (%APPDATA% is for roaming data). – Karan Apr 26 '13 at 15:32
I'm most interested in Python. This amount of pointer should be handy enough, thanks. – ctd Apr 26 '13 at 19:13
If a program is installed in Program Files, most likely it was installed in per-machine mode. If it's installed in another directory, you can never be sure. However, if a program is installed into user's profile, most likely it was installed in per-user mode. – Alexey Ivanov Apr 27 '13 at 12:50
@AlexeyIvanov Not necessarily. A program can be installed in Program files but a global setting can alternate if it stores its user settings in %appdata% or %programdata% (Notepad++ does this) – Scott Chamberlain Apr 27 '13 at 21:38
@ScottChamberlain The question was about per-machine or per-user installation of a program. Notepad++ installs in per-machine mode. It perfectly matches the pattern I described. At the same time, almost all applications have per-user settings even if installed per-machine in Program Files but it's another question, isn't it? – Alexey Ivanov Apr 28 '13 at 18:19

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