An application I have recently used (SuperEyes) has some user data (microscope snapshots I took) that it has apparently stored in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microscope\images. If I view the folder in explorer, or do a dir listing from a command prompt as admin, it's empty.

If I open the files within the app - it looks like it is loading them from there. It even has an open file dialog where I can browse the files. If I try to drag them out - they don't exist!

The system has a single partitioned 256Gb SSD.


Found it - the answer is yes. Windows after UAC has a "VirtualStore" where it keeps writes that 32 bit apps try to make to Program files. It is a per-user store.

It is under your users folder, AppData/Local/VirtualStore.

To find this I told windows to send to a desktop shortcut, from within the file dialog in the app - and was able to see the true location there. Looking up VirtualStore reveealed that this is a UAC feature for dodgy old apps that did this.

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