I installed some apps like D-Link Connection Manager, Adobe Reader X, VLC Media Player and Lava 144G on my Windows laptop. I could find all these apps inside C:\Users\Public\Desktop, but they were not mentioned in C:\Users\User\Desktop. On the other hand I downloaded an app called "7capture" and it was mentioned only in C:\Users\User\Desktop and it was not mentioned in C:\Users\Public\Desktop. Why is it so? I mean how do I know which apps are in User folder and which are in Public folder? Why were the first 4 visible only in Public folder (why not in User?) and why "7capture" was mentioned only in User folder?

  • Unclear what you are asking. You seem to have answered your own question before starting to ask it.
    – user477799
    May 16, 2017 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


Nice observation.

The way windows treats public folder and the user's folder is slightly different from linux's way of doing so.

For pedagogical purposes, have a look:

In Linux there is no thing as a public folder. There is just the root folder, user's folder(s) and groups. The root user creates groups, to which users are added and access privileges (wrx) of the files are associated with that of the group.

Windows on the other hand, classifies the directory structure mainly in two components, as you observed :

  1. Public folder - accessible by all the users on the machine.
  2. User's folder - accessible only by the user.

So in your case when you installed a program (let's say x) in the public folder, then X is accessible to all the users on the machine.

softwares inside public folder > Desktop, but these softwares were not mentioned in desktop folder which was inside user folder (i.e. C:\Users\User\Desktop)

so it need not be present in individual user folders. But when you install it in a user's folder then it is only accessible by the user.

Edit : As for why the programs do not appear in the public directory's Desktop, is simply because by default it's the user's folder which is the install location for new programs. You can change it when the program is being installed. A similar reason exists for other way round. :-)

In your case 7capture will only be accessible by you. Where as Adobe reader X, VLC and othets shall be accessible by anyone using the machine.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .