When I install some programs like Atom, GitKraken or Discord. Their installer wasn't let me choose where to install, instead, they install themselves into AppData/Local folder.

What are the benefits from this?


I'm like 99% sure this is to get around requiring Administrator access to install.

The user has to have at least Modify permissions on their AppData folder in order for basic account functionality to work.

By installing into AppData/Local these applications get around the requirement to have an administrator or UAC prompt authorise the installation.

Google Chrome is a good example of this. If you cancel the UAC prompt, it will realise this and ask if you'd like to install without Administrator access, then it installs into a location, like AppData/Local that the user has the appropriate permissions.

  • 1
    That must be it. Visual Studio code, for example has a User installer and a System installer and one of the differences is where it installs. AppData or ProgramFiles
    – Lombas
    Dec 18 '18 at 22:35
  • 1
    Being able to evade Windows security provisions is no benefit to the user (whether they think so or not).
    – kreemoweet
    Mar 6 at 1:49

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