16

This question is similar to this question, however I'm still looking for more straightforward answers, having also looked on this website.

  • Is %LocalAppData%\Programs where installers install programs for a single user only?
  • Is it like the %ProgramFiles% folder, but only for that particular user?
  • Is this the recommended directory for installing single-user programs?

This is not a duplicate of this question, as I’m not talking about why data is stored in %AppData%, I’m asking what the purpose of %LocalAppData%\Programs is.

7
  • 1
    It is nothing more than a folder where some programs might install themselves. Technically that's all any other location is, just the most likely place for things to install.
    – Mokubai
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 21:26
  • 1
    Possible duplicate:...superuser.com/questions/1445143/…
    – Moab
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 22:00
  • More on the subject...superuser.com/questions/1257692/…
    – Moab
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 22:02
  • Are you confirming that it is a directory where installers can extract the executables to?
    – potatoguy
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 3:40
  • If you want an official answer (and it seems to me you do) you MUST ask Microsoft. Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 3:54

2 Answers 2

12

Yes, %LocalAppData%\Programs is the default folder to "install programs for a single user only" in MS Windows. It's been available since Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2.

Such programs are often called Per-User Applications (PUA) in MS documents. While the knowledge about the existence of PUA now is widely spread, many still are not aware of the infrastructure, environment, and tools that MS provided to support them. The folder in question is a part of that infrastructure.

Note: This folder may have a different name depending on the specific Windows setup. The programs should use the corresponding KNOWNFOLDERID constant FOLDERID_UserProgramFiles to locate it properly.

References:

5

However, I'm still looking for more straightforward answers. Is C:\Users\MyUser\AppData\Local\Programs the folder where installers install programs for a single user only?

Applications installed to %LocalAppData% would only be available to the user that installed it. Additionally, if a user were on an Active Directory domain, it wouldn’t be synchronized to other machines.

%LocalAppData% is not synchronized between the domain, which means the data only exists locally on the machine.

Is it like a Program Files folder but only for that particular user?

%LocalAppData% is not like %ProgramFiles% other than it’s just another directory. There are significant differences between the two directories.

Is this the recommended directory for installing single-user programs?

%LocalAppData% is a perfectly valid directory that applications can be installed to. In fact, a user can install an application to any directory they have the proper permissions to, there really are no invalid application installation directories.

I want to figure out if that’s the directory to install programs to for that user.

You certainly can choose to install an application like Visual Studio Code to %LocalAppData%\Programs to this directory if you want.

Since you have been specifically interested in Visual Studio Code, I found the following documentation on it.

VS Code provides both Windows user and system level setups. Installing the user setup does not require Administrator privileges as the location will be under your user Local AppData (LOCALAPPDATA) folder. User setup also provides a smoother background update experience.

The system setup requires elevation to Administrator privileges and will place the installation under Program Files.

By default, VS Code is installed under C:\users\{username}\AppData\Local\Programs\Microsoft VS Code.

Source:

0

You must log in to answer this question.

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