Setting AppData to the correct value

In the event that the AppData environment variable has been changed it can cause problems with some programs running or installing.

To change it to the default, follow these instructions:

  1. Click the Start button (Windows XP Users: Then click Run).
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.
  3. In the left column, navigate to:
  4. Click on the “Shell Folders” folder.
  5. In the right column, double click on the AppData value and change it to (without quotes):
    “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming” (If using Windows Vista or above)
    “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data” (If using Windows XP)
  6. In the left column, click on the “User Shell Folders” folder.
  7. Repeat Step 5 for this folder.
  8. Close Regedit.
  9. Restart the computer.
If this doesn’t resolve the problem then repeat steps 4 to 7 for the following registry keys:
  • HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\


  1. Thanks for the great answer on this problem! I have been searching for a solution on many sites to no avail.; this worked quickly and was very simple given the great instruction. I am glad I stumbled on this and really appreciate the help, much appreciated!

  2. Furthermore, one could also simply search the registry (regedit) and search for “Shell Folders” and check each instance. This was much faster for me at least, compared to browsing through the registry (perhaps just the lazy way).

    Thanks again!

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