How To Restore Missing AppData Folder in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

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Yellow folder

Occasionally the AppData folder in Windows disappears from view in File Explorer. Here's how to get it back.

By default, Microsoft hides important system files and folders from view to prevent them from being changed or deleted to prevent corruption of the Windows operating system. One of the folders that's hidden from view is the AppData  folder, which is fine until you need to access it. Whether the folder is hidden by default, or it becomes hidden for some other reason (mine disappears on a regular basis after updates) here's how to be able to view it in File Explorer, or get it back if it disappeared after being visible.

View AppData folder in Windows 8.1
Open File Explorer (if you're unfamiliar with how to open File Explorer, directions are here)
Navigate to C:\Users and click on it
At the top of the window there are four tabs: File, Home, Share, and View
Click on the View tab
Click on Options
Choose Change folder and search options
Click on the View tab
Scroll down to Hidden files, folders and drives
Click the round button next to Show hidden files, folders, and drives
Click OK

View AppData folder in Windows 10
Open File Explorer (if you're unfamiliar with how to open File Explorer, directions are here)
Navigate to C:\Users and click on it
Select the folder with your user name
At the top of the window there are four tabs: File, Home, Share, and View
Click on the View tab
In the Show/hide box, tick the box next to Hidden items

The AppData folder should now be visible in the C:\Users\YourUserName folder. Since application data is stored in this folder, making changes can cause programs and apps to not work properly. If you're going to make any changes to the files in the AppData folder, it's a good idea to make a copy of the folder in another location in case the original needs to be restored. If you're just copying things (like a Firefox profile for backup) to another location, you should be fine.


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Comments

Hi R,

Another way to access this folder (Win 10) is to type in in cortana search box "%appdata%" (no quotes)

Thanks for the addition. :)