Solved: Can't Find ProgramData Folder in Windows 10/11

This post explains what is ProgramData folder, where is ProgramData folder, and four ways to solve “can’t find ProgramData folder on Windows 10”. Read it to get more details.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What is ProgramData folder?

The ProgramData folder is one of the most important system folders. It contains all your installed application data, like program settings, user files, etc. According to Microsoft, ProgramData is used for application data that is not user-specific.

For example, if you installed a photo editing tool that contains built-in clip art on Windows, they would be stored in ProgramData. However, many users report that they can't find ProgramData folder in Windows 10 or other Windows system operating systems. In the following, we will explain how to find this folder.

Why can I not see ProgramData folder?

By default, the program data folder location is C:\ProgramData, residing in the root drive, where Windows is installed. The reason you cannot see ProgramData folder is that it is a hidden folder.

In theory, the more programs you install on your Windows computer, the larger the ProgramData folder will be. Many Windows users want to know: can I delete Program Data folder to free up computer space? Of course not! If you deleted ProgramData, all program settings and cached data will be lost, causing your applications to not work properly.

So, how to unhide ProgramData folder in Windows 10 and other systems? How to get ProgramData back if you delete it by accident? Keep reading, and you will know how to unhide folder and other three methods to recover missing folders with ease.

How to fix “can't find ProgramData folder on Windows 10/11”

The thorough guide provides four solutions for you to find the ProgramData folder on Windows 10/11. The first method aims to share how to show hidden folders, and the last three one is offered to help you recover missing ProgramData. Let’s have a look at how.

Way 1. Unhide ProgramData folder

The most common reason for not being able to find ProgramData folder in Windows 10 is its hidden file attribute making it not invisible to users. This is because the main purpose of ProgramData is to store the data needed by the program to run, not for user access. If you want to know how to find ProgramData folder on Windows 10, you can unhide it with the guideline below:

Step 1. Press and hold “Windows + E” at the same time to open Windows Explorer, or you can click Start > select File Explorer to launch it.

Step 2. Click the View tab on the top, and then tap on Options.

File Explore View Options

Step 3. On the View interface, choose Show hidden files, folders, and drives under Hidden files and folders, and click Apply > OK.

Show Hidden Files Folders

If unhiding files and folders on Windows do not work for you to find ProgramData folder, it is possible that this folder is not accessible to the log-in user account or has been removed.

Way 2. Use data recovery software to recover missing ProgramData folder

The most easy-to-use and useful way to recover missing ProgramData folder is to utilize the best data recovery software - MyRecover.

With this powerful data recovery software, you could easily retrieve permanently deleted folders and files without a system restore point.

Download MyRecover for free and follow an intuitive process to solve the “ProgramData folder missing”issue.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run the MyRecover wizard, hover the mouse over the C drive, and click Scan to continue.

Select Location To Scan

Step 2. Select Deleted Files and Other Missing Files on the left, and you can click “Search for files or folders”to find the wanted items quickly. Or, you can use the Filter feature to locate your files quickly.

Scanning Drive

Step 3. Select the ProgramData folder and click the Recover xx files button on the right bottom to save it to a secure location.

Recover ProgramData Folder


With MyRecover, you can recover deleted files for free, up to 500MB. For more files, please consider upgrading to the advanced MyRecover edition.

Way 3. Switch user account

As some of the users have fed back, switching the user account to the administrator account is helpful to solve the “can't find ProgramData folder in Windows 10”. Sometimes, logging in with the wrong user account can not only result in system files and folders missing but also Windows 10 desktop files gone.

Step 1. On the taskbar, click on the Start button.

Step 2. Tap on the account picture, you will see a list of user accounts available on your computer.

Step 3. Click on the administrator account you want to switch to and sign in.

Windows User Account

Way 4. Restore lost ProgramData folder from system restore

If you have accidentally deleted Program Data folder, you can use System Restore to roll your system back to a previous date and get the folder back.

System Restore recovery can only work when the system restore point is created before the folder/file loss.
After a system restore, some newly-created or changed folders and files will be deleted or modified. You can back them up beforehand.

Step 1. Type “recovery” into the Windows search box, and select Recovery from Control Panel.

Step 2. Choose Open System Restore, and then click Next.

Open System Restore

Step 3. Select a system restore point from the available data, and click on Scan for affected programs to check programs that will be deleted after the restoration. Then, tap Close > Next.

Select Restore Point

Step 4. Confirm your restore point and click Finish to begin the restore.

Confirm System Restore

The bottom line

If you can't find ProgramData folder on Windows 10/11, you can first try showing hidden folders. If this doesn't solve your problem, you can use MyRecover to retrieve your lost ProgramData folder with simple clicks.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

It is worth mentioning that we do not recommend that you modify or delete hidden files in Windows (no matter what they are), because if you delete important files, it may cause the Windows system or installed programs to fail to run normally.


Why can't I see the ProgramData folder?
If you can't view the ProgramData folder in Windows 10, it might be because the folder is hidden. But if you encounter unfortunate circumstances, your folder may have been deleted or lost. In this case, it is recommended that you use professional data recovery software to retrieve it.
How do I unhide the program data folder in Windows 10?
You can go to File Explorer and select Change settings to show hidden files and system files with the highlighted Show settings link next to it. Under Advanced Settings, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and then select OK.
Is AppData the same as ProgramData?
ProgramData is where UpSlide is installed. AppData is where all user configuration is stored.
Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.