Do you need to know how to access documents and settings in Windows? Before you can even see the folder “Documents and settings”, you simply have to modify your folder settings and show hidden system files (tutorial: how to show hidden files), but don’t bother!

Where to find the AppData folder?

Paste this into your address bar C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\ – then replace [yourusername] with your actual user name, the one you log into your PC with and hit Enter. From there you can find the documents and settings folder. For more instructions read on

Documents and Settings Folder = Junction Point

The hidden system folder “Documents and settings” is only a junction point (similar to symbolic links), which means it points to a file or folder somewhere else. That’s why you get the following error message whenever you try to access the folder:

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Documents and settings is not accessible: Access denied
Documents and settings is not accessible: Access denied

Sidenote: The difference between symbolic links and junction points is that a symbolic link can also point to a file or remote SMB network path.

Where does Documents and Settings points to?

So, now you know that it’s no real folder. But where is the real folder it points to?

It points to the folder C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\

Again, this folder is only visible if you modified your folder settings (how to show hidden files). Then, you will find the following three folders inside the folder AppData:

Windows 7 Local AppData

  • Local
  • LocalRow
  • Roaming

Temporary Files

Programs on your PC can possibly store a lot of settings in the folder “Local”. One of the more important folders is


This folder contains all of your temporary files. If you don’t delete them regularly, your temp folder can become quite big. It also contains all of your downloads if you did not define a different download location in Firefox/IE.

I hope this helped and gave you a little more insight into Windows 7!