Most ordinary users of Windows-based computers and laptops rarely access specialized system components, which include the ProgramData directory. Not everyone knows what the ProgramData folder is in Windows 7 or in any other modification of the operating system, especially since it is securely hidden from the eyes of users, even those with administrator rights. Questions appear only when free space begins to decrease in the system partition, and it is sorely lacking to install new programs or even for the correct functioning of the OS itself (and this requires at least 10-15% of the total volume). As it turns out, the described directory is partially to blame for the reduction in free space. Where to find the ProgramData folder on Windows 7 or in other versions, what is in it, and whether it is possible to safely get rid of its contents, then we'll see. Butto begin with, let's briefly dwell on the general characteristics of this object.
What is the ProgramData folder in Windows 7 and above?
First of all, you need to clearly understand that this directory is one of the most important system components, in which installed programs save their own data regarding both the initial installation and some settings applied after installation. In addition, here you can find important components that are backed up by the software for the ability to quickly restore its performance, which is most relevant to anti-virus software. Finally, the ProgramData directory also serves as a kind of repository for some templates that can be used by all registered users, regardless of the access level set for each of them.
Where is the ProgramData folder in Windows 7 and above?
The directory itself, as a rule, is located exclusively in the root of the system partition (disk), but it is initially impossible to see it among the present components. So where is the ProgramData folder in Windows 7, how do I view its contents?
This object is initially hidden, so in the same "Explorer" to display it, you must first use the view section, and then enable the display of hidden folders and files in the settings list (sometimes you may need to activate the display of hidden system elements and drives).
In the eighth and tenth versions of Windows, you can use the activation of the item to show hidden items, which is located right on the main panel at the top.
Main components present in the catalog
What is the ProgramData folder in Windows 7, figured it out a bit. But in order to fully understand its purpose and role in the operating system, one should dwell on the description of everything that can be found in this directory.
After opening this directory, subfolders with long names containing incomprehensible combinations of letters and numbers immediately catch your eye. If you look closely, many may realize that in some ways such names resemble what can be seen in the system registry. Yes, indeed, this is true, but inside such directories you can find the same installation files that were used just during the first installation of the software.
There are also links in the form of shortcuts, for example, to user folders of documents, "Desktop", templates, main menu, etc. In addition, registry keys corresponding to user profiles of the DirectX platform are also stored here, and links to Application Data directories.
Can I delete a folder or its contents to clear disk space?
What is the ProgramData folder in Windows 7 and other OS modifications and what information is presented in it, of course. But after all, the main questions concern precisely the possibility of deleting its contents. How unsafe is it? By and large, manually deleting anything is not recommended. An exception can only be folders and files related to those programs that have definitely been removed from the computer, and, apparently, exclusively by Windows tools, since such tools are not always able to remove residual components. For example, you used the iTunes application before, then uninstalled it as unnecessary, but the Apple folders remained in the ProgramData directory. There are no questions here - delete it.
But to ensure the most secure cleaning of content, it is still better to use either Windows tools (standard disk and system file cleanup), or use optimizer programs like CCleaner, Advanced SystemCare and the like. Only in this case is there a guarantee that the system will not be damaged (especially since the parent directory is very closely related to the Program Files and AppData directories). And do not believe those posts on the Internet that claim that someone allegedly deleted the main folder, and after that the system worked like clockwork. This is absolutely not true.