Typical folder paths for different versions of Windows

The folder layout on the Files and folders page shows an idealized view of the Windows folder layout, which may differ between, say, Windows XP and Windows 7. The actual paths used during installation of your product are mapped automatically to the correct target system paths.

The folder paths shown below are typical paths for US English installation of Windows that use the default settings. They may differ for other languages or non-standard installations. The installer will automatically detect this and use the correct paths for the target system.

Canonical folder 2000/XP/2003 Vista/2008/7/8/2012/10
Target System C: C:
Program Files (32-bit) On 32-bit systems: C:\Program Files
On 64-bit systems: C:\Program Files (x86)
Program Files (64-bit) On 32-bit systems: C:\Program Files (64-bit)*
On 64-bit systems: C:\Program Files
Program Files (native) C:\Program Files (on all systems regardless of bitness)
ProgramData C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data C:\ProgramData**
Temp C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Local Settings\Temp C:\Users\User name\AppData\Local\Temp
Users C:\Documents and Settings C:\Users
Users\All Users (XP) C:\Documents and Settings\All Users C:\ProgramData**
Users\Current User C:\Documents and Settings\User name C:\Users\User name
Users\Public C:\Documents and Settings\All Users C:\Users\Public
Windows C:\Windows C:\Windows
System (16-bit) On 32-bit systems: C:\Windows\System
On 64-bit systems: not supported
System (32-bit) On 32-bit systems: C:\Windows\System32
On 64-bit systems: C:\Windows\SysWow64
System (64-bit) On 32-bit systems: not supported
On 64-bit systems: C:\Windows\System32
System (native) C:\Windows\System32 (on all systems regardless of bitness)

*These 64-bit paths are created by the installer as a placeholder, but will not be recognized by the target system for their intended purpose because the system in question doesn't support 64-bit programs.

**The C:\ProgramData folder under Vista combines the functionality of the All Users and All Users\Application Data folders of previous Windows versions. Files installed in either pre-Vista folder end up in the ProgramData folder under Windows Vista.

Related topics

File, Folder, Shortcut, Installing Files, Installing Shortcuts, Working with project pages