I can not longer access the Documents and Settings folder or the Local
Settings folder after my XP to Vista upgrade. I appear not have sufficient
privileges yet I am the administrator (full access) or my local PC?
As best I can figure Microsoft is trying to make it very difficult to access
those old folders.
Yes, I said “old folders”. Apparently in Windows Vista, the folders have
been moved. The information is elsewhere and fully accessible in the new
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If you try to open “C:\Documents and Settings” in Windows Explorer on Vista,
you’re quite likely to get this error:
Even if you’re logged in as administrator you may still get that error.
The “problem” here is that Microsoft has apparently moved everything that
used to be in “Documents and Settings” into a new folder called “Users”. Open
that and you’ll probably get what you were expecting out of “Documents and
In fact you may notice that “Documents and Settings” is displayed with a
shortcut icon in Windows Explorer:
As you can guess, “Documents and Settings” is a shortcut to “Users”,
presumably present for compatibility reasons.
You can probably also guess what’s happened with “Local Settings”. Normally
you’d find it in “c:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Local Settings”. It’s been
moved to “c:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local”:
I don’t know the specific reasons for the changes. One observation is that the “new” paths have no spaces in them, making me wonder if the old
names were particularly problematic when configuring software to use these
locations. That doesn’t seem like enough of a reason, though, for a change of
In any case, if you get access denied at the old location, the solution is
simple: go to the new location instead.