Home » c# » Environment.GetFolderPath(…CommonApplicationData) is still returning “C:\Documents and Settings\” on Vista

Environment.GetFolderPath(…CommonApplicationData) is still returning “C:\Documents and Settings\” on Vista

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

As I understand it, you’re supposed to use the Environment.GetFolderPath method so you have OS independent code…

Windows XP uses C:\Documents and Settings\. Windows Vista uses C:\ProgramData and C:\Users.

I’m using the code below on a Windows Vista computer and it’s returning a C:\Documents and Settings\ directory instead of C:\ProgramData like it should… Any ideas?

    string commonAppData = Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData);
    try
    {
        File.CreateText(
            Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData) +
            "\mycompany\uid");
        log.Debug("Created file successfully");
    }
    catch (Exception ex)
    {
        log.Error("Unable to create the uid file: ", ex);
    }
Answers:

My installer copied a log.txt file which had been generated on an XP computer. I was looking at that log file thinking it was generated on Vista. Once I fixed my log4net configuration to be “Vista Compatible”. Environment.GetFolderPath was returning the expected results. Therefore, I’m closing this post.

The following SpecialFolder path reference might be useful:

Output On Windows Server 2003:

SpecialFolder.ApplicationData: C:\Documents and Settings\blake\Application Data
SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data
SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles: C:\Program Files
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFiles: C:\Program Files\Common Files
SpecialFolder.DesktopDirectory: C:\Documents and Settings\blake\Desktop
SpecialFolder.LocalApplicationData: C:\Documents and Settings\blake\Local Settings\Application Data
SpecialFolder.MyDocuments: C:\Documents and Settings\blake\My Documents
SpecialFolder.System: C:\WINDOWS\system32`

Output on Vista:

SpecialFolder.ApplicationData: C:\Users\blake\AppData\Roaming
SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: C:\ProgramData
SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles: C:\Program Files
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFiles: C:\Program Files\Common Files
SpecialFolder.DesktopDirectory: C:\Users\blake\Desktop
SpecialFolder.LocalApplicationData: C:\Users\blake\AppData\Local
SpecialFolder.MyDocuments: C:\Users\blake\Documents
SpecialFolder.System: C:\Windows\system32

Questions:
Answers:

Output on Ubuntu 9.10 -> Ubuntu 12.04 with mono 2.10.8.1:

SpecialFolder.ApplicationData: /home/$USER/.config
SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: /usr/share
SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles: 
SpecialFolder.DesktopDirectory: /home/$USER/Desktop
SpecialFolder.LocalApplicationData: /home/$USER/.local/share
SpecialFolder.MyDocuments: /home/$USER
SpecialFolder.System: 

SpecialFolder.Personal: /home/$USER

Output on Ubuntu 16.04 with mono 4.2.1

SpecialFolder.ApplicationData: /home/$USER/.config
SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: /usr/share
SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles:
SpecialFolder.DesktopDirectory: /home/$USER/Desktop
SpecialFolder.LocalApplicationData: /home/$USER/.local/share
SpecialFolder.MyDocuments: /home/$USER
SpecialFolder.Desktop: /home/$USER/Desktop
SpecialFolder.Personal: /home/$USER

SpecialFolder.System: 
SpecialFolder.Programs: 
SpecialFolder.Favorites: 
SpecialFolder.Startup: 
SpecialFolder.Recent: 
SpecialFolder.SendTo: 
SpecialFolder.StartMenu: 
SpecialFolder.MyMusic: /home/$USER/Music
SpecialFolder.MyVideos: /home/$USER/Videos
SpecialFolder.MyComputer: 
SpecialFolder.NetworkShortcuts: 
SpecialFolder.Fonts: /home/$USER/.fonts
SpecialFolder.Templates: /home/$USER/Templates
SpecialFolder.CommonStartMenu: 
SpecialFolder.CommonPrograms: 
SpecialFolder.CommonStartup: 
SpecialFolder.CommonDesktopDirectory: 
SpecialFolder.PrinterShortcuts: 
SpecialFolder.InternetCache: 
SpecialFolder.Cookies: 
SpecialFolder.History: 
SpecialFolder.Windows: 
SpecialFolder.MyPictures: /home/$USER/Pictures
SpecialFolder.UserProfile: /home/$USER
SpecialFolder.SystemX86: 
SpecialFolder.ProgramFilesX86: 
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFiles: 
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFilesX86: 
SpecialFolder.CommonTemplates: /usr/share/templates
SpecialFolder.CommonDocuments: 
SpecialFolder.CommonAdminTools: 
SpecialFolder.AdminTools: 
SpecialFolder.CommonMusic: 
SpecialFolder.CommonPictures: 
SpecialFolder.CommonVideos: 
SpecialFolder.Resources: 
SpecialFolder.LocalizedResources: 
SpecialFolder.CommonOemLinks: 
SpecialFolder.CDBurning: 

where $USER is the current user

Output on Android 6 using Xamarin 7.2

Environment.SpecialFolder.ApplicationData: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/.config
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: /usr/share
Environment.SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.DesktopDirectory: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/Desktop
Environment.SpecialFolder.LocalApplicationData: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/.local/share
Environment.SpecialFolder.MyDocuments: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files
Environment.SpecialFolder.Desktop: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/Desktop
Environment.SpecialFolder.Personal: /data/user/0$APPNAME/files

Environment.SpecialFolder.Startup: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.Recent: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.SendTo: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.StartMenu: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.MyMusic: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/Music
Environment.SpecialFolder.MyVideos: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/Videos
Environment.SpecialFolder.MyComputer: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.NetworkShortcuts: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.Fonts: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/.fonts
Environment.SpecialFolder.Templates: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/Templates
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonStartMenu: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonPrograms: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonStartup: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonDesktopDirectory: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.PrinterShortcuts: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.InternetCache: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.Cookies: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.History: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.Windows: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.MyPictures: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files/Pictures
Environment.SpecialFolder.UserProfile: /data/user/0/$APPNAME/files
Environment.SpecialFolder.SystemX86: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.ProgramFilesX86: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFiles: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFilesX86: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonTemplates: /usr/share/templates
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonDocuments: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonAdminTools: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.AdminTools: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonMusic: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonPictures: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonVideos: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.Resources: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.LocalizedResources: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonOemLinks: 
Environment.SpecialFolder.CDBurning: 

Where $APPNAME is the name of your Xamarin application (eg. MyApp.Droid)

Output on iOS Simulator 10.3 using Xamarin 7.2

ApplicationData: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/.config
CommonApplicationData: /usr/share
ProgramFiles: /Applications
DesktopDirectory: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/Desktop
LocalApplicationData: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents
MyDocuments: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents
Desktop: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/Desktop
MyDocuments: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents
Startup: 
Recent: 
SendTo: 
StartMenu: 
MyMusic: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/Music
MyVideos: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/Videos
MyComputer: 
NetworkShortcuts: 
Fonts: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/.fonts
Templates: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/Templates
CommonStartMenu: 
CommonPrograms: 
CommonStartup: 
CommonDesktopDirectory: 
PrinterShortcuts: 
InternetCache: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Library/Caches
Cookies: 
History: 
Windows: 
MyPictures: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents/Pictures
UserProfile: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID
SystemX86: 
ProgramFilesX86: 
CommonProgramFiles: 
CommonProgramFilesX86: 
CommonTemplates: /usr/share/templates
CommonDocuments: 
CommonAdminTools: 
AdminTools: 
CommonMusic: 
CommonPictures: 
CommonVideos: 
Resources: /Users/$USER/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator/Devices/$DEVICEGUID/data/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Library
LocalizedResources: 
CommonOemLinks: 
CDBurning: 

Where $DEVICEGUID is the simulator GUID (depending on the selected simulator)

Output on ipad 10.3 using Xamarin 7.2

SpecialFolder.MyDocuments: /var/mobile/Containers/Data/Application/$APPLICATIONGUID/Documents

Questions:
Answers:

Output on Windows 10

Fonts: C:\Windows\Fonts
CommonStartMenu: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
CommonPrograms: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
CommonStartup: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
CommonDesktopDirectory: C:\Users\Public\Desktop
CommonApplicationData: C:\ProgramData
Windows: C:\Windows
System: C:\Windows\system32
ProgramFiles: C:\Program Files (x86)
SystemX86: C:\Windows\SysWOW64
ProgramFilesX86: C:\Program Files (x86)
CommonProgramFiles: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
CommonProgramFilesX86: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
CommonTemplates: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates
CommonDocuments: C:\Users\Public\Documents
CommonAdminTools: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
CommonMusic: C:\Users\Public\Music
CommonPictures: C:\Users\Public\Pictures
CommonVideos: C:\Users\Public\Videos
Resources: C:\Windows\resources
LocalizedResources:
CommonOemLinks:

Code Snippet if you want to log your own

foreach(Environment.SpecialFolder f in Enum.GetValues(typeof(Environment.SpecialFolder)))
{
    string commonAppData = Environment.GetFolderPath(f);
    Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", f, commonAppData);
}
Console.ReadLine();

Questions:
Answers:

Output on Windows 7 (64-bit)

SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: C:\ProgramData 
SpecialFolder.CommonDesktopDirectory: C:\Users\Public\Desktop
SpecialFolder.CommonStartMenu: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
SpecialFolder.CommonPrograms: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFiles: C:\Program Files\Common Files
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFilesX86: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
SpecialFolder.CommonStartup: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles: C:\Program Files
SpecialFolder.ProgramFilesX86: C:\Program Files (x86)
SpecialFolder.System: C:\Windows\system32
SpecialFolder.SystemX86: C:\Windows\SysWOW64

Output on Windows XP

SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data
SpecialFolder.CommonDesktopDirectory: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop
SpecialFolder.CommonPrograms: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFiles: C:\Program Files\Common Files
SpecialFolder.CommonProgramFilesX86:
SpecialFolder.CommonStartMenu: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu
SpecialFolder.CommonStartup: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
SpecialFolder.ProgramFiles: C:\Program Files
SpecialFolder.ProgramFilesX86:
SpecialFolder.System: C:\WINDOWS\system32
SpecialFolder.SystemX86: C:\WINDOWS\system32