why is my system duplicating application data folders - now have about 20 duplicated folders

C:\Users\John-Gateway\AppData\Local\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data


This is not all them they seem to go on forever




The problem is that the Application Data 'folder' is not a folder, it is called a Junction.


Some of the system folder names were changed in Windows 7 and to assure compatibility with older programs that are hard coded to look for these former names, Windows 7 uses Junctions with the older name to redirect these older programs to the new location.


The C:\Users\Den\AppData\Local\Application Data junction redirects to: C:\Users\Den\AppData\Local.

These Junctions have the permissions set to Everyone = Access Denied. They cannot be used as a folder to store any files.


This problem occurs when a user changes these permissions in an effort to access that junction. Changing the permissions allows any action to 'recursively walk through' the junction and this creates a recursion (Also called an infinite loop) the result of which is what you are describing.


Your best recovery option is to use System Restore to go back to a point before the permissions were changed. If this is not possible, see the following threads to see how other members fixed the problem.


Can't install or remove programs:



"Infinite" Application Data folders and subfolders:

Why Are There Multiple Layers of "Application Data" Folders?




MVP 1999 - Present
Windows Insider MVP

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Last updated November 24, 2021 Views 1,078 Applies to: