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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    Question What's worth updating in AppData?

    %userprofile%\AppData contains lots and lots of stuff. Is any of it worth backing up? Will anything break if I restore the visible folders in my home folder (%userprofile%), but don't restore anything in AppData?

    The question pertains to Win7, but I assume Win10 is functionally similar. Someone please correct me if I am wrong on that.
    Bill Meacham
    bmeacham98 AT yahoo.com

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    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Bill, your regular image of C: will take care of it. It contains settings & configs for your programs, so you definitely want it, and you want it matching your installed programs.

    I suppose you could do a standard backup of it, but why complicate things? Just do the one image of C:, and do normal backups of the other drives.
    Lugh.
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    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    I don't do a full image backup very often. My strategy is to back up daily or whenever I shut down my computer, whichever is more frequent, but just my data, not a full image. Given that strategy, what 's essential in Appdata? I don't care if some program forgets its last window position.
    Bill Meacham
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    IMO, if you are doing it manually yourself backup your whole user profile.
    Joe

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    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    I've done dozens of restores for people and the only files that I've determined are needed for the restores I've done are related to Outlook.
    Older versions store the nk2 file there, newer ones store the stream_autocomplete file there.
    I set my file backup software to include that Appdata folder.

    I guess it's possible other programs I've not encountered store something important there.
    Last edited by Vincenzo; 2018-04-17 at 13:12.

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    Many programs store data in APPDATA, local mail programs are a common source. I backup my Thunderbird data from APPDATA independently of my image backups.

    cheers, Paul

  8. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmeacham View Post
    what 's essential in Appdata?
    [QUOTE=Vincenzo;1088732]I guess it's possible other programs I've not encountered store something important there./QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Many programs store data in APPDATA
    Paul is correct, and an answer for OP depends on what you regard as "essential". Looking at my own Appdata\Roaming:
    47 top-level folders.
    An important Excel plugin holds its ribbon customization there. To me, that's "essential"—no way I need to go thru setting it all up the way I want it, if I can avoid that.
    My fav image viewer has 5 database files there, containing various settings. 'Essential' for me, but of course not irreplaceable.
    My Windows file manager has 21 sub-folders there, and I'm not going to bother checking them all since the first one has settings info I definitely don't want to have to redo in such a complex software.
    Another important image viewer has a INI file there.
    An important work program has its templates there.
    My main browser has 27 sub-folders & 60 files—41 of those with a last-modified time of today.

    Appdata\Local has 57 top-level folders & \LocalLow another 8.

    I move all my main software data stores out of Appdata to my D: drive so they're simple to backup, but even with that there are still > 3,800 sub-folders & > 32K files in my Appdata. I have no way of knowing how essential or not they all are, so I don't bother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    if you are doing it manually yourself backup your whole user profile
    I agree. But as said, imo imaging it all with the rest of the OS & programs [assuming programs are also on your OS drive] is the easiest and best. Macrium does a verified image of my C: in <15 minutes.
    Lugh.
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    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    Macrium does an image of my C: drive, about 500 megabytes, in about two hours. That's why I don't image very often, just back up my user folder. But there is a lot of stuff in Appdata that is basically a waste of space, like new log files every day. I guess I'll keep backing up the whole thing, excluding folders I know are unneeded.
    Bill Meacham
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    Administrator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Note that you can image your drive with Macrium in the background while you continue to use your PC. Alternatively, you can do it overnight. Also, you might want to clean your drive of unneeded temporary files to reduce your image size.

    Jerry

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    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    I've had some computers running Carbonite cloud backup where Carbonite was working so hard to backup AppData with it's continuous changes that it was running most of the time, and slowing down the computer. This was an older computer, a bit underpowered. So I configured Carbonite to only backup the Outlook folders in there. The computer ran much better. I still did images of the c: drive though.

  12. #11
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmeacham View Post
    But there is a lot of stuff in Appdata that is basically a waste of space
    No argument there, it's a pretty horrendous dump without a doubt.

    Bill, do you have more than one drive, or is everything on C:? Your C: is ~7x mine, & I have a lot of programs installed, so I'm guessing your data is on C: also and it's a HD, not SSD?

    Consider partitioning your HD and moving your data to the new D: drive. That'll simplify backup a lot for you.

    As Jerry says, empty Temp before imaging, also the Recycle bin. There are a bunch of caches around Windows which may be worth checking in case they're clogged:
    DNS Cache
    System Restore Cache
    Temp Files Cache
    Thumbnail Cache
    Web Browser Cache
    Windows 10 Update Cache
    Windows Store Cache

    I don't use Macrium to backup my files, but if I did I would use the Folder & File Exclusions to avoid the dross like \temp .bak .tmp .temp .log etc. See this page of Macrium Help for details.

    Once you have the backup setup to your liking, make sure you choose "Save to an XML file" which will enable you to run the same backup config next time without having to go thru the setup again.
    Lugh.
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  13. #12
    2 Star Lounger bmeacham's Avatar
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    I have a 480GB SSD. Not interested in partitioning it; it works fine as is.

    Yes, I save my Macrium backup as XML so I can just run it whenever I want. Macrium does a whole system image. No worries about that. My question is what to do about Appdata with daily backups of data files.
    Bill Meacham
    bmeacham98 AT yahoo.com

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    As I said, backup data from APPDATA that you need, like email.
    What programs do you have that store data locally, not including docs and spreadsheets etc?

    cheers, Paul

  15. #14
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmeacham View Post
    Macrium does an image of my C: drive, about 500 megabytes, in about two hours.
    Quote Originally Posted by bmeacham View Post
    I have a 480GB SSD.
    I assume you meant 500GB [not megabytes] in the first quote, which would gel with 2 hours. If so, your disk is very full, which will slow various things down a lot. I always like to have ~20% of my disks free.
    Lugh.
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