SpecialFoldersView shows all system folders

specialfoldersview_icon Windows sticks to idea that different things belong to different and clearly defined folders. Like many things in Windows that went horribly wrong. :) There are too many system folders, multiplied by number of user profiles. Software developers sticking data and settings in most obscure of those folders doesn’t help either.

SpecialFoldersView is another of fine Nirsoft utilities that clearly shows system folders and their actual location on hard drive.

What it does

App serves (in usual multi-column interface):

  • names of system folder (how are they displayed in Explorer and/or commonly referred to);
  • full paths to folder;
  • folder attributes.


You can easily open or copy path of any folder and there is also menu option to create desktop shortcuts.

Strong features

As for me there are two best things about this app:

  • it shows everything, big help when looking for rarely used or remapped folders;
  • it helps distinguish user’s personal folders and same folders shared between all users.


While I listed user’s folder as strong feature it is also limited to user profile under which you run program. It would be great to have option of viewing all profiles, feature more common to Sysinternals utilities than Nirsoft ones.


Useful single-executable and portable app, that comes very handy when looking for stuff (though Everything might be even better) or setting up thorough backup routine.

Home&download http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/special_folders_view.html

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  • The DataRat #

    Another useful utility from Nirsoft ! Not entirely sure of the rationale behind system folders. And, if Vista is going to have 'em, then it ought to come with a native applet for finding the damn things. Here's a good tutorial for changing system folder defaults: http://www.vistarevisited.com/2008/01/05/how-to-change-your-default-folders-in-vista-for-musicdocumentspictures/ The DataRat .
  • Rarst #

    @DataRat Well, rationale was to have programmatically defined and common places for specific stuff. As I remember registry also had similar reasoning behind it and just look how crappy result is. MS apparently like to put stuff in boxes, just doesn't bother to keep them in order. :)