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Recognized Environment Variables

CSIDL values provide a way to identify folders that are used frequently by applications, but may not have the same name or location on any given computer. For example, the system folder may be "C:\Windows" on one computer and "C:\Winnt" on another. You can use the asterisk (*) wildcard character in any USMT .xml Files. However, you cannot use wildcard characters in the Config.xml file, and you cannot use the question mark as a wildcard character.

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Variables that are processed for the operating system and in the context of each user

You can use these variables within sections in the .xml files with context=UserAndSystem, context=User, and context=System.

 

Variable Explanation

ALLUSERSAPPDATA

Same as CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA.

ALLUSERSPROFILE

Refers to %PROFILESFOLDER%\Public or %PROFILESFOLDER%\all users.

COMMONPROGRAMFILES

Same as CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON.

COMMONPROGRAMFILES(X86)

Refers to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files folder on 64-bit systems.

CSIDL_COMMON_ADMINTOOLS

Version 5.0. The file system directory containing administrative tools for all users of the computer.

CSIDL_COMMON_ALTSTARTUP

The file system directory that corresponds to the nonlocalized Startup program group for all users.

CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA

Version 5.0. The file system directory containing application data for all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data.

CSIDL_COMMON_DESKTOPDIRECTORY

The file system directory that contains files and folders that appear on the desktop for all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop.

CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS

The file system directory that contains documents that are common to all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents.

CSIDL_COMMON_FAVORITES

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for favorite items common to all users.

CSIDL_COMMON_MUSIC

Version 6.0. The file system directory that serves as a repository for music files common to all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Music.

CSIDL_COMMON_PICTURES

Version 6.0. The file system directory that serves as a repository for image files common to all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Pictures.

CSIDL_COMMON_PROGRAMS

The file system directory that contains the directories for the common program groups that appear on the Start menu for all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs.

CSIDL_COMMON_STARTMENU

The file system directory that contains the programs and folders that appear on the Start menu for all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu.

CSIDL_COMMON_STARTUP

The file system directory that contains the programs that appear in the Startup folder for all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

CSIDL_COMMON_TEMPLATES

The file system directory that contains the templates that are available to all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Templates.

CSIDL_COMMON_VIDEO

Version 6.0. The file system directory that serves as a repository for video files common to all users. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Videos.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_APPDATA

Refers to the Appdata folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_LOCAL_APPDATA

Refers to the local Appdata folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_COOKIES

Refers to the Cookies folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_CONTACTS

Refers to the Contacts folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_DESKTOP

Refers to the Desktop folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_DOWNLOADS

Refers to the Downloads folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_FAVORITES

Refers to the Favorites folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_HISTORY

Refers to the History folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_INTERNET_CACHE

Refers to the Internet Cache folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_PERSONAL

Refers to the Personal folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_MYDOCUMENTS

Refers to the My Documents folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_MYPICTURES

Refers to the My Pictures folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_MYMUSIC

Refers to the My Music folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_MYVIDEO

Refers to the My Videos folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_RECENT

Refers to the Recent folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_SENDTO

Refers to the Send To folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_STARTMENU

Refers to the Start Menu folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_PROGRAMS

Refers to the Programs folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_STARTUP

Refers to the Startup folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_TEMPLATES

Refers to the Templates folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_DEFAULT_QUICKLAUNCH

Refers to the Quick Launch folder inside %DEFAULTUSERPROFILE%.

CSIDL_FONTS

A virtual folder containing fonts. A typical path is C:\Windows\Fonts.

CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILESX86

The Program Files folder on 64-bit systems. A typical path is C:\Program Files(86).

CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMONX86

A folder for components that are shared across applications on 64-bit systems. A typical path is C:\Program Files(86)\Common.

CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES

Version 5.0. The Program Files folder. A typical path is C:\Program Files.

CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON

Version 5.0. A folder for components that are shared across applications. A typical path is C:\Program Files\Common. Valid only for computers running Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. Not valid for Windows Millennium Edition.

CSIDL_RESOURCES

For computers running Windows Vista, the file system directory that contains resource data. A typical path is C:\Windows\Resources.

CSIDL_SYSTEM

Version 5.0. The Windows System folder. A typical path is C:\Windows\System32.

CSIDL_WINDOWS

Version 5.0. The Windows directory or SYSROOT. This corresponds to the %WINDIR% or %SYSTEMROOT% environment variables. A typical path is C:\Windows.

DEFAULTUSERPROFILE

Refers to the value in HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\ProfileList [DefaultUserProfile].

PROFILESFOLDER

Refers to the value in HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\ProfileList [ProfilesDirectory].

PROGRAMFILES

Same as CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES.

PROGRAMFILES(X86)

Refers to the C:\Program Files (x86) folder on 64-bit systems.

SYSTEM

Refers to %WINDIR%\system32.

SYSTEM16

Refers to %WINDIR%\system.

SYSTEM32

Refers to %WINDIR%\system32.

SYSTEMPROFILE

Refers to the value in HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\ProfileList\\S-1-5-18 [ProfileImagePath].

SYSTEMROOT

Refers to the root of the system drive.

WINDIR

Refers to the Windows folder located on the system drive.

Variables that are recognized only in the user context

You can use these variables in the .xml files within sections with context=User and context=UserAndSystem.

 

Variable Explanation

APPDATA

Same as CSIDL_APPDATA.

CSIDL_ADMINTOOLS

The file system directory that is used to store administrative tools for an individual user. The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) will save customized consoles to this directory, and it will roam with the user.

CSIDL_ALTSTARTUP

The file system directory that corresponds to the user's nonlocalized Startup program group.

CSIDL_APPDATA

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for application-specific data. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data. This CSIDL is supported by the redistributable Shfolder.dll for systems that do not have the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 integrated shell installed.

CSIDL_BITBUCKET

The virtual folder containing the objects in the user's Recycle Bin.

CSIDL_CDBURN_AREA

The file system directory acting as a staging area for files waiting to be written to CD. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning.

CSIDL_CONNECTIONS

The virtual folder representing Network Connections, containing network and dial-up connections.

CSIDL_CONTACTS

On computers running Windows Vista, this refers to the Contacts folder in %CSIDL_PROFILE%.

CSIDL_CONTROLS

The virtual folder containing icons for the Control Panel applications.

CSIDL_COOKIES

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for Internet cookies. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Cookies.

CSIDL_DESKTOP

The virtual folder representing the Windows desktop, the root of the namespace.

CSIDL_DESKTOPDIRECTORY

The file system directory used to physically store file objects on the desktop (which should not be confused with the desktop folder itself). A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop.

CSIDL_DRIVES

The virtual folder representing My Computer, containing everything on the local computer: storage devices, printers, and Control Panel. The folder may also contain mapped network drives.

CSIDL_FAVORITES

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for the user's favorite items. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites.

CSIDL_HISTORY

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for Internet history items.

CSIDL_INTERNET

A virtual folder for Internet Explorer (icon on desktop).

CSIDL_INTERNET_CACHE

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for temporary Internet files. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files.

CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA

The file system directory that serves as a data repository for local (nonroaming) applications. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data.

CSIDL_MYDOCUMENTS

The virtual folder representing the My Documents desktop item.

CSIDL_MYMUSIC

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for music files. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\My Music.

CSIDL_MYPICTURES

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for image files. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Pictures.

CSIDL_MYVIDEO

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for video files. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Videos.

CSIDL_NETHOOD

A file system directory containing the link objects that may exist in the My Network Places virtual folder. It is not the same as CSIDL_NETWORK, which represents the network namespace root. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\NetHood.

CSIDL_NETWORK

A virtual folder representing My Network Places, the root of the network namespace hierarchy.

CSIDL_PERSONAL

Version 6.0. The virtual folder representing the My Documents desktop item. This is equivalent to CSIDL_MYDOCUMENTS.

Previous to Version 6.0. The file system directory used to physically store a user's common repository of documents. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents. This should be distinguished from the virtual My Documents folder in the namespace. To access that virtual folder, use SHGetFolderLocation, which returns the ITEMIDLIST for the virtual location, or refer to the technique described in Managing the File System (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=74611).

CSIDL_PLAYLISTS

For computers running Windows Vista, the virtual folder used to store play albums, typically username\My Music\Playlists.

CSIDL_PRINTERS

The virtual folder containing installed printers.

CSIDL_PRINTHOOD

The file system directory that contains the link objects that can exist in the Printers virtual folder. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\PrintHood.

CSIDL_PROFILE

The user's profile folder. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username. Applications should not create files or folders at this level; they should put their data under the locations referred to by CSIDL_APPDATA or CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA.

CSIDL_PROGRAMS

The file system directory that contains the user's program groups (which are themselves file system directories). A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs.

CSIDL_RECENT

The file system directory that contains shortcuts to the user's most recently used documents. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Recent Documents. To create a shortcut in this folder, use SHAddToRecentDocs. In addition to creating the shortcut, this function updates the shell's list of recent documents and adds the shortcut to the My Recent Documents submenu of the Start menu.

CSIDL_SENDTO

The file system directory that contains Send To menu items. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\SendTo.

CSIDL_STARTMENU

The file system directory containing Start menu items. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu.

CSIDL_STARTUP

The file system directory that corresponds to the user's Startup program group. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

CSIDL_TEMPLATES

The file system directory that serves as a common repository for document templates. A typical path is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Templates.

HOMEPATH

Same as %USERPROFILE%.

TEMP

The temporary folder on the computer. For Windows XP, a typical path is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp. For Windows Vista, a typical path is %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp.

TMP

The temporary folder on the computer. For Windows XP, a typical path is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp. For Windows Vista,, a typical path is %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp.

USERPROFILE

Same as CSIDL_PROFILE.

USERSID

Represents the current user account security identifier (SID). For example,

S-1-5-21-1714567821-1326601894-715345443-1026.

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