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Recognized Environment Variables

Published: June 17, 2009

Updated: June 29, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Vista

Constant special item ID list (CSIDL) values provide a way to identify folders that applications use frequently 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 MigUser.xml, MigApp.xml and MigDoc.xml files. However, you cannot use the asterisk (*) wildcard characters in the Config.xml file.

noteNote
You cannot use the question mark (?) as a wildcard character.

In This Topic

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 that contains administrative tools for all users of the computer.

CSIDL_COMMON_ALTSTARTUP

The file-system directory that corresponds to the non-localized Startup program group for all users.

CSIDL_COMMON_APPDATA

The file-system directory that contains application data for all users. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\ProgramData.

CSIDL_COMMON_DESKTOPDIRECTORY

The file-system directory that contains files and folders that appear on the desktop for all users. A typical Windows® XP path is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Public\Desktop.

CSIDL_COMMON_DOCUMENTS

The file-system directory that contains documents that are common to all users. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Public\Documents.

CSIDL_COMMON_FAVORITES

The file-system directory that serves as a common repository for favorites common to all users. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Public\Favorites.

CSIDL_COMMON_MUSIC

The file-system directory that serves as a repository for music files common to all users. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Music. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Public\Music.

CSIDL_COMMON_PICTURES

The file-system directory that serves as a repository for image files common to all users. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Pictures. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Public\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. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

CSIDL_COMMON_STARTMENU

The file-system directory that contains the programs and folders which appear on the Start menu for all users. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\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 in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

CSIDL_COMMON_TEMPLATES

The file-system directory that contains the templates that are available to all users. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Templates. C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates.

CSIDL_COMMON_VIDEO

The file-system directory that serves as a repository for video files common to all users. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\My Videos. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Public\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

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

CSIDL_PROGRAM_FILES_COMMON

A folder for components that are shared across applications. A typical path is C:\Program Files\Common.

CSIDL_RESOURCES

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

CSIDL_SYSTEM

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

CSIDL_WINDOWS

The Windows directory or system root. 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) saves customized consoles to this directory, which roams with the user profile.

CSIDL_ALTSTARTUP

The file-system directory that corresponds to the user's non-localized 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 or C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming.

CSIDL_BITBUCKET

The virtual folder that contains 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 in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\MasteredBurning\Disc Burning.

CSIDL_CONNECTIONS

The virtual folder representing Network Connections that contains network and dial-up connections.

CSIDL_CONTACTS

On computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7, this refers to the Contacts folder in %CSIDL_PROFILE%.

CSIDL_CONTROLS

The virtual folder that contains icons for the Control Panel items.

CSIDL_COOKIES

The file-system directory that serves as a common repository for Internet cookies. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Cookies. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies.

CSIDL_DESKTOP

The virtual folder representing the Windows desktop.

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 in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\Desktop.

CSIDL_DRIVES

The virtual folder representing My Computer that contains 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 favorites. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\Favorites.

CSIDL_HISTORY

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

CSIDL_INTERNET

A virtual folder for the 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 in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA

The file-system directory that serves as a data repository for local, non-roaming applications. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Local.

CSIDL_MYDOCUMENTS

The virtual folder representing My Documents. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\Documents.

CSIDL_MYMUSIC

The file-system directory that serves as a common repository for music files. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\My Music. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\Music.

CSIDL_MYPICTURES

The file-system directory that serves as a common repository for image files. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Pictures. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\Pictures.

CSIDL_MYVIDEO

The file-system directory that serves as a common repository for video files. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Videos. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\Videos.

CSIDL_NETHOOD

A file-system directory that contains 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. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts.

CSIDL_NETWORK

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

CSIDL_PERSONAL

In Windows Vista or Windows 7, the virtual folder representing the My Documents desktop item. This is equivalent to CSIDL_MYDOCUMENTS.

In Windows XP, 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.

CSIDL_PLAYLISTS

For computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7, the virtual folder used to store play albums, typically C:\Users\username\My Music\Playlists.

CSIDL_PRINTERS

The virtual folder that contains installed printers.

CSIDL_PRINTHOOD

The file-system directory that contains the link objects that can exist in the Printers virtual folder. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\PrintHood. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts.

CSIDL_PROFILE

The user's profile folder. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username.

CSIDL_PROGRAMS

The file-system directory that contains the user's program groups, which are themselves file-system directories. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

CSIDL_RECENT

The file-system directory that contains shortcuts to the user's most recently used documents. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Recent Documents. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent.

CSIDL_SENDTO

The file-system directory that contains Send To menu items. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\SendTo. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo.

CSIDL_STARTMENU

The file-system directory that contains Start menu items. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.

CSIDL_STARTUP

The file-system directory that corresponds to the user's Startup program group. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.

CSIDL_TEMPLATES

The file-system directory that serves as a common repository for document templates. A typical path in Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\username\Templates. A typical path in Windows Vista or Windows 7 is C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates.

HOMEPATH

Same as the standard environment variable.

TEMP

The temporary folder on the computer. For Windows XP, a typical path is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp. For Windows Vista or Windows 7, 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 Vistaor Windows 7, 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.

See Also

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