Which folders in ProgramData and AppData should be backed up?

On Windows, the ProgramData folder is used to store program specific information that is not specific to any user. AppData is for the user specific specific users. A typical example of what often goes into these folders are configuration settings.

So one might be inclined to include both folders in your backup. The problem is: there is also a lot (!) of useless junk in there that you definitely don’t want to backup. (At least not if you’re paying for the storage space.) To name but one example: Chrome saves the temporary browsing data there, which easily adds up to hundreds of megabytes with lots of files changing every time you open a web page. (And that means, it will use lots of storage if backed up.)

So I have currently excluded both folders from my backup. But: that is not ideal either, because, as I said, there may well be some valuable data there. The problem is: finding the relevant sub- and sub-sub-folders it’s a bit like digging gold. Which brings me to the point of this topic: let’s share what we know!

If you are aware of any valuable data in either the ProgramData or the AppData folders, please post a quick reply here, stating the path and (unless it’s self evident) which program it belongs to and what it is used for / why you have included it in your backup.

You could start by taking a look at my filters file from github, from the Scripts and utilities index.

It has a lot :sweat_smile: of folders and files filtered, they are organized (well, sort of) and that’s is what I am using today for my own backups.

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I am actually using that template file on one of my computers but it seems to be an early version as it does not yet have any inclusions for appdata or programdata. Good to see that it has evolved! Will take a closer look later.

As far as I can see, the only explicit inclusions you have for those folders are for browsers and email programs and I don’t want to backup any of that.

I suppose you don’t have so few inclusions because your strategy is a different one than mine: you are by default including everything from AppData and ProgramData and then exclude certain things and then re-include others. My strategy is (slightly riskier) to exclude both folders by default and then include what I really want.

If you have ideas about folders you think aren’t needed => just create an issue on my github, or let’s discuss them (in this topic or another).

Correct. For me a backup is a snapshot of the system with which after i restore (full restore means: reinstall windows, install some of my programs, do duplicacy restore) => i get a fully working system with all personal data intact. So i do want to have everything in the backup. (although you see that i reject a lot of stuff which is synchronized elsewhere).

Plus i don’t have space problems since i am using a GSuite business account with unlimited storage and google drive file stream for accessing.

@Christoph is this topic still in need of an answer, or could we close it?

Are we now trying to close topics? Personally, I think closing (i.e. preventing users from replying) makes sense when the original question has been exhaustively answered and a reply is likely to start a new but somehow similar issue. Such similar discussions should be in separate topics, hence closing makes sense.

Just my 2 cents. Feel free to close if you wish.

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