Dozens of Application Data folders nested/embedded


Mar 11, 2018
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While trying to delete a troublesome app (AI Suite III (3) ) I found within my User profile was Application data folder
that held yet another Application data folder and another Application data folder and another Application data folder. . .

Each folder was actually a shortcut. I got 23 layers deep until I simply could not open the final Application data folder.

This last folder was not a shortcut, but Win7 would not, or could not, open it even though I'd taken ownership, gotten
all the permissions, auditing, etc.

I suspect that maybe the file name is simply too long.

I further suspect that this is done intentionally by someone knowing windows filename length limitations, which leads
me to suspect foul play at play.

C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Local\Adobe\Application Data\Adobe\Application Data\Adobe\ . . . repeats like
23 times until I finally get to an Application Data folder that isn't a shortcut to another one.

All the subfolder shortcuts are subfolders of Adobe:

Application Data buried in multiple folders-1.PNG

Application Data buried in multiple folders-2.PNG

The final, non-shortcutted, Application Data subfolder I cannot open nor can I take ownership.

When I try to take ownership (using the utility on this site) I get a popup, Explorer.exe, telling
me the filename is too long:

Application Data buried in multiple folders-can't own-filename too long.PNG

Any idea whats going on?

Is this normal Adobe behavior?

Should I be worried?

Is there a fix?

Last edited:


^ The World's First ^
May 10, 2010
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The AppData folder simply has a recursive pointer Application Data that points back to AppData\Local. This is perfectly normal and is how the user folder is designed to function. It can be confusing but you should not delete the Application Data pointer because the system accesses your AppData\Local via the pointer.

So by recursion, every time you click into folder Application Data pointer you are actually back at Appdata\Local in an endless (until you hit the path\filename limits) loop.

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