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Correct way to remove a user's folder and contents

  1. Dec 31, 2017 #1

    symbolipoint

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    What is the correct way to remove something like C:\users\nameOfUSER\Local\FolderToBeRemoved
    ?

    Is the way as simple as just using Exploerer to reach the folder and then just hit delete key or rightclick and choose delete? Or is there some other way that removal needs to be done? Something like you open a box and type in some %something%+somethingelse and then click a button before making other choices?

    The O.S. is Windows Vista.
     
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  3. Dec 31, 2017 #2

    Nidum

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    Depends what you mean by removal .

    'Delete' just moves it to the recycle bin . You or an intruder could still easily move it or open it .

    'Empty contents of recycle bin' just removes the easy access option .
    The file - for an initial period at least - still exists on disk and can be retrieved with suitable software . Tends to get overwritten eventually but with light disk loading this may take a very long time . Real experts can sometimes still recover files which have been overwritten .

    'Shred file' (various wording) is a function sometimes provided . It is certainly available in third party software like AVG . Very hard to recover files after this - though probably still not absolutely impossible using knowledge of the scrambling algorithm and or a powerful code breaker system .

    Best that a non computer specialist can do with a file containing sensitive information is to encrypt the file and then shred it .

    Remember that if you have opened a file in your current operating session then there will often be a copy of it uploaded into your software . This may not be erased until you shut down .
     
  4. Dec 31, 2017 #3
    Yes, it is as simple as just using Explorer to reach the folder and then just hit delete key or rightclick and choose delete.

    However, complications can happen that might prevent one from simply doing that. Try that first. If it doesn't work, then it could be that the system or user owns the folder (worse case) or that the folder or files inside that folder are currently in use by a process/service (not so bad sometimes). Before I continue, I think it is important to point out that the Local folder tends to be located inside the AppData folder (C:\Users\$USER$\AppData\Local), which is hidden. If your Local folder is under the user's folders, then you can work with that and ignore when I mention AppData.

    If the Local folder is under the AppData folder and you cannot see the AppData folder, activate the show hidden files and folders:
    https://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/page.php?id=8037

    If you get the "You need permission to perform this action." message when trying to delete the folder, then try this to take ownership of the folder and then delete it normally:
    https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/win...ership-to-explorer-right-click-menu-in-vista/

    If you get the "The action can't be completed because the folder is open in another program" message, try this:
    https://superuser.com/questions/2937/how-do-i-delete-a-folder-thats-in-use
     
  5. Dec 31, 2017 #4

    symbolipoint

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    Psinter
    That comes closer to what I hope to do.
    Upon rechecking what I want to delete or remove, it is more like this:
    C:\users\NameOfUser\AppData\Local\FolderWantToRemove\FilesWantedRemove.ext

    I am not certain of the process necessary for deleting this/these.
     
  6. Dec 31, 2017 #5
    In that case you can navigate there using Windows Explorer and delete the files you want by using the delete key or by right clicking the folder/files and choosing Delete in the context menu that appears.

    Local folders tend to be temporary data from specific applications. It could break application functionality, although it depends on the developer of the application whose folder gets deleted and whether they developed measurements to prevent their program from breaking if the folder and its content are deleted. Most likely it won't break anything if the application in question is not running, but one never knows (Too many variables and scenarios to consider).

    Do you see the target folder in Windows Explorer? If not, activate the view of hidden files and folders and navigate there. You can navigate there step by step or by typing:
    %LocalAppData% in the address bar and pressing enter.

    Source: http://environmentvariables.org/LocalAppData
     
  7. Jan 6, 2018 #6

    symbolipoint

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    Psinter
    Thanks. All I needed to do was navigate through Computer to the folder Epic Privacy Browser, right click on the folder, choose Delete, and the whole folder went to Recycle bin.
    I'm still not sure what to do for the %LocalAppData% stuff, but I did not read that quoted article yet.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2018 #7
    Good to hear you solved it :smile:.

    The %LocalAppData% stuff is written by one in the address bar of Windows Explorer. Then one presses Enter and it takes one to the C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local folder, given that the environment variable have not been previously modified to point elsewhere. It's just another way to get there. But you don't need it anymore.
     
  9. Jan 8, 2018 #8

    symbolipoint

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    The reason I asked is that some time ago, somebody told how to use %somethingOrOther% in the Windows RUN box to get to the folders and files one wants to remove. That is what I am unsure of and not remember how.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2018 #9
    Yes, that's another way.

    In the Run box, you can type %AppData% and it will get you to the Roaming folder. If you type %LocalAppData% it will get you to the Local folder. Once again, given that the enviornment variables have not been previously modified. The run box is indeed another way to get there.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2018 #10

    symbolipoint

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    That is helpful. I will need to look at the actual subdirectories in AppData to see more clearly; but at least you said two specific examples, how to, and the expected results.
     
  12. Jan 10, 2018 #11
    Why would you want to remove a user folder without removing the user itself? User information is stored in more than just the user folder (like the registry.) The proper way to delete a user is to do it through User Accounts in the Control Panel.
     
  13. Jan 10, 2018 #12

    symbolipoint

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    I AM THE ONLY USER! I HAVE NO DESIRE TO KEEP A PIECE OF A BADLY INSTALLED PRODUCT. I DID WHAT Psinter TOLD ME I COULD DO.
     
  14. Jan 11, 2018 #13

    lekh2003

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    :eek:
     
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