Accessing Windows Vista Documents and Setting Folder

Q: Why do I get an Access Denied error when trying to open a folder? A: In Windows Vista, many folders that used to be used by earlier versions of Windows have been moved to a new location or given a new name in Windows Vista. However, the old folders can still be seen if you have enabled Show Hidden Files, and they look like the following:

Windows Vista hidden junctions folders

Notice how these folders are displayed with a transparent icon and a shortcut symbol. These folders are what is known as a junction. Junctions work like shortcuts, but in Vista's case look like regular folders with an arrow. The purpose of a junction is to redirect programs that access them to their Windows Vista equivalent. Since junctions aren't really folders, it is not possible to access them, and any attempt to do so will give you an "Access Denied" error.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the junction folders that have been moved in Windows Vista, along with their new location:

XP: Documents and Settings
Vista: Users

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents
Vista: Users\$USER$\Documents

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents\My Music
Vista: Users\$USER$\Music

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents\My Pictures
Vista: Users\$USER$\Pictures

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\My Documents\My Videos
Vista: \Users\$USER$\Videos

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Application Data
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Cookies
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Local Settings
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Local

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\NetHood
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\PrintHood
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Recent
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\SendTo
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

Documents and Settings\$USER$\Start Menu
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Templates
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Local Settings\Application Data
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Local

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Local Settings\History
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History

XP: Documents and Settings\$USER$\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
Vista: Users\$USER$\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users
Vista: ProgramData

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data
Vista: ProgramData

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop
Vista: Users\Public\Desktop

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents
Vista: Users\Public\Documents

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Favorites
Vista: Users\Public\Favorites

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu
Vista: ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

XP: Documents and Settings\All Users\Templates
Vista: ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates

XP: Documents and Settings\Default User
Vista: Users\Default