How to fix Application Data folder error when launching Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista

I have heard of a few instances recently where customers have installed Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista, and then every time they tried to launch Visual Studio, they received an error dialog with the following text:

The Application Data folder for Visual Studio could not be created.

This error dialog only has an OK button and clicking OK closes Visual Studio and the IDE cannot be used.

I previously posted a description of an application compatibility warning that appears when launching Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista.  This warning dialog appears when attempting to launch Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista.

Unfortunately, the same dialog also appears during Visual Studio 2005 setup.  If you press cancel on this dialog when it appears during setup, it can cause some of the necessary registration steps to be skipped.

If you see this Application Data folder error dialog when launching Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista, there is a chance that you inadvertantly pressed cancel on this application compatibility dialog when it appeared during Visual Studio 2005 setup.  You can use the following steps to repair the Visual Studio registration on your system and resolve this error:

  1. Click on the Start menu, choose All Programs, then Accessories
  2. Right-click on the item named Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator
  3. Click continue to launch an elevated command prompt
  4. Run "%programfiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /setup

Note: the command line in step 4 assumes that you have installed Visual Studio 2005 to the default path on an x86 system.  You will need to update the command line if your system is not an x86 system or if you installed Visual Studio 2005 to a non-default path.

Comments (20)
  1. hrangan says:

    Thanks.  This did fix the issue.  Guess we

  2. says:

    The same error in VS2008 Beta 2.

  3. satovey says:

    For 2008

    "%programfiles%Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0Common7IDEVWDExpress.exe" /setup

    By the way, if you installed Visual studios 2008 under a folder other than Program Files, you need to specify the path as follows:

    "C:your install folderMicrosoft Visual Studio 9.0Common7IDEVWDExpress.exe" /setup

    I am running Win7 x64 and this corrected the problem.

  4. satovey says:

    One more thing, follow your path to the common7IDE directory and see if the aforementioned exe file exists, if not, substitute the exe of the program giving the error message.

    By doing this, you should be able to correct any version with the issue.

  5. shy says:

    Thanks..solved my problem also..:)

  6. ajinkya kokil says:

    running vs05 on win7 thnx….az this post solved my problem. thanks alot

  7. 123456 says:

    Im running 2010 and still getting the error any help??

  8. Hi 123456 – I don't know of any workarounds other than what I listed in this blog post.  I'd suggest posting a question on one of the Visual Studio forums at…/visualstudio and hopefully someone there will have some additional ideas for you to try.

  9. ronak shah says:


  10. dmw89z says:

    also Im running 2010 and still getting the error any help??

  11. Hi Dmw89z – You might want to try similar steps to the ones listed in this blog post.  Visual Studio 2010 is installed to a folder named Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0 by default, so you'll need to change the command line you use in step 4.

    If that doesn't help, then I'd suggest searching on the Visual Studio forums at…/visualstudio.  There are a few threads there from people who have run into similar errors, and there are some additional workarounds listed there that you may want to try too.

    If the instructions in this post don't help, and if you can't find any workarounds that help you on those forums, then I'd suggest posting a new question on the forums and hopefully someone there can provide some additional suggestions for you to try.

  12. Smitty says:

    If you log into a network (IOW, you're on a corporate LAN at all), check with your sys admins.  They have probably *helpfully* set your user account to have a mapped %appdata%.   This idiotic functionality can cause all kinds of problems

  13. Rahul says:

    Got it…fixed… But why it worked?

  14. Rustem says:

    Thanks. It's work in Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64-bit with Visual Studio 11 Pro beta too.

  15. Akshay says:

    how u fixed it Rahul ? reply

  16. MISTERAMD says:

    I'm using Windows 7 64bit. AMD Phenom II X6 1090T clocked at 3,75Ghz. 12GB DDR3 RAM installed with an ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB. I'm full Admin on my monster pc. I just installed MS Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition. I see no icons, no start menu changes, nothing. Locating the main exe (devenv.exe) gives me an error. "The Application Data Folder For Visual Studio Cannot Be Created". I have been searching on my computer for the cause. Finally I changed the UAC slider to the bottom (disabled). BOOM!

    No error anymore, no weird messages, and the MS Visual Studio 2008 launched. For all the people on the internet that has also encountered this little nightmare, here is the solution. Disable UAC.

  17. Kevin says:

    How to fix if nothing works and get "The data application folder could not be created"? Any other ideas?

  18. Hi Kevin – I don't know of any other workarounds for you to try in this scenario.  I suggest posting a question on one of the Visual Studio forums to see if someone there has any other ideas.  You can find the forums at…/visualstudio,vslanguages,vstfs,netdevelopment,vsarch.

  19. Brian says:

    Thank you.

    I got the idea from satovey and used

    "%programfiles%Microsoft Visual Studio 8Common7IDEVCExpress.exe" /setup

    to fix the problem while clicking the icon after installation of Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition to Windows 8.

    It works.

  20. Bala says:

    It's working Fine…. Thanks….

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