In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, files in the 'My Documents' folder cannot be viewed or accessed from ArcMap or ArcCatalog

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Data stored in the 'My Documents' folder in Windows 7 and Windows Vista cannot be viewed or accessed from the ArcMap 'Add Data' dialog box or from ArcCatalog.For example, when browsing to 'My Documents' in Windows Explorer, data is visible:
[O-Image] Data visible in Windows Explorer on Vista or 7
However, when browsing to the same location in ArcCatalog, the same folder appears empty:
[O-Image] My Documents on Windows Vista and 7 looks empty in ArcCatalog


The My Documents folder on Windows 7 and Vista does not actually contain the data, but rather, a redirect to C:\Users\<user>\Documents, where the data is actually stored.

Solution or Workaround

When using ArcCatalog or the ArcMap 'Add Data' dialog box, access 'My Documents' data by browsing to C:\Users\<users>\Documents instead of the 'My Documents' folder:
[O-Image] Data is actually stored in Documents

    Article ID:000010873

    • ArcMap

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