What are all those _vti folders for?

The question comes up quite often on both the Expression Web and FrontPage lists as to  “What are all those _vti folders for? Can I just delete them? ” A fellow MVP, Minal Agarwal, on her Saffron Stroke blog has just posted an article on Add or remove metadata in Expression Web where she answers just that question.

Microsoft Expression Web requires metadata to maintain a whole bunch of cross-page dependencies features like hyperlinks, DWTs and some site reports.

Metadata is stored in hidden folders. This prevents them from any unintentional modification, deletion or any such action on the metadata. There are two types of folders:

a. _vti_cnf folders – stores information about all the files such as the links in the file.
b. _vti_pvt folders – stores configuration information for the site.

Minal answers the questions:

  1. What is metadata and what does it store?
  2. Where is metadata required?
  3. How do I configure Expression Web to use metadata?

Have you ever renamed files or folders from within Expression Web? Have you moved pages and images from one location to another? If so, these operations depend on the metadata associations. So before you go deleting those _vti folders, remember they DO serve a purpose.

So head on over to the Saffron Stroke blog and read Add or remove metadata in Expression Web.


  1. Thanks Pat.

  2. nathan anderson says:

    I think that _vti-folders are good so that information kept in these are not just accessible to others. Metadata sounds very important information that can be retrieved by certain people only. Expression Web sounds like a new application that can improve data storage.

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