Files and Storage on Windows Phone 8

By | July 17, 2013

In this article we are going to learn about the storage in windows phone, it will be a local data storage and we will see different methods to use it. Let’s get a quick overview about how the data is stored locally in a windows phone.

storage overview

There are two different locations in which the data is stored:

  1. Installation Folder – This is the place from where the application gets all its item to the phone, it is also referred as App Data folder. This is ready only folder where we can just read the files which are required for installation and we cannot perform any writing operation.
  2. Local Folder – It is formerly known as Isolated Storage, here we can perform both read and write operations, this is the place we are going to spend our most of the time.

There are different methods for addressing storage location:

File Type / API

Installation Folder

Local Folder


Local Database Data Context appdata:/ isostore:/ MyDataContext db =

new MyDataContext(“isostore:/mydb.sdf”);

File access using WP7.1 Isolated Storage API Not supported StorageFile and StorageFolder APIs var isf =IsolatedStorageFile.


File access using Windows.Storage APIs via URIs ms-appx:/// ms-appdata:///local/ StorageFile storageFile = await Windows.Storage.StorageFile.


(new Uri(“ms-appdata:///local/”));

File access using Windows.Storage APIs via StorageFolder Refrence Windows.Application







var localFolder = Windows.Storage.ApplicationData.



storageFile = await localFolder.GetFileAsync


Windows Phone 8 File Access Alternatives

Let’s have a look at getting a reference of a file by three different ways.

  1. WP7.1 Isolated Storage APIs
    var isf = IsolatedStorageFile.GetUserStoreForApplication();
     IsolatedStorageFileStream fs = new IsolatedStorageFileStream("CaptainsLog.Store", FileMode.Open, isf);
  2. WP8 Storage APIs using URI
     StorageFile storageFile = await 
    Windows.Storage.StorageFile.GetFileFromApplicationUriAsync(new Uri("ms-appdata:///local/"));
  3. WP8 Storage APIs
     Windows.Storage.StorageFolder localFolder = 
     Windows.Storage.StorageFile storageFile =

So, now we are aware of different type of file handing techniques, in the coming posts we will learn how to use them individually.

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