I've been on the EU3 forums and found 2 talks about this, but the only answers are to look in save game folder (which has nothing for me) and look in appdata (which has nothing for me).

My EU3 folder is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Paradox Interactive\Europa Universalis 3 (it's not Steam). Where can I find my saved games?

Additional Info:

  • After reinstalling, my save games are still the same and still run.
  • After reinstalling EU3 on the desktop, EU3 saves vanish, but come back once I reinstall in Program Files x86
  • I've looked in roaming (%appdata%) but there are no EU3's
  • I've typed in the name of the saves on the search function in C:\ and made all hidden files and folders visible.

2 Answers 2


This is the result of a lovely little security feature found in modern versions of Windows, first introduced in Windows Vista. The Program Files and Program Files (x86) directories are off-limits to any process running without administrator privileges.

So what happens when an older program tries to write into those directories, expecting them to be accessible? In simplified terms, when Windows catches a program trying to change files in these locations without the correct permissions it redirects those commands to the Virtual Store directory instead (commonly found in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\…). Similarly when reading files it check whether there's anything in the Virtual Store first and uses that. This is why saved data from older games often ends up here instead of inside the game's install directory.

This article has more background information on User Access Controls and use of virtualisation in Vista and later Windows versions.


I found them in

C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Paradox Interactive

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