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101 How to on Windows Phone – How to #29 – Using Isolated Storage Explorer Tool in Windows Phone


In this short tutorial we are going to see an interesting tool which is used to explore the Isolated Storage file with ease. To begin with Isolated Storage in Windows Phone 7 is something similar which we have with Silverlight. In Windows Phone 7 Isolated storage is space provided to store the data locally which is isolated from the other application. Each application can have their own space(storage) so that other application data cannot be shared with in the application which gives more security to the data. In case if we need to share the data then we can have Azure storages or any other cloud medium to share the data between the applications. Learn more on Isolated Storage using the article Learn Windows Phone 7 Development in 31 Days – Day 24 – Working with Isolated Storage’s in WP7      [more]

Taken into consideration you are familiar with the Isolated Storage concept, Microsoft has provided with some cool tool along with the SDK for Windows Phone 7. Isolated Storage Explorer tool is a command line tool which is used to explore the files that are saved with the Isolated storage, with this tool we can save, replace or delete the files that are stored. There are many third party Explorers as well which have a nice user interface which is used for the same purpose. Here we will see both the tools in detail on how to use it effectively.

Microsoft Isolated Storage Explorer Tool:

This tool comes with the installation of Windows Phone SDK, and the tool will be available in the SDK directory with the name ISETool.exe. Based on the operating system we have installed the tool will reside in one of the below 2 places.

  • Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v7.1\Tools\IsolatedStorageExplorerTool
  • Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v7.1\Tools\IsolatedStorageExplorerTool


Open Visual Studio Command Line and open the tool to see the list of options available as shown below.


Now let us see how we can use this tool in our application which uses the Isolated Storage. Open the project in Visual Studio, then build and execute the project in Windows Phone Emulator as shown in the screen below (We are using pre complied starter kit downloaded over the web) for easy accessibility. Create some files and data that are stored in the Isolated Storage so that it will be easy for us to explore using the tool.


Now we have added some data and its on the Isolated Storage, to explore using the tool we need to first grab the product ID from the WPAppManifest.XML file from the folder as shown in the screen below.


Now the syntax to explore the root folder of the Isolated storage will be as shown below (Navigate to the tool path using Command Prompt and execute the below code).

Code to execute in command prompt – ISETool.exe dir xd 0ac364e8-6697-4ed7-b27e-1fc274990b3b

We can see the expected output as shown in the screen below.


Now let us take the 3rd party tool which do the same thing of exploring the Isolated Storage but with a much graphical view. The tool is available in Codeplex and it can be downloaded using the link http://wp7explorer.codeplex.com/ Just download and install the package and we are done we can see the tool as shown in the screen below.


If we are going to use this tool, we need to make code changes in our existing code which uses this Isolated Storage explorer. Please check this documentation on how to use this explorer much more easier with step by step implementation Using WP7 Isolated Storage Explorer. So in this tutorial we have seen the Isolated Storage explorer tool which can be used effectively to get the list of files and folders that are saved in the Isolated storage.

About Author: Karthikeyan Anbarasan, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in ASP.NET/IIS Architecture. He is the Founder and Chief Editor of the www.f5debug.net website and has authored books on Windows Phone and Business Intelligence(SSIS). He is also a Passionate Speaker and a Blogger on Microsoft Technologies.

You can Join Me On: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn

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