Software solutions for a mobile world

A great, and much needed facility for Windows Phone 7 developers arrived with the 7.1 SDK – the ‘Isolated Storage Explorer Tool’. As its name suggests, it allows you to explore isolated storage on the phone itself, copy files from isolated storage to your PC, and copy files to isolated storage from your PC.
This will greatly help developers – I had an XML problem, where I had to add a ‘frig’ to my program to allow me to look at the XML. If this tool had been available, my task would have been a lot easier.

The Isolated Storage Explorer Tool can be found in your program files folder, at “Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v7.1\Tools\IsolatedStorageExplorerTool” and uses a command line interface. The documentation for the tool can be found here.

You can only explore isolated storage from your own applications, as you need to provide the GUID from the application.

In the same way we developed a GUI interface for the Capability Detection Tool, APPA Mundi have developed and released a FREE GUI interface to the Isolated Storage Explorer Tool – imaginatively called GUI Iset.

When you fire up the program, you see the initial screen as shown below.


You need to enter a GUID for your application. You can use the ‘Find’ button to browse to your project folder, and GUI Iset will scan your ‘WMAppManifest.xml’ file and extract the GUID for your application. If you have sub-folders in your isolated storage, you need to enter them, otherwise just leave the text box blank to look at the root folder.

Click on ‘Go’, and GUI Iset will show all your files, and file sizes in isolated storage. The example below shows the ‘settings’ file from our APPA FlightInfo program.

GUI Iset also supports taking snapshots, and restoring snapshots. ‘Take snapshot’ will copy the files from isolated storage to your PC, and ‘Restore snapshot’ will copy files from your PC to isolated storage.  To copy files from isolated storage, click on the ‘Take snapshot’ option. This will bring up a text box to select your destination folder, and a check box. If you want to explore the destination folder when you have copied the files, check the ‘Show uploaded files when complete’. You also need to enter a valid path on your PC (this will be remembered, as will your choice of device or emulator, the isolated storage path, and the path to your app if you use the ‘Find’ button).

You can now look at and/or modify your files on the laptop. If you then select ‘Restore Snapshot’ and click on ‘Go’, the files from your PC are copied back to isolated storage on your device (or emulator).

If you want your FREE copy of GUI Iset, it can be downloaded here

If you have any problems, or suggestions, please email us at

We have also made a couple of small updates to GUI CapDetect, although this is no longer needed in Mango.


 Originally posted 31/Aug/2011


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