I have installed GeoServer 2.16 on a brand new Windows 10 laptop at C:\Program Files\geoserver-2.16.0. I can open the interface on http://localhost:8080/geoserver and am logged in as admin. I am working through the Getting Started section of the user manual, and have reached 3.2 Publishing a shapefile.

I have unzipped a folder of shapefiles into the data directory at C:\Program Files\geoserver-2.16.0\data_dir\data\MyShapefiles. I have created a workspace. When I try to create a Store, I choose Shapefile, get the New Vector Data Source page, select the workspace I created, and enter a name.

When I try to choose the Shapefile location, I click Browse but I don't see my directory of shapefiles. I am in the Data directory, and it displays gwc/, logs/, security/, styles/, and workspaces/. I can't find my directory nor any of the sample data that comes with GeoServer installation.

geoserver screenshot

  • 1
    where exactly did you install GeoServer and where exactly did you unpack your shapefiles?
    – Ian Turton
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 14:31
  • Geoserver is installed at C:\Program Files\geoserver-2.16.0\ and the shapefiles are unpacked to C:\Program Files\geoserver-2.16.0\data_dir\data\MyShapefiles\
    – KiloGeo
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:30
  • While GeoServer may work in "Program Files" I would still rather install it into some other directory. Use the binazy zip installation, unzip all into for example c:\geoserver and try again.
    – user30184
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


I had downloaded the Platform Independent Binary installation. After installing, I started GeoServer by running C:\Program Files\geoserver-2.16.0\start.jar and then opening http://localhost:8080/geoserver in a browser.

I should have started GeoServer by running C:\Program Files\geoserver-2.16.0\bin\startup.bat. Once I did that, the data directories displayed with content as expected.

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