Changing the Default Data Folder

Many of the applications that you run have a file menu with open and save as options in it. Some of these programs make intelligent choices on which folder on your system to display when you select one or other of those options. Other programs always open the same folder and its not always the one that you would have chosen as the default if you had the choice.

Well in most cases you do have a choice but the option to change the default folder is not where you would expect. Most windows programs use the standard windows API to perform their file open and save as functions and so there is an option within windows itself where you can select individually for each of these applications which folder you want to use as the default.

You run just about all of the programs on your system using a shortcut to the program rather than going to the program folder itself to run the program. In most cases these shortcuts are either on the desktop, in a button bar, or in the start menu. In this last instance we need to get to the shortcut icon corresponding to the start menu entry so right click on the start button, select open from the menu and navigate through the folders that correspond to your start menu hierarchy until you get to the program you are looking for.

Right click on the shortcut icon and select Properties from the menu. Next you need to go to the Shortcut page of the properties notebook where you will find a field called Start In. You will notice that this field contains the information corresponding to the location of that default folder that always opens when you select open or save as in that program. All that you need to do is to change this location to the folder that you want to use as the folder that the open and save as options in that program default to and select the Apply or OK button.

Provided that the program is using the standard windows open and save as selection boxes this new folder will be the one that is used whenever you use this shortcut to run the program from now on.

If for any reason this doesn't work, all is not lost. You can still reduce the effort to get to the right folder to just one extra click by placing a shortcut to the right folder inside of the one that the application insists on opening.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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