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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Setting the Location for Blender's User Data Files

Here's a quick installation tip for Blender users on the Windows platform. This may be an issue for other platforms but, I have no way of testing.

The issue concerns the installed location of the "user data files" when using the Blender installer package. The data files in question are the python scripts, plugins, icons, etc.

You probably are used to having these files installed in subfolders within the Blender install folder. However, the default installation folder for these files (when using the installer) will place them in the "/Documents and Settings/USER/Application Data/Blender Foundation/Blender/" subfolder.

So, be sure to select your preferred destination for these resources when using the installer.

Blender default installation for user data files
Install Blender user data files to program folder

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kattzyze said...

If I've aleady installed it in the default place, should I uninstall and re-install? What kind of problems could it cause if I leave it in the default place?

Kernon Dillon said...

Well, the only problem I can think of is that the folder paths in your Preferences might not match up if your previous installation had different Preference setting for the paths. I'm not sure if the new install updates your user defaults file to those new paths.

Also, any OS utilities that you might use may need to have their paths updated. For example, I have a browser extension that allows me to save downloads to preset folders. I also have some custom "Send To" paths setup for the Windows file explorer context menu.

If you're not sure, it would probably be a good idea to re-install it using the second option for the user data files, and then manually delete the folders created in the "Application Data" folder during the previous install. I think that would be safer than doing an uninstall (I never trust those things to not accidentally delete files I would want to keep.)

kattzyze said...

Thank you! The installer told me I had files in the other place and would I like to move them, and if I said no, I wouldn't be able to use them. So of course I told it to move the files for me. I looked, and they are all there!

Kernon Dillon said...

Cool. I'm glad it worked out!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it better to leave the Default set to "Application Data"? If you are on a multi-user environment or do not have Administrator or Power user access then you won't necessarily be able to write into the Install directory. Also, I don't know about Vista but it might not like it either. What is the benefit of changing the Default? If you put it in the Application Directory and you set all your other OS utilities as you call them to that then you don't have to worry about them the next time you install a new version of blender because the files always stay in the same place (Application Data). That is the appropriate place for User Application Data, not the install directory. At least that's my opinion being a Sys Admin. Am I missing something?

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