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Tuesday 5 August 2008

Move your Task Directory

In a previous post I showed you how to move your tasks and settings to another computer. This post will show you how you can move the directory with all your settings to another location on the same computer.

When you first run the WatchDirectory Control Center after installing WatchDirectory, it asks you where you want to store your settings and tasks. The default location for this directory is

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\watchDirectory

If you later decide you want to have another location for this directory, follow these steps:

  • Stop all WatchDirectory tasks
  • Stop the "System.Mail" component (wdPostman program)
  • Inside the WatchDirectory Control Center, press the undocumented key-sequence CTRL+SHIFT+9
    This will open Windows Explorer in the directory where you have installed WatchDirectory, normally
    C:\Program Files\WatchDirectory
  • Switch back to the WatchDirectory Control Center and close it
  • Inside the directory that opened Explorer, you will find a file called watchdirectory.ini, open this file with notepad
  • The file contains just the following 2 lines:
    configdirectory=C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\watchDirectory\
    The second line tells WatchDirectory where it should store its settings and tasks

Change the directory above to the directory where you want to store your tasks and settings, for example


And copy the original directory to this location.

Some important notes

  • Use a "plain text" editor to change watchdirectory.ini
  • The directory must be on a local drive, do not store your settings on a network drive!
  • Make sure the directory-name in watchdirectory.ini ends with a backslash (\)
  • Do not store the directory under a user-specific folder, for example the following folder is not a good idea:
    C:\Documents and Settings\John Doe\Application Data\watchDirectory\


Start the WatchDirectory Control Center again. You should see all your tasks. Select the menu "Tools -> Explore Task Directory" to verify WatchDirectory now uses the new directory.

Have a good look at the tasks that show in the WatchDirectory Control Center. Do all columns show appropriate information? For example, do you see the correct directories under "Monitors Directory"?

If "yes", congratulations! You have successfully moved your task directory.

If "no", it means WatchDirectory isn't able to read the settings of your tasks. This can be caused by 2 things:

  1. If you see no tasks at all, you have misconfigured the directory in watchdirectory.ini, please try again
  2. If you do see all tasks, but they have missing descriptions etcetera, it means WatchDirectory doesn't have permission to read the task settings. Follow these steps to correct it
    • Close the WatchDirectory Control Center
    • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the new task directory (C:\WatchDirectory)
    • In Explorers' left pane, right-click the directory name and select "Properties" from the popup-menu
    • Open the "Security" tab
    • Make sure the "user" called "Everyone" is listed and make sure it has all privileges.
      If "Everyone" is not listed, add it and select the "Full Control" option under privileges.
    • Press Advanced and make sure the option to replace "inheritable permissions on all descendants" is checked
    • "OK" out of all the dialogs, saving the permissions

The above should fix 99% of all permission problems for the new task directory.

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