[xplorer˛] — Protect your favorite settings
home » blog » 13 April 2008

"You are what you eat, therefore only cannibals can be humans" — Alcohol wisdom :)

xplorer˛ stores all its settings in the registry. How big the window is and where it is placed on screen, the history of the folders you browsed, your folder groups (tabs), bookmarks, user commands and all the rest, all go under a section in the registry. You can see it all opening windows regedit tool and browsing the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ZabaraKatranemia Plc. Most of the options go to keys xplorer2_UC and xplorer2_UC.global. If you create additional layouts (see Window main menu) you get extra keys like xplorer2_UC.layout_name.

I'm not going to get into a discussion why xplorer˛ uses the registry and not a settings file (.INI). But there are cases where a real settings file is necessary. You may want to keep a backup of your xplorer˛ settings for safety or for when you reinstall windows. You may want to transfer your settings to a different computer. The solution is simple: extract the registry information to a text file.

Regedit can export keys with its File > Export menu command, but xplorer˛ makes things simpler. There are many registry keys involved and using Actions > Export settings menu command you can have them all in a single .REG file. This is a standard windows "registration file" format that regedit understands.

The default name is x2settings.reg and contains a snapshot of your xplorer˛ settings that can be used later or on a different computer. If you double-click this file, the previous settings are automatically imported to the registry — but make sure xplorer˛ is not running when you import. Another precaution, especially for transferring settings to a different computer, is to first delete the old registry key information under HKCU\Software\ZabaraKatranemia Plc before you overwrite the information using the REG file.

NOTE: If you cannot import your settings it means that xplorer˛ was running when you d-clicked on the REG file. There may be a xplorer˛ process running in the background when you set it to replace windows explorer. So either quit xplorer˛ fully with <Alt+X> or find the xplorer˛ process using task manager (Processes tab) and kill it, then open the REG file.

Later xplorer˛ versions make this process easier through Actions > Import settings menu command. You just select the settings file (REG or INI) then use this menu command for restoring your old settings.

Carrying a x2settings.reg file with you means you can have xplorer˛ look and behave the same on any computer you happen to be working. The portable edition has introduced the /I command line switch that loads a settings file when you start xplorer˛ — but this can be used for the normal version too, even the lite version.

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