Controlling the Global User Directory

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The Global User Directory was brought to Windows in 3.5-2381 and release 4.0. Now, like Linux and macOS before it, Windows builds have a central location where saves, settings, screenshots, themes, etc are kept. All builds will have the same settings and saves, and updating from one revision to another will be much easier.

Choose the Location of the Global User Directory

Windows

  • Open the registry. Simply type "regedit" in the search bar of the Start Menu and hit enter.
  • Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  • Right click Software and select New > Key. Name the key Dolphin Emulator.
  • Right click the new Dolphin Emulator key, and select New > String Value. Name the value UserConfigPath.
  • Double click the "UserConfigPath" value and an Edit String dialog appears. Under "Value Data", enter the path to the custom User directory. Make sure that the "User" folder is explicitly specified, since Dolphin will assume whatever path it is directed to is the \User\ folder. If it is pointed to Desktop for example, the Desktop will be flooded with folders unnecessarily.

Linux and macOS

On Linux and macOS, the Global User Directory's location can be changed with the command:

/path/to/dolphin/build/dolphin-emu -u /path/to/user/directory

Disable the Global User Directory for a Specific Build with "portable.txt"

To make a build use a local user directory, create a text file named "portable" next to the executable files of the build. With the extension it should be named "portable.txt". Dolphin will check if that file exists in the same directory, then it will not use the global user directory, instead it will create and use the local user directory in the same directory.

This will work on Windows and Linux (as of 5.0-148). macOS and Android are not supported for this method.

Use Local User Directories on Windows

The Global User Directory system can be disabled entirely with a registry key. The key is global, so it is a "once and for all" change.

When done editing the Windows Registry, and before launching Dolphin, be sure to move the \User\ folder along with Dolphin executable files (or check if it's placed correctly). Otherwise, Dolphin will create a new one instead.

Manual Registry Editing

  • Open the registry. Simply type "regedit" in the search bar of the Start Menu and hit enter.
  • Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  • Right click Software and select New > Key. Name the key Dolphin Emulator.
  • Right click the new Dolphin Emulator key, and select New > String Value. Name the value LocalUserConfig.
  • Double click the "LocalUserConfig" value and an Edit String dialog appears. Under "Value Data", type the number 1.

Automatic Process with .REG Files

These registry keys can be created and removed with .reg files to make the process easier.

To create the LocalUserConfig registry key, open notepad, paste the following in it and save it as a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dolphin Emulator]
"LocalUserConfig"="1"

To remove the LocalUserConfig registry key and revert back to the Global User Directory system, open notepad, paste the following in it and save it as a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dolphin Emulator]
"LocalUserConfig"=-

The first key will set all Dolphin builds to use a Local User Directory, whereas the second will remove the Local User config and return to the Global User Directory system.