Moving your Google Desktop Database Location

I’ve recently realized that my windows ‘user profile’ was being backed up across my work network in order to support a ‘roaming profile‘. The roaming profile allows me to log on to any machine within my company’s network and have the same desktop, links, browser favorites, and mapped network drives (as well as several other application specific settings). My problem was that this user profile was being synced across the network any time I logged in or off of my local machine and the process was taking FOREVER; Up to an hour and 15 minutes at times. This was attributed to the large (3.5GB) google desktop database folder as well as some other Java development environment cache indices. All in all, I was transferring over 8GB across the network every time I logged in or off. No wonder it was taking forever for my machine to startup or shutdown!

The obvious solution was to move all of the large collections of Google Desktop data out of my user profile. But wait, There is no setting within the Google Desktop preferences menu! To the windows registry!

Before we go mucking with registry settings, make sure to shutdown google desktop. We’ll also want to move the google desktop database location out of our user profile. By default, the Google Desktop database folder resides in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Google Desktop\.  You can find more information about backing up the Google Desktop Database here. For now, we’re just interested in getting it out of our profiles directory and putting it in a location that does not get transferred across our network. Within the %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Google Desktop\ directory is another directory whose name is comprised of random numbers and letters. This is the directory that you want to move to another location. To keep things simple lets say we moved it to c:\google desktop\database\<as763gdas>

Now that we’ve moved the physical location of the database elsewhere, it’s time to make a simple registry change.

Before we modify the windows registry settings it’s always a good idea to back them up. Before we back them up, we need to get into a registry editor. press windowskey+r. This will open up the ‘run’ dialog box.

Type in ‘regedit’ and hit enter. now select the export option from the file dropdown menu:

Call the registry backup file anything you’d like and save it to a location you will remember.

Now, within the regedit window navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Desktop. The registry key that you want to change is called “data_dir “. Change the value of that key to the new location of the Google Desktop database folder.

Now, just restart Google Desktop and presto, your Google Desktop Database woes are long gone.  :)


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