Can I backup, import or export my favorites and settings?

The Import/Export Settings QAP feature can be uses for two reasons:

  • create a backup of your favorites and other settings in a file that you can save where you want;
  • exchange favorites and settings between different PCs or different users.

To open the Import/Export Settings dialog box, right-click the QAP icon in the Notification zone and, under the menu Settings file options..., click Import/Export Settings. If you use this command often, you can also add the Import/Export Settings command to your QAP menu by adding a QAP Feature.

In the Import/Export Settings dialog box:

  1. Click the Export or Import buttons.
  2. Choose the Source file to import or the Destination file that will be created (if it does not exist) to store your exported data. The last source and destination files are remembered and displayed as default
  3. Choose to import or export any or all of these settings groups: favorites, hotkeys, alternative menu hotkeys, global settings and themes.
  4. Click the Export or Import button.
  5. Alerts will inform you if existing settings are to be overwritten in the destination file and a report will summarize the completed actions.

Export Tips

  • Starting with v8.1.1, when exporting settings, you can use the following placeholders in the file name, allowing you to save different export files without having to give new file names:
    • %A_Now% will be translated to the current local date-time of your computer and
    • %A_NowUTC% to the current Coordinated Universal Time (still based on you computer time),
    • using YYYYMMDDHH24MISS format,
    • for example, as I write this, the file name my-export-%A_Now%.ini would be converted to my-export-20170228193600.ini.

Import Tips

  • When importing favorites, you can choose to:
    • replace the favorites currently in your QuickAccessPopup.ini file
    • or append the favorite to the existing one.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: If you choose to append favorites, make sure that there are no duplicates names in the favorites (or submenus) in your existing Main menu and in the favorites in your imported Main menu. Currently, QAP does not check for name duplicates and if a name conflict occurs, your menu could become offset depending on the position (and number) of duplicates.
  • To import settings, the source file content must comply with QuickAccessPopup.ini structure. More info about ini file anatomy here: What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file?.

Can I move my configuration from one PC to another?

Yes. First install QAP on the new PC and copy/replace the newly created quickaccesspopup.ini file with the one copied from your previous PC. The quickaccesspopup.ini file can be found in the QAP working directory.

All your favorites, hotkeys and preferences from the Options will be preserved. Of course, only favorite folders, documents or applications with the same location on the new PC or having portable locations will work. Also, most Special folders favorites will work as-is on the new PC. If a special folder favorite does not work, delete it and add it again using the Add Favorite button.

 

Can I set the QAP settings file location from the command line or a file shortcut?

You can also set the settings from command-line using the parameter "/Settings:", for example...

For easy-setup users:

"C:\Program Files\Quick Access Popup\QuickAccessPopup.exe" "/Settings:C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Quick Access Popup\My Settings.ini"

For portable installation users:

"C:\My Folder\QuickAccessPopup.exe" "/Settings:C:\My Folder\My Settings.ini"

Use separate double-quotes for application file and for parameter if the location includes one or more spaces.

If you create a file shortcut (.lnk file) for QAP, insert the command in the Target field. And do not forget to set the correct Start In folder, for example:
"C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Quick Access Popup"
or
"C:\My Folder\"

The Settings file location can include environment variable (like %userprofile%) and supports relative paths based on the QAP working directory. See Can I use system environment variables in favorite paths? and Can I use relative paths in favorite settings?

Can I load QAP with an alternative settings file?

To load an alternative settings (.ini) file, open the QAP system menu (right-click the QAP icon in the Notification zone) and, in the submenu Settings file options, select Switch Settings file. Choose the alternative file and confirm that you want to reload QAP with these new settings.

QAP system menu (right-click the QAP icon in the Notification zone)

When the new settings file is loaded, the Edit QuickAccessPopup.ini entry in the system menu is changed with the name of the alternative file.

If you wish to revert to the default settings file QuickAccessPopup.ini, in the submenu Settings file options, select Switch to default settings file.

The alternative settings file name is saved in the Startup shortcut used to launch QAP at Windows startup. When you reload Windows, QAP is loaded with the alternative settings. However, if you load QAP using the Start menu or command line, the default settings file QuickAccessPopup.ini is loaded.

If you prefer to control QAP startup with your own Windows file shortcut (.lnk file), see: Can I set the QAP settings file location from the command line or file shortcut?

How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini?

Normally, the QAP settings can be modified using the QAP Settings and Options windows and you don't need to edit the .ini file containing your favorites and your preferred configuration.

For some specific operation, you may need to edit this file named QuickAccessPopup.ini that can be found in the QAP working directory. You can open this file using any text editor.

But the easiest way to open the settings file is to use the QAP system menu: right-click on the QAP icon in the Notification zone select Edit QuickAccessPopup.ini.

The file will be open in your default text editor for ini files (Notepad if you did not change it in Windows).

For more information about the settings file, see What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file? and What are the values in the QAP settings (ini) file?.

 

What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file?

The following information is for advanced users who need to change the QAP settings by editing the QuickAccessPopup.ini file saved in the QAP working directory. See How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini? The ini file format described in this page also applies to shared menus, exported settings file and to import settings files. See also What are the values in the QAP settings (ini) file? for detailed reference info.

Regular users should not be required to edit these files except in rare situations described in the FAQ or in the Support page.

[Global] Section

This section contains settings managed in the Options dialog box or managed internally by QAP.

[Global]
LanguageCode=EN
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyMouse=MButton
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyKeyboard=#w
PowerHotkeyMouseDefault=+MButton
PowerHotkeyKeyboardDefault=+#A
Check4Update=1
DisplayIcons=1
DisplayMenuShortcuts=0
IconSize=32
...

See the description of these QuickAccessPopup.ini variables.

See also the special [Global] values for Shared menus below.

[Favorites] Section

This section contains the favorites found in your QAP menu. It starts with the first item in your main menu ("Favorite1=...") and ends with a line with a favorite of type "Z" ("Favorite7=Z" in the following example). When a submenu is added to your menu, it starts with a line of type "Menu" and ends with a line of type "Z" ("Favorite5=Z" below) and it continues with the content of the previous menu. Submenus can be nested at will. FavoriteN numbers must be consecutive. Menu loading stops at first missing N.

For example:

[Favorites]
Favorite1=Folder|Name of folder in main menu|...
Favorite2=Document|Name of document in main menu|...
Favorite3=Menu|Submenu name|...
Favorite4=Folder|Name of folder in submenu|...
Favorite5=Z
Favorite6=Folder|Name of next folder in main menu|...
Favorite7=Z

Format of each line:

[Favorites]
FavoriteN=FavoriteType|FavoriteName|FavoriteLocation|FavoriteIconResource|FavoriteArguments|FavoriteAppWorkingDir|FavoriteWindowPosition|FavoriteLaunchWith|FavoriteLoginName|FavoritePassword|FavoriteGroupSettings

FavoriteN= where N is a number starting at 1. One favorite line contains infos delimited by | (pipe), real pipes in values being replaced with the sequence "Сþ€" in ini file for all values except fields 1, 7 and 8.

Favorite fields order and names:
1 FavoriteType
2 FavoriteName
3 FavoriteLocation
4 FavoriteIconResource
5 FavoriteArguments
6 FavoriteAppWorkingDir
7 FavoriteWindowPosition
8 FavoriteLaunchWith
9 FavoriteLoginName
10 FavoritePassword
11 FavoriteGroupSettings
...

Example

[Favorites]
Favorite1=Folder|Windows|C:Windows|C:WindowsSystem32shell32.dll,298|||||||
Favorite2=Document|My Notes|C:Docsnotes.txt||||||||

Info on the internal data structure of each element and on special uses of some items can be found on QAP's wiki (section Favorite Object Model).

[Favorites-backup] section

Each time the favorites are saved using QAP, a [Favorites-backup] section is created with the current content of the [Favorites] section. Be careful to edit the current [Favorites] section and not its backup.

Themes settings

[Gui-Grey] and other sections starting with "Gui-" are theme descriptions. More info on themes in this page: Quick Access Popup Color Themes.

[AlternativeMenuHotkeys] section

This section contains the hotkey (shortcuts) settings managed in the Alternative Menu Hotkeys tab of the Options dialog box.

[LocationHotkeys] section (deprecated after v8.7.1.1)

Up to version v8.7.1.1, this section contains the favorites hotkey (shortcuts) settings managed in Change hotkey dialog box. You can open this dialog box in the Shortcut section of the Menu Options tab in the Add/Edit Favorite dialog box or in the the Manage Hotkeys dialog box.

From v8.7.1.93, shortcuts are saved in the [Favorites] section as parameter #20 (see object model).

Import and Export ini files

The files created when your export settings comply to the format described in this page. Files imported must also comply with this format. However, they could include any or all of these settings sections: Favorites, Hotkeys, Alternative menu hotkeys, Global settings and Themes. More info on import/export commands here: Can I backup, import or export my favorites and settings?

Shared menus

Shared menu are saved in ini files complying to the format described in this page. But they contain only a [Favorites] section as described earlier and a special [Global] section with shared menu specific variables. More information about shared menu settings file: What is the content of a shared menus settings file (for advanced users)?

What are the values in the QAP settings (ini) file?

Normally, the QAP settings can be modified using the QAP Settings and Options windows and you don't need to edit the .ini file containing your favorites and your preferred configuration. But if, for some specific operation, you need to edit this file named QuickAccessPopup.ini, see How can I edit the file QuickAccessPopup.ini? in the FAQ. See also What is the structure of QAP settings (ini) file? for an explanation of the settings files organization.

The following list describe all variables found in the QuickAccessPopup.ini file with a reference to the FAQ page about the related feature.

This info is reserved to QAP advanced users who know what they do and do it at their own risk. QAP does not always validate the info entered directly in the settings file before using it, which could lead to unpredictable results. Handle with care...
 

NameDefaultDescriptionLien
ActiveFileManager1File manager used when opening a folder in a new window
1: WindowsExplorer
2: DirectoryOpus
3: TotalCommander
4: QAPconnect (about 50 other file managers)
Help
AddAutoAtTop1 (true)Add new favorite at the top (if true) or bottom (if false) when adding with commands "Add This Folder", "Add This Folder Express" or with QAP Explorer Context menus.Help
AddCloseToDynamicMenus1 (true)Add a close menu allowing to dismiss the QAP menu. This menu entry can be turned off if user prefer to dismiss the menu by click elsewhere (but this is known as not working 100% of times)Help
AlternativeHotkeyKeyboard+#WKeyboard hotkey to open the QAP Alternative menu ("+" stands for Shift and "#" for Windows)Help
AlternativeHotkeyMouse+MButtonMouse button to open the QAP Alternative menu ("+" stands for Shift and "MButton" for middle mouse button)Help
AlternativeTrayIcon(none)File path of an image to use as a replacement for standard QAP icon in the Notification zoneHelp
AvailableThemesWindows|Grey|Light Blue|Light Green|Light Red|YellowList of themes described in this settings fileHelp
ChangeFolderInDialog0 (false)Allow QAP to change folder in file dialog boxesHelp
ChangeFolderInDialogAlertRead0 (false)Confirm that user read the info about risk of trying to change folder in a "non-file" dialog boxHelp
Check4Update0 (false, for portable) / 1 (true, for setup)Allow QAP to check on QAP website if a new version is availableHelp
DefaultMenuBuilt0 (false)Informs QAP that the default menus "My QAP Esssentials" and "My Special Folders" were built (at first QAP execution)Help
DiagMode0 (false)Enable diagnostic mode for debugging purpose (collecting data in the file QuickAccessPopup-DIAG.txt while executing specific functions)
DirectoryOpusNewTabOrWindow(none)Parameter sent to Directory Opus when opening a folder in a new window or tab ("NEW" or "NEWTAB")Help
DirectoryOpusPath(none)Path to the executable file of the file manager Directory OpusHelp
DirectoryOpusUseTabs1 (true)Instructs QAP to open folders in a new tab (if true) or in a new instance of Directory Opus (if false)Help
DisplayIcons1 (true)Instructs QAP to display menu iconsHelp
DisplayMenuShortcuts0 (false)Instructs QAP to display menu shortcuts (numbers or letters allowing to select menu item by hitting its number or letter)Help
DisplayTrayTip1 (true)Instructs QAP to display the popup in the Notification zone when menu is ready after startupHelp
DynamicMenusRefreshRate10000Number of milliseconds between background refresh of dynamic menus (not used at this time)Help
ExclusionMouseList(none)List of applications or windows where the QAP main menu mouse trigger will be ignored; part of the window title or window class name, separated by vertical bar (|); if prefixed by "*", the exclusion also apply to app's dialog boxesHelp
ExplorerContextMenus1Indicate if Explorer context menu were enabled by setup program or by QAP in Options, or disabled in QAP Options. Chaging this value in setings file have no effect and should be avoided.Help
ExternalMenusCataloguePath(none)Path to the catalogue root on a shared driveHelp
ExternalMenusCataloguePathReadOnly0 (false)When set to "1" prevent user from enabling/disabling the catalogue or changing its path in the Options dialog boxHelp
HotkeyReminders3Display hotkey reminders in menu in short or long format
1: Do not display
2: Display abbreviated names
3: Display full names
Help
IconSize32Size of icons in QAP menu, in pixelsHelp
IconsManageRows(none)Number of rows to display in the Manage Icons windowHelp
LanguageCodeENCode of the active language ("FR", "PT-BR", etc.)Help
LastExportFile(none)File of the last Export settings action, proposed as default for next exportHelp
LastExportFolder(working directory)Folder used for the last Export settings actionHelp
LastImportFolder(working directory)Folder used for the last Import settings actionHelp
LastModified(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Last file modification date-time of the shared menu ini file, taken from the file system and is be independent from various user's clocks or time zones. It is stored in the "yyyymmddhh24miss" formatUsed to detect if a shared menu file was modified by another user since QAP was loaded,
LastVersionUsedAlpha0.0Last alpha version used (for internal use)
LastVersionUsedBeta0.0Last beta version used (for internal use)
LastVersionUsedProd0.0Last version used (for internal use)
LatestVersionSkipped0.0Last version skipped using the Check for update command (for internal use)
LatestVersionSkippedBeta0.0Last beta version skipped using the Check for update command (for internal use)
LeftControlDoublePressed0 (false)Open the QAP main menu by pressing the Left Control key twice within 400 ms (if 1)Help
MenuName(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Name of a shared menu shown in various dialog boxes and used as default name when user adds the shared menu from the Shared Menus Catalogue
MenuReservedBy(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Windows logon name and computer name of the user currently editing the shared menu, menu is not reserved if empty
MenuType1(Used in shared menus settings file only) Type of shared menu: 1 (Personal), 2 (Collaborative) or 3 (Centralized)
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyKeyboard#WKeyboard shortcut showing the QAP main menuHelp
NavigateOrLaunchHotkeyMouseMButtonMouse button/keyboard combination showing the QAP main menuHelp
NbLastActions10Maximum number of items in the Repeat Last Actions menuHelp
NbLiveFolderItemsMax500Maximum number of items in a menu (including submenus) for a Live Folder favoriteHelp
OpenMenuOnTaskbar1 (true)Allow the popup menu mouse hotkey to open the QAP menu when clicked over the Windows taskbarHelp
PopupFixPosition20,20Coordinate where the QAP popup menu is shown (x, y) when the PopupMenuPosition is set to "At fix position" (3) or as close as possible to it; x can be greater than the first screen limit to display the menu on a second screenHelp
PopupMenuPosition1Display the popup menu near the mouse position (1), at top-left of the active window (2) or at a fix positionHelp
QAPconnectFileManager(none)Name of the selected external file manager as it appears between square brackets in the QAPconnect.ini fileHelp
QAPconnectNewTabOrWindow(none)Instructs QAP to open folders in a new tab (if true) or in a new instance of the file manager selected in the QAPconnect list (if false)Help
QAPconnectPath(none)Path to the executable file of the file manager selected in the QAPconnect listHelp
RecentFoldersMax10Number of items to show in the Recent Folders menuHelp
RememberSettingsPosition1 (true)Remember the QAP Settings position when QAP is closed open the Settings at this location at next launchHelp
RightControlDoublePressed0 (false)Open the QAP main menu by pressing the Right Control key twice within 400 ms (if 1)Help
RunAsAdminfalseLaunch QAP with administrative privileges (from v8.7.1)Help
SettingsPosition-1 (center at minimal size)Position where Settings window will be displayed if RememberSettingsPosition option is 1 (true); X,Y,W,H (left, top, width and height)Help
Startups1Number of startups since the ini file was created (for internal use)
SwitchSettingsFolder(working directory)Folder of the last switched settings file, used as default for next switch actionHelp
ThemeWindowsCurrent theme used for Settings, various dialog boxes and popup menu colors, one of the themes in AvailableThemesHelp
TotalCommanderNewTabOrWindow(none)Parameter sent to Total Commander when opening a folder in a new window or tab ("/O /T" or "/N")Help
TotalCommanderPath(none)Path to the executable file of the file manager Total CommanderHelp
TotalCommanderUseTabs1 (true)Instructs QAP to open folders in a new tab (if true) or in a new instance of Total Commander (if false)Help
TotalCommanderWinCmd(none)Location of the wincmd.ini file whre are read the Total Commander hotlistHelp
UnderstandChangeFoldersInDialogRisk0 (false)Flag that uer read and accepted the caution note about trying to change forler in a non-file dialog boxHelp
UseClassicButtons0 (false)Display old back and white buttons in Settings windowHelp
UserBanner(none)Optional text added to the app name in the Settings window header, no validation of lenght, keep short
WaitDelayInDialogBox100delay in milliseconds when changing folder in dialog box to help with an intermittent issue in in some apps like FirefoxHelp
WaitDelayInSnippet40|80|180Duration in milliseconds of three delays inserted while pasting text snippets (from v8.7.1.94)Help
WriteAccessMessage(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Message displayed to user having only read-only access to a centralized menu when they try to edit the menu. It can be used to direct the user to the menu administrator.
WriteAccessUsers(none)(Used in shared menus settings file only) Users who can edit a centralized shared menu, one or multiple Windows logon names, separated by coma or semi-colon
DefaultWindowsAppsMenuBuilt0Informs QAP that the default menu "My Windows Apps" was built (at first QAP execution with a version supporting Windows Apps)Help

Why converting the settings file to Unicode and what to do if I encounter issues after conversion?

From its beginning, Quick Access Popup is built with an Unicode architecture. This allows QAP to handle any type of characters and to be translated to any language, including two variations of Chinese.

However, last summer, thanks to a bug report from Doğan, a Turkish user, I realized that the QuickAccessPopup.ini settings file was created using the ANSI encoding instead of Unicode. In his example, Doğan found that a favorite folder including an "i without dot" like "D:\Yazılar\" was saved to the settings file as "D:\Yazilar\". The favorite was working well just after he created it. But as soon as the favorite was saved to settings and reloaded, the "ı" was converted to an "i" with a dot, making his favorite unusable.

"What makes Unicode so beneficial? Arguably that it, in essence, enables any character, letter or symbol to be represented using one single standard."

To know more about Unicode, read this very good post: Unicode 101: An Introduction to the Unicode Standard. For a more technical reference, see this Wikipedia page.

QAP users are coming from everywhere around the world and Unicode encoding offers better support for international languages. This is why, starting with QAP v8.6, at startup, QAP prompts users of previous versions to convert the QuickAccessPopup.ini file to Unicode. This dialog box will be shown to the user only one time, and only if the QAP settings file is encoded with ANSI.

User can click:

  • Yes convert to Unicode to do the conversion;
  • No keep ANSI to keep its actual file encoding (a flag is added to the settings file to remember not to prompt the user again with this dialog box);
  • Ask me next time to prompt the user again at next QAP launch.

The only reason for choosing No would be if you encounter an issue after the conversion. From my tests, errors would occur only if you did some unusual manipulations of your settings file (see note 2). For the majority of users, the conversion should be done seamlessly.

This being said, if, after the Unicode conversion, you find QAP giving error messages at startup or displaying strange characters in your menu, here is how to revert the conversion and return to the previous version:

  1. Make sure QAP is closed
  2. Go to the QAP working directory.
  3. Delete or rename the converted QuickAccessPopup.ini file.
  4. Rename QuickAccessPopup.ini-ANSI-BK to QuickAccessPopup.ini.
  5. Restart QAP and select No keep ANSI encoding.

Note 1: If Unicode encoding is important to you and you get errors, you will have to fix the favorites settings manually in QuickAccessPopup.ini. Because I'm curious, you can send me your setting files (original and converted) in a ZIP file to keep their original encoding at support@quickaccesspopup.com and I'll tell you if I can help.

Note 2: If your settings file was saved at some point using the UTF-8 No BOM encoding, this could be a reason for the issues (because this type of encoding cannot be distinguished from the ANSI encoding). But in normal use, Windows settings files (.ini) are always saved as ANSI or Unicode UTF-16 (Big Endian).