What are favorites advanced settings?

Advanced Settings give more control on how favorites are launched.

  • Launch with this application: Normally, folders and FTP sites are opened with Windows Explorer (or your custom file manager), documents are open with their default application and links are accessed with your default browser. With the advanced setting Launch with this application, you can choose to launch your favorite with another application. See Placeholders, below.
  • Start in: This advanced setting available for Application favorites allows to set the default working directory for the application. Take note that not all applications will comply with this Windows setting. See Placeholders, below.
  • Auto-open sub folder: When you open a favorite folder, you can ask QAP to automatically open the most recently created sub folder in this favorite folder. QAP could also open the most anciently created, or the most recently/anciently modified or accessed sub folder. More info here: What are the advanced options for favorite folders?
  • Encode FTP URL: When you specify a user name and a password for a FTP favorite, these values are added to the URL and sent to the FTP server. When enabled, this options make sure login name and password are properly encoded. Some application (like Total Commander) may prefer the values to be sent without encoding. For these apps, uncheck the option.Take note that this encoding is not encrypting. It does not prevent the password from being saved in the settings file and sent on Internet in clear text. Be cautious if your password protects sensitive data!
  • Sound played when launching the application: Set the file name or the codes of the sound to play. The sound is played immediately after the favorite is launched or the group is executed. You can play a sound file, a system sound or your own custom sound sequence. See also: Can I play a sound when I launch a favorite?
Placeholders and User variables

You can use placeholders and user variables in Launch with this applicationParameters and Start In fields. These placeholders can be replaced with:

  • the location or part of the full path and file name of the favorite’s location;
  • the folder where the QAP menu was opened;
  • the file selected when the menu was opened;
  • the content of the Windows Clipboard;
  • user input;
  • parts of the current date or time.

For all the details, see:

Can I create custom user variables and use them in file paths or snippets?

Video demo

User variables can be of great help in various situations:

  • network drive users having to enter long (and often cryptic) paths to reach their content can shorten these paths using convenient variable names;
  • if you use a Shared menu of type Personal on two different computers sharing the same cloud drive (like Dropbox), user variables like {Dropbox} allow you to have fix favorites paths in your menu even if your cloud drive is at different locations on your two systems;
  • same thing for teams using shared menus and cloud drives; favorites in shared menus for folders or files on a cloud drive will work regardless the cloud drives location on each team member PCs;
  • if you plan to move your files to another location, you can use a variable to avoid having to edit all the favorites after you moved the files to the new location;
  • etc.

To manage your user variables, select the menu Options, User Variables. In this tab, enter your user variables, one by line. Each line must start with the variable name between curly brackets (e.g. {MyVariable}), followed by the equal sign = and the variable content (e.g. {MyVariable}=My Content).

The first time you launch QAP, it creates user variables for commonly used cloud drives found on the system: {Dropbox}, {OneDrive}, {GoogleDrive} and {iCloudDrive}.


You can add your own variables. For example, if one line contains {OurSharedFolder}=S:\ThisFolder, the placeholder {OurSharedFolder} will be replaced by S:\ThisFolder in a favorite paths (and other location properties) when launching it or in snippet’s content when pasting it.

If you have multiple user variables, you can use text separators to make your list easier to read. Any lines not starting with { is treated as a comment.

In the following example, the user variable {OneDrive} is inserted in the favorite folder {OneDrive}\Project. If the variable contains C:\Users\Standard\OneDrive as in the previous example, the Project folder will be opened in C:\Users\Standard\OneDrive\Projects.


  • Nesting user variables: User variables can be nested but remember that variables are resolved (or replaced) in the order they appear in the list. If {Var2} includes {Var1}, {Var2} must appear before {Var1} in the list of variables. 
  • Inserting a user variable “as-is” in a text snippet: precede the variable’s opening bracket with a backtick, eg.: `{Dropbox}.

See also:

How can I debug placeholders and user variables?

You can test the effect of your placeholders and user variables in your favorites by enabling the Favorite debugging for placeholders and user variables in Options, Various Advanced Options tab.

When this option is enabled, an additional checkbox will be available in the Add/Edit Favorite dialog box Basic Settings tab allowing to enable debugging for this favorite.

When this option is enabled, instead of launching the favorite, QAP will display a dialog box containing the location (with parameter and Start in folder if applicable) expanded with the content of the placeholders and user variables. Disable the debug option to use your favorite.

On two PCs with a cloud drive (like Dropbox), can I save my QAP settings on this cloud drive?

No, this is not recommended. But there is a better solution.

If you save your settings file (quickaccesspopup.ini) on a cloud drive, you could face synchronisation issues. Let’s figure this scenario: 1) you edit your settings on system A but do not save them yet (leaving the Settings window open), 2) then edit your settings on the computer B and save them; 3) finally, back to computer A, you find the Settings window open and Save and Close it. Doing that, you overwrite the changes done on system B and, at best, your cloud drive will show two conflicting versions of your settings file. And there may be other scenarios like this one.

It is a better option to have your settings saved on a different folder for each PC and use a Shared menu of type Personal. Then, QAP will monitor changes on the two (or more) computers and will alert you if you have changes on one computer that are not saved on another system.

You can insert your shared menu at the top level of your QAP menu to access it easily. You can also assign a specific keyboard shortcut or mouse button to this menu. Finally, see how user variables and system variables can help you if your cloud drive and system folders are saved on different locations on your systems.

More info on shared menus here: Can a submenu be shared on different PCs or by different users?

Video – Users Variables (11 min.)

View, comment or LIKE this post on our YouTube channel

Presentations videos

Demo videos