Profiles, folders, settings, user data deployment and ClaroRead

Summary: tells you where ClaroRead saves files on the network/user profile and warns you not to roam the %localappdata% folder.

ClaroRead installs into Program Files, of course. But it contains much user-editable data in addition to simple settings – prediction dictionaries, custom spellcheck data and so on.

ClaroRead creates three folders when installed.

1 %programdata%\Claro Software (e.g. C:\ProgramData\Claro Software)

This is a per-machine folder created by the installer. All users can write to it. It is used to store scanner information, because scanners are connected to the machine, not to the user.

For example, if Alice sets up the Canon scanner attached to a computer in the library, then the scanner settings are saved into %programdata%. When Bob comes to use ClaroRead on the same machine, ClaroRead loads the scanner settings from %programdata% and Bob does not need to set up the scanner himself.

If this folder is deleted by an administrator then starting ClaroRead will trigger a Windows Installer autorepair. Do not delete this folder.

2 %appdata%\Claro Software (e.g. C:\Users\Alasdair\AppData\Roaming)

This is the user’s roaming folder. It is copied across the network when the user logs out and in on a new machine. It is created by ClaroRead when ClaroRead is first run, and is used for storing per-user settings.

For example, if Alice logs in and runs ClaroRead for the first time, the C:\Users\Alice\AppData\Roaming\Claro Software folder is created and ClaroRead’s default settings are written into it. Alice changes from the Daniel voice to the Serena voice and closes ClaroRead: the Serena setting is written to the folder. Alice logs out and logs in on another machine: the folder is copied to her new machine and the Serena setting read from it. So Alice’s settings follow her around the network. Bob now logs on to the same machine, and a new folder is created for Bob, C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\Claro Software, with his own settings. He chooses the Sangeeta voice, and this is saved into his new personal folder. Alice’s selection is unchanged.

If you delete the roaming folder, ClaroRead will simply recreate it when next run, and the user’s settings will have reset to their defaults. This is what the Restore Settings program does.

3 %localappdata%\Claro Software (e.g. C:\Users\Alasdair\AppData\Local)

This the user’s non-roaming folder. It is NOT copied across the network by default. It is created by ClaroRead when ClaroRead is first run, just like the roaming folder. It is used for storing per-user data that could not realistically be copied across the network.

An example is the prediction database. ClaroRead provides word prediction. The default UK English prediction database is a 16MB file, and it is copied across to the non-roaming folder when ClaroRead is first run. Subsequent changes to the prediction database are made to this file. So word prediction changes do NOT roam across the network.

If you make this non-roaming folder roam, then you will find that ClaroRead is slow to start up on your network because the individual user data files will have to be copied across the network on login and logoff.

If you delete the non-roaming folder, ClaroRead will simply recreate it when next run, and the user’s data will have reset to its defaults. This is what the Restore Settings program does.


A discussion about roaming folders and configuring what roams: