Where Do Vault Profiles Live?

January 18, 2018 Mark Cloyed

You may or may not realize it, but your vault client stores a profile.  By opening the vault client, a set of files are created to store the settings used by the application.  This is probably not a surprise to anyone, but knowing where it is stored can be useful for a couple of reasons.  I will discuss two uses for knowing where your vault profile lives, copying to others and fixing unusual problems. 

I have received many requests to propagate a vault client’s settings to another user.  “We want to set up a default look and feel, and push it to all of our users”, or “how can I copy the settings I am using in my current client into the upgraded client?”  I am sure there are other similar needs out there, essentially needing to copy how the vault client looks and feels for one person for another. 

The other situation may not be as obvious.  I have worked with vault for some 18 years now, and occasionally I run into a problem with the way the vault client functions.  It may be something as simple as ‘when I open this dialog box, it doesn’t display on screen’.  In this case, the profile has stored the coordinates for that dialog box.  In previous versions of vault, I would use a two-monitor arrangement and place a dialog on the second screen.  Later, when I am only using a single monitor, that dialog box is being placed off the main screen (where the second screen used to be), so that I can’t see it.  I try to click on other things in vault, but my computer just ‘dings’ at me to tell me that I’m not clicking on the focused dialog. 

This situation may also manifest itself in another way.  I may try to do something in the client and it fails to do what I ask, sometimes causing an error and closing the client.  It might be that I am trying to change the width of a column in the main grid, or every time I open the vault client and log in, it gives me an error and closes.  This type of issue is more difficult to determine.  In some cases, working with technical support may not find a solution.  As always, I first make sure I have all available updates installed.  The issue may be that I have some sort of corruption with my profile.  If I delete my profile, I sometimes find that this corrects the problem (the vault client will automatically rebuild the profile the next time I open the application). 

How do I find my profile?  Each model year of the vault client uses a separate set of folders, and specifically two primary folders where it stores everything from your log-in credentials (if you check the box to automatically log you in the next time), to the columns displayed in each grid along with their widths, your saved searches, and which vaults are on which servers.  Let’s start with the current product that I use, Vault Professional 2018, so my examples will be for that product.  The other versions of Vault will use pathing that is similar with the obvious changes from ‘Professional’ to ‘Workgroup’, etc.  Your profile is stored under your user login account folders.  That is typically C:\Users\<user_id>, where the <user_id> is your login account name.  Another way to access this folder is using an environment variable in Windows.  If you open a File Manager window and type into the URL box ‘%userprofile%’ (leave off the apostrophes) and hit ‘enter’, it will display your personal folder on this computer (C:\Users\<user_id>).

Userprofile

For those of you that want to script things, using %userprofile% can be useful as it specifies the folder relating to the user currently logged into that computer. 

The first part of the profile is fairly easy to see.  Part of the profile is stored under:

 %userprofile%\AppData \Roaming\Autodesk\Autodesk Vault Professional 2018

A computer with multiple versions of the vault client installed with have multiple versions of this path, varying by the model year and/or the version of vault. 

Userprofile2

You will see several folders and files here, storing much of the overall layout of your client on screen.  The second folder that houses the other part of your vault profile is under:

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\VaultCommon

Userprofile3

Under this set of folders, the vault client stores your shortcuts and saved searches.  The subfolders beneath the ‘Server’ folder are a little more cryptic in name.  In the example below, the folder for the Vault Professional 2018 is named ‘Services_Security_1_6_2017’.  The folder for Vault Professional 2017 is named ‘Services_Security_2_3_2016’, with older versions following a somewhat similar kind of date code folder name.  Keep this in mind when trying to copy the settings from an older version of the client to a newer version.

Userprofile4

Knowing where these two folders reside, a user can copy those sets of folders to store their current vault settings, or help another user set their system up with the same settings.  If a user were to delete these two folders, the next time they open the vault client, the application will recreate the folders and begin storing settings.  You will have lost things like the way your main folder and file grid looked, your shortcuts and saved searches, but you may have fixed a corruption in the old profile that was causing vault to not work properly.  A last word of advice: be careful when trying to copy your old model year profile to a newer model year profile.  The file and folders may be formatted differently which may cause the new version of vault to not use them.  If that is the case, you may decide to simply delete that version’s folders and let the application recreate them.

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