Resolving Unexpected Behavior On a Windows PC by Redirecting the Data Folder

Reference Number: KB-03132
Last Modified: July 15, 2024

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


I'm experiencing one or more of the following issues when I use my Chief Architect program:

  • The software freezes or hangs when creating a new plan or layout. 

  • The software freezes or hangs when accessing the User Catalog in the Library Browser.

  • An error message appears when creating a new plan or layout.

  • An error message appears stating the software cannot read or write to a library database.

  • An error message appears stating it cannot read or cannot find a toolbar configuration.

  • Toolbars are missing when opening or creating a new plan.

  • User Catalog is missing when viewing the Library Browser.

What might be the cause of this behavior?


Templates, toolbar and hotkey configurations, and the User Catalog are all stored in the program's Data folder, which resides in the user account's Documents folder by default. These symptoms indicate that the software is having trouble accessing, reading, or writing to the files in the program's Data folder. If you're on a Windows PC, first add the Chief Architect, Inc. program as an allowed app in Controlled Folder Access by following the instructions in KB-03125: Troubleshooting Error Messages Associated With the Program's Data Folder.

If you continue to experience problems after following the steps in that resource, you may have OneDrive enabled, which might have your Documents folder stored in the cloud. Accessing program and plan files over a cloud storage service can cause the symptoms previously mentioned, as well as more severe issues, such as data loss and/or file corruption. In this article, we will verify that the Data folder is on OneDrive, copy the folder to the local Documents folder that is not being backed up to OneDrive, and then direct the program to reference the Data folder's new location.

If you'd like to disable or remove OneDrive altogether, you can so by following the instructions in this Microsoft resource.

To verify your Data folder is on OneDrive

  1. Inside of your Chief Architect or Home Designer program, navigate to Edit> Preferences .

  2. In the Preferences dialog that opens, select the Folders panel on the left.

  3. View the file path listed under the My Data Folder heading. If the Data folder is on OneDrive, the file path will include the word OneDrive.

    In this example, the file path is: C:\Users\[YOUR USERNAME]\OneDrive\Documents\Chief Architect Premier X16 Data\. However, this may vary as it's dependent on the program title and version you're using.

    Data folder is located on OneDrive

    Note: If your Data folder does not contain OneDrive in the file path, but you are experiencing similar symptoms, please refer back to KB-03125: Troubleshooting Error Messages Associated With the Program' Data Folder.

Copying the Data folder to a local file location

  1. Save any work that you might have open by navigating to File> Save from the menu, then close the program.

  2. Press Windows + E to open a File Explorer window.

  3. Select the OneDrive folder using the navigation pane that is located on the left-hand side of the File Explorer window by default.

    Accessing the OneDrive folder in File Explorer

  4. Locate the program's Data folder within OneDrive and Copy it. To copy files/folders, right-click and choose Copy from the contextual menu, press Ctrl+C on the keyboard, or select the Copy option in the File Explorer ribbon.

    The program's Data folder will consist of the program title, the version, and the word "Data" at the end. For example, the Data folder for Chief Architect Premier X16 is: Chief Architect Premier X16 Data.

    Copy the program's Data folder that is located on OneDrive

  5. Next, select This PC in the navigation pane, then double-click on Local Disk (C:) or the local drive that the Windows operating system is installed on.

    Access the Local Disk in File Explorer

  6. Open the Users folder, open your specific user account folder, open the Documents folder, then Paste the program's Data folder here. To paste files/folders, right-click in an empty area and choose Paste from the contextual menu, press Ctrl+V on the keyboard, or select the Paste option in the File Explorer ribbon.

    In this example, the file path is: C:\Users\[MY USERNAME]\Documents.

    Do not select the Documents option located in the Quick Access section or anywhere within the navigation pane during this process, as this will take you to the Documents folder that is backed up to OneDrive. Make sure you're accessing the local Documents folder using the process mentioned in steps 5 and 6.

    Paste the copied Data folder into the local Documents folder

Specifying the location of the Data folder in Preferences

  1. Launch the Chief Architect or Home Designer program and navigate to Edit> Preferences .

  2. On the Folders panel of the Preferences dialog:

    Set the My Data Folder in Preferences to be the local Documents folder

    • Click Browse next to the My Data Folder section at the top, select the Data folder that is now local to your machine, then click Open.

      As an example, the folder path for Chief Architect Premier X16 should now read: C:\Users\[YOUR USERNAME]\Documents\Chief Architect Premier X16 Data\.

    • Once you've confirmed the path is correct, click OK to close the dialog and save the changes.

  3. You may receive a message asking: "Do you want to copy library files from the old User Library Folder to the new folder? Any files of the same name in the newly selected folder will be overwritten." Click Yes or No to proceed.

    You will then be greeted with a message stating "Warning #272032221 - Changing the user data folder requires a relaunch in order for all the changes to take effect. The data from your old user data folder will not be copied to the new location, the new folder will be reset to factory defaults." Click OK and relaunch the program.

Note: If you have manually changed the plan and layout template file paths located on the New Plans panel of the Preferences dialog, you may need to revisit this panel and use the Browse button next to each option to reference the template file(s) that are located in the local Data folder.

If the changes you've made to the Preferences do not save, or if you are still experiencing the same symptoms mentioned at the beginning of this article, please contact Technical Support.