After Effects: changing the user documents directory

Community Beginner ,
Mar 13, 2020 Mar 13, 2020

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Hi folks,

 

I've had to take my computer home from work in order to work remotely, and After Effects won't launch.  At my office, the IT department had the My Documents folder mapped to a network location within the organization.  Now that my computer is at home, that networked location doesn't exist.

 

When I try to launch AE, I get these error:

 

"After Effects warning: Could not find the user documents directory."

and then,

"After Effects can't continue: unexpected failure during application startup."

 

This doesn't seem to be a Windows Defender issue; when you search the web for this problem you see a ton of suggestions of disabling Defender, or allowing exceptions to folder access, etc... none of those solutions work.  I've also tried re-installing After Effects, but I still get the same error after launching.  Curiously, Photoshop opens just fine.

 

System info:

 

Windows 10 Enterprise 1709, 64 bit

Intel Core i7-9800X @3.80 GHz

32.0 GB RAM

 

After Effects 16.1.3

 

I had a similar problem with Autodesk Maya looking for its root directory at my office's networked location; the solution there was to create a new Environment Variable (MAYA_APP_DIR) to force Windows to look to a specific folder on my hard drive.  Would a similar solution be appropriate here for After Effects?

 

Thank you, any suggestions would be very helpful.  This issue is likely to affect my whole team, as we are all working from home now due to COVID-19...

 

Nathan

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Adobe Community Professional , Mar 16, 2020 Mar 16, 2020
Nope. It's an intrinsic feature of windows itself and the default system file dialogs or in other words a default function of the underlying API. Since Adobe apps are developed cross-platform they simply rely on these default functions to avoid issues. Would be no different if something was configured similarly on a Mac with server-based profiles. Mylenium

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Mentor ,
Mar 13, 2020 Mar 13, 2020

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The way your admin mapped the folder to a network drive is the same to map it back locally. But - actually - this should be the admin's job and mapping it back could cause additional issues without seeing the larger image. I don't understand how they can send you into home office without taking care of such things.

 

So please get in contact to your admin first. 

 

I never remapped those folders, but it seems to be as easy as to go to C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\, right click on the desired folder and go to the tap "path". There you can enter the new location, e.g. C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Documents

 

*Martin

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2020 Mar 14, 2020

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They probably changed it and locked it down via group policies. If you can't change this yourself (righ-click on teh folder and choose the path tab or edit the Registry), you will indeed have to get in touch with your admins.

 

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2020 Mar 16, 2020

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Thanks everyone.  I'm working with our admins.

 

Is it possible that this problem has nothing to do with the My Docs folder?  Is there a preferences file that can be edited that tells AE where to look for the "user documents directory" ?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 16, 2020 Mar 16, 2020

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Nope. It's an intrinsic feature of windows itself and the default system file dialogs or in other words a default function of the underlying API. Since Adobe apps are developed cross-platform they simply rely on these default functions to avoid issues. Would be no different if something was configured similarly on a Mac with server-based profiles.

 

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2020 Mar 16, 2020

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Makes sense.  Thank you!

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New Here ,
Mar 16, 2021 Mar 16, 2021

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Hello. I have similar problem. In first moment I saw that topic is from today, then I looked at the date 2020. But I hope some of us would help.

 

I also get the problem with conecting with AfterEffect at home. Other Adobe aps works fine, only AfterEffect need VPN connection and acces to my local network in work.

I understand the idea of cross platform apps, so Adobe relay on system Patch. But I don't understand why my InDesign works at home without VPN. And AfterEffects need conection to work network.

Thanks for help and explain what can I do. Or mayby I can do nothing, and must use VPN.

 

Gabriel.

 

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New Here ,
Apr 22, 2021 Apr 22, 2021

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So glad you posted this - I was just about to punch my monitor and laptop out of frustration (even tho this would do no good). BUT I realized I had restarted and not connected to my VPN and your post made me realize that is what I needed to do. It turns out I had to turn off Defender and connect to the VPN for it to work. At least I can get back to business!

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New Here ,
Apr 22, 2021 Apr 22, 2021

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I spoke to soon. It is not resolved. 😞

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2021 Oct 25, 2021

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Hi

Has this issue been resolved? I'm in the same situation.

Has no one found a solution at all?

Sincerely, Christian

@Mylenium 

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Explorer ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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I sure would like to find a workaround or solution for this. I've mapped my default Documents folder to another drive on my machine because it's gotten so large over the decades. I see @Mylenium's post about the need to maintain default directories, but there must be some Windows hack, well not hack, but technique to resolve it. 

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