File Location when adding media

In RM 7, when adding media, when browsing for the file to add, RM would open the last folder location used. Now it goes to the root folder for media. It would be helpful if it would go to the last used folder, so if you are working on one person or one family, you don’t have to keep navigating to the folder. Unless there is some way to specify that, and I just don’t know about it.


I hadn’t yet noticed this particular difference between RM7 and RM8. Because of the way I process media, it doesn’t much matter which way it works with respect to my personal workflow for entering media into RM and I wouldn’t even notice the difference.

I think this one is going to be a tough one because there are going to be users who prefer it the RM7 way and users who prefer it the RM8 way. And I think there are good and valid reasons for arguing for either of those approaches. But I do have to ask one question. Are you mainly linking one media file in several different places for one person or one family, or are you mainly linking a number of different but similarly located media files for one person or one family?

That’s a convoluted sounding question and hope it makes sense. The reason it matters is that if you are primarily linking one media file in several different places for one person or one family, all the links after the first one for a file are usually more easily established by using the file Select Existing Media mechanism which tags a media file which is already linked into the media gallery. Entering the additional tags for the same media file in this manner means that it doesn’t matter if RM went first to the last used folder or to the default media file folder.

The media gallery was one of the few places in RM7 where there was a good search box that made finding items in a list very easy. And the search box for media files in RM8 is even better than the search box in RM7. So either in RM7 or RM8 it’s really easy to find media files that are already in the media gallery, and it’ even easier in RM8 than in RM7. This is definitely not one of the areas in RM8 that I find hard to use.

Hi @HollyKilpatrick , If I’m working on a person for an extended period of time, I will change the settings for the media folder path so it points directly to that person’s media file (I file media by the individual).

To change the file path, go to the Settings icon on the left side, and choose the Folder Settings (second icon across from the top). Hope this helps. :slightly_smiling_face:

And here is a link to the folder settings topic on Wiki as well (which shows diagrams of the settings)

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It’s fine to change the media folder in RM7. There is no adverse impact on your existing links, and indeed no impact at all. That’s because the media links in RM7 are absolute links that actually don’t depend on the folder setting at all.

In RM8, changing the media folder will break most or all of your previously existing media links. That’s because the media links in RM8 are relative links, and many of them will be relative to your media folder setting.

I haven’t seen any documentation of this issue yet. It may be that if you change the media path in RM8 that you are expected at the same time to run the Fix Broken Links tool. That would take care of the broken links caused by changing the default media folder.

My strategy with the media folder in RM8 is to set it up correctly before I ever import an RM7 database into RM8 and never ever to change it again. The relative media path in RM8 is great for people who run RM on two or more different computers, but it can’t be easily or casually changed once it is set up.


Oh my goodness, @thejerrybryan I’d never noticed that before. When I’m working on a person for an extended period, I will change that path so it points directly to their folder and then I have quicker access when working. Once finished, I’ll restore the path back to where it was.

I’ve just checked and when I change the path file from the original correct one, it does break all the media links. But when I “correct” it again, everything seems to revert and the media links are all restored and I can open the media.

I’m certainly on my “L” plates with this program and I think I’ll refrain from offering “tips” from hereon! Thanks so much for pointing this out and providing corrections!! :blush:

Jerry, I have my media folders organized by family, sometimes 3 folders deep or so, and when I am working on a family, I typically often have several or many screenprints and images to add to that family. So I find I am constantly navigating back down the path to that family folder.

It’s not the end of the world. It just makes more repetitive keystrokes, and since I am not used to it, I notice it, and it’s annoying. It’s the little things! But if it can’t be helped, I will adapt.

I don’t think I want to take the trouble of going into settings and changing the path. That also is extra steps, and I might have to go change it often.

But it would be really nice if there were a setting “Preserve previous path” or something, if so I would certainly check that. But maybe that is impossible.

Thanks for replies,

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You can see the broken links very easily.

  1. Go to the main Media tab and see that no links are obviously broken. There might be a few broken links far down your list, but a quick look at your list should show no broken links.
  2. Go to the main Settings tab and change your media folder.
  3. Return to the main Media tab and see that all links are broken.
  4. Go to the main Settings tab and put your media folder back the way it belongs.
  5. Return to the main Media tab and see that once again no media links are obviously broken.
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I have been thinking about this a little more. The reason this issue doesn’t affect me very much is that I do most of my media management with a file and folder management tool that’s more powerful in some ways that Windows File Manager. Among other things, it allows me to copy the complete media file path of any file I have just added to my computer. Then when I add the file in RM and RM opens into the Windows File Manager’s dialog to Open a file, I can just paste the full path into the Open dialog. I don’t have to do any searching around at all to find my file from within RM.

Windows File Explorer has the same facility. If you Shift-Right Click in Windows File Explorer, one of the options is Copy As Path. I don’t know what your workflow is, but if you already have the correct folders and files open in Windows File Explorer, you can use that feature to copy the file path and paste it into RM’s Open dialog for the media file. It avoids the doing the navigation a second time and it means that you don’t have to worry about whether RM remembers the most recent folder you used or not.

Having said all that, I think I would prefer the RM7 way of remembering the most recent file I had opened. I realize that opens me up to all manner of criticisms of being resistant to change, of expecting RM8 to work just like RM7, etc. But it seems to me that for most users most of the time, having RM remember the most recent file I used is a more useful behavior than always going to the RM8’s media folder setting. This is especially true because it’s not really possible in RM8 to make short term changes to RM8’s media folder setting without breaking links like crazy.

Finally, suppose you actually were willing to change your media folder setting briefly and then set it back. Any media files you linked into RM8 while your media folder was changed will all be broken as soon as you restore the setting to its original value. That’s why you can’t really casually change the media folder setting. You have to set it before you ever start adding media files and then never or very seldom ever change it again.


Hi @thejerrybryan ,
This is a question, more than improving the conversation. Yes, I still have my L plates on.

  1. I had my first media file on my computer. 2 I copied it to my external hard drive. 3. When I downloaded RM8, I decided to have everything under a fold named RootMagic8. So now I have 3 media files. PS, RM8 is mostly handling this OK. My question is, can I copy every media item into the new folder and do a “find and replace” to get them to link from the new folder? I do not like having so many copies of media.
    Thank you for any help offered. Isla

The basic answer to your question is yes. RM8 calls it “search and replace” rather than “find and replace”. It should work, and after getting everything relinked you can delete the copy of the files that are not linked. Well, you certainly ought to have a backup somewhere, and your external hard drive can serve as such a backup. I wouldn’t delete anything from there. And even on your hard disk, I wouldn’t delete the extra copies of the media files for a few days until I was certain that all was well.

Be aware that this process can sometimes be a little trickier than it sounds. The trickiness is not so much in RM as it is that after a while it can be very easy to have a stray file or two or three hundred that is linked into RM that by accident are not quite in the same folder or subfolder as the rest of your files and you may not realize that these strays have happened. Your Search and Replace is likely to miss any such strays.

The Fix Broken Links tool can accomplish the same thing as the Search and Replace tool. I generally speaking prefer the Search and Replace tool because it’s so much faster than the Fix Broken Links tool. But the Search and Replace tool cannot find and fix things if you have any strays. You have to search out the strays on your own if you are using Search and Replace. There is nothing that says you can’t run the Search and Replace tool first to fix the bulk of the links you want to change, and then still run the Fix Broken Links tool after that to try to fix any remaining broken links.

Unless I’m missing it somewhere, there not a way in RM just to show files with a broken links, neither in RM7 nor RM8. The only way to do it is the eyeball method, scanning through all your media files looking for red X’s.

Hi @thejerrybryan
Thank you for you reply, it gives me the confidence to do this.