Sunday, December 25, 2005

Google Desktop hacks

Whoa. I haven't blogged in a long while now. But since I was off on vacation for a month in November, I have a good excuse. I have some Google desktop hacks to share. Actually I have a hack to share. But its a useful one. I have been using Google desktop for a while now and I have a lot of emails (in archives of course) and files that it indexes. The cache has been eating away so much of my C: space where I can't do any decent work anymore. So I went registry hunting for a way to move the cache from my c: drive to my external drive (a huge 160 gb). And I actually found a way. Here is how (This is not for the faint of heart. Doing wrong things to your registry might render your machine useless. Consider yourself warned):

shutdown google desktop by right clicking on the tray icon and choosing exit.
start->run and type regedit
In regedit go to My Computer->HKEY_CURRENT_USER->Software->Google->Google Desktop
On the right you will see an entry data_dir. Double click it and change the value data to a directory of your choice.
now start google desktop again and you should see your cache in that directory.

Some words of caution though:

  • Don't make your cache go to a network directory. You will completely flood the network. Google writes a lot to the cache.

  • If you choose an external drive as your cache, turn encryption of index and datafiles on in Google desktop preferences. This might take google desktop longer to index, but it is the wise thing to do because anyone could take off with your external drive more easily than your desktop.

  • In my case I reinstalled the google desktop (because I was upgrading to a new version) and removed all the indices and cache and then changed the data_dir fresh after an install. I am not sure if it works as expected if you just changed the registry entry without a reinstall.
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