Overview of Ideal Flight installation with respect to P3D v4

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Overview of Ideal Flight installation with respect to P3D v4

Postby Steve Waite » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:02 pm

Overview of Ideal Flight installation with respect to P3D v4

Unless we set it otherwise, Ideal Flight installs into:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Ideal Flight Professional

Ideal Flight Professional is a 32bit exe application that offers the user interface. This also comes with the codelegend x64 bridge, since P3D v4 is a 64bit program and must be accessed with a 64bit program. It’s not necessary to run Ideal Flight Pro in 64 bits since it only accesses 64Mb of RAM at most.

Where P3D offers different setups for different logins to Windows with folders such as the User folder:

“C:\Users\[you]\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4”

Ideal Flight instead offers profile selection within the program so that the Windows user need not log into other User logins.

In this case Ideal Flight places the data into its All Users folder:

“C:\Users\All Users\Ideal Flight Professional”

This is the virtualised name for the hidden physical folder:

“C:\ProgramData\Ideal Flight Professional”

Similarly P3D places data pertaining to all users in the folder:

“C:\Users\All Users\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4”

The hidden physical folder:

“C:\ProgramData\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4”


During installation and uninstall of Ideal Flight, this is the only time in which privileges are raised to admin, just like P3D, because only then do they need to make the folders and changes to the system. Ideal Flight need not be Run as Admin in normal use just as P3D need not, and indeed the system is safer that way.

This remains compliant with respectable Windows application behaviour. It is a basic requirement of any secure application properly designed for Windows.

Parts of the Ideal Flight exe are protected with encryption to prevent nefarious attachments running and obfuscate reverse engineering and remains a very secure program. The exe of Ideal Flight also contains the installer and uninstaller. The exe copy in the Ideal Flight program folder allows two different versions of Ideal Flight to run simultaneously under the hood during certain install operations.

Ideal Flight need not be Run as Admin during normal use with P3D unless the simulator has an addon attached that requires Run as Admin.

Not all programs respect the user security and convenience within Windows and cut corners and then require user intervention to complete the settings and run properly, for example; they might demand admin privileges to function correctly.

In those cases we set the Ideal Flight Pro Icon to Run as Admin so that it in turn will start the simulator as admin. And in turn, the addons will be started to run as admin by P3D and the privilege levels are matching for the admin required addon to work properly.

Failure to understand these simple technicalities by developers and users alike is a cause of unnecessary inconvenience and frustration, for all users of the simulation.


Ideal Flight configuration settings for the program are held within the folder:

“C:\ProgramData\Ideal Flight 10 Professional\Config”

The Config.ini file is a simple text file that can be edited with notepad. There are some functions there that can only be set in by editing the files, just as there are with P3D settings.

Profiles are stored in the folder:

“C:\ProgramData\Ideal Flight 10 Professional\Profiles”

The Settings.ini is a simple text file that can be edited with notepad. There are some functions in there unavailable to the Ideal Flight user interface and must be set in that file with the text editor.

Each profile ID has a number from zero up. So we see folders for Profiles in that folder such as:

“C:\ProgramData\Ideal Flight 10 Professional\Profiles\2_ID”

The Ideal Flight flash screen starts up quickly to indicate the user has double-clicked the icon or started the program successfully. A random thunder file is selected from P3D and is played so that the sound system setting can be confirmed.

On the start-up page of Ideal Flight we find the popup menu contains the means to backup and restore IF profiles and settings completely. This simply makes a folder where we want and copies the entire settings structure to it. That folder can later be dropped on IF or the IF icon, or opened in the file load dialog to restore a previous setup.
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Steve Waite
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