Page 1 of 1

Setting FSX Folder permission

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:47 am
by Steve Waite
"Welcome to the world of problems that arise when you install FSX in C:\Program Files\."

I know that's a popular thing to say, but in reality there's actually nothing wrong with that because:

1. Programs that make changes to system files or install software should automatically elevate to Admin privileges if the user does not have them.

2. If programs install files into a read only folder that are subsequently required Write access by the User of the software, the installer should set Write and Modify permissions for the Users Group on that folder. Admin privileges or Running as Admin doesn't always provide required access to these locations.

Since anyone logging into a Windows PC becomes a member of the Users Group, and FSX/P3D addons often install read/write data files in the sim program files folder, it is recommended that Write and Modify permissions are added to the Users Group on that folder after installing FSX/P3D, and before installing any addons.

It is often stated that FSX should be installed in a user created folder to enable add-ons to work properly. Instead FSX can be installed into its default folder and the permissions set correctly on the folder. Scenery and aircraft can be located anywhere else on the system and pointed to by the sim config. In this way the simulator will start up much quicker and perform better overall with less folders and files in the sim program files folder. Addons and other software added to the system will benefit from properly sorted permissions and without security tampering will be more reliable.

USERS get Write and Modify permissions to files and folders they create. When we make our own folder for P3D/FSX, it simply inherits the permissions of the user, and so it's still recommended to add Write and Modify permissions for the Users Group on those folders too.

Unlike Ideal Flight which manages its own permissions and directories, many add-ons simply install into the FSX program files folder. With Win7 and above, 'Users' no longer have admin permissions and do not get Write and Modify permissions to the FSX folder, as they did with Windows XP.

This leads to many programs set to be "Run as Admin", which can easily leave the system infected with malware. Once an infected program runs with Admin permissions it can do anything to the system. Ideal Flight installer checks itself for tampering by malware and refuses to elevate to Admin if suspicious.

It is a simple matter to set USERS group permissions for the FSX Program Files folder. If we install FSX into its default folder then it should be given the USERS group permissions to avoid “Run as Admin”.

To set the proper permissions, the FSX (or FS9 or P3D) program files folder is selected in Explorer, and the USERS group permissions Write and Modify added to the folder:


Note: Some programs write changes to an Admin only area of the Registry, and unfortunately these programs must be "Run as Admin" to work properly.

Install P3D 1, 2, 3 and 4 into the default location, and before installing any addons, permissions for the LM parent folder can be treated the same for a professional installation, here showing the P3D v2/3 location:


Activation of Acceleration
There can be problems with the activation of Acceleration. Check the registry location:
Code: Select all

Open the item:


Check the entry is one line ended with Enter so it looks like this:

Code: Select all