Google Earth – change location of ‘My Places’ / .kml files

When you create drop pins on Google Earth, and add them to ‘My Places’, the underlying information is stored in several .kml files. By default, under Windows 7 at least, the location of these files is in:

C:\Users\%userprofile%\AppData\LocalLow\Google\GoogleEarth

In my view, this is a bad place for a number of reasons. The main one for me is that I use redirected folders to keep my app data on a network server, and this server is backed up nightly. With the default Google Earth config, the kml files just sit on the local PC, don’t get backed up, and would be lost if the hard drive ever went down. Also, I like to hot desk between computers, and with the default config my .kml files aren’t going to be following me.

As far as I can see, the solution is simple. open up regedit without elevated persmissions, and drill through until you find the entry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Earth Plus\KMLPath

If you bring up the data entered for KMLPath you will see the aforementioned path location in there. Completely remove this. You can now replace it with another local location, or a network location. The location must be a complete path; I found variables such as %username% do not work. So, for example, I changed mine to:

\\Server1\Redirected Folders\bobby.c\Application Data\Google\Google Earth

You must make sure that Google is long since exited, and that the folder you map to does already exist on the server (just create it using win explorer). You should be able to copy existing kml files across from the old to the new location, and Google should roll with them. I would copy all kml files only (leave the cache et al where it is), and as ever make sure you keep a backup before doing this….