This is documentation for Mathematica 6, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.1)

Configuration Files on Windows

Mathematica stores preference settings and initialization data in two directories, $BaseDirectory and $UserBaseDirectory. Within each of these directories are several possible subdirectories with titles such as FrontEnd, Kernel, and Licensing.
Global settings that affect all users are stored in subdirectories of the directory $BaseDirectory. The default value of $BaseDirectory for different versions of Windows is shown in the following table. To redefine the location of global preference settings and initialization data, set the environment variable MATHEMATICA_BASE.
Windows Me C:\Windows\All Users\Application Data\Mathematica
Windows NT C:\WINNT\Profiles\All Users\Application Data\Mathematica
Windows 2000/XP C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Mathematica
Windows VistaC:\ProgramData\Mathematica

Location of the directory $BaseDirectory for different versions of Windows.

Settings that only affect a particular user are stored in subdirectories of the directory $UserBaseDirectory. The default value of $UserBaseDirectory for different versions of Windows is shown in the following table. To redefine the location of user preferences and initialization data, set the environment variable MATHEMATICA_USERBASE.
Windows MeC:\Windows\Application Data\Mathematica
Windows NTC:\WINNT\Profiles\username\Application Data\Mathematica
Windows 2000/XPC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mathematica
Windows VistaC:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Mathematica

Location of the directory $UserBaseDirectory for different versions of Windows.

Settings in the directory $UserBaseDirectory override global settings defined in the directory $BaseDirectory.
In the pathnames that follow, replace the variables $BaseDirectory and $UserBaseDirectory with the appropriate directories for your system. To find their locations on your system, evaluate the command $BaseDirectory (or $UserBaseDirectory) in a Mathematica notebook.

Kernel

The initialization files used by the kernel contain Mathematica commands that are evaluated at startup, such as function definitions, packages to load, and kernel option settings. These commands are also available to the Mathematica front end.

$BaseDirectory\Kernel\init.m

$UserBaseDirectory\Kernel\init.m

Kernel initialization files are not created automatically.

Front End

Front end initialization files store preference settings such as the values of global options in the Option Inspector. These files are automatically updated by Mathematica when you change a setting in the front end. To make changes to this file, make your changes from within Mathematica rather than editing the file directly.

$BaseDirectory\FrontEnd\init.m

$UserBaseDirectory\FrontEnd\init.m

Front end initialization files are created automatically.

Front End Caches

The front end stores certain information about system settings in caches specific to each user. The default location for front end caches is shown here.
Windows Me/NTC:\Windows\Local Settings\Application Data\Mathematica\
FrontEnd\6.0 Caches
Windows 2000/XPC:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\
Application Data\Mathematica\FrontEnd\6.0 Caches

Location of the front end caches for different versions of Windows.

Passwords

Passwords are stored in the mathpass file, described in further detail in "Registration and Passwords". In the following pathname, replace the variable $InstallationDirectory with the directory where you installed Mathematica. The default value of $InstallationDirectory on Windows is C:\Program Files\Wolfram Research\Mathematica\6.0. To find the value of $InstallationDirectory on your system, evaluate the command $InstallationDirectory in a Mathematica notebook.

$BaseDirectory\Licensing\mathpass

$InstallationDirectory\Configuration\Licensing\mathpass

$UserBaseDirectory\Licensing\mathpass