Using an alternate configuration directory

This tip is useful if you want to manage several configurations, or if you really have some reason to not let the configuration directory stay in its default location ($HOMEDIR/AppData/Local/Recoll). If your concern is only about storage space, and you do not actually want to manage multiple configuration directories, you can more simply change the index storage location from the GUI Index Configuration panel, Database directory name section.

If you really need separate configurations, the easiest approach is to create a shortcut on the desktop and have it start the GUI with a '-c' option. For example, set the shortcut’s 'Target' to something like:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Recoll\recoll.exe" -c c:/path/to/my/configdir

Do use forward slashes for the configuration directory path. This will hopefully be fixed some day.

You will need to create the configuration directory, Recoll will not do it by itself. You can just leave it empty, Recoll will then propose to start the configuration editor.

You can find a more complete and general explanation about using shortcuts, for example on this page.

File name character case sensitivity

This should be fixed as of the the November 2016 version. Please report the problem if you still see case sensitivity issues

Recoll was born on Unix, on which file names are case-sensitive. At the moment this is also the case for path-related queries on Windows, including the drive letters.

When filtering results on location (e.g. with a 'dir:' clause), you need to enter all path elements as they appear in the URLs in result lists (and use forward slashes).

It is also advisable to enter configuration filenames with their actual case (e.g. topdirs).

I am looking into fixing this, but this made a bit complicated by non ASCII character sets issues.

Checking that Python is in the PATH (not needed for 1.25 and later)


Recoll input handlers are the programs which extract the documents text content for indexing. Most of these programs are Python scripts. If Recoll can find documents by file name but not by content, the first thing to check is that you do have the Python interpreter in your PATH.

Only Python 2 is supported at the moment (2.7 and later were tested). This limitation is not caused by the Recoll scripts themselves but to some of the auxiliary libraries (e.g.: the one used for LibreOffice text extraction). If you also have Python 3 installed, you will have to arrange for Recoll to only 'see' the Python 2 version.

For simple cases, to check that the Python interpreter is in the PATH, the easiest approach is to start a command window and type 'python' in it. You should see messages from the Python interpreter, which you can then exit by typing 'quit()'. If the command interpreter complains about Python not being found, you probably need to adjust the PATH.

To start a command window, type 'command' in the start menu input area and select 'Command Prompt'.

If the Python interpreter is not found, check that Python 2 is indeed installed. Adding the Python binary to the PATH is an option during installation (so one approach to fix the issue is to just run the installation again).

You can also edit the environment variable directly:

  • Start the Control Panel

  • Select 'System and Security'

  • Select 'System'

  • Select 'Advanced system settings' in the left panel,

  • Select 'Environment Variables' at the bottom of the dialog

  • Edit 'Path' inside 'System variables' and add: C:\Python27\;C:\Python27\Scripts; to it.