Brief ...

mIRC settings are stored in the file mirc.ini and a few other .ini files in the same folder. These settings files, as well as any scripts and chat logs, will normally be stored in one of two places:

- Your user application data folder.
- The mIRC program files install folder.

Here's how it works ...

When you install mIRC normally, using the recommended installer settings, the program will be installed separately from your application settings, scripts, logs and other user data.

When you install mIRC using the Portable install option, then the program and data will be stored together in the same location.

You can also manually change this behavior by moving files around your harddrive after mIRC has already been installed, by either separating these files or by bringing them together yourself.

Getting into technicalities ...

When mIRC sees the file mirc.ini in the same folder as mirc.exe, then mIRC will use that settings file and all the other settings, scripts and logs at that location.

Failing the above, then mIRC will look in your user application data directory for \mIRC\mirc.ini and use the settings and files at that location instead.

Failing both of the above, then mIRC will create a new application data folder for mIRC with a new mirc.ini file, servers.ini file, and other default settings.

In modern versions of Windows, the directory paths of concern are:

- "C:\Program Files (x86)\mIRC\" (Program Files folder containing mirc.exe and mirc.chm, etc)
- "C:\Users\MadGoat\AppData\Roaming\mIRC\" (Application Data folder containing mirc.ini and servers.ini, etc)

Some troubles that people find themselves in ...

Windows doesn't let normal user-level software perform any write operations to the C:\Program Files*\ folders. Only applications Run As Administrator can normally write and make changes to files under that path. This protects programs from virus infection.

If you install mIRC as a Portable Install to your Program Files folder, then mIRC can't save or make changes to settings, servers, logs etc, since the path is write protected. So never use the Portable install option when installing to C:\Program Files*\.

Portable Installs should be placed in a directory path like one of these:

- "C:\mIRC\"
- "C:\Portable\mIRC\"
- "C:\Users\MadGoat\mIRC\"
- "E:\mIRC\" (USB stick or portable harddisk)
- "Z:\DropBox\mIRC\" (Cloud storage)

How to fix a bad situation ...

Try and locate all of the mirc.ini files on your harddrive. Either navigate to the Program Files and Users AppData folders mentioned above, or use a search utility software.

With mIRC running, you can type these two commands that should open both the program's install directory, and the settings folder.

- Program Directory: //run $mircdir [two slashes]
- Settings Directory: /run . [a dot at the end]

If you're still having trouble, I find that the free software named "Everything" is a great tool for locating files that are hiding on your system. You can download it here:

Once you have found the missing or culprit mirc.ini file, you can make the appropriate changes by copying or moving files to the correct locations as described above. For example, replacing a blank default mirc.ini with the good version that has all your old settings. Be sure to also copy or move all the other complimentary settings and scripts and logs and data as appropriate.

Make sure you exit mIRC before you start moving around files.

Hope this helps.

Well. At least I won lunch.
Good philosophy, see good in bad, I like!