Add-on files Location

Pro Member First Officer
beroun First Officer

I have almost 100 ad-on airports and other sceneries. All activated in FS2004 and all work OK.
Can anyone let me know why some ad-on files are instructed to be installed in:
FS2004 root directory,
or in FS2004/Addon Scenery dorectory,
or in FS2004/Addon Scenery/Scenery directory?
.....or does it really matter? If it does not, can I consolidate some files as per countries or regions?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Many thanks

6 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Always follow the read-me that comes with the add-on.
They have a reason to put whatever wherever, don't ask me why they know where it goes.


Pro Member First Officer
beroun First Officer

Sometimes the instruction where to place the file is not there, so I usually put the file in Addon Scenery. In either case it would be great to know the logistics. Surely it is not so complex issue. Perhaps this might have an impact on scenery priorities in FS, just a thought?
Thanks again

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

beroun wrote:

...can I consolidate some files as per countries or regions?

Yes, we can! 😀 least to a certain extend. Whenever you are told to install the scenery into the FS2004/Addon Scenery directory, you can create sub-directories within that directory.
I'll give you two examples - say you have new sceneries for Rome and Bangkok.

Inside your FS2004/Addon Scenery folder create a new folder and name it Europe. Inside your Europe folder create a new folder and name it Italy. Now place your new Rome scenery into the Italy folder and activate the scenery.
The only difference here is that during the activation process you have to navigate a little further - but you know the path anyway because you created it. Thus the path for Rome would be:

Addon Scenery -> Europe -> Italy...

For Bangkok it would be :

Addon Scenery -> Asia -> Thailand... etc. etc. Considering the amount of airports you have, the merits of this system become obvious quickly.

Now imagine you have about 50 aircraft carriers on top of that in your Addon Scenery directory 😳
Simple solution: Create a new folder inside the Addon scenery directory and name it Carriers or anything you like and place all your carriers into that folder prior to activation.

Using this system, if I can't remember whether or not I already have a particular airport or carrier, looking them up and finding them has become much easier.

Now when you're instructed to install a scenery into the FS2004 root directory, I think that manly applies to sceneries with an installer... you'll probably find it'll end up in the Addon Scenery directory anyway.
I never run the installer without pointing it at a temporary folder I create on my desk-top. Once the files are extracted, I place them manually where they belong.

There is a third scenario you are mentioning where you're told to place certain files elsewhere i.e. outside the Addon Scenery directory.
When this happens, you'd better follow the instructions to the letter even if you are told to place such and such into your Addon Scenery directory.

Pro Member First Officer
beroun First Officer

Many thanks for your help.

I actually spend lot of time tidying up my addon files and grouped/moved (and also renamed) all. As mentioned before I had addon airports and some sceneries in FS/ directory in FS/scenery directory in FS/Addon Scenery and also in FS/Addon Scenery/scenery. All with different names. A real mess.

So from FS files I have copied all this mess into separate folders (outside of FS) designated by country and some areas (USA, UK, Asia e.t.c.) as suggested. Than, to be consistent, renamed each individual file (which had scenery and texture in it) by airport IATA code and airport Name ('KBOS Boston' for example).

Next in FS I deactivated all my airport and other sceneries. Then deleted the all the original mess files and placed my new country and area folders with individual files to FS/Addon Scenery directory. Lastly I activated all in FS (yes extra step was needed to open country and area files under Addon Scenery). Keeping in mind that default FS sceneries and some other such as Libraries and Landclass need to be below.

And bingo all works perfect. Even my FS seems faster (perhaps my imagination🙂 In either case, contrary to what was mentioned above it does not seem to metter where the new airports and scenry files are! I placed all in FS/Addon Scenery folder and all works perfect.

Thanks to all again for looking into this.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

I must say your obsession with tidiness is contagious.

Than, to be consistent, renamed each individual file (which had scenery and texture in it) by airport IATA code and airport Name ('KBOS Boston' for example).

I must do this one of these days when I find the time. Great to hear that everything is running smoothly despite the changes you've made.

Hoping not to complicate matters (that's why I didn't mention it in my previous post), you can actually keep your Scenery directory outside of FS all together.


On your C: Drive you create a folder named 0Scenery. The 0 is a Zero. Instead of having your scenery add-ons in the Program Files/Microsoft Games etc., you have them in 0Scenery.
Of course to do that now would be self-punishment 😀 - I thought I mention it if you ever do a fresh complete new install of the sim.
I read about this once and tried it and it works perfectly. The old hands with slow, old rigs but plenty of logic came up with this.
Apparently the biggest hurdle concerning FS2004 can be the FPS... caused by the fact that as you are flying along, scenery has to be refreshed. To achieve this, the CPU (and or GPU?) have to work hard to get all the way to the place on the platter (your HDD) where the scenery folder by default and Microsoft's eternal wisdom is tucked away. Let's just say it's not a handy place to get to.

Now, having created a Scenery directory preceded by an 0 (Zero) this 'Scenery' folder is now on top of the list and the old rig can access the scenery easily.

I've been running both, FS2004 and FSX ever since FSX appeared. when I got a new computer some months ago I went a step further. Again the inspiration came from friends in the community.
Since MS Vista we have the additional problem of the UAC which has been partially carried over to W7. Apparently this can be a real problem with FSX. I cannot verify this as I changed my settings from the start. The problem they say is due to the UAC some (payware) add-ons have trouble communicating with the sim particularly if the sim is installed in the Program Files directory.

Sooo... to avoid all kinds of hassles, I installed both sims, FS2004 and FSX not in the Program Files directory, but in two directories I created instead.
Thus, if I open my Explorer now, I have two entries on top of the list - 0FS2004 and 0FSX respectively. Works like a charm, never had any problems, even most payware self-installers find the sim(s) - if they don't, we know what to do.

Happy simming 🍻

Pro Member First Officer
beroun First Officer

that is a great! piece of advise!
Many! thanks

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