The Global User Directory was brought to Windows inand release . Now, like Linux and macOS before it, Windows builds have a central location where saves, settings, screenshots, themes, etc are kept. All builds will have the same settings and saves, and updating from one revision to another will be much easier.
On Linux and macOS, the Global User Directory's location can be changed with the command:
/path/to/dolphin/build/dolphin-emu -u /path/to/user/directory
To make a build use a local user directory, create a text file named "portable" next to the executable files of the build. With the extension it should be named "portable.txt". Dolphin will check if that file exists in the same directory, then it will not use the global user directory, instead it will create and use the local user directory in the same directory.
This will work on Windows and Linux (as of). macOS and Android are not supported for this method.
The Global User Directory system can be disabled entirely with a registry key. The key is global, so it is a "once and for all" change.
When done editing the Windows Registry, and before launching Dolphin, be sure to move the \User\ folder along with Dolphin executable files (or check if it's placed correctly). Otherwise, Dolphin will create a new one instead.
These registry keys can be created and removed with .reg files to make the process easier.
To create the LocalUserConfig registry key, open notepad, paste the following in it and save it as a .reg file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dolphin Emulator] "LocalUserConfig"="1"
To remove the LocalUserConfig registry key and revert back to the Global User Directory system, open notepad, paste the following in it and save it as a .reg file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dolphin Emulator] "LocalUserConfig"=-
The first key will set all Dolphin builds to use a Local User Directory, whereas the second will remove the Local User config and return to the Global User Directory system.