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Get the user-and-app-specific path where files can be written.


char* SDL_GetPrefPath(const char *org, const char *app);

Function Parameters


the name of your organization


the name of your application

Return Value

Returns a UTF-8 string of the user directory in platform-dependent notation. NULL if there's a problem (creating directory failed, etc.).


Get the "pref dir". This is meant to be where users can write personal files (preferences and save games, etc) that are specific to your application. This directory is unique per user, per application.

This function will decide the appropriate location in the native filesystem, create the directory if necessary, and return a string of the absolute path to the directory in UTF-8 encoding.

On Windows, the string might look like:

C:\\Users\\bob\\AppData\\Roaming\\My Company\\My Program Name\\

On Linux, the string might look like"

/home/bob/.local/share/My Program Name/

On Mac OS X, the string might look like:

/Users/bob/Library/Application Support/My Program Name/

You should assume the path returned by this function is the only safe place to write files (and that SDL_GetBasePath(), while it might be writable, or even the parent of the returned path, isn't where you should be writing things).

Both the org and app strings may become part of a directory name, so please follow these rules:

The returned path is guaranteed to end with a path separator ('\' on Windows, '/' on most other platforms).

The pointer returned is owned by the caller. Please call SDL_free() on the pointer when done with it.


This function is available since SDL 2.0.1.

Code Examples

char *pref_path = NULL;

void InitializePrefPath() {
    char *base_path = SDL_GetPrefPath("My Company", "My Awesome SDL 2 Game");
    if (base_path) {
        pref_path = base_path;
    } else {
        /* Do something to disable writing in-game */

CategoryAPI, CategoryFilesystem

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