In the Main Menu, click Setup, Data Paths.

Note: If users start seeing this window after Open Dental was already working properly, then this is a Windows permissions issue. Windows thinks that the current user signed into Windows does not have permission to access the shared network folder. But Windows is frequently wrong. Leave this window open. Separately, using Windows, browse to Network, and to the shared folder listed in this window, such as \\SERVER\OpenDentImages. Windows will ask for username and password. Once the issue is resolved, return to this window and click OK without changing anything.

The Edit Paths window identifies where Open Dental should store scanned or imported images and documents, export files, and store letter merge templates

Verify all paths are accurate before pointing other computers to the server.

A to Z Images Folder for storing images and documents: Select where scanned or imported images and documents are stored (A to Z Folder).

Option 1. Store images and documents on a local or network folder:

  1. Enter the path to the folder: This path will be used by all computers using the database.
    • If multiple computers access this folder, the path should point to a folder on a shared network. Share A to Z Folder
    • If a single computer accesses this folder, the path can be local (C:\OpenDentImages).
    • OpenDentImages is the default folder name that contains the A to Z folders, but any folder is valid as long as the A to Z folders are contained within it.
  2. Use multiple paths: Not recommended for most users. If this option is selected, multiple paths to the A to Z folders can be entered, separated by semicolon (no spaces). When Open Dental starts, the first valid path will be used. It can be used to run backups.
  3. Path Override for this computer: If the path to the A to Z folders points to a shared folder on a network, and a path override is needed for this computer only, enter the override path.

Option 2. Store Images in Database: This option is not used often. If selected, images will be stored in the database and it will become very large. There will be no A to Z folders.

Option 3. Dropbox. Store images off site on the cloud using Dropbox ( An internet connection is required.

Option 4: Store images on a server via SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP): Store images on an FTP site using SFTP. An internet connection is required. Enter the following details:

Note: Port 22 is always used.

Export Path: The path to the folder where files exported from Open Dental are stored (e.g. Reports). It can be a local or network path. If the folder does not already exist, it will be created automatically when you export a report. The default folder is OpenDentalExports.

Letter Merge Path: The path to the folder where letter templates are stored for Letter Merge. It can be a local or network path. When entering a network path, make sure the folder is shared so all computers can access it. This folder must be created manually. The default folder name is OpenDentalLetters.

When clicking OK, if a valid path for the A to Z folders was not entered, the user will not be allowed to continue.


Problem: The Edit Paths window comes up repeatedly when you start Open Dental.

Solution: The path to the OpenDentImages (A to Z) folders is invalid. Enter a correct path that can be accessed by ALL computers ALL the time (e.g. a path that starts with \\SERVER\ or similar).

A path to a mapped network drive (e.g Z:\OpenDentImages\ is not recommended. Mapped drives must be set up on each computer and sometimes computers fail to properly remap the drive on startup. For example: