How can I try to escape the disease-ridden hot-tubs known as the TEMP and Downloads directories?
Some time ago, I described the TEMP directory as a hot tub whose water hasn’t been changed in over a year. The Downloads folder is in a similar situation: There’s all sorts of unrelated junk in there, some of which may not be very friendly to your health.
Starting in Windows 10 Version 1607,¹ you can set attributes on your executable to tell the system how to look for the DLLs to which your executable links statically.² To do this, pass the
/DEPENDENTLOADFLAG:nnnn command line option to the linker, where
nnnn is a value corresponding to some combination of the
LOAD_ values that can be passed to the
By far the most useful value is
LOAD_, which means “Look in the system32 directory and nowhere else.”
To do this, pass
Versions of Windows that do not support this option merely ignore it, so it’s okay to set this option unconditionally.
¹ Windows 10 Version 1607 goes by several other names: The Anniversary Update, Build 14393, and the RS1 release. It’s kind of silly, really.
² Note that the dependent load flag applies only to DLLs that are loaded as a consequence of resolving the module’s static imports. DLLs loaded dynamically via
LoadLibraryEx follow the normal rules.