FileMaker: Setting a File to Auto-Open On Launch

By June 16, 2020 June 17th, 2020 No Comments

There is a setting in FileMaker 18 that allows you to set a preference for automatically opening a file whenever FileMaker is launched. With FileMaker 18, the only way to set this preference was to specify it in a text document – Assisted Install.txt – when you first installed that application. In FileMaker 19, you can manually set this in the Preferences.

This setting can be quite useful in certain deployment scenarios, such as office-wide deployments, where your solution should open by default. Doing so will avoid users seeing the default FileMaker Launch Center that can be confusing to some users. The file to be opened can be either a local file or a file hosted on FileMaker Server or FileMaker Cloud.

A blog post from our friends at Beezwax shows how you can set this preference from the command line. Being able to use the command line makes it possible to use remote management tools to set this preference en masse.

With that as inspiration, I put together a FileMaker file that can set this preference. FileMaker can detect the platform you are running on, either Windows or Mac, and run the appropriate PowerShell or AppleScript command, respectively. The change will take effect after you restart FileMaker Pro.

For Windows installations, the scripting sets the value for the current user, but you could also set the preference at the local machine level so all users would get this preference set. This should be set according to the deployment requirements.

You can use this demo file to copy the scripting into your own file, depending on what suits your application and deployment. This technique makes it easy for FileMaker developers to set this preference without having to involve IT personnel. Reference the scripting in the file to modify as you see fit and use for your purposes.

Get the Demo File

You can download a copy of the unlocked file here. If you have any questions, please reach out to our team.


Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan

Mike is a Senior AWS Cloud Engineer and an AWS Certified Solutions Architect as well as a certified FileMaker Developer. In addition to his work, Mike also enjoys pursuing his art, freelance writing, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Leave a Reply