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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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Windows DVD Maker says the “Temporary Directory is not Accessible”

Temporary Location is InvalidQ: I am trying use Windows DVD maker to make a photo slide show.

After I load the pictures and click the next icon, I receive this error message:

“Error synchronizing project – The temporary directory is not accessible.”

Why do I receive this message, and how do I make it work?

A: Windows does many things very well, but communicating its problems isn’t a strong point.

In this case, it’s giving you technospeak as to the exact cause of the problem. But it’s not smart enough to tell you how to fix things.

Translated into real words, the problem boils down to this: Windows DVD Maker needs a spot on your hard drive to store your slideshow before copying it to the DVD. And, for some reason, the program can’t find a spot it likes.

You can fix the problem and remove the error message by following these steps:

  1. Open Windows DVD Maker.
  2. In the bottom, right corner, click the blue word “Options.”
  3. When the DVD Options window appears, find the Temporary File Location box.
  4. Delete whatever appears in that box, then type this into the box and click the OK button:


Tip: Make sure you’ve typed the two slashes correctly (you need a “\” slash, not a “/” slash), before clicking the OK button.

That tells the program to stash its trash into the same temporary folder used by nearly every other Windows program. (That trash will be dutifully taken out when you run Disk Cleanup, one of Windows’ many maintenance programs.)


Comment from MIKE
Time April 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm

thanks i’ve been fighting this for two days

Comment from paco
Time May 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

thanks it works 4 me bro

Comment from laurence
Time June 14, 2013 at 8:19 am

Andy, your a genius, I tried all the other solutions, only yours worked

Comment from Leroy
Time May 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

It didn’t work for me. Any other suggestions?

Comment from Bonnie
Time June 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Thank you ,thank you !! I have been half a day on windows sites & help & got no where !!! I fixed it in 1 minute with your help !

Comment from Hrolf
Time July 31, 2014 at 7:55 pm

The suggestion did not work but I did get to the really source of the problem and was able to fix and run the DVD burn successfully.
Instead of using the “temp” directory a new directory was created using Windows Explorer. The new directory is empty and the software ran great. After creating the new directory [Options] was selected and then [Browse] to select the new directory (Windows 7)

Comment from sharad
Time August 5, 2014 at 4:07 am

thanks thanks and thanks again sir the problem of TEMPO. LOCATION INVALID solved i did what you suggested you are genius

Comment from ip
Time December 8, 2014 at 6:09 am

Thank u i been fighting for a month

Comment from Lauren
Time February 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Thanks. Worked for me!

Comment from daniel
Time March 7, 2015 at 4:34 pm

thank you so much i did this and it works 🙂

Comment from Cinderella
Time June 30, 2015 at 8:39 am

Thank you so much! I’ve been searching all morning on net to find a cure. You are so brilliant! Thanks

Comment from Don
Time March 27, 2016 at 3:03 pm

There was no “Options” button when I opened Windows DVD maker.

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time March 27, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Don: The Options button is just above the Cancel button in the window’s bottom, right corner. Make sure you’re clicking past the opening screen, which says, “Turn Your Digital Memories into a DVD.” Then you should see the Options button.

Comment from paul
Time April 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

thanks it really works grate job

Comment from Tim Foukkes
Time August 8, 2016 at 4:59 am

Thanks, us old poops need guidance like yours, especially when cursed with an ability to screw up anything electronic!

Comment from Eleine
Time March 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm


Comment from Dave
Time May 31, 2017 at 1:17 am

thanks, you were the only website that knew what was going on…

Comment from Catherine
Time April 30, 2019 at 1:22 am

Wow! I clicked on your link when I first asked about this problem, and you had the right answer! You remind me of my DH who is now deceased — he was an engineer, and usually answered all my questions about the computer. I’m so glad you ‘smart guys’ are out there! Thanks so much for making this easy to fix! Appreciate you!

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