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The Windows Explorer integration consists of two DLLs bin\shellext32.dll, bin\shellext64.dll and bin\shellnotify.exe which are referenced and controlled by the Windows registry. The log file is located at %APPDATA%\SmartSVN\explorer-integration.log.

SmartSVN's main registry entry is located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SmartSVN which will point to the currently installed version of SmartSVN.

Debugging options for the DLLs

Below HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SmartSVN\<version> you will find following properties:

  • debug-logging - set to true to enable additional general debug output into the log file
  • shell-integration-full - specifies whether overlay icons should be enabled at all (true)
  • socket-logging - set to true to enable logging of the communication between the DLLs and the main SmartSVN process

The same set of options is duplicated below HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SmartSVN. Depending on whether your application is 64-Bit or 32-Bit the former or the latter set of options will be applied.

After changing any of the above options, the explorer.exe process must be restarted. This can be done with the Task Manager, however it's usually a good idea to restart your entire machine.


Be careful when changing these options – enabling logging may slow down the integration significantly and may make the log file grow quickly.

Debugging options for shellnotify.exe

Below HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SmartSVN\<version> you will find the notify-logging option which you can set to true to enable logging for the shellnotify.exe process. Logging is written to explorer-integration.log as well.


If you are running a 64-Bit Windows, do not change the 64-Bit option located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SmartSVN\<version> because it's not honored.

After changing options, shellnotify.exe must be restarted: it's sufficient to kill the shellnotify.exe process from the Task Manager. When invoking the Explorer context menu the next time, it will be restarted automatically. To make sure logging is properly enabled, check explorer-integration.log: immediately after shellnotify.exe has been restarted, you should find a line like

Code Block
ShellNotify::_tWinMain Signaled start successfully

Context menu registry entries

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\SmartSVN
    enables the context menu on files
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\SmartSVN,
    enables the context menu on directories

Following registry scripts can be used to enable/disable the context menu:

After running any of these scripts, the explorer.exe process must be restarted. This can be done with the Task Manager, however it's usually a good idea to restart your entire machine.

Overlay icon registry entries


  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers

following icon overlays are defined:

  • SmartSVN1 - modified
  • SmartSVN2 - added
  • SmartSVN3 - removed
  • SmartSVN4 - working copy root/external
  • SmartSVN5 - unversioned
  • SmartSVN6 - ignored
  • SmartSVN7 - conflicted

Windows supports only a very limited amount of overlay icon handlers and only the first 15 handlers will be invoked at all (taken in alphabetical order). Hence, the SmartSVN installer will optionally prefix the overlay handlers by two spaces to make sure they will be at the top of the list.


If overlay icons do not show up, check registered handlers at the two registry keys given above. If there are multiple other handlers, try to prefix SmartSVN's handlers by as many spaces as necessary to move them into first position.