Describe Objects recovery

what is the file name for the described objects list? How do I recover it if I saved a single described object over my growing list of described objects?

Hi Kelly,


Are you saying that a one of the objects is appearing multiple times on the list and more each time you open the window? I've never heard of this problem before. Would you mind sending me your DescribeWindowList.xml file before you make any changes to it? you can email it to


No, I am saying that I saved over my massive list of objects with one object in the list. I want to recover my massive list of objects that was saved before I mistakenly saved a list of one object.

How do I do that?

Where do I find the DescribeWindowList.xml file?

Go into Options.

If you have version 16.3, find "Files and Folders", then "App Folders" on the left
In older versions, find "General" on the left.

Then on the right, click here:

That will open windows explorer. There will be a "User Files" folder there. DescribeWindowList is in that folder.

If you have an older version of Toad, you could get the file from the older version's user files folder and copy it over.

Toad version 16.3 has a user files backup process (which creates a "User Files Backups" folder), but it doesn't include this file by default. That would be a good thing to add to next version.

Note: CLOSE TOAD before copying any files in/out of the user files folder.


Thank you.

I have lost that file several times now and it is really irritating.

I will have to build it all over again, one more time.

How do we get that ‘feature’ added to the enhancements list?

I have found a version of this file in the system restore point.

I’ve extracted it from a shadow copy.

I tied to use it and get the following:

Is there a way to fix the file so it can be used again?

This is the error detail:

More detail on the error:

Are you referring to adding this file to the backup system? You don't have to do anything. I have logged that in our bug/enhancement tracking system. It will be added to version 17.1.

Re the "invalid character was found" error - you can look at the file with notepad to see if anything seems obviously wrong. If you aren't sure, email it to me and I'll take a look.


I was able to edit the new file with only one object in it, copy the header (<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>) and paste that into the recovered file to get the system to open it.

It’s all working again.

A learning experience.

I’m good now.

If anyone else has this same problem, I can help them through the recovery.

Good to hear.

I am curious how that file lost its header. Or was it from an old version of Toad that didn't have the header? I'm not even sure there was such a version. very mysterious.

I’ve got to believe it lost the header from the windows backup process.

The remainder of the file was completely in-tact.

Once I pasted the header in the shadow copied file and renamed the new version of the describe file to something else, and put the old file with the repaired header in the user files folder, I opened Toad and all of my objects and the sort/filters were back.

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