Locking eM Client settings

I have an elderly parent (93 years old) using eM Client and like Locking the layout from time to time she messes up her settings which causes great distress.

I was thinking of writing a little script or batch file to write a known-good copy of the settings.dat file on each reboot but when I made some changes to the eM Client settings I noticed that the settings.dat file last modified timestamp was unchanged but the timestamps on the .wal and .shm were updated to reflect the time of the changes.

I see from a dump of the file that it is a SQLite binary format file which is something I have not worked with. I tried stopping and starting eM Client and rebooting the computer but did not observe settings.dat being updated as the above link suggested it would be.

Can someone familiar with the internals of this part of eM Client (or SQLite maybe) give me some guidance on a safe approach to taking a snapshot of the settings and restoring them? Is it as simple as saving the three files away somewhere safe and overwriting them when they get accidentally altered or is there more detail to be considered.

Alternatively, could I just make the file read-only or will that cause unintended consequences?


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Hmmm… looks like copying all three settings files might work for things like the panes layout and so forth but as far as I can tell from some limited testing the mail sort order isn’t saved in the settings files but somewhere else, and that is one of the things that keeps tripping Mum up.

Never feel all that comfortable messing with the binary files comprising a database as you don’t ever really know what assumptions you might be trashing.

Anyone know where the mail sort order is stashed?