Automatically add ALL vst-plugin pictures to media rack

There could be a button in the Plugin Manager to take all pictures of all plugins in one click, while still keeping the actual option to refresh them one by one, by hand, if for example you find them more interesting when audio signal is making their interface more vivid. I’m surprised such concept didn’t make into Cubase 10 from the get go.


I suspect that the picture can only be “taken” while the plug-in window is open & has focus because what it’s really doing is a Windows screen capture. I suppose Cubase could open every available plug-in do a capture and then close the plug. Folks complain now about the time-change scans taking too long, this would be glacial.

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Related but slightly off topic -
Where in the media rack does the picture go when you’ve taken?
Cubase help just says - ‘take the picture and it will appear in the media rack’
I’m in what i think is the media rack - i.e. the right hand window entitled ‘Media’ - but can’t find the photos in any directory within that

I am not in the studio but I think they are in the template folder


I hope to be of help to all of you, because this is something that I have not found explained in any other forum or place on the internet and it took me some time to investigate and discover it.

The information you are looking for is in the following directory:
C:\Users<UserName>\Documents\Steinberg\VST Thumbnails

This is where the screenshots/thumbnails are stored. If you want to change any of them or add the ones that the VST plug-in does not allow you to (some do not have the option to add a screenshot), you just have to put a “*.png” image, with the plug-in’s CID identifier.

For example;

A VST plug-in may be called “Arturia 122” (just a made up example) but the capture image does not refer to its name, but to its internal CID identifier. That’s why the capture of that plug-in is actually, for example: 0CDBB66985D548A94E4741474E564D32.png

You just have to look for the Cubase CID identifier for that VST plug-in and use it as the name for a “*.png” image and place it in the “VST Thumbnails” directory.

To find out what the CID of a VST plug-in is, you have to look inside the “*.xml” file that Cubase saves in this directory;

In this directory there are several interesting “.xml” files. There is the “.xml” file of the locked or blacklisted VST plug-ins (which you can edit), the track presets, the project templates (in a separate directory), etc. And those that we are now interested in: VST2, external plug-ins and VST3 “*.xml”.

If we open the “*.xml” files (without editing or changing anything), we will find all VST plug-ins in vertical blocks (I will explain this in a simple and non-technical way, so that it is understood).

If we look closely, each block follows the same pattern (here’s a real example):

<list name="External Effects" type="list">
         <string name="External Effect Name" value="E-mu Orbit v2" wide="true"/>
         <member name="External Effect UID">
            <string name="GUID" value="8F90570AD67C46D6B21B0FC067E29C28" wide="true"/>
         <int name="External Instrument" value="1"/>
         <list name="Receiver Busses" type="list">

In this case it’s an external plug-in (Emu Orbit V2).

If we look closely, in the “<string name…” line we see that there is a part called “value=” followed by letters and numbers… because that value is the internal identifier that Cubase uses to refer to that external plug-in.

That string of letters and numbers is what you have to use as name for the “*.png” image. It’s the name that you should look for inside the “VST Thumbnails” directory to find the capture of that plug-in. It all depends on what you want to do.

I’ll show a second, real life, example with a common VST plug-in:

         <string name="Group" value="Vst2xPlug\D:\Vstplugins (64)\Arturia\SQ80 V.dll"/>
         <member name="Values">
            <member name="Vst2xPlugInfo">
               <obj class="CmTime" name="lastModified" ID="842398656">
                  <int name="Seconds" value="3817516106"/>
               <string name="subCategory" value="Instrument"/>
               <string name="cid" value="41727475415649535351383050726F63"/>
               <string name="editorCid" value="56534553513830737138302076000000"/>
               <string name="name" value="SQ80 V"/>
               <string name="vendor" value="Arturia"/>
               <string name="sdkVersion" value="VST 2.4"/>
               <string name="vendorVersion" value=""/>
               <int name="latencySamples" value="44"/>
               <int name="canDoublePrecision" value="0"/>
               <int name="audioInputBusCount" value="0"/>
               <int name="audioOutputBusCount" value="1"/>
               <int name="mainAudioInputArr" value="0"/>
               <int name="mainAudioOutputArr" value="3"/>
               <int name="codesignature" value="0"/>
               <int name="restoreVersion" value="1"/>

Obviously, this second example is about the Arturia SQ80 V plug-in. As we can see, it has several lines called “name=” but the one we must look at has “CID” on it:
string name=“cid” value=“41727475415649535351383050726F63”
That value (“41727475415649535351383050726F63”) is the one that matches the name of the corresponding “*.png” capture in the “VST Thumbnails” directory.

I hope all this helps the whole community.

A huge hug!


What’s definitely more glacial is opening up each and every plugin by hand and manually clicking to add a picture. If an optional automated process were available, a user who wanted to could click once and have all plugins scanned and snapped.

@DRDRDR Thank you for making this excellent feature request. The feature makes sense and should definitely be made available in Cubase. If Cubase has the capacity to generate VST thumbnail pictures, and a user has hundreds of plugins, it’s just common sense that Cubase should facilitate quick and easy generation of the pictures.

@Workdee Thank you for the details you provided - very helpful!!