Cubase 11 - won't keep/read VST2 folder paths

In the past few days Cubase 11 has stopped seeing and reading my VST2 folders.
I’m on Windows 10 Version 10.0.19044 Build 19044, with Cubase v11.0.41

What’s frustrating is that in the Plugin Manager, in the VST 2 plugin path settings, the folder paths have disappeared, and attempting to re-add the folders results in nothing. You add the folder paths, close the window, open it back up and they aren’t there anymore. Hitting ‘Rescan’ just results in nothing new being found.

I suspect this is some weird permissions thing, but haven’t had any luck getting the folder paths to ‘stick’.

Any thoughts?

I think the paths are stored in one of the Preferences xml files (VST2PluginPaths or something). Not at my DAW at the moment so can’t confirm. Perhaps the file in question has become corrupted?
In which case renaming it and resetting the paths should force a new version to be created.

I had removed all of them temporarily to allow Cubase to rebuild. Still no luck.

I’ve confirmed that starting Cubase in safe mode fixes the problem and can see VST2 paths. So it likely is a corrupted preference file. But which one? I don’t want to trash all of them unless absolutely necessary.

Well that’s a couple hours of my life I’d like back, after process of elimination. It was defaults.xml that was at issue.

All good now.

Glad you got it sorted anyway and thanks for posting your solution, might save someone else some time!

For reference if you know it’s one of the preference files but aren’t sure which one (as you were) the quickest way is usually to remove half of them and see if that solves the problem. If not remove the other half. Then divide those in half and test again etc, etc…it’s usually a lot quicker than going through them one by one.