Cubase 12 no VstPlugIns folder?

I have Cubase 12 on a new machine and to install VST plug ins I wonder where to install given a few inconsistencies outlined below.

On my old system 9.0.2 I usually put 64 bit non VST3 plug ins, in C/ProgFiles/Steinberg/Cubase/VST plugins

I note that no such folder exists inside the Cubase 12 folder just VST3 and VST Sounds.

What is also curious is that in Vst plug in manager Cubase 12 shows two folder locations of the VST plug in paths (4 listed by default) that I am unable to see through Windows ?

There are no “hidden items” to show as far as I can work out using windows in these locations.

Just want to set off on the right foot.

What I have found is that one folder can be seen through Cubase 12 Vst Plug in manager and Windows 11. And that is

Program Files/VST plug ins

Screen shots attached.

Through Cubase 12 Vst Plug in Manager VST 2 Plug in path settings

Nothing seen through Windows 11 OS in Steinberg folder

Nothing seen VST folder wise in Common folder (just VST3 not VST2)

Only in Program files I see VstPlugIns :

So unless I can make any sense at all of this I will have to try Program Files/VStPlugins. I like logic and when PC’s do not demonstrate that I get a little concerned. I wonder if I am missing something. Any thoughts very welcome.


Most of the installers are using pre-defined paths. Either some common paths, or won one. If the plug-in is using own path, you have to set it up in Cubase later.

VST3 plug-ins have predefined path, so you don’t have to play this game.

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Some VSTs may have other paths
Native instruments example


and the VST3s have this path but Cubase recovers them on its own


Appreciate the time replying. I am used to selecting the folder where I put everything VST2 (using Cubase 9.0.2)

The strange thing to me is that Cubase 12 shows these paths as existing in VST Plug in manager yet Windows 11 file explorer does not show the folders in the 3 of 4 paths Cubase 12 shows.

A folder disparity between Cubase 12 VST Plug In manager and the OS seems a little odd to me.


Could you attract the screenshots, please? From the VST Plug-in Manager and the folders (File Explorer), please.

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Hi Martin, are they not showing in my second post above ? (images are attached of precisely that VST plug in manager VST file paths and the actual locations from Windows 11 not showing such folders existing.)

In practice everything I have installed this evening, I have pointed at the one folder I can see in VST plug in manager and Cubase 12 (Program files/Vstplugins) and they are all loading up fine in C12.

They must go into a folder that can be seen by Windows 11 and accessible by myself for various reasons.(Common sense being one of them !)

It’s always reassuring to know there is such a good forum with helpful people on it.

I will continue installing a few plug ins a day and building the system up.


Is there any difference in the Cubase 11 vs Cubase 12 VST Plug-in Manager on your side, please?

Hi Martin, I use only 9.0.2 on another machine, not 11. 12 is installed on a fresh machine.


Cubase is listing some often used folders for the VST2 plug-ins. If the folder is not available, it’s not a problem. You don’t have to have all of them in your system, neither Cubase. The important part is to point Cubase to the folders, whereyour VST2 plug-ins really are.

Do you have some plug-ins missing in your Cubase 11 installation?

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Understood Martin, so far, so good with all installed plug ins. I am only on 9.02 on an old system and only on 12 on the new system. V11 is not used at all.

My confusion comes from Cubase 12 seeing a location even Windows 11 cannot find, that is just very strange to me.

I would recommend to define the folder

c:\Program Files\Steinberg\Vstplugins

as the main folder for VST2 plugins (64bit). If you ever install Cubase 13 or 14 or whatever, you don’t need to move or re-install the 3rd party vst2 plugins.

Typically I use a completely different folder for the 32bit plugins, e.g. c:\Program Files\Common Files\VST32

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I would agree alpha-w, but only on the basis that W11 could navigate to it, which it cannot in this instance as it cannot show it to me as can be seen above in my windows file navigator image 1.