I recently did this on a new audio rig (W10) that I am getting up and running. I used this time to clean up, trash, simplify and organize where all my non-Steinberg VSTs were located. It took me a few days to get it going. Not that it is hard, it is just a ton of stuff to think about, move, delete, etc. if you want to do the cleanup/organize part. If you are fine with just the VSTs used in your latest version of Cubase then most of this would be unnecessary for you to do.
What I did first was to go into each version of Cubase and screen print the “Plug In Manager” windows to document and compare what plug ins were installed in each version and where they were installed. I actually “found” a few older plug ins used in older CB versions that I forgot about and still wanted. I also found many I was able to delete.
Next, I made a “master list” of all the non-Steinberg VSTs I have (approx 40) and grouped them into (4) catagories. VST2 (32), VST2 (64), VST3 (32), and VST3 (64). Then I created (4) new folders. The VST2 (64) & VST3 (64) folders were created in Program Files/Common Files location and the VST2 (32) & VST3 (32) folders were created in the Program Files (x86)/Common Files location.
Now the scary part (just make sure you are OK with deleting older CB versions that might have projects that won’t open/work properly in the latest CB version) … I deleted all of the CB versions I had going back to LE4. I deleted these programs from the default windows “App and Features” window. I deleted the oldest first but I don’t think the delete order matters. Then I reinstalled CB 8.5 from the ISO file and let it install the latest upgrade version when it asked to do so.
After that I went into the CB 8.5.15 Plug-in Manager and added the (4) folders to the VST 2 Plug-in Path Settings. Then I reinstalled or moved my non-Steinberg VSTs making sure that the .dll/.vst files installed to the proper folders I previously added. Some (not all) needed to be reauthorized. It looks like there might not be a need for a VST3 (32) folder as I didn’t have any of those (they probably don’t make a 32 bit VST3). Regardless, I now have a nice new system that is clean and organized. No error messages. No issues. No projects were deleted but I can’t vouch if every project I have that I created in an older version of CB works. I just made the decision to let those go if they didn’t (they are all finished anyway). All the newer projects (I’d say from CB 7 forward) do work. And certainly all of the projects I have that were created in CB 8 or 8.5 work perfectly. As far as I can tell, no projects were deleted during this process.
Now, for me, I am waiting for my new PreSonus Studio 192 Mobile audio interface to really make this W10 PC my main studio workstation. My old 2007 vintage PreSonus Firebox works in W10 but it does have some compatibility issues that I don’t want to deal with. So I continue using my old Win 7 PC until I get my new preordered Studio 192 Mobile which is promised to ship by May 27th.