how to rename plugins with Plugin Manager? Fixed in 8.5?

Hi all,

in the past when i have wanted to rename a plugin name to something meaningful i have simply changed the name of the .dll file.

Then the plugin name became embedded into the actual code of the plugin, so the process had to be to load a Hex Editor and “hack” the plugin file so you could change the name to something meaningful. Eg i have a plugin called “Maserati HMX Mono/Stereo” …i have no idea what this is. Vendors can certainly name their plugins cryptically and it is important to be able to rename them to something useful so we can find them in searches.

so the shiny new Plugin Manager in Cubase 8 has promised to fix this problem so we did not have to resort to hacking our plugins with a Hex Editor to be able to customize their names. Excellent.

so please can someone show me now how to rename a PLUGIN NAME to something else with the Plugin Manager so i can find it in a search? like i would have done with early plugins and their file names or with the Hex Editor?

many thanks,

i cant see a way to do it in the manager
if you try to hex edit a dll “like the old days” i suspect the plug could fail a protection check eg “checksum”
you could always “sort by type” instead of “vendor”
drop that one in the “suggestion box” it would be useful


so the shiny new Plugin Manager in Cubase 8 has promised to fix this problem so we did not have to resort to hacking our plugins with a Hex Editor to be able to customize their names.

To be fair I don’t believe it ever promised to allow you to rename plugs. The main complaint from most people was that you could sort VST2 by categories of your choice by putting them in named folders but VST3 plugs were tied to their developer coded categories.
The manager has at least improved on this, but actual renaming of VST3 plugs would be another welcome feature (VST2 can still be changed by renaming the dll I think)

i cannot believe this has not been done in the Plugin Manager!

the whole reason for hacking with the Hex Editor was to change plugin names to something less cryptic, so they can be SEARCHED FOR easier with the fancy search dropdown box that was introduced in C7. So i can, for instance, change the cryptic name of the plugin that the manufacturer decreed “Maserati HMX Mono/Stereo” to something reasonable like “Waves Maserati Equalizer EQ”…so when i type EQ into the search box it actually comes up as an EQ in the list!

and this has not been done? so we still have to hack our VST3 plugins with the Hex Editor to re-name them?

looks like Plugin Manager will go on the pile of other half-baked and unfinished features that have been introduced for Cubase over the years. Nice feature to entice people to upgrade to C8, then only to realize it cant do one of the most fundamental things.

here is how to change the name of a VST3 plugin using a Hex Editor:

Steinberg i hope you actually make this possible in Plugin Manager without having to still continue to hack our plugins just to name them. Jeese. please add this “feature”.


(PS to be fair Grim, we were promised with the Plugin Manager that we “should not have to resort to hacking plugins with a Hex Editor” but we still need to do this!)

Feel free to bump my thread :wink:

hi Frozen! apologies i did not see your post about this also!


(PS to be fair Grim, we were promised with the Plugin Manager that we “should not have to resort to hacking plugins with a Hex Editor” but we still need to do this!)

Sorry no…unless i missed another statement , you’re taking that out of context and extending it’s meaning to what you would like it to be, by your choice of which word to leave out!

In a thread that is titled and is mostly filled with posts about not being able to sort all plugins by vendor/category just like we used to with vst2 by using folders the actual quote was:

We will look at the possibilities how this plug-in management can be done inside Cubase.
A Cubase user shouldn’t be using a Hex-Editor to organize the plug-ins, it should happen inside Cubase.

And that’s exactly what they did with plugin manager.

Again…I’m all for the idea and would have been great if Steinberg should have been smart enough to also include this functionality but it’s unfair of you to make out it’s a broken promise by them or the only reason a manager was ever needed when this is not the case.

To be fair Grim, that response from Steinberg was a response to my post, where i explained how to use a Hex Editor to change the name of a VST3 plugin.

its not my fault in Steinberg mis-understood what the Hex Editor hack is for. My statement stands.

has this been fixed in 8.5? or have we had the same situation (yet again) where $teinberg release a new function to put on their flashy website announcement page but in reality it is a Half-Assed attempt and doesnt work as expected and never properly finished?

do we STILL have to use a Hex Editor to name our vst3 plugins the way we want in this latest 8.5 update?

Hi there,

I don’t know whether renaming is possible directly in C8.5. But with Nuendo 7 I was able to rename the plugin as displayed in my collections by simply editing the corresponding xml file. The plugin collections created by the user (not the default lists) is managed in a file called PluginManager.xml in your preferences folder. It is an xml file and contains the collections and folders for FX and instruments. To modify it, a text editor is sufficient. For each plugin in a collection there is a line of the form

The string after cid must not be changed, this hexadecimal value identifies the particular plugin inside Cubase (or Nuendo). But the name itself (the string after name between the quotation marks) can be changed and will appear in that plugin collection after the application is launched again. It would be wise to backup the file before making any changes, so you can roll back if necessary.


I also can’t understand why it is not possible to edit the “display name” of the plugins in the plugin-manager if the collection information ist stored in an xml file already.

I am using lots of Fabfilter Plugins and with reduced channel width my mixer shows “Fabfil” in almost evere Slot, because the vendor named them “Fabfilter Pro-C 2”, “Fabfilter Pro-MB”, “Fabfilter Pro-L” and so on. It would be nice if one may double klick the display name and may change it to “Pro-C2”, “Pro-MB” or “FF-PL” and save that in the pluginmanager xml file to make the resizing of the mixer useful.

That would enhance my workflow a lot.
If they also may implement a way to “freeze” multiple tracks in one go I would by satified much more :wink:


exactly the problem Backdraft! glad i am not alone!@ it is madness!

absolutely this is exactly how it should be implemented…and i was shocked when i purchased C7.5 just for this Plugin Manager only to find that the ability to double click on the display name in the manager to change it was “greyed out” and not possible. How is this helping with “ease of workflow” $teinberg???


Interesting. Has anyone actually tried this in Cubase? I’m going to try it myself and will report back.

Another reason for renaming plugins is that if you use a control surface with a limited number of characters (maybe 6-10 depending on what controller you have), it becomes difficult/impossible to identify the name of various plugins.

Well, whadayaknow? I just tried this and yes, it does work in Cubase (at least for the dozen or so plugins that I’ve tried). Thanks very much for this tip. I think a lot of people would like to know about this.

hi J-S-Q…this is a most exciting discovery, on a PC tho the file is located at :

C:\Users(xxxxuersnamexxx)\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 8.5_64\PluginManager.xml

did you try it with VST2 and VST3 effects plugins or only VST3 ? any changes i make to this file on a PC causes cubase to crash with the Cubase “A serious problem has occurred…” red cross crash window popping up when i try and rescan my plugins in Plugin Manager…

I am also on PC (Win 8.1 64Bit). I renamed a lot of plugins and have had no problems at all but as far as I remember, I have not rescanned my plugins since doing this -I just edited the XML file and restarted Cubase and my plugins are all renamed, (including on my S3 control surface, which is a seriously useful thing). What happens if you just load up Cubase without rescanning your plugins?

The plugins that I renamed include Waves, Soundtoys, Sonnox, Native Instruments, Slate Digital and quite a few more. I would need to check if any of them are VST2 but pretty sure they will be (all are 64Bit though).

hi J-S-Q thanks for the response, i tried renaming some waves ones (some are the most cryptic of all plugin names) but upon a simple reboot they were not renamed. For instance i renamed the CLA-2A to Waves LA2A. upon reboot it still was listed as CLA-2A, and upon rescan i had the fatal crashes.

im going to work through my plugins list and try and weed out the problem…maybe a rogue plugin thats causing the scan crashes that is unrelated to this problem.

if this workaround is truely valid and works (and i hope it does!) , then i would think it would be a fairly simple thing to write up a nice GUI to make these changes to the xml file until $teinberg gets their act together…hell i rekkon i could even get some guy to write the prog for me from the website Fiver…

Thanks a million Mike for the tip, works perfectly with Cubase 8.5 on Windows 10. Modified the names and it stuck even after reboot. Just in case, save the original .xml somewhere you can get to and overwrite the modified one if it causes problems.

Microsoft already beat you to it.

They have “xml notepad” - a 1 MB download from (search it on Microsoft website)
Once installed you can right click an XML file and the Explorer shell menu will list the option
“Edit with XML Notepad”

But in C Pro 8.5 the naming is in “Plugins.xml” in the AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 8.5_64
Folder not in PluginManager.xml

Always make a backup copy before editing any file. Just in case you need to undo.