Is it a bad idea to transfer preferences, key commands etc. to a new computer?

I’m moving from an Intel MBP to an M1 MBP, and am trying to do this with a very clean slate. Also stepping up from C12 to C13.

Since Cubase 6 I’ve always transferred all user preferences to new computers and Cubase versions. But I have some issues with crashes at times, often met with the “delete preferences” suggestions, which admittedly I have not.

Is it worth it to set up all my preferences, commands, macros, colors etc manually? And will it even make a differences if a preferences will be identical?



Yes, you can definitely transfer the preferences folder over to the new computer.

With my experience, sometimes going from one version to the next manifests issues…but smaller ones where I had to go back and spend a bit of time.

I think the more important question is if you start with C13 fresh, how much time will you spend manually setting up preferences? Only you can answer what your time is worth. And, considering all the Cubase features and how often you use what, doing this may result in setting those preferences over a long period, far longer than just the initial time spent setting up everything.

Also, when you say “preferences” are you referring to everything inside the Cubase13 applications folder? Like when you “trash preferences?” Or as some people have mentioned, just userpreferences.xml?

I experienced a bad one in C13 by transferring C12 userprefferences.xml.

To my knowledge I have not experienced any issues transferring the following .xml’s:
Generic Remotes,
Plug in manager defaults
default project workspace

If you have a crash, then open in Safe Mode and everything works, then I think you know you have an issue.


The Key Commands and the Macros are stored in the KeyCommands.xml file. So if this is the most important part for you, you can copy over just this file.

The biggest (and most often problematic) file is the defaults.xml.

Thank you Martin, what does the default.xml do?

It would definitely be a real time saver to not redo all the Key Commands, so I’m glad to hear that.


The defaults.xml stores lots (but not all) of the custom settings.

Transferring between computers, no problem.

But in my experience: auto importing C12 prefs into new C13 is very problematic. The C12 prefs need to be sidelined, then the C13 prefs built from scratch. Was the only approach that allowed C13 to function near normal in the first instance.

This includes firstly ensuring ALL of your 3rd party plugins /VIs are up to date.
I also keep my C12 templates to open and import audio routing, control room settings etc.

Can take a while; also quitting C13 at various points to let the settings stick. Has been worth while though. While not perfect & certainly needs another couple of point updates, this process has made C13 much closer to what was expected.

2019 Mac Pro, Sonoma 14.2.1 (or Monterey 12.7.1 boot as well).