VST plugin locations in Cubase 9.5 vs. earlier gen's

I had one robust PC for several years on which I installed successive Cubase versions over time. Just got a new Win 10 64 bit computer and installed Artist 9.5 first. I want to install legacy versions, especially Studio 4. My concern is that on my old box, I wound up with VST and other plugin folders all over the place as generations seemed to put them in different default locations. And when I upgraded from 9 to 9.5, most presets vanished. Nothing tells you where stuff is going on each install & I don’t want to recreate that mess on a new system.

This is also important because I run an SSD C drive for programs and other drives for data, libraries, etc. So I expect to have to change defaults regardless. I seem to remember that there was a lot less flexibility in older versions as to where you put plugins, etc., so need to know that too.

Question: Where can I find info on the default locations for items like VST plugins & sounds, presets (especially track presets), and program presets like preferences and key commands for current and legacy generations of Cubase - primarily SE, 4 and 7 through 9.5? :confused:

(“New Member” who’s been a member since Jan 2014)

Take a look here, maybe it helps:

Thanks marQs. Certainly helpful. I’m mainly looking for the plugins themselves. The big thing is learning which locations relate to which version. My impression was that old versions locate them differently. When doing a system clean up I was hoping for a quick reference .


the plugin locations on Windows didn’t change over time, they are as follows:

C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST3
C:/Program Files/Steinberg/VSTPlugins
C:/Program Files/VSTPlugins
C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST2 (this folder is scanned by default, but not created by the program installer, it’s the users’ choice to use it or not)
C:/Program Files/Common Files/Steinberg/VST2 (here you find some shared stuff, I only have the legacy HALion ONE here)

The 32-bit plugins’ path are identical, just replace C:/Program Files with C:/Program Files (x86).

For VST3, there is only one install path: C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST3 - this is forced in the VST3 SDK specifications and cannot be changed, one cannot really go wrong here :slight_smile:
For VST2, Cubase cannot dictate the install path of the plugin, it’s the plugin vendor’s choice, where an installer is provided (simple dlls can be dropped by the user anywhere, of course).

Friendly advice: older Cubase versions will almost certainly misbehave on Win 10, the audio and MIDI system changed quite a bit.
If you need to access older 32-bit plug-ins, I’d rather recommend to install 8.5 x86.

As for the presets, the link provided by MarQs is complete.

Awesome. Thank you Fabio! Those are all familiar locations.

What has changed over time of course is the evolution from VST2 to 3 and from 32 bit to 64. Knowing the latter are basically the same helps. Also the addition of the Plugin Manager (around 7?) & ability to add to the list of scanned folders. I’ve never seen that in 4. So it’s been tricky figuring out how to manually fix missing plugins or effects.

With this info & marQs’ link, I think I’ll use both screens to pull up all windows at once to try to figure out what goes where.