Why suggest to delete preferences?

I’m just curious. So many times I read that the solution to this or that problem is resolved by “deleting your preferences”. I was just wondering why that might be? No one ever seems to point to one setting or another that might be causing the problem. Is it just easier to wipe them clean than spend the time using the processes of elimination? Maybe I’m wrong but at first blush it seems a little heavy handed.

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Perfectly normal reaction! It’s like curing a head ache with decapitation.

Someone at Steinberg does not want to create a proper preference handler with save/load and partial reset functionality because they know what a mess they have made of the xml files spaghetti making up the preferences, is what I see. Prove me wrong?


The settings could be “displayed” fine inside Cubase and the preferences could still be corrupt. A crash at the wrong time could save partial preferences, leaving preference files chopped off. Examining those XML files and finding errors would be a monumental task for the average user.
It’s simply faster to reset preferences and configure again.
Make backups, would be my suggestion.
As long as Cubase preferences are as frail as they are, there is really no better alternative.


Shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level

Yeah, that’s what I do, more infrequently than I care to admit but it happens a few times per year that I make a copy of:
C:\Users\howlingulf\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\cubase\Cubase 11_64
and call it “Cubase 11_64 X” instead of just “Cubase 11_64” and then it’s the neighbor folder to the preferences. If something happens my latest Key Commands and Logical Editor presets are not lost, most importantly.

No, you are wrong, there are alternatives.

  1. Cubase could perfectly backup the settings at the beginning of a session to restore it in case of a crash and error check those files automatically.
  2. The settings could also be broken down in different independent files to avoid a reset of all of them.
  3. The software could show (optional) warnings if it detects inconsistencies to guide the user and the developers.
  4. Cubase could automatically generate error reports and send them in the background to Steinberg (previous user consent) so they could work in fixing the causes of them.

All of this is not done, I imagine because of a lack of development resources (€), which in my opinion, is a poor decision of management.