My department is running the CC2020 editions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign on MacOS. Next month we're supposedly going to be switcing to Windows in our department, and we would like to be able to move our workspaces and settings to the new machines with as little hassle as possible.

Is there a way we can copy the settings folders for these apps from the Mac and move them to the PC? Even if there's some fiddling and folder restructuring involved, this would be greatly preferable to exporting what few settings we are able to and then taking screenshots for everything else.

  • You have my deepest sympathies :\
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 16, 2019 at 18:31
  • 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 Dec 16, 2019 at 18:37
  • Rarely a good idea to move items between operating systems. Actions, brushes, etc. are fine since PS will save those for import... but things like workspaces and shortcuts can be system-specific and you may find importing Mac items to a Windows system causes more problems than merely configuring the Windows system from scratch. Shortcuts can be especially problematic.
    – Scott
    Dec 16, 2019 at 19:37
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    I agree, most likely you'll have to re-setup by hand most of the stuff. Even if you do find a way to move files with settings from OSX to WIN, you'd better not try that. Adobe software looks the same on a PC vs Mac, but the building blocks are system-specific.
    – Lucian
    Dec 16, 2019 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


This is half an answer (for the Windows computers) and it may not work at all. Those settings will be saved in your preferences file. It also assumes the preferences files are similar enough to work on both platforms - but I simply don't know if it that is true.

I have no idea where it is stored on a Mac, but in Windows 10, for Illustrator CC (2018) it's located at:

C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 22 Settings\en_GB\x64\Adobe Illustrator Prefs

It may differ a bit on your system depending on the setup of your machine and Illustrator version (i.e. folder names, installation language), etc.

Before replacing the preferences file, might be best to rename the existing file to Adobe Illustrator Prefs_old, just in case it doesn't work and you need to revert to the previous file.

Note: You can jump right to the appdata directory by hitting Windows+R to open a run command, and type %appdata%

If this doesn't work, just delete the file and revert back by renaming the old file back again. Then you could try to recreate the preferences on one Windows machine, and then copy the Prefs file to the other Windows machines.

  • I can't test it, but I would be extremely doubtful that prefs from one would translate to the other. Every single ref path will be wrong. You could maybe do a search & replace for paths, but i wouldn't hold out much hope unless Adobe have some kind of export/import structure. Posting both types to some git/pastebin repository might give a hint - especially if we can find someone with both Win & Mac versions for comparison.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 16, 2019 at 19:10
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    My worry is that Windows may hold some of the settings in the Registry, in addition to application and user directories. Dec 16, 2019 at 19:12
  • @superluminal - well why not just try? It'll either work or it won't. It'll only take a few seconds to test. If it doesn't work you can delete it, and rename the original file back again.
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 16, 2019 at 19:15
  • @superluminal - if it doesn't work, you could recreate the preferences on one Window machine, then copy the prefs to the others.
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 16, 2019 at 19:16
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    I found helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/using/preset-migration.html and helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/sync-settings.html … which leaves me rather disappointed :\
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 16, 2019 at 19:47

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