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Settings backup

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26 comments

  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I support this. Also a way to export/import so one can easily migrate / copy from one machine to another.

    2
  • Marcin Mrzygłocki
    Top Commenter

    I have even copied settings between machines in a way described as a workaround, so it works. Risk seems to be mostly with hardware acceleration, I think.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    I definitely support requesting a feature to make it easier to move an installation to a different computer or to keep two installations (like desktop and laptop) in sync with the same settings, preferences, presets, styles, recipes, import configuration, etc...  

    But, because of the way Capture One has coded and organized things, I don't think this problem is as simple as backup/restore a directory hierarchy.  Code that was built for moving or syncing preferences and settings and recipes, presets, etc... from one system to another would likely need to be a bit smarter than just copying a whole directory hierarchy.

    As I've tried this before, here are some things I've learned on Windows 11.

    1. Everything in the /users/xxx/AppData/Local /CaptureOne directory is NOT compatible with a new installation on a new computer.  For example, ImageCore is very specific to your graphics hardware.  I don't know what happens if you try to move that to a new system.  At best, it won't work.  At worst, it might mess things up.
    2. "MSALCachexxx" appears to be related to authentication of your license and probably should not be moved around, but probably doesn't cause any harm if you do as it will either work or just require you to reauthenticate.
    3. "Plugins" are specific to what plugins you have installed on that specific computer and should not be moved to other computers.  You should install separately any third party software that will have it's own Capture One plugin
    4. The directory "/users/xxx/AppData/Local /Capture_One" (note the underscore) has some dynamically generated directory names that are probably unique to this computer.  In those unique directory names are various preferences and settings in user.config (an XML file).  For example, saved import settings are in there.  You could probably move user.config from one system to the next, but probably not the whole directory hierarchy.
    5. The "Defaults" directory contains a file called BuiltInOpenWithPluginSettings.xml which contains the current things the Open With or Edit With menus will offer.  This contains full paths to executable files, some of which contain dynamically generated path names (particularly Windows Store Apps or builtin Windows apps).  These paths will not be valid on a different system.  I don't know if Capture One will dynamically rebuilt this stuff or not.
    6. For obvious reasons, you don't want to move the Logs directory.  It probably wouldn't do any harm, but if you ever ran into a problem that led to a support ticket, you don't want Logs from a different system mixed with yours.

     

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    It would be simple to EXCLUDE specific subfolders that are system specific.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Marcin Mrzygłocki

    I have even copied settings between machines in a way described as a workaround, so it works. Risk seems to be mostly with hardware acceleration, I think.

    I've done it too.  But, I think there's more risk than just to hardware acceleration.  I would not do it again because you may be messing some things up internally that cause problems later.  Instead, you can move specific things from the AppData/Local/CaptureOne  or AppData/Local/Capture_One directory hierarchy, but only individual files that you know are safe (largely because they are text files you can open and see what's in them).

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Walter Rowe

    It would be simple to EXCLUDE specific subfolders that are system specific.

    That's at least a start and would be safer, but some things such as user.config are contained in a dynamically generated directory name so there's a little more to it than that and that file contains stuff I really want to sync (like Import Renaming recipes).

    I'm actually imagining a little tool that grabs just the files it knows are safe to move, puts them in a ZIP and  then when you move that ZIP file to the new system, it can unzip them to their desired location (with some smarts about how it does that).  It would start with only files that are known to be safe and it would be able to deal with dynamically created directory names on the target.

    1
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    They could put all the system specific stuff under a single folder and EXCLUDE that folder. It would require a change, but would be simple enough to do.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    To my surprise, Capture One has an article that suggests copying the entire Capture One folder from one system to the next here: https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002418657-How-can-I-move-custom-files-and-settings-from-one-computer-to-another-

    I'm very surprised they advocate this.  Besides copying a number of things that are system specific, it also doesn't put some things that you want in the right place because of dynamically generated folder names.

    1
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Walter Rowe

    They could put all the system specific stuff under a single folder and EXCLUDE that folder. It would require a change, but would be simple enough to do.

    That would be a start, but they could clean it up a lot more by getting all the system-specific stuff out of this CaptureOne hierarchy entirely.  Then, no need to know what to include or exclude.  The whole hierarchy would be movable.

    For example, there's probably a better place in Windows for Capture One to store computer-specific stuff.  For example, why is ImageCore stored in a user-specific profile?  It shouldn't be.  It should be stored in an application specific location that is global to the computer so there's only one ImageCore directory for the system, no matter how many user profiles use Capture One.  That would get it completely out of this whole conversation and they'd be storing it in a more appropriate place.  It's been a long time since I worked on Windows programming so I don't know where that location would currently be, but I'm quite sure Windows has such a convention outside the user profile for apps to use for hardware-specific configuration data.

    As for other stuff like logs or plugin stuff that may be specific to a user, but are not useful to move to another installation, it would be great to combine all that stuff in a different parent directory hierarchy that's maybe called CaptureOneSystem instead of CaptureOne.  So, everything in the CaptureOne hierarchy was movable to another system.  Now, just need to do something about the dynamic folder name that contains the user.config.  I'm not sure why they do that.

    1
  • Marcin Mrzygłocki
    Top Commenter

    One division is already possible, just like it's done for browsers: workspaces, keymaps or profile settings could go to Roaming, while Local would continue to hold cache or items that cannot be used elsewhere (like Most Recent or ImageCore, assuming it would be not moved out of user profile entirely).

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Marcin Mrzygłocki

    Yeah, I just read a bit about the purpose of /Local, /LocalLow and /Roaming (something I've never quite understood).  It appears /Roaming should be exactly where things would go that are transportable to a different computer and /Local is for things that are not.  In fact, /Roaming would automatically sync to a different computer in some network environments (enterprise configurations, not individuals).

    So, CaptureOne is putting most of this profile stuff in the wrong place.  To make things like user.config in the Capture_One hierarchy work properly with sync, they'd have to not use a dynamically generated folder name that was installation-specific.

    I still think the ImageCore stuff should be elsewhere entirely as it isn't user-specific.  It's computer-specific.

    1
  • Fabrizio Giudici (stoppingdown)

    Yes, moving/copying the folder is documented by C1, so it should be reasonably safe. For what concern contents, that's what I've found as file extensions (on macOS):

    cocatalogtemplate
    col
    comask
    copreset
    cosearchpreset
    costyle
    costylebrush
    job
    p1report
    plist
    xml

    "job" is related to jobs in the Batch Queue — something that IMHO should not stay here, because rather than a configuration it's a work-in-progress status. I'm not sure why the other stuff should be related to hardware acceleration.

    But I support the idea to have a export/import menu that possibly produce a .zip file and doesn't contain stuff such as the batch job queue.

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I would look at the subfolders of the Capture One folder. It is easier to exclude the few system specific vs name all those needed.

    • CaptureCore 
    • [Ee]rrors* 
    • ImageCore 
    • IPCamera* 
    • Plug-ins 
    • Sync

    Everything else (on macOS) goes.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Fabrizio Giudici (stoppingdown)

    Even better if Capture One implemented profile sync for all your copies of the same license.  They could have hosted capabilities as part of their subscription (to save your profile info) so they could just use that to actually sync your config for you automatically (if requested or set in a preference).  Then, we wouldn't have to worry about the inner details of what is and isn't safe to copy between systems and, even better, we don't have to do it all manually.  I've got to imagine that lots of working pros have both a laptop and a desktop that they would like the same presets, same import settings, same styles, etc...  Why do we have to manage all that manually?

    And, this could be a feature only available to subscription users (because of the hosted part) which I would think Capture One (the company) might like (even though I'm on a perpetual license).

    0
  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    AND .. sync to mobile! All your styles, presets, etc, right there in the mobile apps.

    1
  • Marcin Mrzygłocki
    Top Commenter

    We are getting excited here! Maybe it's time for a new thread? 😄

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Walter Rowe

    AND .. sync to mobile! All your styles, presets, etc, right there in the mobile apps.

    Yep, that would be a logical extension too.

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  • Marcin Mrzygłocki
    Top Commenter

    Could be an extension, but as another request, because "backup" is in other applications sometimes implemented only via cloud and it's a nightmare to get access to files, if ever possible. This thread has started as a solution for those that want to manage files themselves and let's keep it as such.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Separate feature requests for automatic syncing of styles, export recipes, import settings, custom key maps, color profiles, presets, etc... filed here: https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/15404092853917-Provide-syncing-between-multiple-licensed-copies-of-Capture-One-for-styles-export-recipes-import-settings-custom-key-maps-color-profiles-presets-etc-.

    We will leave this feature request for what it started out as just a backup of settings.

    If you've been following this and are a fan of the automatic syncing as a feature request, then please upvote that separate request.

    1
  • Marcin Mrzygłocki
    Top Commenter

    Done. While I would rather synchronize manually via export/import of backups, I do agree that built-in sync will be of great value.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Marcin Mrzygłocki 

    You could create your own backup with a simple batch file that just lists the specific directories in the profile directory structure that should be backed up and then puts them into a ZIP file if that's what you need.  That's a fairly easy script to write.  If you have a general backup solution, the profile directory should already be getting backed up as part of that.

    Merging that backup into another installation without any chance of error/problem or loss of changes in the target installation is not trivial which is why I described that in the separate feature request.  It's also why I've stopped trying to do my own manual sync.

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    The script at this link works for macOS users as it is written in AppleScript. The script installs two scripts in the Capture One scripts menu. One will "export" (backup) and one will "import" (restore). If you "import" you will need to restart Capture One to see the restored recipes, presets, styles, etc.

    https://github.com/walterrowe/capture-one-scripts/tree/master/export-import-settings

    This is pretty rudimentary but I tested it on my own machines and it works.

    1
  • Fabrizio Giudici (stoppingdown)

    Thanks – I see that there are other scripts in the repo and I think it's always inspiring to look at scripts done by other people.

    0
  • fractr

    I see many comments, but few votes. Please, remeber that voting posts enhances the probability that the suggestion is considered by CaptureOne.

    0
  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    And, remember a more comprehensive feature request for actually automatically syncing different installed copies on the same license is over here if you would also like to vote for that.  I've voted for both, though I'd prefer more automatic syncing myself.

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  • Walter Rowe
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I've made a couple of updates to this backup/restore script. It now includes the scripts folder, lets you choose which the folder to write the backup file, and lets you choose the backup file to restore.

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