Copy my workspace settings

I just counted the number of active eclipse workspace I have: Eight! I’m sure there are other developers which even have more than eight? Eclipse maintains many settings inside the workspace .metadata folder (see my post on CodeWarrior Tool Tip #1: Improve performance by cleaning house in the Eclipse workspace). The question is: how can I copy or transfer my carefully balanced workspace settings to another workspace?

The solution is not that obvious. But is straight forward once I knew about it: I can export and import the workspace settings. For this I select the menu File > Export and select General > Preferences:

Exporting Workspace Preferences

Exporting Workspace Preferences

The next dialog gives me the opportunity to select what to export (I usually select ‘Export all’) and to which file (which is a normal text file):

Exporting Preferences Details

Exporting Preferences Details

Applying the preferences (or settings) to another workspace just works the other way round: I use the menu File > Import > General > Preferences. Simple like that :-).

Hint: I use File > Export > General > Preferences as well to have a backup of my preferences (in case eclipse might screw up my workspace). Or to store the settings in a version control system.

Happy Preferencing 🙂

20 thoughts on “Copy my workspace settings

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  5. Thanks, this is helpful. I hope to share preferences across a team; putting the preferences file in a version control system should help me do that.


    • Yes, at the beginning things are a little bit overwhelming. The good news is that after a learning curve I cannot imagine any more to use another IDE. So I hope as well that my posts might help finding a way through everything.


  6. Pingback: Eclipse Workspace Tips | MCU on Eclipse

  7. This one tip alone saves me endless frustration! I archive our work to the repository after changes throughout the day. It is often necessary to export a past version and build a new work space (I don’t want to risk any corruption or error in the production system), then import the older project code (I don’t archive the eclipse system). But I always had to go through and manually put all the settings back into eclipse. What a mess! Now I just save the settings with the archive and it is always there for a new work space. Thank you.


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