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 🙂

25 thoughts on “Copy my workspace settings

  1. Pingback: Managing recent workspaces | MCU on Eclipse

  2. Pingback: Eclipse global preferences | MCU on Eclipse

  3. Pingback: Customize my Workspace Perspectives | MCU on Eclipse

  4. Thanks for the tip.
    BTW, the given link of “CodeWarrior Tool Tip #1…” doesn’t work anymore. You moved it to


  5. Pingback: Spaces vs. Tabs in Eclipse | MCU on Eclipse

  6. 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.


  7. Pingback: Eclipse Workspace Tips | MCU on Eclipse

  8. 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.


  9. Pingback: Constructing a Classroom IDE with Eclipse for ARM | MCU on Eclipse

  10. Pingback: Toolchain: KSDK 1.2.0 with Eclipse 4.4 (Luna) and GNU ARM Plugin | Centaurian

    • I’m not sure about appearance settings, but I can confirm that Keyboard shortcuts are now a selection choice in what you can to export from the Workspace. In my Eclipse [2021-12] I have 5 selectable categories of preferences to export.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thinking about the appearance setting, I was pretty sure I’ve done this before too. So a quick search on the internet and below is a post showing two possible solutions. Note that the bug mentioned in the post, has long since been fixed and I can confirm both solutions work with my Eclipse.

        In summary:
        1. When creating a new Workspace, you have the option to copy existing settings
        2. Save your current Perspective (window layout) with a custom name. Make sure to open that custom perspective. Now export your Workspace settings as usual. The window appearance settings get exported too.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Eclipse Workspaces: What for and why? – Row Coding

  12. Pingback: Eclipse Workspaces: What for and why? –

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.