MATLAB Answers

per isakson

How to Migrate the Preferences Folder and its Files when updating Matlab?

Asked by per isakson
on 10 Apr 2012

Background: In the R2012a online documentation there is a section with the heading, "Process MATLAB Uses to Create and Migrate the Preferences Folder and its Files". This section says that MATLAB automatically migrates the files from the previous release to the preferences folder of the new release iff the previous release is the one that immediately precedes the new release. Thus, Matlab would migrate the preference files from R2011b to R2012a, but not from R2011a to R2012a.

I just updated from R2011a to R2012a. I have quite a lot of "user data" in the preference folder. This data is not well documented :( I cannot find a description of how to migrate these files manually.

Now I have dragged history.m, shortcuts.xml, matlab.prf, run_configurations.m and MATLABDesktop.xml to R2012a. (EDIT: and MATLAB_Editor_State.xml.) Matlab has not protested so far.

Question: Is there a description somewhere of how to manually migrate which preference files? I know that I should not drag the files related to the Help-system.

--- EDIT ---

Some years ago I caused a mess by copying a file related to the help system. I have an awkward feeling that I might cause problems if I copy a file that is not appropriate to migrate.

--- EDIT ---

My dragging of files caused a perfect mess :(

Navigating in the Current Folder window became very sluggish. I have seen a lot of the error message "Error reloading file_name" during the last couple of hours.

Now I have renamed the preference folder and let Matlab make a new with factory settings.

Conclusion: @TheMathworks. Please write a technical note on migrating preference files manually.


Ken Atwell
on 10 Apr 2012

Sorry, Per, what is the question? If you are migrating from 11b to 12a, MATLAB will automatically migrate your preferences. Preferences from releases of MATLAB before 11b would not be migrated into 12a.

Sorry, I saved my question by mistake before I completed it.

2 Answers

Answer by Sean de Wolski
on 10 Apr 2012

Copy the contents of:


in the old release to those in prefdir of the new release. Is this what you mean?


No. This is a workaround.

I don't know of any side-effects. If there were, deleting the file would resolve them.

Sorry, I saved my question by mistake before I completed it.

Answer by Daniel Shub
on 10 Apr 2012

What about doing a careful diff between the new and old default preference files. This will give you an idea of what has changed. Then you can do a diff between the old default and your settings. Hopefully this will give you what you need for the merge.


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