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Symbolic links in FL Studio [Windows 10]

Symbolic links allow us to use a cloud service like Dropbox to keep our sounds in sync.

If you’re one to live life on the road, but still love to produce music, you understand the difficulties of syncing everything up with your home base studio. (Project files, sounds, VSTs, etc.)

And in all honesty, nothing is worse than these iLoks and eLicensors when trying to get two different set-ups on the go. (Imagine forgetting it at home while you’re on the plane?) I understand companies want to protect them self, but man!

Anyways, I’ve discovered a helpful tip to get multiple computers in sync. For me, I use Dropbox to achieve this.

I’ll cover this article in two parts: Drum kits, and VSTs.

(Project files are the same as drum kits – really easy to keep in sync.)

Drum Kits in Sync in FL Studio:

This is as simple as creating a drum kits folder in Dropbox and simply dragging this folder into the browser.

For your .FLP files (project files), just create a separate folder for your songs, and make sure when you open a song, it’s from this Dropbox folder!

VSTs in Sync Across Multiple Computers in FL Studio:

With the release of FL Studio 12 came the Plugin Database.

And I must say, it’s a pretty handy approach to organizing/managing VSTs inside FL Studio.

So let me break this down:

FL Studio reads this Plugin Database inside of one of its core folders:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 12\Data\Patches\Plugin database

And inside of this folder, we have the following folders:

  • Effects
  • Generators
  • Installed

Effects and Generators are copies of the Installed folder.

You can delete and add plugins to Effects and Generators to organize how you’d like.

Installed is where ALL your plugins live.

To organize your VSTs and add them to the Effects/Generator folder, open up the folder where you’d like to save it in the FL Studio browser.

Then just click the plugin’s top-left-arrow and select Add to Plugin Database.


For more info on installing plugins in FL Studio:

Now, organizing your VSTs is one thing in FL Studio, but I was wanting to keep my VSTs in sync across multiple computers.

I thought if I simply created a shortcut from Dropbox to this Plugin Database that everything should work and be in sync! (Wrong!)

For what ever reason, FL Studio does not recognize this shortcut, which is why we need to create a Symbolic Link.

This is definitely intimidating, so please read their instructions closely, and carefully!

You are doing this at your own will! I will not be responsible for any errors or harm ๐Ÿ™‚

How Symbolic Links Work:

The reason Symbolic Links work is because it creates a pseudo-like shortcut.

FL Studio thinks it’s a real folder, but it’s actually just a reference to your Dropbox folder! (Psych! lol)

If you want more info, you can visit Image-Line’s Docs on Symbolic Links.

Opening the Command Line + Folders

To make this process as easy as possible, open up each folder you’re going to be working with. (This is so you can copy the path of each folder and avoid typing errors!)

So you’ll need the FL Studio plugin database folder and your Dropbox music folder open.

Next, we have to open Window’s command line.

Go Start > Type CMD > Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

This command line window will pop up:


Now what we type in below, we have to do twice. Once for the Effects folder, and once for the Generators folder.

So it’d be like this. I’ll use the effects folder as our example:

mklink /D "{FL Studio Plugin Database Location}\Effects\{Name a Folder - I put My Effects}" "{Your Dropbox Music Folder Location}"


Click image to view bigger!

And when you hit enter, you’ll read that it’s been created with these arrows <<==>> !

Now if you go to your core FL Studio Plugin Database folder, you should see My Effects inside Effects, and My Generators inside Generators.

You can freely remove FL Studio’s folders in Effects/Generators, but make sure to keep the None files and your folder you just created ๐Ÿ™‚

Like I said, it can be confusing and intimidating, but once you get it, it opens up tons of possibilities on getting organized for you road warriors. (Or just people who use multiple computers!)



GratuiTous runs a FL Studio training platform, and has taught beatmaking with FL Studio since 2011! He was an electrician for 10 years in Canada, and loves learning best practices of beatmaking! Learn about GratuiTous. ๐Ÿ‘‰
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