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Plug-in Locations

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Introduction

A VST 3 Plug-in should be installed at specific folder location, the following tables specify these predefined locations for different operating system.

Note
VST 3 doesn't require a plug-in registration like it is used with DirectX.

⚠️ Warning
Links, Symbolic links or Shortcuts could be used from these predefined folders.

3 levels of folder location are defined:

  • User: available only for the current logged user
  • Global: available for all users of the system
  • Application: available only inside a specific Audio Application (local plug-ins)

Note
The host should scan at first higher level of priority, first found plug-in (for a given Processor UID) has to be used.

On macOS platform

On the macOS platform, the host application expects VST 3 Plug-ins to be located in:

PrioLocationPath
1User/Users/$USERNAME/Library/Audio/Plug-ins/VST3/
2Global/Library/Audio/Plug-ins/VST3/
3Global/Network/Library/Audio/Plug-ins/VST3/
4Application$APPFOLDER/Contents/VST3/

Note
The host recursively scans these folders at startup in this order (Global/Application).

On Windows platform

On the Windows platform, the host application expects VST 3 Plug-ins to be located in:

PrioLocationPathComment
1User%LOCALAPPDATA%/Programs/Common/VST3/FOLDERID_UserProgramFilesCommon native bitdepth:
• 32bit Plug-in on 32bit OS,
• 64bit on 64bit OS
Mainly used for development use case.
example: C:\Users\MyUserName\AppData\Local\Programs\Common\VST3
2Global/Program Files/Common Files/VST3/FOLDERID_ProgramFilesCommon native bitdepth:
• 32bit Plug-in on 32bit OS,
• 64bit on 64bit OS
2Global/Program Files (x86)/Common Files/VST3/32bit Plug-ins on 64bit Windows
3Application$APPFOLDER/VST3/

Note
The host recursively scans these folders at startup in this order (Global/Application).

On Linux platform

On the Linux platform, the host application expects VST 3 Plug-ins to be located in:

PrioLocationPath
1User$HOME/.vst3/
2Global/usr/lib/vst3/
3Global/usr/local/lib/vst3/
4Application$APPFOLDER/vst3/

Note
The host recursively scans these folders at startup in this order (User/Global/Application).