Update, upgrade, reinstall or uninstall FL Studio & plugins

This section covers:

Easy installation or update

This is how to do it...

  1. Reboot (restart) your computer - This will make sure no system/program files are in use and can't be overwritten. If you are updating, make sure not to start FL Studio until after you install the new version.
  2. Download the installer - This page hosts the latest 'released' versions. The FL Studio installer includes most plugins in native format, so no need to download them all.
  3. Install FL Studio - Use the installer to install the latest version of FL Studio. Normally this will install over the existing installation.

    Windows - Updating an installation does not delete any of your personal files, only replacing existing program files.

    macOS - Updating an installation will delete any personal files (projects, samples, etc.) left in the Package Contents folder under - Finder > Applications > FL > Content. Take a moment to reevaluate your life choices, as this is not the place for personal data so move your files outside of the FL folder before reinstalling FL Studio, if you put anything there.

  4. Unlock your product/s - You should do this after every new installation or update:
Installation Video Here

Box installation update

If you have not registered your Boxed software and created an Image-Line Account, please complete the following steps:

  1. Visit the Box registration landing page.
  2. Register your code, enter your serial number (found inside the box) and follow the instructions to create an Account.
  3. Once your Account is created, follow the steps as shown for 'Easy installation or update' above. Registration also means you do not need to worry about losing your FL Studio Box code. You can unlock FL Studio with your account login at any time, anywhere there is Internet access.

If you still have questions or are just obsessively detail oriented then read on...

Installation & Update FAQ

  • Does my license allow me to use FL Studio on both Windows and macOS - Yes. Yay!
  • Where do I get the installation file? - From the FL Studio downloads page. See the section above Easy installation or update above for more details.
  • Do FL Studio Fruity, Producer or Signature Bundle have different installers? - No, a single Installer is used for all versions. Your license decides what features are unlocked and so what version and plugins you have. However some plugins do need separate installers (DirectWave sound libraries and Slayer 2).
  • Do I need my USB drive or CD from the box? - No. Download the latest installer here. Enter your Image-Line account email and password on the About Panel to unlock FL Studio. You can also use older versions of FL Studio, downloaded from this page.
  • Can I install more than one version of FL Studio? - Yes:
    • macOS - Rename the App (in the Applications folder, e.g. FL Studio to FL Studio N) prior to installing the new version.
    • Windows - Major revisions (i.e. 12 or 21) automatically install into a separate folders so you can have parallel installations. For minor revisions (i.e. 21.x to 21.y) you need to manually set the installer to a different folder, otherwise 21.x will be overwritten with 21.y.
  • Do I need more than one license or code? - No. One license will work with all existing FL Studio installations (for both Windows and macOS), purchased plugins and sample packs. You will usually need to update your license when you are installing a major revision (a good habit).
  • Will I lose my data installing FL Studio over an existing installation? - From FL Studio 20 onward, no. Your project related data is located in your system users folder. This keeps your own files outside the FL Studio installation folder. From FL Studio 12 and below - You may have custom data in the old installation folder. Don't delete it before backing it up or migrating it to the FL Studio 20, or higher, user folder.
  • Can I install FL Studio onto more than one computer? - Yes. We are reasonable and realize many people use more than one computer. Typically people have a home studio computer, a laptop and a work computer. They may have both Windows and macOS machines. So, we have no problem with you installing FL Studio onto each of these computers, provided you are the only user of the program. It's DEFINITELY NOT acceptable to share your license and or to install FL Studio on computers so people can use it when you are not present.
  • Can I move or copy an FL Studio installation from one PC to another? Yes. For tips on copying FL Studio installations between PC's see the section below 'Copying or migrating an existing FL Studio installation'.
  • How do I completely remove FL Studio and my registration keys from a PC? - Follow the 'Uninstalling FL Studio and plugins' instructions.

Account Login or Registration Problems?

If you have been through the above steps and are still experiencing difficulties with your Account page or license please -

Copying or migrating an existing FL Studio installation

This section has been provided to help users manage multiple installations and to locate data and files that fail to make the leap across to a new installation. Generally it isn't necessary to be rummaging around in the bowels of the installation folder during an update.

Migrate FL Studio 20, or higher, to a new machine

  1. Download and Install FL Studio - The latest version of FL Studio is available here and install it.
  2. Update your license - Use the 'About panel' registration system.
  3. VST/AU Plugins - If you are using 3rd party plugins, install them on the new machine and copy associated library data in the process.
  4. File settings - There are some search paths to match between the old and new installations:
    • Custom folders - Browser extra search folders. You will need to manually copy any 3rd party sample and plugin data from the old machine to the new machine. This data does not have to go into the same folder location on the new machine, it just needs to be visible to FL Studio by setting the locations in the Custom folders settings.
    • Custom VST/AU install locations - Plugin manager > Plugin search paths.
  5. User data folder - ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\. The FL Studio sub-folder should contain all your FL Studio related files (Audio recordings, Projects, Plugin database/favorites etc). Copy the entire ...\Documents\Image-Line folder from the old to the new machine.
  6. Open FL Studio and test your projects.

Migrate from FL Studio 11/12 to FL Studio 20 or higher

Your main task is to make sure the File Settings plus custom search paths from FL Studio 11/12 and FL Studio 20 (and above) match. You must also copy your data in the old FL Studio installation folder, as listed below, to the new User data folder location. FL Studio 20 marked the change where we stopped saving user data inside the FL Studio installation folder and used the 'User data folder'. This means, next time you update FL Studio the steps below won't be necessary as all the information will be in this new location, outside the FL Studio install.

About the User data folder: From FL Studio 12 (and lower) the Shared data folder has been renamed to User data folder. It now contains ALL your custom FL Studio files. The default location is: ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio. FL Studio creates the FL Studio sub-folder, so you don't need to add it yourself. You can change the location at any time from the File Settings. However, the paths listed below assume your 'User data folder' is set to: ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\. If you have set it elsewhere, you will need to take this into account as you follow the instructions below.

IMPORTANT: Your user data in the FL Studio 11/12 installation folder (plugin database, presets and working audio etc), has not been automatically moved to the new User data folder location. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Download and Install FL Studio - The latest version of FL Studio is available here. Install it. This will install parallel to FL Studio 20 or lower, not overwrite earlier versions. None of your existing data will be lost. However, you will need to tell FL Studio where your data and plugins are, as shown below:
  2. Update your license - Use the 'About panel' registration system.
  3. File settings - Here are the key search paths to match between the old and new installations:

    Of course, it is a given that if you are migrating to a new computer, you must also copy any of the content referenced here to the new computer! In that case it does not need to go into the same folder, it just needs to be in a folder linked to the 'Browser extra search folders'.

  4. Project related data - Any project files and samples in the old (Recorded, Rendered, Sliced audio) folders, copy to the new User data folder, equivalent locations. That is:

      ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\Data\Projects

      ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\Data\Patches\Recorded

      ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\Data\Patches\Rendered

      ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\Data\Patches\Sliced beats


      ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Projects

      ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Audio\Recorded

      ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Audio\Rendered

      ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Audio\Sliced audio


  5. Custom presets - Copy presets and configuration files to the User data folder, equivalent locations.

    ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\Data\Scores

    ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\System\Config\Mapping\Generic


    ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Presets\Scores

    ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Settings\Mapping\Generic

  6. Plugin database - Copy everything in

    ...:\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11 or 12\Data\Patches\Plugin database


    ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Presets\Plugin database

    NOTE: It's a good idea to follow-up with a 'Verify plugins scan' with 'Rescan previously verified plugins' selected.

Uninstalling FL Studio & Plugins

You can de-register FL Studio (and plugins) on your old computer/s by following the steps below:

  1. Remove your license (Windows only) - Download the file and follow the instructions here in the Knowledgebase to remove your registry keys.
  2. Delete the installation files - As shown here. Follow the Windows or macOS Manual Uninstall / Clean Install steps.
  3. Delete user data: ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\ WARNING! This is where your project data is stored. Deleting this deletes everything you have made in FL Studio, so remember to back it up if you want to keep this data.

Default File Locations (FL Studio 20 and above)

User data - All FL Studio user data is saved to a 'FL Studio' subfolder under ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio (this is the same for Windows and macOS). If you keep this folder backed up, you should never lose any project related data or settings ever again! If you want to move this data elsewhere, change the User data folder location in the File settings and manually copy all your data to the new location.

Projects and Backup folders are located under:

  • Windows: '...\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Projects' folder.
  • macOS: '...\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Projects' folder.

If you have updated from FL Studio 12 or lower, you will see an 'Old projects' folder in the Browser, this points to the legacy project location. We recommend moving your projects this new location!

Complete file location list

NOTE: Many of the sub-folders listed below, won't be created until you create or save data of that type. Feel free to manually create them if you need to add your own content before they are created.

  • Extra search folders - Extra search folders are custom folders you can add to the Browser. If you are updating, make sure to set any 'Browser extra search folders' to the same location as in the previous FL Studio installation (F10 > File).
  • Samples, project & other program files:
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\ - Any data saved from a plugin will default to a sub-folder of the plugins name.
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\ - All user related FL Studio files. NOTE: If you back this folder up, you should have saved all your work and presets.
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Presets\Plugin database\ - Check here if you have set up your own database.
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Presets\Plugin Presets\Generators or Effects\[Plugin name] - Plugin specific presets.
      • NOTE: If you want to reset your plugin database to default: ...\Program Files\Image-Line\FL Studio\Data\System\Plugin databases - You can find the default Plugin database (full), (simple) and (user) here. Copy any of these to ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Presets\Plugin database.
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Presets\ - Sub-folders include:
      • Plugin presets - .fst format plugin presets.
      • Channel presets - Saved channel states (3x Osc etc).
      • Mixer presets - Saved Mixer track states (Save as...).
      • Scores - Score files you may have changed.
      • Speech - Speech files you may have created.

    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Audio\ - Sub-folders include:
      • Recorded - The default location for audio recordings and Mixer track freezing.
      • Rendered - Location for rendered audio.
      • Shapes - Location for single cycle waveforms used in certain generator plugins, for example waveforms created using the Sytrus > OSC Tab > export single cycle waveform option will be stored here.
      • Sliced audio - The default location for Slicex and Edison sliced and 'dragged' samples.
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Projects\ - Project files (.flp / .zip). Sub-folders include:
      • Project bones - Exported project bones format.
      • Backup - Project backups.
      • Templates - Project templates.
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\FL Studio\Settings\ - Various settings, sub-folders include:
      • Browser - Browser related files such as tabs.
      • Toolbar presets - Toolbar.
      • Touch controller - Layouts.
      • Skins - Custom skin files.
      • Hardware - Controller mappings and related files.
      • Typing to piano - Custom layouts.
      • Lists - Various lists used by rename dialogs, MP3 genres etc.
      • Mapping - These are your Permanent Global Link data files.
      • Themes - Themes created with the FL Studio Theming feature.

Default File Locations (FL Studio 12 and below)

FL Studio looks inside its own installation path ...:\Program Files\Image-Line\FL Studio N (where N = the FL Studio version number) and in any extra search folders you have set for data files. If you open the new installation and your data appears to be missing there are a number of things to do. The following is provided to help you recover your data and move it to your own file locations where it can be backed up and shared between major revisions of FL Studio.

  • Extra search folders - Extra search folders are custom folders you can add to the Browser. If you are updating, make sure to set any 'Browser extra search folders' to the same location as in the previous FL Studio installation (F10 > File).
  • Samples, project & other program files - The simplest method is to add the previous FL Studio installation folder ...:\Program Files\Image-Line\FL Studio N-1 as a Browser extra search folder in the new installation. If your data files reappear, then you know they are in the old installation folder. If so, take some time to recover all your files and move them to your own folders. Your data files may be in the following locations:
    • ...\Users\[your computer account]\Documents\Image-Line\Data - This is the 'User data folder' for downloads.
    • ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio\Data\Patches\
      • Plugin database - Check here if you have set up your own database.
      • Recorded - The default location for audio recordings and Mixer track freezing.
      • Rendered - Location for rendered audio.
      • Sliced beats - The default location for Slicex and Edison sliced and 'dragged' samples.
      • User - User related files.
    • ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio\Data\
      • Projects - Project files (.flp / .zip).
      • Scores - Score files you may have changed.
      • Speech - Speech files you may have created.
      • System\Plugin databases - Plugin database (full), (simple) and (user) save the locations of all your plugins and favorite plugins respectively. Just back up the Plugin databases folder and its contents.
    • ...\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio\System\Config\Mapping\Generic - These are your Permanent Global Link data files. It contains your custom controller to GUI and Plugin interface links. Copying the contents of this folder between installs means your controller/s and plugins should be set up correctly.
  • Downloader files - Data downloaded using the Content Library will be in one of two locations:
    • FL Studio 20 and higher - Unless the Downloader was set to another location, most files will be in ...[user]\Documents\Image-Line\Shared\Data.
    • FL Studio 12, 11, 10 and 9 - Unless the Downloader was set to another location, all files should be in ...[user]\Documents\Image-Line (or different depending on the Windows version) and should be already visible to the newer installation.