Backup Eclipse settings

By | December 11, 2017

I have had to re/install Eclipse across different platforms (windows and linux) several times this year.

I have not found an effective single solution way to share settings/preferences across different versions of Eclipse.

This is what I currently do:

  • Export Software Update Sites (Bookmarks) XML file.
  • Export Java->Code Style->Code templates
  • Export Java->Code Style->Formatter
  • Export Java->Code Style->Organize Imports
  • Export Java->Templates
  • Configure Project Specific Settings for all your projects then copy the .settings directory from the base directory of your project.
  • Take a screenshot of Java->Editor->Content Assist->Favorites (there is no export)
  • Export preferences (this does not work well across different versions hence above)

Surely there is an easier way?


We use the concept of a baseline for new dev’s but I think you can apply the same technique. Basically, what you need to do is this:

  1. Get a new copy of Ecipse and set it up how you like with no projects.
  2. Take a copy both the Eclipse install directory and the workspace – zip them up and store them somewhere
  3. Remove the workspace link in Window -> Preferences -> Workspaces
  4. When you need a new version, copy the template version down and voila!

Hope this helps.


Did you try File > Export > General > Preferences?


Most (not all, but most) of the preferences you reference in your question will be exported in an xml file.
That include templates and formatters.
Even though it is true its content isn’t fully interpreted across Eclipse versions, it simply concatenates the separate exports you mentions in your question.

Other tips in “Importing/Exporting Project Preferences“.


If you are ok with storing things in the cloud I suggest you try the backup and share your Eclipse plugin called ‘Kick your Eclipse to the Cloud Plug-in’.

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