Learn to manage and synchronize your settings in After Effects using the Sync Settings feature through Creative Cloud.


Effective with the December 10 2018 release (After Effects 16.0.1), the Sync Settings architecture has been updated. This means some changes to the workflow for After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Media Encoder:

  • The option to clear Sync Settings through Creative Cloud is no longer available (previously accessed through Manage Creative Cloud Account)
  • Sync Settings are available in current and recent versions of After Effects:
    • Select Sync Settings from the Start screen on macOS and Windows. 
    • Within the application on Windows you can also select File > Sync Settings. On macOS select the After Effects menu and then either Sync Settings (if there are currently no synced settings) or your Creative Cloud account email (if you have existing synced settings)
  • Sync Settings are no longer available in After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8.1) or older. To use Sync Settings, update to a more recent version.

When you work on multiple computers, managing and syncing preferences among the computers can be time-consuming, complex, and error-prone.

The Sync Settings feature in After Effects enables you to sync preferences and settings via Creative Cloud. For example, if you use two computers, the Sync Settings feature makes it easy for you to keep those settings synchronized across these two computers.

The synchronization takes place via your Adobe Creative Cloud account. Settings are uploaded to your Creative Cloud account and then are downloaded and applied on the other computer. You can also synchronize settings from another Creative Cloud account. After Effects creates a user profile on your computer and uses it to synchronize settings to and from the associated Creative Cloud account.

You can initiate the synchronization manually; it does not happen automatically and it cannot be scheduled.

Synchronize your settings

To initiate the synchronization, choose Edit > [your Adobe ID] > Sync Settings Now (Windows) or After Effects > [your Adobe ID] > Sync Settings Now (macOS).

You can also synchronize the settings on the Start screen. Click SYNC SETTINGS > Sync Now [your Adobe ID] on the screen to initiate the synchronization.

  • Download Settings: Synchronize Settings from Creative Cloud to your computer; overwrite the local version with the Creative Cloud version of settings.
  • Upload Settings: Synchronize settings from this local computer to Creative Cloud.
Progress and details about the synchronization is displayed in the Info panel (Window > Info).


Restart After Effects to apply downloaded preferences after using Sync Settings .

Managing synchronization

Clear Settings

Select  Edit > [your Adobe ID] > Clear Settings (Windows) or  After Effects [your Adobe ID] > Clear Settings (Mac OS), to clear all settings and reset them to the default state. Clear Settings also resets the token that is used to indicate the user's settings that was used to sync the settings.

Click Quit to clear the current preferences, and close After Effects. When the application is launched again, default preferences are set.

Manage Sync Settings

To change the settings for the Sync Settings feature (Windows):

  • Click Edit > [your Adobe ID]  > Manage Sync Settings
  • Click Edit > Preferences > Sync Settings

To change the settings for the Sync Settings feature (Mac OS):  

  • Click After Effects > [your Adobe ID] > Manage Sync Settings
  • Click After Effects > Preferences > Sync Settings  

You can change the following settings in the settings dialog:

Automatically clear user profile on application quit

Enable this option to clear the user profile when you quit After Effects. On next launch, preferences are fetched from the default Adobe ID used to license the product.

Select the preferences to synchronize.

  1. Synchronizable Preferences
  2. Keyboard Shortcuts
  3. Composition Settings Presets
  4. Interpretation Rules
  5. Render Settings Templates
  6. Output Module Settings Templates


Synchronizable preferences refer to preferences that are not dependent on computer or hardware settings.


Keyboard shortcuts created for Windows synchronize only with Windows and Mac OS keyboard shortcuts synchronize only with Mac OS.

Choose one of the following options from the drop-down menu to instruct After Effects when to synchronize the settings :

  • Ask my preference
  • Always Upload Settings
  • Always Download Settings


The Sync Settings feature does not synchronize files that are manually placed in the preferences folder location.