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By now I have a Mathematica installation that's heavily customized in all sorts of areas (stylesheets, packages, OptionInspector settings, etc.) Is there a straightforward way to transfer these customizations to a new computer? Right now I'm most interested in a Windows->Windows transfer. Can I just copy the Mathematica folder hierarchies in the AppData\Roaming\Mathematica and AppData\Local\Mathematica trees? Is that where OptionInspector settings are stored? If I were to switch to MacOS, how would a Windows->MacOS transfer be done?

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I think it should be sufficient to transfer $UserBaseDirectory (and maybe $BaseDirectory, but that's not typically modified by users). Check what this points to both on Windows and Mac.

Be careful about the license. It may be stored in

FileNameJoin[{$UserBaseDirectory, "Licensing", "mathpass"}]

You will need a different license/activation for the new machine because its $MachineID will be different.

Personally I hand-pick what I want to transfer: typically stuff I installed myself (packages, palettes, etc.) and front end settings. Front end settings (option inspector stuff) should be in $UserBaseDirectory/FrontEnd/init.m or in something like $UserBaseDirectory/FrontEnd/11.0_init.m if you use versioned preferences.

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  • $\begingroup$ Alright, thanks. So it looks like all I need is AppData\Roaming\Mathematica on Windows machines, with your caveat about the licensing. My guess is that overwriting that file will just generate an activation prompt, and I could simply re-activate when that happens; or, make sure to not overwrite the Licensing folder. $\endgroup$
    – Pirx
    Sep 29, 2016 at 14:25

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