So today I decided to join the hype and check 2.8 out even though I am the kind of person who does not like to try betas, because I hate change. And anyways I was already shocked by the difference of the keyboard shortcuts. My question is: Is it a good idea to import the preferences from 2.79b or would you guys advice me from doing it and if it's OK to do that, which file should I import and where is it in the Blender Foundation old files? It would be nice if someone showed me the path.


1 Answer 1


Whether or not you should import settings is an open ended question and pretty much opinion based and open to debate, which is not a good fit for this site's style of Q&A, so I'll try to answer from a more technical point of view.

Technical Point of View

From purely from a technical point of view, and the answer is: NO, you should not import your settings from 2.79 to 2.8# series.

Blender 2.8 changed considerably from 2.79, not only at UI level but also deep under-the-hood changes to the way it works internally. Settings files made for 2.79 will not work well in 2.8, and will cause trouble that can go from mild inconveniences to severe issues.

At best you will get a non functional 2.8 build, or experience unavailable tools and missing functionality, and at worse you may encounter file corruption, crashes, permanent data loss and leave the application in unrecoverable states.

For example keymaps changed considerably, not only the keybindings themselves, but also internally the way they are stored and read, so they support the new Per-Keymap Preferences, left-click selection, collections, new Industry Compatible Keymap and all the new tools. Importing an old keymap will likely result in an error, but even if you were successful you would probably be met with all sorts of inconsistencies and missing shortcuts.

The UI also changed considerably with the introduction of the new Workspaces, toolbars, removal of screen layouts and new window management. If you import an old startup.blend file you will likely miss the new tailor made Workspaces and at worse get stuck in a corrupted screen layout.

New workflows ere also introduced and will be incomplete or missed entirely if you don't start with a clean slate.

Personal Preference

This is obviously highly debatable and open to opinion, but on a more personal side my answer would still probably be NO, you should not import your settings from 2.79 to 2.8# series.

Change is needed, and should be embraced so one can evolve and improve, otherwise will be stuck in the past and never fix our shortcomings. Blender has often been criticized for having a steep leaning curve, being hard to adopt, unfriendly for newcomers, and awkward to use along other industry tools or open source environments.

All changes made, even controversial ones, whether you personally like them or not, are trying to improve Blender, make it more friendly, faster, and easier to use.

If you don't keep up with times you will soon find yourself hopelessly outdated, behind the curve and stuck in the dark past we are trying to leave behind. On a more practical side you won't be able to easily follow online tutorials or guides, nor take advantage of all the new tools and improvements made.

Blender is also a constantly evolving tool, and an unapologetic one at that. If changes are needed they will be made, unlike some comercial "industry-standard" competitors who have to cling to the past for fear of ostracizing current customer base. Future versions will change further as needs arise and you will stray further from the present, so you are advised to get used to it and keep up with times.

On a more positive note changes can be hard, but I'm sure you and everyone else will overcome them easily, and with time get fluent at it. If you dislike change that much, wait it out until 2.8 matures, and once the official release is out start learning it then. Things will be more stable and finalized by then and less likely to change further in the future so less energy is wasted.

You can also customize keymaps and preferences like you always did before, so if something important for your workflow is missing or changes, do add it back or modify as you see fit. Blender 2.8# even includes a new Quick Favorites menu that allows you to "pin" your favorite or frequently used actions for quick access.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's a great answer. Even though part of it is opinion, I think it is fact that it is useful to consider that opinion. I would say another thing to consider is the possibility to miss out on new intended workflows while sticking with old shortcuts and old habits. Some shortcut or default settings changes come because of new features and if they are changed back to old settings, these new features might become hard to discover and to be used to their full potential. I don't necessarily want to attach my opinion whether one should care about it, but it is definitely worth thinking about. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2019 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Those are good points, feel free to edit my post and include any missed points, or post it as an answer as well. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2019 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, thanks a lot for your answer it helped me a lot and I do agree with you. for me it was more impportant from the technical point of view. I can learn the new shortcuts and so on pretty fast. It would have been nice not to need to learn the new shortcuts, but I started using it today and the shortcuts in most case are way more comfortable to me than the old ones and it still feels pretty intiuitive. $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2019 at 1:25

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