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Sometimes you need to use Blender without the standard shared preferences (addons, startup file, ...) for testing or to be sure to use the default settings without changing your usual preferences.

So the question is : How can you use different settings without modifying the global settings?

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The global settings are stored in :
%APPDATA%\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender for windows
~/.config/blender for linux
where there are folders for each version (2.72, 2.73, ...)
These setting can be ignored if you create a config (startup file, user preference file, bookmarks, recent files), a scripts (addons, presets) or a cache (BVHs, temporary) (or both) folder in the version folder of your installed or unzipped Blender : C:\blender\blender-2.74-rc1-windows64\2.74 \config
If the folder(s) exists and is empty, Blender will use the default settings. Global settings can be copied there and then modified without changing global settings.

Thanks to jesterKing and iKlsR

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