Backup ScanSnap Profiles Or Move To A New Computer – Mac

Backup ScanSnap Profiles Or Move To A New Computer – Mac

Many users very happily use the ScanSnap Quick Menu to do their scanning. It is certainly an easy way to scan. However, if you want to be more efficient with your scanning, you may want to look into setting up ScanSnap Profiles.

A Profile is a pre-defined group of ScanSnap settings.[1]. Once you set them up, you want to make sure they are backed up, and if you need to move to a new computer, you’ll want to know how to move your ScanSnap Manager Profiles with you.

Here’s how to backup and move your ScanSnap Manager Profiles on the Mac:[2]

Backup ScanSnap Profiles On Mac

Your settings are stored in something called a Property List file (plist). What you want to do is back up that file and keep it somewhere safe.

Here’s how to find it:

First, go to the Finder.

Next, choose Go on the top menu and choose Go to Folder….

A window will pop up. Enter the following folder to go to:


Finder Go Folder
Finder Go Folder

Scroll down and you will see a bunch of files that start with…

The one you want is called

Mac Preferences Folder
Mac Preferences Folder

You’ll want to make sure that entire Preferences folder is included in your backup, but that file is the one that contains your ScanSnap Manager Profiles.

Copying ScanSnap Profiles To A New Mac Computer

Note: You can mess up your computer by playing around in the ~Library/Preferences folders. Make sure you have a backup before you do this.

To move your ScanSnap Manager Profiles to a new Mac, do the following:

  • Make sure ScanSnap Manager is not running on either computer
  • Copy from the old computer to the new computer’s Preferences folder.
  • Start ScanSnap Manager on the new computer and disable Quick Menu. Your profiles should be there.

If your profiles dont show up, I’ve had reports that plist files can be cached. Try rebooting your computer. I didn’t have to do this, but users in the comments below did.

If you want more help with your ScanSnap setup, you might be interested in my Unofficial ScanSnap Setup Guide. Many people have found it helpful.

This article was originally written in December 2008. It was updated in July 2015.

  1. I describe which Profiles you should create in my Unofficial ScanSnap Setup Guide, if you’re interested.  ↩

  2. Here’s how to do it on Windows  ↩

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 9 comments

Matt Roberson - November 26, 2014 Reply

I believe that a Restart is indeed required. I tried multiple times by logging out of my account, but it didn’t work until I restarted. (I copied the plist from a Mac running Lion (10.7) to one running Yosemite (10.10).)

Philippe Doyle Gray - December 26, 2013 Reply

This does not seem to be valid any more as at December 2013 on Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Any suggestions?

    Brooks Duncan - December 27, 2013 Reply

    Hi Philippe, I haven't tried it yet but check out SteveP's comment above:…. I suspect that will help.

SteveP - December 22, 2013 Reply

PROBLEM: Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks creates cache for every plist file.

I installed ScanSnap Manager software on a new Mac Mini (Mac OS 10.9).

Then I copied the file from my old Mac Mini (also running Mac OS 10.9) to the new Mac Mini: [user] > Library > Preferences.

And still, ScanSnap Manager continued to use default settings installed with the software. If I made any changes to profiles as a test, it would show those new changes, but would not show my old list of profiles (which I had invested a lot of time to set-up exactly the way I like it).

If you Google "Mac OS 10.9 plist cache" you can get advice for replacing plist files in most apps.


Here's a procedure that worked for me:

1) Quit the ScanSnap Manager app.

2) Copy and replace the preferences file:

3) Shut down your Mac.

4) Start your Mac and signin (if you don't have auto signing)

5) ScanSnap Manager usually launches automatically. When it does, you should see profiles copied from the other Mac.


Shut down and re-boot may not be necessary. You may only need to sign-out as the user. I didn't test this because I had already wasted an hour trying to solve the problem. At least we know shut down and start up works.

Good luck.

Many thanks to BrooksD for the original post. It gave me info I needed to find the ScanSnap Manager preference file in Mac OS.

    Brooks Duncan - December 22, 2013 Reply

    Thanks SteveP! Will have to play around on Mavericks.

Brooks Duncan - November 16, 2010 Reply

Nice, thanks for letting us know Toby! (Thanks for the post too 🙂 ).

Toby - November 16, 2010 Reply

Moving the file to another mac works beautifully. Thank you for the tip.

noddy67 - April 5, 2010 Reply

Thanks for the workthrough. Do you happen to know if there is any way to set up subfolders in the scansnap profile manager?

    Brooks Duncan - April 8, 2010 Reply

    Hi noddy67, I don't think so. The best you can do is use some sort of naming convention.

Leave a Reply: