There are three different directories Blender may use, their exact locations are operating system dependent.
- Location of configuration and runtime data (for self-contained bundle).
- Location of configuration files (normally in the user’s home directory).
- Location of runtime data for system wide installation (may be read-only).
For system installations both SYSTEM and USER directories are needed.
For locally extracted Blender distributions, the user configuration and runtime data are kept in the same sub-directory, allowing multiple Blender versions to run without conflict, ignoring the USER and SYSTEM files.
Platform Dependent Paths¶
Here are the default locations for each system:
./|BLENDER_VERSION|/ is relative to the Blender executable &
used for self-contained bundles distributed by official blender.org builds.
macOS stores the Blender binary in
so the local path to data & config is:
The USER path will use
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME if its set:
This is the path layout which is used within the directories described above.
./config/startup.blend could be
~/.blender/|BLENDER_VERSION|/config/startup.blend for example.
Autosave blend-file location. (Windows only, temp directory used for other systems).
Defaults & session info.
- Default file to load on startup.
- Default preferences to load on startup.
- File Browser bookmarks.
- Recent file menu list.
LOCAL, USER, SYSTEM.
- Static precompiled language files for UI translation.
Python scripts for the user interface and tools.
LOCAL, USER, SYSTEM.
- Python add-ons which may be enabled in the User Preferences include import/export format support, render engine integration and many handy utilities.
- Modules for add-ons to use (added to Python’s sys.path).
- Another add-ons directory which is used for community maintained add-ons (must be manually created).
- Modules for
addons_contribto use (added to Python’s sys.path).
- Python modules containing our core API and utility functions for other scripts to import
(added to Python’s
- Scripts which are automatically imported on startup.
- Presets used for storing user defined settings for cloth, render formats, etc.
- Example scripts which can be accessed from .
- Example OSL shaders which can be accessed from .
Bundled Python distribution.
The temporary directory is used to store various files at runtime (including render layers, physics cache, copy-paste buffer and crash logs).
The temporary directory is selected based on the following priority:
- User Preference (see File Paths).
- Environment variables (
TMP_DIRon other platforms).