How to transfer SDL Trados Studio to a new computer

8 Steps to Optimize InDesign Files for Translation
21st October 2019
tdntranslation 01011
6 Must-Try Vietnamese Drinks
4th November 2019

How to transfer SDL Trados Studio to a new computer

*Before you start with the Studio installation, make sure you have MS Word installed on your computer.

1. Download and install Studio on your new computer

Go to > Login > Downloads and download Multiterm Desktop and Studio. Install both of them. Run Studio and when you’re asked to activate it, just keep it in the 30-day Demo mode for the time being. Don’t run Multiterm until you’ve activated your license (see the end of this post).

The downloaded version of Studio doesn’t include any Cumulative Updates, so it’s important to go straight to Help > Check for Updates and follow the instructions there.

interface language

If you want to change the Studio interface language, go to View > User Interface Language and select another language. The new language will kick in when you next start Studio.

Now go back to your old computer.

2. Export your user profile

Your user profile contains customised shortcuts, window layout, default languages and everything else that you’ve defined under General Options.

To export your user profile, go to File > Setup > Manage User Profiles > Export user settings and follow the wizard to export your settings onto a pendrive or other device.

Export user profile

Now import your saved user profile in your new computer using the “Change user profile” wizard in the same location. You can also import it earlier on when you’re running Studio for the first time.

3. Copy your data

You’ll want to transfer all your translation memories, autosuggest dictionaries and termbases.  Hopefully you know where you save all these resources, so they’ll be easy to find and copy onto your pendrive.

Custom dictionary: To move the custom dictionary (where you add words to the spell checker), make sure you know which dictionary you’re using by going to File > Options > Editor > Spelling.

    • If you use the Hunspell Spell Checker, copy your custom dictionary from C :\Users\[Username]\App Data\Roaming\SDL\SpellChecker\CUSTOM.dic and transfer it to the same path in your new machine.
    • If you use the MS Word Spell Checker, copy your custom dictionary from C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof and transfer it to the same path in your new machine.

AutoText: Export the lists you’ve created for each language by going to File > Options > AutoSuggest > AutoText and follow the export wizard.

Auto Text export

Now import the AutoText in your new computer and copy all your data.

AutoCorrect: To export your AutoCorrect settings in Studio 2015, go to File > Options > Editor > AutoCorrect and click Export Settings.

Note that it shouldn’t be necessary to export the AutoText and AutoCorrect files at all, because they will be transferred as part of your user profile.

4. Projects

You can copy and recreate Studio projects in your new machine by copying the project folders and the .sdlproj file, but make sure you reproduce exactly the same paths for all the resources that are in each project. If Studio can’t find a certain TM because the path has changed, it’ll make a fuss every time it opens and that can be awkward to sort out. I decided to start my projects from scratch on my new computer.

5. Open Exchange apps

I must admit I didn’t realise how time consuming this part would be. Open Exchange apps have to be installed on your new machine one by one. For my fresh installation, I decided to download all the apps again from the Open Exchange to make sure I was using the latest versions.

If you prefer, you could copy the plug-ins (the apps that run inside Studio) from their old file path to the same path on your new machine. You’ll find them in two different places:

C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Local\SDL\SDL Trados Studio\11\Plugins\Packages
C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\SDL\SDL Trados Studio\11\Plugins\Packages

[If you’re transferring Studio 2015 or 2017 to a new machine, replace “11” with “12” or “14”, respectively, in the file path.]

In the case of standalone apps, and if you’ve still got the .exe or .msi files in the Downloads folder on your old machine, you could copy them and install them on the new one.

Regex Match AutoSuggest Provider

If you use this OpenExchange app, don’t forget to copy the variables and settings .xml files from here on your old machine:


to the same place on your new machine after you’ve re-installed the app.

Licensed Apps

If you’ve paid for any apps you’ll have the extra job of re-activating the license.

Keep abreast of new apps [added in 2018]

The new Studio app RSS feed is great to keep track of new apps when they’re released.

In Outlook, go to RSS Feeds in the left-hand pane. Right click and select “add a new RSS feed”. Add this feed address:

6. Return your Studio license

Most people know that this is an essential step before you finally retire your old computer. When you’re sure that you’ve got Studio running smoothly on your new computer, the last step is to return your license on the old one. Open Studio for one last time on your old computer and go to Help > Product Activation > Deactivate. That returns your license to SDL.

Deactivate license

Now activate the license on your new computer.*

Note: Later, if you want to check something on your old machine and haven’t got the Freelance Plus version, simply deactivate the license temporarily on the new one and activate it again on the old one.

* License activation conflict [added in 2018]

I’ve now had two machines that have had issues with the Studio license getting ‘trapped’ in the Ethernet address (when connecting with a LAN cable) or in the Disk ID (when connecting by WiFi). The result is that Studio is activated and opens only when I connect using that same method, and it won’t open at all in flight mode. A laptop docking station might further complicate the issue.

One unexpected solution was to ‘pretend’ I was connected with a cable. Amazing, but it worked!

SDL Support helped me with the issue and one of their suggestions was that I should deactivate my license from Studio before changing networks, and then activate again after the change.

My advice for anyone licensing Studio for the first time is to do it using WiFi and without any docking station in place. That combination seems to work.

The Result

Getting Studio up and running on a new machine takes time and careful planning, but it’s definitely worth the effort.


The above instructions worked for me but they may not work for you because computer set ups vary hugely. Follow the instructions at your own risk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *