Setting up OBS for your stream can be quite some work. Making all your scenes, your sources, sometimes even adding lots of filters to them and not to mention all your different plugins. If your PC were to crash, or you’d have to reinstall everything, it can really be annoying when you wouldn’t have a backup of OBS. Or even if you were to stream from a different PC, not having all your scenes and settings ready to go… Luckily there is a very simple way to fix this. Installing OBS in Portable Mode!
When setting up OBS as portable mode, what happens, is that all your settings, scenes, plugins… everything will be stored in a single folder on your PC, rather than in various folders that you get with a normal installation. On top of this, you can store your OBS installation wherever you want. This is very convenient because it allows you to set it up in a cloud folder like Dropbox or Google Drive. When you do this, it means that your OBS installation is always backed up to the cloud and whenever you need to recover or access it, all you have to do is download the folder from the cloud and you are good to go!
FRESH OBS PORTABLE INSTALLATION
If you’re setting up a fresh installation of OBS for portable mode, all you have to do is download the .zip file from the website (be sure to get the .zip NOT the installer). Then when that’s downloaded, simply extract the contents to your location of choice (I’d recommend your local Dropbox or Google Drive folder on your PC). Next all you have to do is create a blank .txt file and name it “obs_portable_mode.txt“. Then in the “bin > 64bit” folder, you’ll find the file “obs64.exe“. Simply run that as administrator and you’re all set!
CONVERTING YOUR OBS TO PORTABLE MODE
If you’ve already installed OBS and have been using it, you can still convert it to portable mode. In that case, first you’ll want to make a new folder in the location where we’re going to be installing it (again, I recommend using a cloud service for that). Next go to the location that OBS is currently installed (usually that’s in C:/Program Files) and find the folder named “obs-studio“. Copy the contents of that folder to the newly created folder.
Next we’re going to locate the configuration files. In the Windows finder, type in the address bar: %APPDATA%
This takes you to the folder where your OBS configuration is stored. Again it’ll be in a folder called “obs-studio“. First in the new OBS location, create a folder called “config“. Then move the “obs-studio” folder from the appdata folder to that new config folder. Lastly don’t forget to create the blank text file named “obs_portable_mode.txt” in your new OBS folder. Then when you boot OBS from the “bin > 64bit” folder, everything should still be there, but in the menu bar at the top you should now see “Portable Mode” which indicated that you’ve installed it correctly.
NEED MORE HELP?
As always, especially with the second method (converting your existing installation to a portable mode version), be sure to first make a back-up of your scenes and sources before moving anything, just in case something goes wrong.
Also be sure to watch my video on this topic for a more visual look at how to do this:
And as always, if you have any questions or need more help, you can join my Discord server and ask assistance in the #❓quick-stream-tips-help channel!
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