I love macros – and I have over a dozen of them written for different characters on all of my servers. Last week I bought a new computer and installed WOW on it. But now it looks like I need to re-write all of my macros on this new install! What a pain! Is there any way to bring my old macros over to my new computer?
Thorium Brotherhood US
Great question Wardance – and the short answer is “Yes” – you can take your macros with you when you change computers. It’s actually a pretty easy! I’ll even use pictures to show how to do it! If you can’t read the thumbnails – just click the image for a larger view!
First off you need to understand that there are two kinds of macros. For simplicities sake we’re going to call them:
General Macros and Character Specific Macros
What’s the difference? Easy – just open up your macro interface while you’re in game. You’ll notice that the macro creation window has two tabs.
The default tab in the macro creation window are for macros that will be available to *every* character you play. No matter which toon you’re logged onto – you can always open up the macro creation interface and those same macros will be available to every character in your account. The default tab is a great place to put commonly used macros that all of your characters might use – like common emotes, bandage macros, and trade or guild barkers.
The second tab is character specific. In other words – if Wardance is logged on and he creates a macro in tab-2 (Wardance’s Macros) – those macros will *only* be available to that character. This tab is a great place to put macros that your other toons don’t need access to. For example – the hunter you have on the same account isn’t going to need a macro that will help him spam “Sunder Armor and Shield Block.”
Blizzards developer trolls save these macros in text files and store them on your hard-drive. By knowing where you look for the files themselves, you can easily take them with you to another install of World of Warcraft by simply copying the files to a memory-stick or a portable hard-drive. The files are quite small, so you shouldn’t have a problem taking them with you.
The first thing you need to do is learn where your macros live. For most players on Windows Systems you’ll simply need to look on your hard-drive for your World of Warcraft installation.
Most likely your WOW install lives in one of two places:
Just open your Applications Folder – it’s in there (too easy!)
One thing to keep in mind is that the Mac and PC Installs are virtually identical in regards to the folder structures that we’re going to be working with. I use a mac much of the time – so the majority of the screen shots will be from a Mac. PC users – don’t fear – your World of Warcraft folder looks virtually identical. For what we’re here to do today – all of the folder and file names are exactly the same.
So – the next step is to find the WTF folder (no jokes please) – the WTF folder holds user interface (UI) and addon information for each of your characters. Inside of the WTF folder is a folder called “Account” that includes all of the registered accounts you use to play the game.
Select your account name and open that folder. Inside are a number of files – look for the following:
This is where Blizzard hides your General Macros. To take these macros with you – simply grab a copy of the file and move it to the same location on your new computer.
To find your Character Specific Macros, look at the other folders here. If you play characters on multiple servers, you’ll see a folder for each server you play on. Find the server that houses the character whose macros you’d like to copy and open that folder.
Inside are folders for all of the characters you “own” on that server. Find the character who’s macros you’d like to bring with you and open that folder. Inside you’ll find another macros-cache.txt file. In this file are all of that characters custom macros.
Now this is pretty simple to do, but there’s actually an easier way to bring not only your macros, but also all of your key-bindings, addon settings, and interface settings along to a new computer. Simply copy the entire WTF folder and place it on your new computer.
If you choose to do this – use caution. Corrupt or overly large WTF folders are often the cause of a great deal of problems for WoW players, including graphical problems and increased lag.
That said, if your current install is problem free, it’s often not a bad idea to keep a backup of your WTF folder on a thumb-drive or external hard-drive. I travel a lot and often swap between a work laptop (with WOW on it) or any of two or three different Mac or PC laptops that belong in our family. I always keep an updated copy of my Addons folder (to keep all of my addons updated) and a copy of my WTF folder. If I’m going out of town and plan on playing a little WoW – I’ll make sure to update the install on the computer that I’ll be bringing with me – with the most recent versions of both of these folders. That way – all of my addons are current – and I don’t have to recreate any of my UI settings or rewrite any macros!
When Things Don’t Work
I found my macros files on my old system and went to copy it to the WTF->Accounts->Account Name folder on my new computer. But the folder wasn’t there. Did it get deleted? Am I looking in the wrong place?
No – chances are – you’re working with a brand new install and haven’t yet logged into the game or played a character on this new install. Until you log into the game and into the game world on a character – the folders you’re looking for won’t exist. The same can be said for your character specific macros. If you’ve never logged that character in on your new system – that characters folder won’t exist. Log into the character first – then close out of the game and find the folder!
That’s all for today! Macros are great tools and can help give you the edge in a number of situations. Don’t lose all the hard work you’ve put into those macros by not knowing how to back them up! If you run into questions or know of other great ways to make your WoW more portable – e-mail to us here at Gitrknowswow!