Using VST´s on External Hard Drive, worth it? (Cubase 10.5 Pro)


New member
Hi :),

I´m a relatively new producer and I recently upgraded to a better laptop to accommodate my production requirements.

I was considering how to reinstall all my VST plugins from my old laptop. I thought of backing up my old device and transferring everything to the new one, or simply moving the "VST programs" file from one to the other, or starting from scratch and installing from original website. Which leads me to the general question, is it worth installing VST plugins to an external hard drive? Would I be able to use them without any latency or delay issues? Also, if say someone else had the same DAW as I did, if I connected my external drive with the VST´s to their PC, would they be able to use the VST´s? Provided I redirected the library location to the drive ofcourse. Finally, for paid VST´s which require a key (like iLOK) would I be able to still use them on an external drive?

In short:

Can I use VST´s on an external hard rive without latency or delay issues?

Would I be able to use the VST´s on the external drive with any device that has the same DAW? (Scenario, I´m working on my DAW with a VST on an external drive, I disconnect the drive, go to another device which has the same DAW, connect the drive and continue using the VST)

What would be the best way to move VST´s to an external drive, full device back up? Drag and drop file? Or reinstall from website on to external drive?

Thanks a lot,

I appreciate any answers you can give
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New member

So, I am not a pro but I am a software developer, I on the technical side and will try my best to help out. I really hope you upgraded from HDD to SSD as SDD will boost your performance like crazy.

In terms of using VSTs from an external hard disk, it is possible to do it if the third-party plugin doesn't require you to install it on your device. If it's just the .dll files then it should completely work.

There is a way to make your external hard disk work like your C:/ drive. (You can google it).

I would suggest actually install them on your laptop or PC rather than an external, as I assume that running it on your PC is going to be much faster than an external one. In terms of shifting your files from your old laptop to a new one. It's better to install them from scratch rather than drag and drop. You can get away with drag and drop if the plugin initially didn't require you to install it in the first place.

Cheers. Let me know how it goes.