Access Plex Server from another computer

Access Plex Server from another computer
Image by Rahul Pandit from Pixabay

It is possible to move a Plex Media Server installation from one computer/pc/system to another in most cases. It won’t necessarily be possible in all instances. For this article, we’ll refer to the old and new Plex Media Servers as the “Source” and “Destination” installations.

These instructions are designed for moving between two systems running the same operating system (e.g. Windows to Windows). It is generally possible to move between different operating systems, but that’s much more complicated and requires mapping the additional server settings from how they’re stored in one operating system to the other (e.g. mapping Windows registry values to the OS X plist file). That is not officially supported and not covered here.

Note: If you’re switching between operating systems, it may not be possible to retain all preferences. In all cases, it may not be possible to retain any existing Server Sharing that may have been set up on the source installation.

Disable Emptying of Trash

On your source Plex Media Server, you’ll want to disable the Empty trash automatically after every scan preference for the Server.

Related Page: Plex Media Server > Server Settings > Library

Install Plex Media Server on the Destination System

Install the Plex Media Server on the new computer/system. If the setup wizard in the browser launches, just exit out.

Related Page: Plex Media Server > Installation and Basic Setup

Sign Out and Stop the Plex Media Server on the Destination System

After installation is complete on the destination system:

  1. Sign out of your account under Settings > Server > General in Plex Web App
  2. Quit/exit the Plex Media Server so that it is no longer running

Copy From the Source System

You’ll want to make a copy of the content in the directory listed below for your operating system.

Tip!: In many cases, you may find it faster to “zip” or “tar” (or similar) the contents of the data directory before transferring them to the destination system. The larger your library, the more useful this may be for you as it could otherwise take a very long time to copy thousands of individual small metadata files.

Tip!: For Windows and Linux systems, you can exclude the Cache directory if you wish. That can save space and time in the transfer.


On Windows, the content is located inside of the user directory.

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Plex Media Server\


Additional server settings are contained in the registry. You may wish to save/export these registry values to import into the destination system.

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Plex, Inc\Plex Media Server


Using the Finder’s “Go” menu, select Go To Folder… then enter the following in the dialog box that pops up:

~/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/

Additional server settings are contained in a plist file. Also copy:


Linux and NAS Devices

See our companion article for details on where to find the Plex Media Server data directory. Make sure the preferences.xml file in the Plex Media Server folder is included. It contains the equivalent of the registry settings in Windows.

Related Page: Where is the Plex Media Server data directory located?

Place on the Destination System

Using the copy of the content you previously made, place it in the location specified for your operating system.

Note: You’ll need to replace any of the existing files and subdirectories that will be there from the installation you performed earlier.

Tip!: If you zipped/tarred the content earlier, you’ll want to expand it on the destination system before placing it in the appropriate location.