Using Logic Pro X on a Macbook Pro. Can you save plug ins on an external hard drive?

Vazhox Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

So I just bought the Ultimate collectors edition and my Macbook Pro only has 1TB of storage. I want to download all the plug ins and such from the bundle. I see online people saying "you can just download plug ins and use them from the external hard drive" but then I see other people saying no you cant. what is the correct answer?

also, I have tried downloading plug ins straight to an external but it doesn't work because the external hard drive does not come up as a location to download the plug in. Then there are "third party plug ins" that are downloaded straight to the external but also wont work. Are you suppose to download the plug in first to the computer and then move it?

Best Answer


  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,867 Pro

    I would recommend experimentation.

    Try if you can load the plugins from the external drive.

    But download only one instrument first.

    Then drag the instrument to an external drive, and then try to play it from the external into your DAW.

    If it succeded, you can download as many instruments as you want and put them into the ext. Drive.

    Let me know if it helped.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,508 Expert
    edited January 5

    The thing is to distinguish between plugins and content. As a rule plugins should be on the main drive, but it isn't the plugins that take up most of the space, it's content, particularly sample content. The Native Access installer allows you to choose an external drive to install sample content to, saving space your main drive, but generally it's best not to mess with plugin folder locations, especially on Mac.

  • Jojo123
    Jojo123 Member Posts: 220 Advisor

    @Vazhox its as Kymeia says. I have less space on my system drive than you (500GB) and I also have K14 UCE. All my Content except one library is on external. The plugins themselves are on internal and take very little space. There are a few presets for things like Absynth that by default go to internal and I dont mess with that and its not much space. I still have over 300GB free on system drive.

    One thing Id recommend especially for big libraries is install them one at a time, as they still will use your internal drive temporarily in the installation process even if they actuially get installed on external.

  • Vazhox
    Vazhox Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    @Jojo123 and @Kymeia Thank you for the info. I have been busy with work so I haven't been able to try downloading anything yet or even have time to access anything. I plan on looking at it tonight. Will "plug ins" and "sample content" be labeled as such? I'm wondering if it becomes easy to distinguish what can be moved and what shouldn't be moved. Thank you again for your time and responses.

  • Jojo123
    Jojo123 Member Posts: 220 Advisor

    @Vazhox - Not sure how new you are to NI but I'll assume you're like I was and knew next to nothing.

    So, you dont get to see the "content" separately from the actual plugin. When you go to Native Access amd download anything, say, (for example) Action Strings, you will not see anything else to download, just Actions Strings.

    When you first make your account and register your product/s in NAtive Access you will typically go into preferences and set the install paths. You want to do this first before you even start, otherwise everything will download to a default location, which you dont want. You want the plugin itself to go default/internal but the libraries/content to go external. You will see the option as you take a look around Native Acccess first. Its best not to move anything after that otherwise the paths will be broken and they wont load. Of course you can change locations later, but to get you up and running, dont just decide you want to shift anything manually for now.

    Now, what you should bear in mind if you're new, (and this is what threw me off a bit when I started) is that everything in the UCE are for the most part, either Kontakt instruments, or Reaktor instruments. Theres also a few other standalones like Guitar Rig6, Massive, Battery4. You wont get Absynth if its K14 UCE youve got.

    As such what you should do is install these programs first.

    What you should do also, before you use any programmes in your DAW, is run the Main programmes in standalone mode. I did this everytime I installed another batch of plugins.. (I also have UCE) so it takes a while.

    Hope this helps.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,508 Expert

    So, you dont get to see the "content" separately from the actual plugin. When you go to Native Access amd download anything, say, (for example) Action Strings, you will not see anything else to download, just Actions Strings.

    Yeah you do, as you said yourself the application installers are separate, those also install the plugins, there are no plugins to install with say Action strings, that’s just content.

  • Jojo123
    Jojo123 Member Posts: 220 Advisor

    Yes I 've seen where applications can also install stuff from their interfaces. Ive always gone through NA though so not sure what exactly happens with that.

    What I said was assuming the OP hadn't installed anything yet and you'd need to go through NA to download the those apps first anyway then get the libraries. (except KompleteKontrol which can be downloaded off NI website.)

    So what I was meaning is that you dont see (for example) Action Strings Installer, and Action Strings Library as 2 separate downloads.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 8,935 mod
    Answer ✓

    We strongly recommend to keep the plug-ins to the default location (on the system's drive:

    For all content, you are free to install on an external hard drive, make sure it's formatted to APFS: Notes on Hard Drive Formats on Mac Computers

    Some more info here: How to Change the Install Locations in Native Access

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