Migrating From Bridge CS4 to CS5

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While Photoshop tends to get most of the press during major upgrades, Bridge users have a few things to be happy about with the CS5 release. The new Export tab, which bundles Photoshop Image Processor-like functionality right into Bridge; the Mini Bridge which bundles Bridge right into Photoshop; new Batch Rename functionality and new Output features, and other tweaks and modifications make Bridge CS5 a welcome upgrade. Unfortunately, as with Photoshop, Adobe has not seen fit to add any migration features for moving Bridge database information into CS5. However, with a few file copies, it appears that you can move the bulk of your important Bridge data to the new version

First, note that there doesn’t appear to be any way to move Favorites from CS4 to CS5. So, if you’ve filled up the Favorites tab with a lot of locations, you’ll simply have to rebuild those favorites from scratch. Creating Favorites is a simple drag-and-drop, so this isn’t too burdensome of a process.

What I was most concerned about migrating were my collections, and my keywords, and on the Mac, you can do this with a simple file copy. In the Finder, navigate to ~ > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Bridge CS4. Open another window and navigate to ~ > Library > Adobe > Application Support > Bridge CS5.

If you want to copy your keywords, just copy the Adobe Bridge Keywords.xml file from the CS4 directory to the CS5 directory. Similarly, you can take your Collections by copying the Collections folder. As you can see, there are other preferences you can move.

After copying the files, restart Bridge CS5 and you should see all of your Keywords in the Keywords panel, and your Collections in the Collections tab.

If you move your CS4 Collections data, you may find that, after you restart Bridge CS5, your Export panel has disappeared. Choose Window > Export to reactivate it. You can also choose Workspace > Reset Workspace, to set the workspace back to its default configuration, without wiping out your Collections. Obviously, any other changes you’ve made to that workspace will be wiped out.

Windows users, I’m sorry but I don’t have a Windows install at the moment, but if someone else wants to figure out the equivalent directories, that would be great.

13 Responses to “Migrating From Bridge CS4 to CS5”

  1. Jeremy

    The Windows (XP anyway) folders are at C:Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Adobe\Bridge CS4 and …\Bridge CS5 respectively. Hope that helps.

  2. Dan

    The folder location for the Mac is ~ > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Bridge CS4, and ~ > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Bridge CS5. I believe you inadvertently omitted the “Adobe” folder.

  3. Nicholas Forneris

    You wouldn’t perhaps know the proper method on migrating my Workspaces as well would you? Would they still work or would the new Export tab mess that all up?

  4. Ben Long

    Sorry, according to Adobe there’s no way to move workspaces.

  5. Scott Valentine

    Thanks, Ben – I wonder why the Br team hasn’t included a migration script? John Nack keeps opining about it, but the feature never seems to make it into PS or Br.

  6. John Hill

    following instructions but get to Bridge cs4 and cs5 extensions but not sure what to do next.
    I have tried recreating collections and dragging and dropping files which appear in the collection until you quit bridge but are then lost, but some files are retained

    I think failure to cater for customers who have bought CS4 and migrated to CS5 is a major mistake


  7. Trace

    Thank you for putting this info up! I recently made the CS4 -> CS5 conversion and was wondering how I’d get all of my Collections to migrate. Many mahalos!

  8. Kathy

    What’s the location of Bridge CS5 collections/keywords under Windows 7? I need to restore them after a HD failure. Thanks.

  9. Ruben

    what’s the limit of images I can use in Bridge CS5?? I’m working with 28 k jpgs and would like to tag them with keywords so I can sort them out. Thanks.

  10. Sandra Morgan


    Like John,

    I cannot work out what to do once I reach the “CS4 Extensions Folder” can anyone help? Please!!!!!



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