Bringing your Nova data to another Mac

Whether you’ve just bought a shiny new Mac, you go between multiple devices, or you just need to use another system for a while, here’s how to bring over all your Nova data to another machine to get you up and running fast.

Local Projects

When you create or specify a project folder in Nova, a hidden .nova folder is created inside your project folder containing all of your Nova project settings and data. This makes it super simple to bring your project over to another Mac. Just copy the project folder to the other machine using whatever method you’d like, such as a thumb drive, a cloud service, or over the local network. Then, just open Nova and choose Add Project… > Add Existing Project from the Launcher and select your project folder. The project should be added to Nova with all of your previous project settings intact.

Remote Projects, Servers, and Keys

The easiest way to bring over your Servers and Keys is to use Panic Sync. Just sign into the same Panic Sync account in Nova’s Settings > Sync on the new Mac that you used on the old one, and all your Servers and Keys should automatically come over. For more details about Panic Sync, check out our FAQ.

If you don’t want to (or simply can’t) use Panic Sync, you can also export your Servers to a file from Nova’s Settings > Servers. Just click the gear icon at the bottom of the Server list, then choose “Export Servers…” You can import an exported file from the same menu. Note that unregistered trial copies of Nova cannot import or export Servers.

Please note, however, that remote projects in the Launcher do not sync with Panic Sync, nor are they added to the Launcher when imported from a file. For any Servers you had set up as remote projects, you’ll need to add them to the Launcher again from Add Project… > Add Remote Project. If you have a lot of Servers that you need to add to the Launcher, you can open Settings > Servers and select multiple servers from the list (such as through ⇧Shift- or ⌘Command-clicking), then drag them to the Launcher to bulk-add them as remote projects.

Settings, Extensions, and Clips

To bring your Nova settings to a new Mac, you’ll first need to open a Terminal on your current Mac and run the following command:

defaults export com.panic.Nova /path/to/destination.plist

Replace the path in the command with the path where you wish to export a .plist file containing your Nova settings. Then, copy this plist file to your new Mac. With Nova fully closed, open a Terminal there and run the following command:

defaults import com.panic.Nova /path/to/source.plist

Once again, replace the path in this command with the path to the .plist file you exported from your existing Mac. You may also need to reboot your Mac for this to take effect. Afterwards, your Nova settings from your old Mac should appear on your new system.

Your Nova Extensions — and all their settings — can be found in ~/Library/Application Support/Nova/Extensions, and copying over that folder should bring over all your extensions just as they’re configured on your existing machine. Clips can be exported to a file from the Clips Sidebar by clicking the gear icon at the bottom and choosing Export Clips… from the menu, and can be imported from a file using the Import Clips… option in the same menu.

This article was last updated on June 26, 2023