How to Back Up and Migrate Your Linux Configuration Files

Linux applications store their settings in hidden folders inside each user account’s home folder. This makes application settings much easier to back up and restore than they are on Windows, where settings are scattered across the registry and system folders.

Whether you just want a backup copy of your settings, or if you’re moving to a new Linux distribution or another PC, you can easily create a copy of your application settings and take them with you.

View Your User Account’s Configuration Files

Back Up and Restore an Application’s Settings
To back up an application’s settings, just copy its configuration folder to a USB drive, external hard drive, cloud storage folder, or any other storage location. You can also right-click a folder in most file managers and create an archive file from it — the archive file can be more easily emailed, uploaded, and moved around.

Be sure to close an application before backing up its configuration settings. This will ensure the application exits and saves its settings properly, leaving a clean settings folder for your new Linux distribution.