Migration from Alfred 2 to Alfred 3

Coming from Alfred 2 and want to get started with Alfred 3? Here's how to smoothly upgrade if you've been using Alfred 2.

Got an existing v1 or v2 license? You can upgrade to Alfred 3 at a discount to take advantage of the v3 Powerpack features!

Alfred's Migration Assistant

When you launch Alfred 3 for the first time, if you previously used Alfred 2, you'll be presented with the following options:

Migration Preferences

We recommend leaving both checkboxes ticked for Preferences and Local Storage.

The Preferences option will ensure that, if you had syncing set up on your Mac, your Alfred 2 settings are safely copied to a local, un-synced location so that the synced preferences can be used by Alfred 3.

The Local Storage option ensures that your un-synced data (Clipboard History, your Alfred usage and knowledge, and your URL history) are also migrated across to v3. If you uncheck this box, this data will be re-started from scratch, which means your clipboard, usage graph and URL history will be empty, and Alfred will start rebuilding his knowledge of your favourite apps and files from fresh.

You should now be up and running with Alfred 3! Take a look at the Guide to what's new in Alfred 3 to start discovering the new features.

Migrating your Snippets

If you used Alfred's Snippets feature in Alfred 2, they'll be migrated to Alfred 3 in the "Alfred 2 Snippets" group.

As Alfred 3 now offers auto-expansion, be sure to review your keywords to avoid words that trigger accidentally. Take a look at our Tips for better snippet expansion to set up some great, useful keywords!

Migration FAQ

Can I use Alfred 2 and Alfred 3 concurrently?

We don't recommend running both versions concurrently, as many hotkeys are the same between the two versions, and this may result in unpredictable behaviour.

You can keep Alfred 2 installed on your Mac and quit Alfred 3 first if you need to relaunch it, but it's unlikely you'll need to go back once you've discovered Alfred 3!

What should I do with Alfred 2 when I'm done with it?

Once you've migrated your preferences to Alfred 3, we recommend deleting Alfred 2 manually. Do this once you're confident that your workflows all work smoothly in Alfred 3; Most workflows should migrate perfectly well, but a few may need a little editing to ensure they're no longer referring to Alfred 2.

We advise against using "app cleaners" to remove Alfred 2, as these can be over-zealous and delete essential files for Alfred 3. If you've lost your Alfred 3 preferences by using an app cleaner, check your Mac's Trash or refer to a backup (Time Machine, Dropbox, etc) to recover your Alfred.alfredpreferences file.

How can I re-run the Migration Assistant?

If you tried to run Alfred 3 during the beta but didn't migrate your Alfred 2 preferences, you may need to reset your settings in order to see the Migration Assistant and be able to migrate your Alfred 2 settings as a new user would.

You'll need to follow these few steps:

  • Quit Alfred 3, launch Terminal and run each of these two commands, pressing Enter between each one:
defaults delete com.runningwithcrayons.Alfred-Preferences syncfolder
defaults delete com.runningwithcrayons.Alfred-Preferences-3 syncfolder
rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Alfred\ 3
  • If you were previously syncing in v2, relaunch Alfred 2 and re-set your sync folder to the one you were using. This ensures that the migration can proceed again, grabbing your settings from the correct location.

Once you've done this, re-launch Alfred 3 and the Migration Assistant will appear for you.

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