Recently, I had to completely reinstall my operating system. Anyone who’s done this knows what a huge pain it can be to get everything just the way you like it. I thought I had backed up everything important, but I realized I had missed one crucial thing: my World of Warcraft addons! A player’s user interface is like their baby. Everyone’s is different, and in some cases, it takes a lot of time and effort to make theirs completely unique. I know mine did. Because of this, realizing I had forgotten to back up my World of Warcraft addons settings was somewhat… distressing. I had an outdated backup saved, so at least I had a starting point to work with, and wasn’t rebuilding my UI from scratch.
You don’t want to get caught with your pants down like I was, so I’m going to show you how to back up your World of Warcraft addons, just in case something happens. If, for any reason, you lose your data, this will help you at least keep your World of Warcraft UI intact. You’re going to need either a USB flash drive or some sort of online storage, such as Dropbox.
Step 1: Locate the World of Warcraft Addons Folder
For most people, the World of Warcraft folders are located in C:Program Files (x86)World of Warcraft. My data is on the D drive, so mine’s at D:Program Files (x86)World of Warcraft. Click on the folder that says _retail_.
Step 2: Copy the settings
Highlight the folders that say “Interface” and “WTF”, and copy them. Make sure you do NOT cut them, just copy.
Step 3: Paste
Paste the highlighted folders into your backup folder, which will be either your file sharing service like Dropbox, or your USB flash drive. It may take a few minutes to transfer all the files over, but just be patient..
Step 4: Put it in a safe place
If you opted for a USB drive, put it in a safe place. Also, you should label it. Take good care of it; it is now your baby.
Step 5: Back up Regularly
To prevent future apocalypses, I recommend backing up your World of Warcraft addons settings regularly. You may not notice how much you tweak your UI just a little bit, but those little bits add up over time and you don’t want to lose those changes. Trust me, it’s not fun.
Restoring Your Backup
If you do end up needing to restore your World of Warcraft addons settings from your backup (aren’t you glad you backed up your addons settings now?), this is how you do it. Go back into your World of Warcraft folders, click on _retail_, and delete the existing “Interface” and “WTF” folders there. If it is a fresh installation and you have not actually logged in yet, they may not even be there. That’s okay.
Go into wherever you copied your backup files to (the online backup or your USB), and copy the “Interface” and “WTF” folders. Paste them in the _retail_ folder on your computer’s data drive. Next time you log in, all of your addons settings will be intact, right as you left it.
Now if you somehow catastrophically lose your World of Warcraft addons settings, you’ll be able to easily recover them so you can get back to killing The Lich King for the mount that will never drop.