Arcade says "We can't find your content folder"

When using Arcade, you may encounter an error message that says "We can't find your content folder." This message can occur due to several reasons. In this guide, we'll explain how Arcade manages content and provide you with some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.

Understanding Arcade Content Management

Arcade uses three main files to manage content: the Arcade Content folder, a file called the local.db, and a file called paths.xml. Arcade relates content by bridging the local.db with the paths.xml file to the Arcade content folder.


When you install Arcade, these files are created, and they're located in the default installation location:

  • Mac: /Library/Application Support/Output/Arcade
  • PC: C:\ProgramData\Output\Arcade


Some reasons for the error message

Arcade was not installed to the default location

Arcade needs to be installed in the default location on your system drive for proper functioning. While you can copy the Arcade Content folder to another location using the tool within Arcade, the Arcade folder itself and other files must remain on your system drive.

You moved the Arcade content folder to an external drive

If you moved the Arcade content folder to an external drive following the proper steps, please ensure that:

  1. You are using Arcade on the device associated with the original Arcade Content folder
  2. Your external hard drive is not corrupted and is properly connected and awake at all times while using Arcade

It is important that you use the tool within Arcade to move your Arcade Content folder to your external hard drive. Arcade will not be able to locate the Arcade Content folder if it has been manually moved as it relies on additional files to relate content. That said, syncing the Arcade Content folder across multiple devices is not currently possible.

System Cleaners

System cleaners like CleanMyMac X or Cleaner One Pro might delete important Arcade files. Make sure to create exceptions for the Arcade folder on your system drive in such cleaners.

Corrupted Files

If you’ve been using Arcade for a while and experienced multiple updates, your Arcade files may become corrupted. This can occur if, for example, you update Arcade while your DAW or standalone app is open. To avoid data loss, back up your Arcade folder before updates or reinstallation.

Custom Samplers and User-Imported Audio

Arcade relies on the original location of the user-imported audio file to recall any Sampler created with it. If you move the file after importing it into Arcade, Arcade will be unable to locate it. That said, keep the files in their original location for uninterrupted access.

We recommend you regularly bounce to audio any instance of Arcade with a Custom Sampler to safeguard against any potential loss of data.


Reinstalling Arcade

If the issue persists, you may need to perform a clean reinstallation of Arcade without a backup. This involves deleting previously downloaded content and creating fresh files. Detailed instructions on how to perform a clean reinstall can be found here: How To Reinstall Arcade

** Please be aware that reinstallation will permanently remove all content including any Custom Samplers you have created. We strongly advise carefully reading the Custom Samplers and User-Imported Audio section to understand the potential data loss when reinstalling Arcade.

After reinstallation, Arcade may prompt a 'Samples Missing' error message when opening existing projects. To resolve this, please refer to the following page for instructions on Re-downloading and Re-linking Arcade to your Project (Samples Missing Error)

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