Can someone demystify how the content browser library lives on our harddrives?


My recent general use is confined to C4D versions r21 to r23.

I work commonly on both Mac and Windows10 platforms, though at the moment I am using a Mac environment so any Mac-specific response would be more welcome.

In any event, if there’s a purpose to understanding this it’s that ideally it could be advantageous to have all my C4D (r21 / 22 / 23) versions accessing the ‘Content Browser Library’ assets from the same master directory (or is this something that MAXON does not want us to do). Also, it would be nice to be able to add assets from libraries of older versions (r20 and older) to the current library.

So the way I understand it is that when Cinema4D is newly installed on in a Mac environment, it by default installs the scenes and peripheral content (textures, etc.) in a folder that lives within the master install folder for the program. So on a Mac, that file path looks like this:


And then within this folder, a set of files can be found with the file extension of .lib4d (so for example, one of the installed files is named ‘examples - disciplines.lib4d’).

The way I understand this is that a .lib4d file is an encoded and packaged-up folder structure containing various c4d projects, and is made to be accessible only through c4d’s Content Browser application (which is an app within an app, I’d guess?). If this is correct, is there any easy way to unpack / repack the contents of .lib4d file? Or should I generally assume that contents can only be accessed through c4d’s Content Browser?

The other dimension to this that I’d like to understand is what the function of the Content Browser Library folder structure is that’s installed in my User directory. To clarify, the folder who’s path looks like this (on a Mac):


Digging around in here I notice only folder structures, but empty of .lib4d files.

Is this because they are hidden by default?

Or is this alternative folder structure installed expressly for the purpose of being able to share the .lib4d assets across a user network?

I also noticed when accessing the ‘Preferences’ panel from with C4D, when I pull up the ‘Content Browser’ tab, aside from showing icon size preferences, there’s a path field at the bottom of the screen that points to:

Macintosh_HD/⁨Users/⁨xxxxxxxxxxx/⁩Library⁩/⁨Preferences⁩/MAXON⁩/Maxon_Cinema_4D_R23_2FE1299C⁩/⁨library Why does it point here, and not to:

Macintosh_HD⁩/⁨Applications⁩/Maxon_Cinema_4D_R23⁩/⁨library⁩/browser ?

Once again, primary purposes of asking for this demystification is to:

  • inquire if there’s a way to consolidate ‘factory’ library assets from different c4d versions into a single location
  • get an understanding of what the .lib4d file format is about
  • get a general understanding what exactly gets installed to Content Libraries and where
  • get an understanding of why there’s a peripheral install of (empty folder) content libraries in user folder

Hoping someone out there can provide some insights!

Many thanks,



I think some of the contents are copyrighted. Any folder with a lock on it hints to that.

I think the purpose of the .lib4d is to provide compactness and security. Even third-party plugins have their own .lib4d files.

I guess you could save each educational project (like TP demos) to a new central folder.

Having a central .lid4d will probably not be the best idea. You have to have a content library compatible with your oldest C4D. You could delete the newest libraries and open the old library with the newer releases (i’ve done it back in R12) but you loose the recent updates. It’s up to you.


The prefs folders are empty because you did not create any libs there, prefs are only meant for things created by users, not default content of the application. On first start Cinema 4D creates all folders usually needed by user to fill with own content. The app folder should not be use for user defined content, modern operating systems take issue wi5 users changing installed applications in any way, only certified installers and updater are allowed to do this.


@demis Thanks for the reply. Sounds like good advice.

@Srek Thanks as always for demystifying things with great economy of words!
I did have to look up what a ‘Wi5’ user is, though - and I still do not know :grin:

Best to both of you,


Wi5 users are those that have a problem using the keyboard of their iPad :wink: