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Set MATLAB Projects Preferences

You can set MATLAB® projects preferences to specify project definition files type, detect project files that are shadowed by open models, and detect project-wide references when you rename, remove, and delete files.

On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences. Select MATLAB > Project. Then, adjust preference options as this table describes. Not all project preferences are available in MATLAB Online™.

New Projects

To specify where to create new projects, in Default folder, browse to a folder on your system.

To specify the Project definition files type for new projects, select an option based on your use case:

  • Use multiple project files (fixed path length) is preferable if you need to work with long paths (default).

  • Use multiple project files avoids file conflicts when you perform merge on shared projects.

  • Use a single project file (not recommended for source control) is fast but often causes merge issues when two users submit changes in the same project to a source control tool.

For details, see Project Definition Files.

The Project definition folder path, relative to the project root, contains the project metadata files. Select one of the available options to specify the folder name.

To open the project welcome page after you create a new project, select Show the welcome dialog after new project creation.

Project Startup

To receive a warning about files that are shadowed by open models when you open a project, select Detect project files shadowed by open models.

For details, see Manage Shadowed and Dirty Models and Other Project Files.

Git™ does not track empty folders and ignores them when you commit. MATLAB enables you to recreate an empty folder structure in your project. Doing so is useful for small projects intended for training or as procedure templates.

For large projects, to avoid performance issues on startup, disable Recreate empty project folders in a project under Git.

To disable the warning you receive when opening a project from an unknown source for the first time, clear Warn when opening projects from unknown sources.

For details, see Unsafe Content Warning.

This preference is available only in MATLAB Online.

Project Shutdown

To receive a warning about files with unsaved changes when you close a project, select Interrupt project close if there are dirty project files.

To automatically close project models when you close a project unless the project models contain unsaved changes, select Check for open project models and close them, unless they are dirty.

File Management

To disable the message that lists which files have changed after calling update to get the latest revisions from your SVN repository, clear Show changes on source control updates.

To disable automatic updates when you rename, delete, or remove files in a project, clear Detect project-wide references when renaming, removing and deleting files.

For details, see Manage Project Files.

To disable the project prompt and analysis when you rename buses or bus elements while keeping automatic updates enabled for other files, clear Detect project-wide references when renaming Simulink buses and bus elements.

This option is available only if you have Simulink® installed.

To specify the project behavior when you attempt to modify Read-only project files, select an option based on your use case:

  • Ask when a read-only project file needs to be modified (default)

  • Set writable using the file system

  • Checkout using source control

When you open a file, you can have a project check for conflict markers that the source control tool inserts. This check helps you to identify conflicted files and offers a fix to rescue binary files, such as SLX files, from corruption.

To choose which files a project checks for conflict markers, specify Conflict marker detection when loading project files. Select one of these options:

  • Only check conflicted files (default)

  • Check all files

  • Never check files

When you add project files to a folder that is not on the path, you can choose whether MATLAB notifies you before adding the folder to the project path. In Update project path when adding files to a folder that is not on the path, select one of these options:

  • Ask before adding folder to project path (default)

  • Always update project path

  • Never update project path

This preference is available only in MATLAB Online.


Calling SVN update to get the latest revision overwrites all of your files. To receive a warning before overwriting the files, select Warn about updating from source control.

To receive a warning when you perform an action that a project cannot reverse, select Warn when performing an action that the project cannot undo.

For example, a project cannot undo extracting a folder to a referenced project.

Only one project can be open at a time. To receive a warning that the current project will close when you open a referenced project as a top-level project, select Warn when opening a project reference that the current project will be closed.

To receive a warning when you remove a reference to another project, select Warn when removing references to another project.


To save the Java stack trace in a log file whenever project shows an error dialog, select Log errors.

Projects can log startup and shutdown events. Log files include timing details that enable you to identify which action is hanging or taking a long time to run.

To save project action messages, such as how long shortcuts take to start up, select Log messages.

To specify where to store your project log files, in Log folder, browse to a folder on your system.

If you enabled Log messages, the project stores the events in a date-stamped file in the location you specified in Log folder.

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