Hidden Server Settings in Plex

Plex Media Server has a number of hidden server settings that are not accessible from the Plex interface. These settings can only be accessed and changed from outside of the Plex interface.

Most users, however, will not need to change these settings, and doing so can cause problems with your Plex Media server. If you would like to find and change these settings, you can use the information below.

Hidden Server Settings in Plex

Table of contents

Location of the Hidden Server Settings

The location of the hidden server settings in Plex is different for each of the supported operating systems. For Windows, the settings are located in the registry, while other operating systems have a file in the data directory. The table below outlines where you can find the location of these server settings.

Location of the Plex Hidden Settings by Operating System
Operating SystemLocation
WindowsHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Plex, Inc.\Plex Media Server\
macOS / OS X~/Library/Preferences/com.plexapp.plexmediaserver.plist
LinuxPreferences.xml file located in the Plex Media Server data directory.
NVIDIA SHIELDPreferences.xml file located in the Plex Media Server data directory, but it isn’t accessible by a user.

Available hidden settings

There are many different hidden settings for Plex Media Server that can be changed in the locations specified above. The various settings are outlined in the table below:

Plex Media Server Hidden Settings
Setting NameValueDescriptionExample
AlbumSortstringDefines the default album sort using a field:directory value. Plex Media Server 1.4.1+ has a setting in the interface for library or artist.year:desc
allowMediaDeletion1 or 0Specifies whether the server owner can delete media from disk.1
allowedNetworksstring (ip/netmask, ip/netmask)Lists the networks that can access Plex Media Server without authentication. The full subnet must be listed.192.168.1.0/255.255.255.0,10.8.0.0/255.255.255.0
ArticleStringsstringA list of comma-separated words that are considered to be grammatical articles. They will be removed in sort titles. You can specify the words in different languages.the, a, an, das
autoEmptyTrash1 or 0Specifies whether the trash is automatically emptied at the end of a library scan.1
BackgroundTranscodeLowPriority1 or 0Causes the background transcodes to have a lower priority when this value is 1.1
DlnaDeviceDiscoveryIntervalintegerThe number of seconds the DLNA discovery is performed.60
DlnaEnabled1 or 0Specifies whether DLNA is enabled.1
DlnaPlatinumLoggingLevelstringSpecified the separate, "Neptune DLNA" logging level.OFF
EnableIPv61 or 0Turns on IPv6 support.0
FriendlyNamestringThe friendly name for the Plex server that is shown in player apps.My Plex Media Server
FSEventLibraryUpdatesEnabled1 or 0Specifies whether a library scan is automatically started when changes to a library folder are detected.1
FSEventLibraryPartialScanEnabled1 or 0Specifies to only scan the library folder that is changed. FSEventLibraryUpdatesEnabled needs to be enabled.1
GdmEnabled1 or 0Enables the GDM discovery for the Plex server from other players on the network. Set to 1 to enable.1
GenerateBIFFrameIntervalintegerSets how often (in seconds) a video thumbnail is created. The default value is 2.2
GenerateBIFKeyframesOnly1 or 0Specifies to only look at keyframes in a video when generating preview thumbnails for playback. This setting speeds up processing and reduces CPU usage. Default is 1.1
iTunesLibraryXmlPathpathThe path to the iTunes library XML file.~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.xml
iTunesSharingEnabled1 or 0Specifies whether the Plex server will try to connect with a local iTunes installation.0
LocalAppDataPathpath(Windows only) Sets the location of the Plex Media Server data directory. Default is C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\Plex Media Server.D:\PlexData
logDebug1 or 0Specifies whether debug logging is enabled.1
LogMemoryUse1 or 0Sets the Plex Media Server to log memory use and the system total used memory. The server will need to restart, and is not recommended for normal use.0
LogNumFilesintegerThe number of past log files to keep. Default is 5.7
LogVerbose1 or 0Specifies whether the logging is to be verbose. Not recommended for normal use. Default is 0.0
LongRunningJobThreadsintegerSpecifies the number of threads used for long-running jobs. Default is half the total threads for the processor.4
ManualPortMappingMode1 or 0Indicates if the server is set to use port mapping for remote access.0
ManualPortMappingPortintegerThe manual port for remote access. ManualPortMappingMode needs to be set to 1.32400
RadioDaysSinceLastPlayedintegerFor Radio or Smart Shuffle, have Plex prefer to include tracks that have not been recently played. This value is the recent period. Default is 2.5
RadioDirectoryLimitintegerControls how many "genre", "style", or "mood" radios are exposed, on clients that support those radio types. Default is 50.75
secureConnections2, 1, or 0Specifies how the server handles secure connections.2: Disabled
1: Preferred (default)
0: Required
sendCrashReports1 or 0Specifies whether Plex Media Server sends crash reports when the server is launched after a crash.0
ScheduledLibraryUpdatesEnabled1 or 0Specifies whether the Plex server will scan the libraries on a set interval0
ScheduledLibraryUpdateIntervalintegerThe number of seconds between library scans. ScheduledLibraryUpdatesEnabled needs to be set to 1.1800
TranscoderDefaultDurationintegerThe duration (in minutes), the transcoder will work ahead of the current playback.60
TranscoderH264OptionsOverridestringThe x264 preset to use when transcoding.veryfast
TranscoderLogLevelstringThe Plex transcoder log level.error (default)
verbose
TranscoderPhotoFileSizeLimitMiBintegerThe maximum photo size (in mebibytes) to be tagged or transcoded.75
TranscoderTempDirectorypathThe location where the temporary transcode segments are written.D:\PlexTranscodes

Fixing settings issues

If you have issues with your Plex server after changing any of the above hidden settings, you can reset the values back to default by deleting either the preferences file or the keys in the Windows registry.

Deleting the preferences file will reset any changes you have made, and you will also lose any server shares or Mobile Sync items you may have. Your Plex Media Server library database will not be affected.

SysLog option

In addition to the above hidden settings, you can also have Plex enable syslogging on a Linux-based system. This can be done by setting the configuration variable: PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USE_SYSLOG=true.

The variable will need to be added to the Plex Media Server configuration file. This file is located in the following locations:

Plex Media Server SysLog Settings
Operating SystemValueConfiguration File Location
CentOS/Fedoraexport PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USE_SYSLOG=true/etc/sysconfig/PlexMediaServer
ReadyNASexport PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USE_SYSLOG=true/etc/init.d/plexserver
SynologyPLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USE_SYSLOG=true/var/packages/Plex Media Server/scripts/start-stop-status
Ubuntu 15 (and older)PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USE_SYSLOG=true/etc/default/plexmediaserver
Ubuntu 16 (and newer)Environment="PLEX_MEDIA_SERVER_USE_SYSLOG=true"/etc/systemd/system/plexmediaserver.service.d/override.conf