Project Config

Each Craft installation has a central place it keeps track of project config, a sharable configuration store that makes it easier for developers to collaborate and deploy site changes across multiple environments.

Craft stores the following settings in the project config:

  • Asset volumes and named image transforms
  • Category groups
  • Craft and plugin schema versions
  • Craft edition
  • Email settings
  • Fields and field groups
  • Global sets (settings only, not their content)
  • GraphQL schemas, and the access settings for the public schema
  • Matrix block types
  • Plugin editions and settings
  • Routes defined in Settings → Routes
  • Sections and entry types
  • Sites and site groups
  • System name, time zone, and status (live/offline)
  • Tag groups
  • User settings and user groups

Plugins can store additional things in the project config as well. See Supporting Project Config to learn how.

Craft 3.5 added changes to project config, see

# Enabling the Project Config File

To start sharing a project config across multiple environments, follow these steps:

  1. Pick a primary environment that has the most up-to-date data. (If your project is already live, this should be your production environment.)

  2. Ensure that your primary environment is running the latest version of Craft.

  3. If you were already running Craft 3.1 or later, run php craft project-config/rebuild on that environment, to ensure that its project config is up-to-date with config settings stored throughout the database.

  4. Enable the useProjectConfigFile setting in config/general.php on your primary environment.

    return [
        '*' => [
            'useProjectConfigFile' => true,
  5. Load any page on the primary environment, so Craft can generate a config/project.yaml file.

  6. Backup the database on the primary environment.

  7. For all other environments, restore the database backup created in step 6, and save a copy of the config/project.yaml file created in step 5.

Going forward, Craft will start updating config/project.yaml any time something changes that is managed by the project config. And any time Craft detects that project.yaml has been updated on its own (e.g. if it was changed in a Git commit that was recently pulled down), any changes in it will be propagated to the local Craft install.

# Caveats

There are a few things you should keep in mind when working with the project config:

# There Will Be Composer

When Craft detects that project.yaml has changed, it will ensure that the versions of Craft and plugins described in the file are compatible with what’s actually installed.

If there’s a discrepancy, you will need to fix that before Craft can begin syncing the file’s changes into the loaded project config. The only practical way to do that is by running composer install, as access to the control panel will be denied until the discrepancy is resolved.

To avoid downtime on production, you should ensure that composer install is built into your deployment workflow.

# Sensitive Information Could Be Saved in project.yaml

Some of your system components may have required sensitive information in their settings, such as:

  • a Gmail/SMTP password in your email settings
  • a secret access key in an AWS S3 volume

To prevent those values from being saved into your project.yaml file, make sure that you are setting those fields to environment variables. See Environmental Configuration for more information.

If you’re overriding volume settings with config/volumes.php, you can set sensitive values to the environment variable name rather than calling getenv() to avoid the real values being saved to project.yaml.

// Bad:
'secret' => getenv('SECRET_ACCESS_KEY'),

// Good:
'secret' => '$SECRET_ACCESS_KEY',

Once you’ve made that change, re-save your volume in the control panel so your project.yaml file gets updated with the environment variable name.

# Production Changes May Be Forgotten

If any updates are made on production that updates project.yaml there, those changes will be lost the next time your project is deployed and project.yaml is overwritten.

To prevent that, you can set the allowAdminChanges config setting to false in config/general.php:

return [
    '*' => [
        'useProjectConfigFile' => true,
    'production' => [
        // Disable project config changes on production
        'allowAdminChanges' => false,

That will remove the UI for most administrative settings that affect the project config, and also places the project config in a read-only state, so there’s no chance that project.yaml will be tampered with.

# Plugins May Not Support It Yet

Any plugins that are storing configuration settings outside of their main plugin settings will need to be updated to support the project config. So there may still be some cases where changes need to be manually made on each environment.

# Config Data Could Get Out of Sync

If any settings managed by the project config are modified elsewhere in the database, either manually or via a plugin/module that isn’t using the appropriate service, then the project config will be out of sync with those database values, which will likely lead to errors. If that happens, Craft provides a console command that can be run to patch up your project config.

php craft project-config/rebuild

One way to keep project config in sync is to version control project.yaml and use the console command for syncing any changes with Craft:

php craft project-config/apply

If changes are not being picked up during the sync process, you can use the --force option:

php craft project-config/apply --force

This will treat all project config values as added or updated, resulting in a longer sync process and potentially overriding any expected changes that might have been favored in the database.