For those of you that don’t know, Streamlabs recently had what can only be described as a catastrophic disaster of a day on social media. I mean when you have OBS, Elgato, Lightstream, and Edward Snowden all bashing you simultaneously, you know you messed up.

I’m not going to get into the details here, if you want to hear what happened and my thoughts on it all, we discussed it in great detail in this podcast episode.

Instead, I want to turn this negative situation into a positive and show all of you that have been using Streamlabs for either your streaming software or as your alerts and donations provider, exactly how you can move away from using them to better alternatives like OBS Studio and StreamElements. We’re going to go over it step by step, and I promise, once we’re done, you’ll be glad you switched over and won’t be missing Streamlabs at all.

Step 1: Scenes and Sources

So the first thing we’re going to do is move over all our scenes and sources from Streamlabs OBS (now technically called Streamlabs Desktop) into OBS Studio.

To do this, we’re obviously going to need to have OBS Studio installed, but first, we’ll actually look at what we want to import by opening up Streamlabs, clicking the little dropdown arrow next to your scenes and then clicking “Manage All”. This will show you all of the different scene collections you have in Streamlabs Desktop, it’s worth noting down the names of any that you wish to import into OBS Studio.

Manage Scene Collections - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

You can see which scene collection you currently have active in Streamlabs and which scenes are included in that collection. Most of your collections probably have a stream starting scene, a chatting scene, a gameplay scene, and an ending scene.

Next, let’s open up OBS Studio and head to Settings -> General -> Importers and make sure “Search known locations for scene collections when importing” is enabled. Then we can come up to Scene Collection -> Import.

Import Scene Collection in OBS - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

This will scan all the known locations that other streaming apps use, like Streamlabs Desktop, XSplit etc. Check the boxes next to any scene collections you want, then click import.

Finally, you’ll want to come up to Scene Collection, and select the collection that you just imported and OBS will then swap to using that scene collection. You should see everything has moved across successfully, you might see some odd sources that need a little tweaking, or refreshing, but on the whole, everything should have been imported over correctly.

Imported Scene Collection - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

Step 2: Stream Settings

Unfortunately, there isn’t a super simple way to move all your stream settings over from Streamlabs Desktop to OBS Studio, so instead, you have two options.

If you are happy with all your stream settings from Streamlabs you can open up the settings there and make a note of things like your bitrate, encoder, resolution, and framerate, and then use those same settings in OBS Studio.

Stream Settings in Streamlabs Desktop - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

If you want the quicker, easier, method, in OBS Studio you can run the auto-configuration wizard (available in the Tools menu). This lets OBS run tests on your computer and internet connection to best determine your settings. You can then choose to apply these settings and OBS will have chosen things like your encoder, bitrate, resolution, and framerate for you.

Auto-Configuration Wizard in OBS - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

If you’re streaming to Twitch or YouTube, I’d definitely recommend connecting your account to OBS Studio as that will give you enhanced functionality like dockable chat and activity feeds. To do this, simply open up the settings, select the “Stream” tab, and select “Connect Account”.

Connecting Twitch Account in OBS - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

Speaking of Docks, one thing in OBS Studio that is completely customizable is the layout, so if you want to have things laid out in a similar fashion to Streamlabs, it can be a bit fiddly but everything is moveable and resizable to get things exactly as you please.

You can even add any webpage as a docked element, which many people use to get their activity feed docked from somewhere like StreamElements.

Custom Browser Docks in OBS - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

Step 3: Alerts

There are quite a few different platforms that you can use to show alerts on stream when someone donates, subscribes, or follows you. If you’re up for supporting one of the companies most affected by this whole debacle, then the creators of Lightstream have an alerts platform called Rainmaker that could well be worth a try.

But for this tutorial, we’ll use the most popular alternative, StreamElements which I’d say probably offers the closest feature parity to what is offered on Streamlabs.

The first step is to log in to StreamElements using a chrome based browser.

Next, in StreamElements come up to your profile picture, click it and select import, and then Streamlabs. This will open up an extension that has been built to help quickly export your alerts from Streamlabs to StreamElements.

Import Alerts From Streamlabs to StreamElements - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

You’ll only need this extension once, it can be removed as soon as the export has finished, so click to add the extension and then head over to Streamlabs and log in.

Once you’re on the Streamlabs dashboard, open up the extension and simply select if you want to import both your tips and alerts or just the alerts and then click “Start Import to StreamElements”.

Chrome Extension For Importing Alerts - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

Once that’s done you can head back to StreamElements, go down to your overlays and you should see a newly imported alert box.

If you click edit, you can go in and check that everything has been successfully imported by emulating a few events like a new follower/subscriber or donator.

StreamElements Test Alerts - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

If anything needs changing you can go into each of the alerts on the left-hand side and customize the image/audio/sizing and any other settings you need.

If everything looks good, all you have to do is copy the browser source URL, head into OBS Studio, select which scene you want the alerts to show in and then add a browser source to that scene, pasting in the URL that StreamElements gave you.

Adding Browser Source in OBS - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

You’ll want to make sure that the width and height match those of the canvas in StreamElements, then you can emulate some more actions and these will now show in OBS Studio for you to position as you wish.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you purchased an alert pack from somewhere like Nerd or Die, they usually come with a super simple installer for StreamElements where you can just open one file and everything will be set up for you.

Step 4: Donations

If you accept tips or donations on your stream and have been using Streamlabs to process this, you can again move this functionality over to StreamElements. To do so, you’ll want to go to your Tipping Settings in the Revenue tab.

You can customize the design and layout of your tipping page as well as your tipping settings like which payment providers to accept, which currency to use, minimum and maximum amounts, and tip message or TTS filtering.

Donation Settings in StreamElements - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

Once you’ve got your tipping page set up as you like, you’ll want to update any Twitch panels or links with your new URL so that viewers are taken to the donation page on StreamElements.

Step 5: Chat Bot

If you want to move away from using Streamlabs Cloudbot in your channel, StreamElements also has a chatbot that you can use with custom commands, timers, smart modules and spam filters.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to import commands across from Cloudbot, so this may be a bit of a manual process if you have loads of custom commands, but there are a whole bunch of default commands that you can enable with one click.

Chat Bot StreamElements - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

There’s also Nightbot, Moobot, Fossabot, and countless others if you want to use something different.

Step 6: Merch

If you’ve been using Streamlabs as your merch store provider and want to move elsewhere, StreamElements provide pretty much the exact same service, you’ll just need to recreate your designs and update your links to point to the new store.

There’s also DesignByHumans, Teespring, and Spreadshirt just to name a few.

StreamElements Merch Store - How To Switch From Streamlabs (6 Steps)

Video Guide

As with all of our guides, below I have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.


If you want to hear more about what happened with Streamlabs and my thoughts, I’d highly recommend checking out my recent podcast episode where Ben and I cover everything that happened.