Download and transfer an entire Experiment and analyses between Cytobanks as an ACS file


On occasion it will be desired to transfer an Experiment between Cytobank servers. This can be accomplished with a functionality called ACS Transfer. An ACS file is a portable file store of a Cytobank Experiment. You can create an ACS file that represents a Cytobank Experiment, download that file to your local computer, and then upload that file to create the same Experiment on a different Cytobank. After uploading again to any Cytobank, your Experiment will be as it was originally in every regard, including files, gates, scales, figures, compensations, attachments, exports, SPADE / viSNE analyses, and everything associated with your Experiment.


  • if you ever want to inspect the contents of an ACS file, you just have to change the file extension to .zip and you can unzip it!
  • Creation and downloading of an ACS file can be done with an expired Cytobank license.
  • Experiment files and aspects of the analysis (e.g. Gates, Sample Tags) can also be transferred piece-wise manually without ACS (learn more about templates).


Exporting an ACS file:

To export your Experiment as an ACS file, first navigate to the Experiment and then to Actions > Export > Export Experiment to ACS. After the file is produced, it will be immediately available for download, as well as permanently available as an attachment on the Experiment Summary page of the Experiment you just exported from.


(exporting an ACS file from an existing experiment in Cytobank)


If your Experiment has any advanced analyses in it such as SPADE, viSNE, or CITRUS, you will have the option to produce an ACS file containing these analyses, or instead to produce an "Express Export", which exports the Experiment without advanced analyses.


Importing an ACS file:

An ACS file can be uploaded as a new Experiment to any Cytobank by first clicking to create a new experiment, and then electing the option to Create via ACS File. After clicking this button, choose your ACS file and then allow the upload to finish. If there is any issue or error during upload of the ACS file, just repeat the same exact upload step without navigating away from the page. The redo will go very fast.


(creating a new experiment from an ACS file)


Known issues with ACS:

In certain cases, ACS production might fail or be blocked. These cases are detailed below, as well as the way to work around them.

  • ACS generation Fails. ACS generation can fail for a number of reasons. The reasons and their solutions are listed below.
    1. Two attachments with the same name. Look on the experiment summary page for attachments. If any two have the same name, delete one. Single attachments can be downloaded manually before deletion if necessary.
    2. Two SPADE or viSNE runs have the same name. Look on the experiment summary page and make sure any two advanced analysis runs don't have the same names. If so, rename them.
    3. ] and [ characters in fcs filename or experiment name. These characters cause ACS to fail when they are present in the FCS file names or within the experiment name. If it’s the experiment name, you can just change it and try again. If your files have these characters, you will have to manually transfer the data and configurations without ACS (see templating links about this process above).
    4. Other. ACS may fail for some other reason. If none of the solutions above work for you, create a support request to get help.



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