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 complete 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/FlowSOM/viSNE/CITRUS analyses, and everything associated with your Experiment.



  • If you ever want to inspect the contents of an ACS file on your personal computer, 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:

You can export ACS files from within your open experiment. If your Experiment has any advanced analyses in it such as SPADE, FlowSOM, 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.


From within an open experiment, navigate to the Experiment and then to Actions > Export > Export experiment to ACS.


(navigation to Export experiment to ACS from Actions menu)


When you click Export Experiment to ACS, additional options will appear. If your experiment has linked advanced analyses and/or linked clones, it will show options to perform Express export,  Export with advanced analyses, or Export with all linked descendants, all accompanied by the corresponding ACS file size . Express export will generate an ACS including only the selected experiment. Export with advanced analyses will generate an ACS including linked advanced analyses, and Export with all linked descendants will also include linked clones. The below screenshot shows ACS export options for the experiment shown in the linkage tree.


(multiple options for ACS export when Experiment has associated advanced analyses and/or linked descendants)



(exporting an ACS file from an existing open experiment in Cytobank for the experiment illustrated in the linked experiment tree)


After the ACS file is produced, it will be immediately available for download if the ACS export window is still open, as well as permanently available as an attachment on the Experiment Summary page of the Experiment you just exported from.

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:

If your ACS export fails, please create a support request to get help.


Have more questions? Submit a request