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UE3 Home > Unreal Editor and Tools > Content Browser Reference

Content Browser Reference


Content Browser helps you find, organize and create game assets. You can also manage package files and perform useful operations on assets. Most importantly, you can search and interact with all assets in the game, whether they're loaded or not.

  • Browse and interact with all assets found in the game: loaded and unloaded.
  • Find loaded and unloaded assets:
    • Text Filter: type to find assets by Name, Path, Tags or Type. You can exclude assets from your search by prefixing a search token with a '-'.
    • Extended Filter: Browse assets by Object Type and/or combinations of tags.
    • Add frequently-used Object Types to favorites.
  • Organize loaded and unloaded assets without ever needing to check out packages:
    • Create tags.
    • Apply tags to assets.
    • Create private Collections and store assets in them for future use.
    • Create Shared Collections to share interesting assets with your coworkers.
  • Development assistance:
    • Show assets which may contain problems.


  • Tag: A tag is a string that you can "put on an asset". An asset can have any number of tags applied to it. Tags make it easier to find assets within the game. There is no restriction on which tags are created, giving the user control over how assets are organized.
  • My Collections: A Collection is a place to put your assets. While the data for each asset resides in a package file, an asset can reside in any number of collections. "My Collections" are private; that is, they are visible only to you only.
  • Shared Collections: Shared Collections differ from private Collections in that they are visible to everyone on your team.

You can think of the assets in the Content Browser as flowing from left to right, top to bottom. Assets are gathered from the sources (Collections or Packages) selected in the Sources Panel. The gathered assets then pass though the Filter Panel. Those assets that pass the filter flow into the Asset View for viewing.


Select a source from which to gather assets. This can be a package, a private collection of assets that is visible only to you or a shared collection that can be used for collaboration with other developers. Alternatively, click the All Assets button to see everything in the current game.

To add assets to a collection simply drag them from the Asset View into the desired collection. To remove an asset from a collection select the collection, right click on the asset and select Remove from Collection from the context menu.

New assets can be created or imported by using the New and Import buttons, which invoke the familiar dialogs.

Packages View

A typical project will involve many packages. The Packages View provides a few tools that help you keep track of the packages you are currently working with.

In addition to the text filter you can show packages that have been modified and packages that are currently checked out:

Context Menu Reference

  • Bulk Import: Imports all of the files in a specified directory path by recursing through the directory structure inside the path. The tool automatically creates packages and groups and places files in the correct package based on how the directory structure is layed out. See the BulkImport page for instructions on performing a Bulk Import.

Filter Panel

Once you've selected one or more sources use the Filter Panel to narrow down the assets that you want to see. You can search using text or the extended filter options.

View Controls

Alter the way assets are presented.

Details List View
Details and Thumbnails: Horizontal Split
Details and Thumbnails: Vertical Split
Thumbnails View

Drag left/right to change the zoom level
Change the thumbnail size

Change the sorting of assets

Tags Panel

The Tags Panels lets you see the tags applied to selected assets and apply or remove a tag from selected assets. You can also create a new tag or destroy an existing tag.

To add a tag, select one or more assets and click on one of the tags from the All Tags list. The tags applied to selected assets appear under Applied Tags. To remove a tag click the '-' symbol next to that tag's name under Applied Tags. Tags present on every asset in the selection are denoted with the symbol. Tags present on some but not all assets in the selection are denoted with the symbol.

You can create or destroy tags by clicking on the Create Tag and Destroy Tag buttons. To create a tag click on Create Tag and type in the name of a tag.

To destroy a tag click the Destroy Tag button. You will see all the '+' symbols next to tags turn into '-'; this signifies that clicking on them will destroy the tag.

Note: In order to prevent inexperienced users from unintentionally destroying a tag (and subsequently removing it from all assets) we have provided a safeguard. By default, users do not have permissions to create or destroy tags. You should have your art leads and tech artists enable tag creation by setting the following:

  • In MyGameEditorUserSettings.ini, add a section for [ContentBrowserSecurity]
  • Under this section, set bIsUserTagAdmin=True
  • This isn't really supposed to be a security system -- it just helps to prevent people from accidentally destroying data.

Tag Groups

Organize tags into groups so you can browse them quickly!

These groups are displayed in your tag filter, too!

Asset Age Tracking

You can also track the date that assets were added!. This lets you find new content more easily by sorting recently-checked-in assets to the top.

Collection Copy and Rename

You can easily copy and rename collections. This lets you promote Private collections to Shared collections and vice-versa, too. Just right click on a collection to bring up the menu.

Excluding from Search

You can also exclude assets from your search by prefixing terms with a minus character. (e.g. "DoWant -DoNotWant")

Sorting Thumbnails

On the main window is a Sort Button so you can change how thumbnails are sorted without opening the list.

Multiple Content Browser Windows

There's also support for multiple browser windows open at the same time.

When assets are selected in more than one browser, you'll see a solid rectangle around the active selection and dotted borders in other browsers. This lets you know which selection is effective in actions such as Fill Property from Browser, etc.

Filter Panel


The text filter can be used to accomplish most filtering tasks.

You can search simply by typing in a term of interest. For example, to find explosions simply type the word "explosion".

You can further refine the search by adding more search terms. Terms can be excluded from the search by prefixing them with a '-'. For example "explosion dust -electric" will show only assets which have the words 'explosion' and 'dust' but do not have the word 'electric' somewhere in the package or group name, in the tags, in the type or in the name of the asset itself. This behavior can be controlled by clicking the to expand it, and toggling one or more of the options.

The options are:

Name Whether to search for terms in the name of an asset. e.g. The term "expl" would be found in an asset named "M_FX_ExplosionFramed_Alpha"
Path Whether to search for terms in the package or group names in which this asset resides. Note that enabling this option will return many results. e.g. The the asset "FX_VehicleExplosions.Materials.M_FX_ExplosionFramed_Alpha" would match many terms including "vehi", "expl", "mat", "alpha", and many others.
Tags Whether to search in the tags applied to an asset. e.g. An asset tagged as "Explosion" would match the terms "Explosion" as well as partial terms such as "expl".
Type Whether to search in an asset's type. e.g. Any particle system would match the term "ParticleSystem".

The filter behavior can be further controlled by clicking on and selecting "Match Any" or "Match All" from the options.

Match All Show assets that contained every one of the specified terms in any of the selected fields (name, path, tags or type).
Match Any Show assets that contained one or more terms in any of the selected fields.

Once you are well versed with the text filter, you can use to collapse the extended filter options.

Extended Filter

The extended filter panel can further filter down the visible assets without any need for typing. The filters are applied from left to right, so altering filter settings on the left will affect the options available further to the right.

On the far left the status filter controls whether loaded, unloaded, tagged, and untagged assets are shown. For example, to see only assets that are currently loaded select the 'Loaded' item:

Now suppose you are looking to add some environment meshes to a level. You begin with an empty filter.

Select the 'Static Mesh' option from the Object Type column to see only Static Meshes. Notice that the number next to each tag has updated to reflect how many assets tagged with that tag remain. For instance, the number of assets tagged with Character filtered down from 10 to 1 and Destroyed filtered down from 7 to 6.

Select the 'Deco' and 'Scenery' tags to see only 'Deco' and 'Scenery' meshes. Notice that the next tag column has become activated and displays a further refined set of tags with updated asset counts.

Now select 'Building' and 'Foliage' to see meshes that are Building or Foliage. The final list of tags has become activated.

Potential Problems Filtering

Quarantined Assets

This tag includes all assets that have been quarantined by developers.


Static Meshes with Bad UV Sets

This tag includes static meshes that have overlapping UV coordinates. This is helpful in finding meshes that are causing problems when trying to perform light mapping. However, this may be intended as some meshes may want to share the same texture space in order to save memory.


Opening a static mesh reveals that one of the UV sets has overlapping coordinates.


Static Meshes with Lightmap Resolution at 0

This tag includes static meshes that have their default light map resolution set at zero. This is helpful in finding meshes that are causing problems when trying to perform light mapping.


Opening a static mesh reveals that its LightMapResolution is set to zero.


Static Meshes with Missing UV Sets

This tag includes static meshes that do not have a second set of unique UV coordinates used for light mapping. This however may be intentional by the content creator as the first set of UV coordinates may already be unique for light mapping purposes.


Opening a static mesh reveals that it only has one set of UV coordinates.


Quarantine Mode

Quarantine mode allows you to view quarantined assets, as well as toggle Quarantine on or off on those assets. Quarantined assets are not normally visible within the Content Browser, when it is not in Quarantine Mode. Quarantining assets is a method of marking assets contained within packages that have been determined to be old, invalid, or otherwise not to be used.

To switch the Content Browser to to Quarantine mode, left click on the combo box in the top right hand corner of the Content Browser. Left click on Quarantine Mode.


The Content Browser is now in Quarantine mode.


To quarantine an asset, right click on it to bring up the content menu. Left click on Toggle Quarantined to quarantine it or not. You can also use Ctrl+Q as a keyboard short cut to perform this action.


The asset is now quarantined.


Switching the Content Browser back to normal, now hides the quarantined asset.


After you have quarantined assets, you can then use the delete quarantine commandlet to automatically and safely delete these assets. Please read DeleteQuarantinedContentCommandlet for more information on this commandlet.

Quick Reference

Action / Hotkey Effect
Ctrl+Shift+F Focus the text search textbox (from anywhere in UnrealEd).
RMB + Drag Pan around the Thumbnail view
Space Preview selected asset (currently only applies to sounds)
Ctrl+A Select all assets
Ctrl+Shift+A Set the source to AllAssets
Shift+Click on arrow in TreeView Expand/Collapse recursively
B (Hold) Enlarges the color-coded border around asset thumbnails while button is held down

Content Browser Database

The Content Browser uses a special database to store information about all assets in your game. Many of the browser's most useful features require the database to be correctly configured and actively maintained.

See the Content Browser Database page for instructions on setting up a Game Asset Database.