In the Main Menu, click Help, Update.

Using Version shows your current version of Open Dental.

To update Open Dental versions, your location must be on support and have a unique registration key.



Webinar: How to Update Versions

Install an Update (new build, new stable, new beta)

Before updating, the Open Dental program must be shut down on all computers. This process can be completed automatically using the shutdown tool that opens when you click Install.

Setup: Enter your registration keys. Usually you will only do this when you first install the full version of Open Dental. See Update Setup below.

Click Check for Updates to check for eligible updates. A list of available downloads will populate.

Click Install next to the version you want to install.

New build for current version: A minor build update for the currently installed version. Includes all of the latest bug fixes for the version.

New stable version: This version has gone through the beta testing phase and is considered stable. It will contain new and enhanced features. If you have already installed the latest stable version, this option will not be available.

New beta version: This version will contain the newest features, but will likely have some bugs. It is available to all practices, but should only be installed if you are willing to take a small risk. We recommend updating to the newest build regularly if you choose this option. If you have already installed the latest beta version, this option will not be available.

For users with an active registration key, the most recent versions are always available for install. If you do not have an active registration key (no longer on support), you can only install versions that were available as of the date the key became inactive.

Any announcements associated with the update will show. Read carefully before proceeding.

  • Once you install and run the update, all other computers will automatically update when the program is first opened so you can easily keep all your computers updated.
  • If you update from a computer that is running a higher version of Open Dental than the database (server) it connects to, the server will also update and other workstations connected to the server will update the next time they start Open Dental.
  • Usually Open Dental will automatically backup the database during an update as a preventive measure. Large enterprise organizations that update often and have a comprehensive backup strategy can contact Open Dental technical support to disable this process.

Update in Progress: If anyone attempts to launch Open Dental during an update, they will receive a notification that an update is in progress. Typically the user should wait a few minutes, then click Try Again.

An Override button will be visible on the computer that started the update or on admin computers listed in FreeDentalConfig.xml. Click to stop the update and launch Open Dental.

View a History of Updates

To view a historical list of version updates (16.1 and greater), click Show Previous Versions on the Update window.

Update Setup

Usually you will only access the Setup area when you first install the full version of Open Dental. At the top of the Update window, click Setup.

Most of these values will not change.

  • The Setup Security Permission is required for a user to open this window.
  • The Security Admin Permission is required to change the registration key or save changes.
  • Registration Key: Click Change to enter a valid registration key supplied by Open Dental (usually in your welcome email.)

    Simultaneously update other databases: Only for offices that always run multiple databases. For example, multiple dental offices are consolidated in one physical location with a common reception area. In these situations:

    1. Pick one main database from which you will always perform updates.
    2. In that database, open the Update Setup window, and enter the names of all the other databases.
    3. Follow this sequence to perform an update:
      • Use the Shutdown Tool on all databases other than the main database.
      • Update the main database. This locks users out of all databases at once.
      • Open up each of the other databases. Users will be locked out until this is done.

    Show buttons for MSI: Enterprise users may want to use an OpenDental.msi instead of OpenDental.exe. Check this box to show buttons for msi. When you return to the main Update window, you will see the option to download the msi instead of the exe.

    Update Notification Time: Start a countdown to an update that shows on all workstations.

    1. Click Change.
    2. Select the date.
    3. Select the estimated update time.
    4. Click OK.

    The time remaining until the update will show in the title bar of all workstations and will update every 5 seconds.

    Update In: 6 hours, 43 minutes

    The install and download msi buttons will also be disabled. Once the date/time has passed, the countdown will no longer show and buttons will enable again.

    Note: The update will not automatically occur once the countdown ends. It must still be manually started.

    Recopy: Click to update the Update Files folder in the A to Z folder with files from the most currently installed version.

    Updates for Enterprise Users

    Enterprise users who do not allow normal users to have administrative privileges and prefer to centrally manage all software updates can use the standard Windows solution for pushing updates. Use a Group Policy to enable per machine software assignment. For a tutorial, see the Advanced Installer User Guide. Updates are covered in step 6, "Redeploy an MSI package".

    Updates for Foreign (Non-U.S.) Users

    Foreign releases of beta versions require additional time for bug testing, so users outside the U.S. may note a delay.


    When I run Setup.exe, the first screen gives three options of Modify, Repair, and Uninstall instead of notifying me it is updating (e.g. from to

    Click cancel and try the download again. It is just trying to reinstall the version you already have installed. You will run into issues like this if you take a copy of your database home. When you run Setup.exe on your home computer, it will try to update the program, but might not have access to the most recent download. If you switch databases (Choose Database window), it may not be able to locate the Setup.exe depending on Data Paths setup. If you install the update from a disk, you won't even use the window above.

    When updating a second computer, I receive the message "The expected version information was not found in this file "\OpenDentImages\UpdateFiles\Manifest.txt. There is probably a permission issue on that folder which should be fixed."

    On the first computer (where the update did work), right click on the Open Dental icon and Run as Administrator. Click Help, Update, then click Setup in the upper left. On the Update Setup window, click Recopy. Return to the second computer and try the update again.

    When updating, I receive the message "The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden."

    Update the Website Path for Updates field to point to https://www.opendental.com/updates/

    Update fails and the database becomes corrupt.

    Revert back to an older version. Older version setup.exe files are usually located in the OpenDentImages\SetupFiles folder. Follow these steps.

    1. Log every workstation out of Open Dental.
    2. Stop the MySQL service.
    3. Rename the corrupted database (include the version number in the name).
    4. Locate the backup made during the update and make a copy of it. Rename the copy with the same name as the original database. If you have trouble renaming the database, you may need to pause or stop backups or antivirus software.
    5. Move the renamed database to the original database path.
    6. Restart the MySQL service.
    7. Uninstall Open Dental.
    8. Run the Open Dental setup.exe file for older version.
    9. Verify everything is working on server.
    10. Log into every workstation. The Open Dental version on the workstation should still be the 'old' version. If not, then repeat steps 7 and 8 on the workstation.

    Receive a warning error during an update that you will lose data, with an option to continue or abort.

    If you choose to continue and want to retrieve lost data, contact Open Dental support and request an escalation to an engineer.