Tutorial: Install Multiple Versions of Silhouette Studio on One Computer

Updated August 5th, 2014

AngeliCutsDOTcom_multipleversionsofSSinstalledI recently had to reinstall Windows 7 64-bit, so I thought I would write out what I did to install multiple versions of Silhouette Studio on the same computer.  Special steps are needed to keep the different versions; otherwise the newer versions of Silhouette Studio will delete the older ones.

Silhouette America has the legacy version 2.9.45 and the current version, 3.0.531 3.1.417, is available on their website here.  If you still have the CD that came with your Cameo, it should have version 2.0.0 on it.  The Portrait CD should have a later version of V2 on it.

Part 1

  1. If you have Silhouette Studio (any version) installed, backup these two folders*:
    1. C:\ProgramData\com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio.8
    2. C:\ProgramData\com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio.license
      • *You may need to set hidden files to be shown to see the “ProgramData” folder by clicking Organize in Windows Explorer and choosing “Folder and Search Options”.  In the View tab, click the circle for “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”, click Apply, and then OK.
        • Alternatively, you may find the folders in the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ folder instead.
          • If you still can’t find the folder, do a file search for “com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio” in your main drive (typically “C”).
  2. Uninstall the existing Silhouette Studio.
  3. Restart your computer.

Part 2

  1. Install the oldest version of Silhouette Studio that you want.
    1. During the install, change the folder destination by adding the version number.  Do not put a space between “Studio” and the version number. Examples:
      • C:\Program Files (x86)\Silhouette StudioV2.0.0
        OR
      • C:\Program Files (x86)\Silhouette StudioV2.9.45
    2. Uncheck “Run Program” and exit the installer when it is finished.
  2. After the installation is complete, go to the folder in Windows Explorer and add a space to the folder name. Examples:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Silhouette Studio V2.0.0
      OR
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Silhouette Studio V2.9.45
  3. Rename the Silhouette Studio.exe by adding the version number. Examples:
    • Silhouette Studio V2.0.0.exe
      OR
    • Silhouette Studio V2.9.45.exe
  4. Make a shortcut on your desktop to this version by right-clicking on the executable and choose Send to->Desktop (Create Shortcut).
  5. Install the next version by repeating 1-4 with the appropriate version number for the naming.

Part 3

  1. Restore your backups back to the appropriate folder listed in part 1.
  2. Optional step: Disable “Check for Updates” in the software’s settings.*
    • *Every version will be affected by this change, so you only have to do it once!
  3. Optional step: Clean up the shortcut names on your desktop and change the icons to help differentiate between the versions.

You’re Done!

All versions should now work and if you have already registered your Designer Edition, they will all have Designer Edition enabled!*

  • *In my experience, Silhouette Studio V3 somehow breaks the license files.  If you open V3 and then later open V1 or V2, you will not have Designer Edition enabled.  The only fix I currently know for this is to copy your backup back over after using V3.  I will be looking into a true fix for this.
    As of August 4th, 2014, this is no longer true.  The newest release of Silhouette Studio V3.1.417 has fixed this issue.  If you registered your designer edition in V2, it will show up in V3.

Want to uninstall one of the versions?
If you look in Program and Features in the Control Panel, you’ll notice only one version of Silhouette Studio is shown as installed.  It is the most recent one you’ve installed.  To uninstall one of the other versions, delete the folder from Program Files x86 and the corresponding shortcut from the desktop.

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31 thoughts on “Tutorial: Install Multiple Versions of Silhouette Studio on One Computer”

  1. Thank you for such an easy to understand tutorial. I have been getting very frustrated with the whole librry backup fron v2 and you are the only person I have found who mentions showing hidden folders.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad I could help someone. I know how frustrating it can be trying to follow instructions when necessary information is left out!!

  2. when you talk about backing up the files, are you saying to back them up to some other place off of your computer, an external device, or maybe some backup program you may have installed? Will just following your instructions about that part automatically back up the information? Sorry to be so dense

    1. You’re not being dense at all! I should have given an example. For short term use, I copy the folders and paste them onto my desktop. For long term backup, I make a named folder with today’s date and program name, then copy and paste the folders in that folder. I use a removable drive for long term backup. Flash drive would work too!

      And no, it’s not automatic. I did find a program that can back it up for you as long as you tell it which folders to backup first and you can set it to periodically back it up. Are you interested in that?

    1. Hello Linda! You need to go to Silhouette America’s website and choose from the drop-down menu whether you’re on a Mac or Windows, then click “Download”. Follow the instructions on how to install that are further down on the page.

      If you want to install both V2 and V3 and have Windows, you can follow my instructions that I have written. The legacy V2 download is further down on the same page as you download V3 from. This is the page: http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software/silhouette-studio

  3. Thanks so much for these instructions. I have a question though: Why was the Part 1 backup necessary? I went ahead and did it because it’s never a bad idea to backup. In Step 3, it said to restore the backup. It appeared that all of my files are accounted for, so I did NOT restore. Is there something I missed as to the necessity of the restore? :)

    1. You’re welcome, Paula, and yes, when I wrote the guide, it was a necessity because V3 was altering the contents of the license folder and de-registering my Designer Edition in V2. By deleting it and copying over my backup, I restore my license without having to enter the code again. I hope that answers your question sufficiently! :)

      1. I have only had v3 and want to install a legacy version to be able to save as SVG. Will I need to back up my license file first? Or should I install the legacy version, activate the DE, then back up the hidden files? Thanks!

      2. Which version of V3 do you have? If it’s the August 2014 version (3.1.417) or newer, you can go ahead and backup your license folder first before uninstalling V3.

        If you backup the license file, you don’t need to activate the legacy version by entering the key like you did in V3. Simply copy the license folder back over if the legacy version doesn’t say it’s the designer edition in the Help-About. The license folder should still be there even if you uninstall, though. I say to back the license folder up in case one of the versions corrupts something in the license folder (like an earlier version of V3 did) and you can restore it easily.

  4. I got it to work!!!! Thanks for the tutorial! Backing up those license files is really the key to it. I did have to have Silhouette reset my licenses though. The first time I went though things I must have messed something up and received an error of “Incompatible License”. In the end I had to activate in both versions so it used up my 2 authorizations, but it works. Before installing the new version I changed the name of the older Silhouette Studio.exe and backed up that folder because the new version overwrote the entire thing. I am now running version 1.9 and version 3.451 both Designer Editions. Maybe I had to do a couple more steps because I am running Windows 8.1. I followed some of the directions from this tutorial with the changing of the name of the older version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaL6PlV6Aq8

    1. Abby, I hope you see this so you can help me. Or maybe even Angelica can help me understand where I went wrong. I followed your tutorial above and everything seemed to be working great and then a few days later, I noticed that my designer edition stopped working in one of my versions. I don’t know how important the step of rebooting is between the installs of each of the versions, but I think I may have forgotten to do that. I would like to be able to run 1.9, the Version 2.9.45, as well as the latest Version of 3. I deactivated my Designer Edition before doing any of this? Was a supposed to? I need to get my key reset because I’m out of installs for DE. Also, when I go to uninstall all three versions, I am only able to “uninstall” one of them. Do I just delete the exe files for the other two? Should I delete any other files. Any help and/or advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.

      1. Hi Paula. I don’t know how much help I will be. I opened mine to see if they were working still, and my v3.451 is working fine and showing up as a DE. But, my v1.9 no longer says DE and saving as an .svg is showing up empty. After I had backed up the hidden folders I did deactivate my DE on my newest version. I kept a copy of those hidden folders and just tried replacing them hoping it would work to fix the situation and it did not. So, mine has done the same thing as yours. Sorry :-( I was able to re-upgrade the v1.9 today and get it working. That is after I had re-backed up the hidden files just in case and then went back to the old version. I have no idea what is going on.

  5. Thanks for the reply, Abby. I think I’m gong to just forget about Version 3 altogether. It seems to cause more problems for me than it solves. First and foremost, what I don’t like about it (and Silhouette Support did not answer this question) is the jagged lines of my shapes and text. It doesn’t cut this way, but it drives me nuts looking at my design on the screen. Does yours do this? I had both Versions 1.9 and 2.9.45 working without any problems. That’s good enough for me. :)

  6. Okay I am still having the problem with the license key breaking if I open v3 and then open v1.9 what do you recommend? Backing up the license key in 1.9 and then copying over it when I am done in v3 and open v1.9 agin? I am a little lost and it is killing me the number of times I have had to reset my license key (P.S. it makes me put in the license key each time for each version) :(

  7. Hello- i am actually the one who posted the youtube video proof of 2 versions of shiloete studio working.

    i cannot find the liscense key to back it up, this is driving me nuts, im using the same setup i used to but the designer key is unregistering and i need to find it.

    1. i found it on my windows 8 machine, still looking on my windows 7. if i can backup the key i will be happy. i wonder if i can use the files i found on my windows 8 on my windows 7, not going to try.

      1. ok i found it. windows refused to find these files in search for me, but on widows 7 they were under C:/Users/All Users found both folders. im so excited! im glad to see a good discussion of this and someone referenced my video.

      2. Hi, Guy Stevens. I’m glad that you were able to find the files on Windows 8!

        I had to delete a couple of your comments though because you brought up an issue that I purposefully omitted the possibility of it from my tutorial, because I was concerned that people were going to try it. I think that Silhouette America should be paid for their work. Although the Designer Edition is retail priced at $50, it’s currently available on Amazon US for $25 – http://amzn.to/1Nols9i (affiliate link). Silhouette America discounts it to this price several times throughout the year as well.

        Despite the chance that people would use it for ill-gotten gain, I still posted this tutorial because I also think that the consumer should be able to backup their files (files that Silhouette America’s tech support is notorious for making the consumer LOSE when they call asking for help!) and use multiple versions of the same software when features have been taken away between versions. I hope you can understand my position and I wish you the best in writing your ultimate tutorial!

  8. Your site Angelica, its nice and i understand completely.
    Silhouette america is great but their software is a nightmare to get working the way a power user needs it to run.

    But to anyone reading, dont get discouraged, if you google enough times you will find the answers you seek.

  9. Angelica,
    Maybe you can help me. I have tried to run two versions of Silhouette but have the same problems of license codes disappearing. Haveing decided it is too much of a hassle I have now installed Silhouette V1.9 on another computer in my home deciding to shift the files over the network. My version 1.9 don’t want to upgrade and I keep getting a message “cannot connect to server” I have tried both my license keys.
    I have seen on other forums some people have the same problem.

    1. Any versions of Silhouette Studio that were released before June 12 2015 can no longer be upgraded. :( I have not tried this myself, but I want you to try a workaround for me that I think may work.

      1. On the second computer with only V1.9, rename the Silhouette Studio folder and the exe file.
      2. Download the latest legacy version (v2.9.67) from Silhouette here: http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software/silhouette-studio/legacy-software
      3. Install and upgrade V2.9.67. Close the program after it completes the upgrade.
      4. Locate the license folder. Right click the folder and choose “Properties”, and then check the mark to set the folder and its contents as, “Read Only”.
      5. Backup your license folder in a separate location.
      6. Open V1.9 and check if it has been upgraded too from Help->About.
      7. Respond to my comment and tell me if it worked or not!

  10. I can get silhouette 1.9 and 2.9 to work fine but when I try and down load silhouette 3.4 I can no longer save as a SVG … been working on this for a couple of days now can someone explain what I am doing wrong. Running windows 8 if that helps

    1. I gave up getting it to work. Version 3 always rewrote the licenses for 1.9/2.0. I put 1.9 on a different computer that I rarely use, but it is there if I need it. Sorry I am of no help. Since older versions no longer work with the store I have a feeling they rewrote the program to be more secure on their end.

    2. I think only the older versions (1.9 & 2.0) save files as SVG…..that’s the reason for having the 2 versions…..

      1. Yes, that’s one of the reasons that people want to run multiple versions. Another is that V2.xx (known as “legacy”) is very different from V3.xx, which is in active development. Some features have been removed between versions, and V2 and V3 are very different. Even if you regularly work in V2, you may need V3 to use your Pixscan mat.

  11. How did you go about changing the color of your silhouette icons so that you could tell the difference between the versions?

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