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Libraries & objects
About Archicad and BIMcloud libraries, their management and migration, objects and other library parts, etc.

Install old libraries

Not applicable
Hello all:
Due to a computer meltdown I had to install a fresh copy of Archicad V16 on my new PC. While I was able to save all of my projects I was not able to save the libraries. One of the files I was working on was created in V14 using V14 libraries. Now that I am using V16 when I open up the file I get messages indicating that it cannot find the V14 library components and some older CadImage items. What I am not sure of is whether or not it is possible to install the older libraries without upsetting the V16 libraries. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Karl Ottenstein
You've hit a pet peeve of mine: old libraries cannot just be copied from old CD/DVD's, but instead you have to completely install the old version, grab the library, and then uninstall the un-needed version.

You won't cause any harm/problems by installing as many old versions as you want. Launch the old version with just the default template and do a Check for Updates so that you download the most recent fixes to the library. Copy the library some place safe, and then uninstall the AC program you just installed.

The main issue you'll run into is that typically the LAST installed version of AC is the default version your system will look for if you double-click a PLN file to open it. (Many of us recommend never opening files that way anyway... just because you never know what version the file SHOULD be opened with. The File Open dialog, on the other hand, displays the file version in the lower right corner.) You can fix that in Windows or Mac with steps in another thread... If you're not sure how, one of us can post.

It is also possible (likely) that installing an old version will over-write the current WIBU/CM driver with an old one ... and so you may have to download and install the 16 driver again (from

Finally, it is possible that the Windows Explorer / Mac Finder plug-in that displays the preview icons of MOD, GSM, etc files will be the old version. Not sure how to get that updated other than to reinstall 16...?
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.2, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB

A work around... you could install ArchiCAD 14 on another machine, copy the libraries, then uninstall.

Or find someone with ArchiCAD 14 and have them dropbox the libraries to you.

And of course for ancient libraries...

Also didn't know that ArchiCAD bases which version to open a file with based on the last version installed. Very cool. I guess I never reinstalled old versions after the new version was on...
Jared Banks, AIA
Shoegnome Architects

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JaredBanks wrote:
Also didn't know that ArchiCAD bases which version to open a file with based on the last version installed.
Jared, this is because file-types get associated with the program during installation. Not aware of how it works on a Mac but this surely is the case on windows.
= v i s t a s p =
bT Square Peg
| AC 9-26 INT | Win11 | Ryzen 5700 | 32 GB | RTX 3050 |

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