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Archicad 21 Install and Start-up Troubleshooting Guide

Monika Szekretar
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni

Before Installing Archicad 21

If you install Archicad the first time, these steps are recommended to check:

Check the official System Requirements to make sure your computer is capable of running Archicad 21

  • You can find Archicad 21 System Requirements of Graphisoft’s website.
  • On this link you can find the Recommended Hardware configurations.

Disable your Antivirus solution for the period of installation

  • The current Antivirus software are really effective, in many cases they even block files that are not infected – this may cause problems during the installation (for extra safety you can scan the Graphisoft installer before the installation; all Graphisoft provided packages go through virus checking during the Quality Control process).
  • Disconnect all of your network connections (both connection via cable and wifi) – to avoid accidental infection, disable your Antivirus solution then install Archicad and turn back your Antivirus protection before going online again.
  • Affected Antivirus solutions that have been reported by Archicad users: Teamwork/AVG

Install all operating system updates prior installing Archicad

  • On Mac: Apple button on menu bar, Software update
  • On Windows: Start menu, Windows update

Make sure the current user has administrative rights

  • The installation requires administrative rights, privileges.
  • Use an administrator account for the installation of Archicad and its components.

If you have already installed previous version of Archicad on your computer, these steps are strongly recommend to check:

Return all borrowed license before installing Archicad 21

  • Archicad 21 installer removes the previous CodeMeter driver along with information on the borrowed licenses.
  • Not doing so will cause these licenses to be lost for the borrowing period.
  • More details about License Borrowing can be found on this link.

Disconnect your locally inserted protection key for the period of the installation

  • The protection key driver may be updated during the installation.
  • To avoid any driver related error, disconnect your protection key before running the installer.

Compatibility of Archicad 21 with previous version of Archicad

  • If you have previous version of Archicad installed on your computer and wish to have Archicad 21, you need to download and install Archicad 21. They will function as two separate programs. There is no direct upgrade from one Archicad versions to the next one.

Install Instructions

  • On this link you can find a step by step instruction how to install Archicad 21 with a Single License.
  • On this link you can find the Detailed Archicad Network Installation.
NOTE: Installation of Archicad 21 doesn’t require a license. It will request for license when you open Archicad the first time.

Before Running Archicad 21

License types

  • Installation of Archicad 21 doesn’t require a license. When open Archicad the first time, it recognizes whether you have a license or not.
  • If you don’t have a license for Archicad 21, you can open it only in Demo Mode after installation. Demo Mode gives you the opportunity to open Archicad files, view and try out functions, but you can’t save Archicad files.
  • Running Archicad with a license, you can choose from three options: Trial License, Education License or Commercial License. In case of using Trial or Education License, a serial number is needed, which can be obtained by registering at MyArchicad website. Read here what to do when the serial number is not accepted. To run Commercial License, you need a hardware key (CodeMeter) or a software key.
  • More details about License Types can be found here.

If you have a Commercial License, these points are strongly recommended to check:

Make sure that you load the newly purchased or updated license to your license key before running Archicad 21

  • Use the License Manager Tool (LMT) for this purpose.
  • If your CodeMeter server is a computer that does not run Archicad make sure you update the driver on that computer as well. By using License Manager Tool your CodeMeter driver will be always up-to-date.
  • If you don't have LMT installed on the server machine you can find the latest supported CodeMeter driver on Graphisoft’s website. Before installing the latest driver make sure that all licenses have been returned.

Troubleshooting, Known Issues

“Source file cannot be read” message comes at downloading Trial version

  • Issue When attempting to download and save Trial version in the browser, you may see an error message: “Source file cannot be read”.
  • Cause Usually this kind of error can occur if the connection to the server was interrupted during the download. It is possible that your security software is scanning and locking the file. Please check this page:
  • Solution Please disable your security software until the download is finished.

Archicad 21 doesn’t accept the Serial Number

  • Issue Archicad installed successfully but when entering the serial number a message states that it is wrong.
  • Cause a) It is possible that you mistype your serial. b) It is possible that you did not activate your Archicad according to your license type. It is possible to choose either Trial or Education license types.
  • Solution a) Use Copy & Paste to avoid mistyping. b) Please check if you have chosen the appropriate activating option at starting Archicad: You can choose either Trial or Education license type.

Archicad 21 shows warning message on startup: „Cannot create temporary documents.”

  • Issue Starting Archicad 21 on Windows Operating System gives a warning message: "Cannot create temporary documents.” Previous Archicad versions are also affected with this issue.
  • Cause archicad.temp can’t be created because: a) The AutoSave folder is full (it can contain maximum 50 folders). b) The user doesn’t have the rights to write and read the AutoSave folder.
  • Solution a) Delete the contents of the AutoSave folder. b) Check and change the permissions of the current user.

Installing Archicad 19 or earlier version after Archicad 21 on a new computer requires Java downgrade

  • Issue With the Java 8 the installer of Archicad 19 and earlier versions will not start if an Archicad 21 has been installed previously on the computer.
  • Solution The Java 8 has to be removed from the computer (Java for Archicad). With the Java 8 uninstalled, the Archicad 19 installer will automatically install the required Java version prior the installation.

The install process is halted

  • Issue After extracting the install file, the process stops. The Java version is probably incompatible.
  • Solution Remove Java from the Start Menu › Control Panel › Programs and features. If the uninstall is unsuccessful, Java might be corrupted, and a Cleanup Utility might have to be used. Following the uninstall, let the Archicad installer Install the proper version of Java 8. You can also install Java manually before installing Archicad 21 from this link, but it is recommended to let the Archicad installer do the work.
  • More about Java compatibility: Install/Java

Archicad 21 cannot be installed on this platform

  • Issue The same phenomenon comes as in the previous issue: After starting the installer from the USB stick multimedia panel with clicking on the Install Graphisoft Archicad 21 an error comes: “Archicad 21 cannot be installed on this platform”
  • Solution Starting the Setup.exe from the Archicad 21 folder from the file menu will work the problem around.

Error at startup: “<file-name>.dll is missing from your computer”

  • Issue At the first start of Archicad you get “mfplat.dll is missing from your computer” or “libmmd.dll is missing from your computer” error.

HP Designjet printer does not work with Archicad 21 on Windows 10

  • Issue HP Designjet printer does not work with Archicad 21 on Windows 10.
  • Cause With the introduction of Windows 10, Archicad 21 shifted from being Windows 7 compatible to Windows 10 compatible. In order for the printer driver to communicate properly to the printer through a Windows 10 compatible application like Archicad 21, the printer driver should be an up-to-date driver from printer manufacturer that fully supports Windows 10.HP published a document for HP printers and the Windows 10 operating system compatibility can be found at the following link: Please search whether your printer is supported by a Windows 10 driver. In case you have updated the printer driver to the latest available version and Print command does not work in Archicad 21 but continues to work for Archicad 20, then the printer driver is not fully supporting Windows 10 for the advanced printing functions that Archicad requires.
  • Solution In case the printer manufacturer has not updated its drivers for Windows 10, instead of using the Print command for printing your drawings, save the drawing in .PDF format and print through Adobe Acrobat Reader or any other compatible PDF reader.

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