Parent page: Installation, Licensing & Management
Installation of Altium Designer is both intuitive and fast, courtesy of the Altium Designer Installer. This wizard-based installer streamlines the initial installation process while letting you choose the initial 'flavor' of the installation, in terms of installed functionality.
This page takes a look at the procedure for installing Altium Designer on a computer.
Obtaining the Installer
To access the Altium Designer Installer (commonly referred to as the Online Installer), you need first to download and run a small (approx. 26MB) executable –
AltiumDesignerSetup_<Version>.exe. This executable is downloaded from the Altium Designer section of the Altium website's Downloads page and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.
The standard Altium Designer Installer requires an internet connection to complete the installation process. If it is not possible to run the installer from the target PC, you can install Altium Designer using an offline installation package (commonly referred to as the Offline Installer).
First, you will need to obtain the offline installation package. This is a zipped collection of the necessary installables (including extensions), along with the relevant Altium Designer Installer. The latter simply runs, as per the standard internet-based Installer, only getting the required files from elsewhere in the local unzipped content rather than the Altium Cloud repository.
The Offline Installer can be obtained directly from the Altium Designer section of the Altium website's Downloads page by clicking the Need Offline Installer? link.
A pop-up window will appear, prompting you to enter a reason why you need an Offline Installer. Sometimes firewalls or routers block some of the installation traffic, so that would be a reason, for example. Using the Offline Installer usually resolves this issue.
After entering your reason, click the Submit button. A second pop-up window will confirm that your request has been received. You will be assigned a Case Number with which you can track your request through Altium's Support Center. It can take up to 48 hours for the request to be processed, but typically a response will be received within a few minutes.
Once you receive the confirmation email, go back to the Downloads page – the link will have been replaced with a ZIP file download link. You may need to sign out of your Altium account and then sign back in again for the link to change from a question into a download link.
With the Offline Installer acquired, unzip to the required target PC on which you want to install the software.
Running the Installer
- When using an Online Installer – double-click the
- When using an Offline Installer – browse to the location on your hard disk into which you have unzipped the offline installation package and double-click the
The Altium Designer Installer welcome page will open.
Initial welcome page for the Altium Designer Installer.
The installer itself is wizard-based, providing a set of progressive (and intuitive) pages that collectively gather the information to effectively install the version of the software and its initial feature set as you require.
Click Next to continue. The following sections provide a summary of the various pages you will encounter.
This page of the Installer presents you with the Altium End-User License Agreement (EULA).
Read and accept Altium's End-User License Agreement.
Before you can continue with the installation of the software, you must read through and accept the terms of this agreement. The agreement can be viewed in different languages, including English (the default), German, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.
Clicking the Advanced button will access an Advanced Settings pop-up window. From here, you are able to specify proxy settings, if applicable. Click OK to effect any changes and return to the License Agreement page.
Specify the use of basic authentication using proxy settings as part of advanced options for the installation.
With the EULA read, continue with the installation by checking the I accept the agreement box, then click the Next button.
If you have an existing installation of Altium Designer, and that installation can be updated to the new version you are trying to install now, an additional page of the Altium Designer Installer wizard will be available – Installation Mode. This page gives you the choice of either updating an existing version instance of Altium Designer or installing it as a separate new version instance. Choose the New installation option to maintain separate version instances of the software on the same computer. Alternatively, choose the Update existing version option, then use the drop-down field to select the specific instance of the software you wish to update.
If you already have a previous installation of Altium Designer within the same version stream, you can choose to update that version. Or install it as a separate unique instance.
With your choice of installation mode made, click Next to proceed.
You will now be presented with an Account Log In pop-up window. This means logging in to your Altium account – to which your valid license is associated – using your Altium account credentials, linked Google® or Facebook® account, or your organization's Single Sing-On (SSO) authentication system. The reason for this is two-fold:
- First, it verifies your identity and that the installation of the software is valid as determined by your account and licensing.
- Second, it provides secure access to the Altium Cloud Repository in which the installation files reside – the files that are required to be downloaded before the software can be ultimately installed on the PC.
Log in to your account using your AltiumLive Credentials, linked Google® or Facebook® account, or your organization's SSO.
Select Design Functionality
This next page of the Installer allows you to specify which features are installed initially. The
PCB Design option provides the base software and core technologies required to perform PCB design. It is always installed and cannot be deselected. Use the remaining options to tailor the installation to suit your needs. This will also have an impact on the initial installation time!
What initial functionality would you like in your installation of Altium Designer? The choice is yours! This can be changed later if required.
Click to enable the functionality you require. As you select and deselect functionality, the text at the bottom of the page dynamically updates to reflect the size of the download involved and how this translates to required disk space once those downloaded files are installed. Note that the figure given for the amount of downloaded data does not apply to the Offline Installer.
Remember, no matter what decision you take at the initial installation, you can add or remove features and functionality at any stage after installation. This puts you in the driver's seat to fully customize your installation in line with your possibly ever-changing design needs.
After defining the functionality you would like, click Next to proceed.
This next page of the Installer allows you to specify the destination folders for the installation in terms of both the Program Files for the software and the Shared Documents that are accessed and used by the software.
Specify where the software and associated documents are to be installed.
These locations become especially important when installing multiple instances of Altium Designer. If one or both of these destinations is not currently an empty folder (i.e., devoid of content), you will be prevented from proceeding with the installation until you specify alternate (and empty) destination(s).
The default destinations (Windows 7 SP1 and above) are:
To specify alternate locations, type the location directly into the applicable field or click the folder icon at the right of a field and browse for the required destination folder.
Once the install locations are specified, click Next to continue.
Customer Experience Improvement Program
This page is used to choose whether to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. Altium uses the program to enhance our understanding of how our customers use Altium products and services. The data is transmitted via a secure connection so your privacy is protected. You do not need to send us anything; your computer will automatically send usage information to Altium servers, and participation will not impact software performance or cause any work interruptions. The data we collect cannot be used to recreate your work, products or designs.
To participate in the program, enable Yes, I want to participate. To opt out of participation, enable Don't Participate.
Choose whether to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Ready To Install
The Installer now has all the information required to proceed with the installation. If you need to change anything, click the Back button. If you want to cancel the installation, click Cancel.
Ready to begin the installation!
To go ahead and proceed with the installation, click Next.
Installing Altium Designer
The page will change from Ready to Install to Installing Altium Designer, and the installation will proceed with the required files first being downloaded (from the secure cloud-based repository when using an Online Installer) or prepared (from the set of files contained within the unzipped Offline Installation package when using an Offline Installer). Progress of this download/preparation is displayed within the Installer itself.
Installation commences by downloading/preparing the required set of install files.
Once the download/preparation of files is complete, they will be installed, again with progress displayed in the Installer.
After the download/preparation is complete, the software is then installed.
When the installation itself is complete, you have reached the end of the Installer wizard.
That's it; installation is complete!
The Run Altium Designer option is provided to launch Altium Designer when you exit the Installer, which is enabled by default. Click Finish to exit the wizard.
That's it. You have installed Altium Designer on your computer and initially tailored its functionality to suit your design needs. Now it's time to do what you do best and go create that next innovative (and hopefully lucrative) product!
Importing Preferences from a Previous Version or Major Release
After installing and launching your new version of Altium Designer, the Import settings dialog will open in which you can choose to import preferences from the most recent previous installation at startup.
Import settings from your previous version's installation.
Not only will the preferences be imported, but the user settings will also be copied across – ensuring the new version opens with the same look and feel created in the previous version, even down to the last opened project group and panel positioning!
If the option to import preferences upon initial startup is not taken, don't worry – preferences can be quickly imported at any time from within the Preferences dialog: learn more.
Altium Designer Product Improvement Program
As part of working with Altium Designer, you have the ability to participate in Altium's Product Improvement Program. This program helps Altium to improve Altium Designer moving forward by better understanding user behavior and environments. You can commence participation at any time. Conversely, if you initially start participating but later would prefer not to, you are free to stop participating in the program at any time. The option to participate or not is available from the System – Product Improvement page of the Preferences dialog (accessed by clicking the button at the top-right of the design space). Alternatively, you can enable/disable participation using the Product Improvement option on the System – Network Activity page of the Preferences dialog.
For information on how to manage your instance of Altium Designer after initial installation, use the following links:
Extending the Capabilities of Altium Designer
Installing Multiple Instances of the Software
Changing Installed Core Functionality after Installation
Updating to a Later Version