ARCHICAD 20 Install and Startup Troubleshooting Guide

by Márta Trón · updated: 09.06.2016

The latest ARCHICAD installer can be downloaded from GRAPHISOFT’s Download area.

Note: If you have ARCHICAD 19 and wish to have ARCHICAD 20 on your machine, you need to download and install ARCHICAD 20.  They will function as two separate programs. There is no direct ‘upgrade’ from one ARCHICAD version to the next one.


Before Installation

Strongly recommended to check before installation:

1. Return all borrowed licenses before installing ARCHICAD 20

  • ARCHICAD 20 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.

2. Disable your Antivirus solution for the period of the 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 installARCHICAD and turn back your Antivirus protection before going online again.
  • Affected Antivirus solutions that have been reported by ARCHICAD users:

3. 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.

Also suggested:

4. Check the official System Requirements to make sure your computer is capable of running ARCHICAD 20

5. Install all operating system updates prior installing ARCHICAD

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

6. 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.

Install Instructions

Here you can find a step by step instruction how to install ARCHICAD 20 with a Single Licence.

Deatiled ARCHICAD Network Installation can be found here.

Before Running ARCHICAD 20

1. Make sure that you load the newly purchased or updated license to your license key before running ARCHICAD 20

2. Do not forget to update the protection key driver on your license server

  • If your CodeMeter server is a computer that does not run ARCHICAD make sure you update the driver on that computer as well. To check it, please visit the site. Before installing the latest driver make sure that all licenses have been returned.
  • You can find the installer on the ARCHICAD 20 install disk or it is available for download on GRAPHISOFT’s website.

Troubleshooting, Known Issues

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

When attempting to download and save Trial version in the browser, you may see an error message: “Source file cannot be read” .

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:

Please disable your security software until the download is finished.

ARCHICAD 20 doesn’t accept the Serial

ARCHICAD installed successfully but when entering the serial number a message states that it is wrong.

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 EDUCATIONAL license types.

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 EDUCATIONAL license type.


ARCHICAD 20 shows warning message on startup: „Cannot create temporary documents.”

Issue: Starting ARCHICAD 20 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.

a) Delete the contents of the AutoSave folder;
b) Check and change the permissions of the current user.


Installing ARCHICAD 19 after ARCHICAD 20 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 20 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 AC20, from here, but it is recommended to let the AC installer do the work.

More about Java compatibility: Install/Java


ARCHICAD 20 cannot be installed on this platform



  • Issue: The same phenomenon comes as in the previous issue: After starting the installer from the DVD multimedia panel with clicking on the Install GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD 20 an error comes:
    “AC20 cannot be installed on this platform”
    Although the platform suits the requirements.
  • Solution: Starting the Setup.exe from the ArchiCAD 20 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.

CineRender Error

Cause: There is no Media Foundation Platform installed on Windows N and Windows KN versions.

Solution: Download and install:

ARCHICAD system requirements

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