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HOW TO: Update FileMaker Server v19+ to v20.1.2 on Windows Server

Step-by-step instructions to update an existing installation of FileMaker Server 19 or greater for 6-in-1 to the latest version on Windows.

The latest version of FileMaker Server has some important performance enhancements.  We recommend updating to the latest version when it's convenient.  This article includes step-by-step instructions to upgrade your FileMaker Server version 19.0 or greater to the latest version of FileMaker Server.  This article is based on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition, but is applicable for similar Windows Server editions.

Table of Contents


1) Overview

The process of updating FileMaker Server from earlier versions of FileMaker Server 19.x has been greatly simplified as of version 19.6.  We can now simply run the same installer that we use for new installations.  The installer will see that FileMaker Server 19 is already installed, and simply update it to the latest version.  Prior to now, the added step of uninstall followed by a reinstall was required.  

These instructions assume that you’re updating a FileMaker Server installation for 6-in-1, so skips steps that might be necessary for different usage.  For example, we do not use server-side script schedules, etc., so we do not take the time to backup those types of settings as Claris’ guide would indicate.  If you have customized your installation in any way, or have any concerns/questions, please refer to Claris’ installation instructions here:

2) Warnings and Important Notes

Please read the following important notes and warnings:  

  • This document uses the acronym, FMS for FileMaker Server throughout.
  • The marketing name for FileMaker Server 20 is FileMaker Server 2023.  Claris has moved to the common practice of naming software releases by the calendar year.  Behind the ‘hood’, the version number is 20, and is the reference we use in this documentation.
  • This guide assumes that no version of FMS currently exists on the target machine:  FMS cannot co-exist in parallel to other versions of the product installed on the same machine.  For example, if you have FMS 11 installed, you cannot ALSO have FMS 20 installed on the same machine.  If you are updating an existing installation of FMS, version 19.0 or later, please refer to the article that steps you through that process here.  If your server has a version of FMS that is OLDER than 19, it must be completely uninstalled before continuing.  
  • Please take special note of the system requirements.
  • You will need local administrative privileges in order to complete this process.
  • You should close all programs and save your work prior to proceeding.  
  • This installation will require restarting the server at least once, but sometimes more.
  • These instructions are based on Windows Server 2022, Standard edition, but should be generally equivalent for other supported versions of Windows Server.
  • FMS Credentials:  There are several references to FMS Credentials in these instructions.  These are used in the web-based admin console as well as at the command prompt when executing commands.  This installer sets the credentials as follows:
         Username:    lackner
         Password:    lackner (all lower-case)


3) System Requirements

If you have successfully installed FileMaker 19 Server on this machine, you may be within the required specifications already.  Briefly, Windows Server 2019 and 2022 (Standard and Datacenter editions) are the officially supported Windows operating systems.  However, specifics about the technical specifications and requirements are available here:

If you have any questions about your particular environment, please feel free to reach out to support here: 

4) Download and extract the latest version

  1. Download the latest installation package from the following page:  Note the version and date on the website.

  2. Open the self-extracting archive by right-clicking on the package and selecting Run as administrator for the contextual menu.

  3. If prompted by User Access Control (UAC), press Yes.

  4. Enter the password, showtime when prompted, then press Next.

  5. When extraction is complete, the extracted folder will automatically be opened and will display as presented in the figure below.  Note that a copy of these instructions is included at the root of the folder.


5) Verify Cache Settings

The cache settings for your FileMaker Server installation may have been adjusted from the default 512MB.  Having this optimized can greatly improve the overall performance of your server.  The update process usually persists these settings, but it’s good to double-check, and even make adjustments if your hardware (memory) configuration has changed.

  1. Open the command prompt
  2. Enter a command to check the cache size:

          fmsadmin get serverconfig cachesize
  3. Enter FMS credentials when prompted.  See the Notes & Warnings section at the top of this article for details about FMS credentials.  In this example, the cache size remains at the default 512MB.

    NOTE:  We recommend using as much cache as your system configuration can afford.  There are instructions for adjusting this setting at Step 9, after the installation of the update. 
  4. You can close the command prompt now.


6) Disconnect Users and Close Databases

The installer will stop the FileMaker Server service during installation and restart it upon completion.  Before continuing, it’s best practice to make sure all users are out of the system, and then close all databases.

  1. Log into the admin console by opening your browser and navigating to http://localhost:16001.  As mentioned earlier, see the Notes & Warnings section at the top of this article for details about FMS credentials. 

  2. Upon login, note your current version (see screenshot in the next step).

  3. Check if any users are still connected as indicated by the Total Connections value on the top left part of the dashboard.  If there are, continue, otherwise skip to Step 7.  Note that in our example, the console is showing that there is one user still in the system.

  4. To disconnect any remaining users, navigate to the Databases tab, select All Databases, select all of the Users in the resulting user list, and then click Disconnect.

  5. In the resulting dialog, write a message to the connected users and then press OK.  By default, they’ll be given 2 minutes before they’re automatically disconnected.

  6. Any connected users will see something that looks like this:

  7. Now, close all databases:  From within the same Databases tab, open the drop-down options button on the right side of the All Databases header, and select Close All.

  8. Finally… while not required, we typically close the admin console browser once we have confirmed that all users are disconnected, and all databases are closed.  This is simply to avoid any confusion when the service goes off-line.


7) Start the installer

  1. Navigate to the FileMaker Server 20.1.2  folder nested inside the newly extracted folder.
  2. Start the installer by right-clicking on Setup.exe, and choose Run as administrator.  You will be prompted to allow changes on this device.  Please press Yes.


  3. When prompted to choose a language, please choose English. Press OK.

  4. The installer may need to update the Microsoft Application Request Routing.  If so, you may be prompted to restart your server.  Press Yes.

    NOTE:  When this happens, you may be required to restart the Setup.exe after your server reboots.  If so, please go back to the beginning of Step 7 above.
  5. If the FileMaker Server service is still running, you’ll be prompted to allow the installer to shut it down.  Pressing No will cancel the installation.  Press Yes.

  6. Next, you’ll be presented with the installation wizard.  Press Next.

  7. Next, you’ll be asked to accept the license agreement. Choose I accept and then press Next.

  8. Sometimes there is a pause while the installer waits for ports to close.  This can take up to several minutes.  Just wait for it to finish and continue.

  9. Now you’re ready to install.  Click Install to continue.

  10. The installation will take a few minutes.  When the wizard completes, you will likely be required to restart the server.  If you are not, please do so anyway.

  11. We find that the restart process often can hang up waiting for the wizard to close as seen in the screen shot below.  If this occurs for you, just press Restart Anyway.


8) Verify Service:  Automatic startup type

After your server has restarted, please check the services to make sure that FileMaker Server is configured to start Automatically. 

  1. Open Services Panel:  You can quickly open the services panel by searching for ‘services’ in the start menu:

  2. Verify automatic startup type:  With the services panel open, double-click on ‘FileMaker Server’ and verify that the ‘Startup type’ is set to ‘Automatic’. 

  3. Start the service:  The service should have already started, but if, for any reason, it hasn’t, start it now, then close the services dialogs.


9) Verify Server Cache

Take note of any memory settings from Step 5.3.  If you wish to modify the amount of memory that FMS can use, or just reinstate the settings you noted from earlier, take these following step

  1. Open the command prompt. 
  2. Optionally, enter a command to change the cache size to your desired size.  Here are a few examples:

    fmsadmin set serverconfig cachesize=1024
    fmsadmin set serverconfig cachesize=2048
    fmsadmin set serverconfig cachesize=4096
    fmsadmin set serverconfig cachesize=8092
    fmsadmin set serverconfig cachesize=12288

    Note that you will be prompted for the FMS credentials (same as in prior steps).

10) Open the Admin Console and verify operation

  1. Log into the admin console by opening your browser and navigating to http://localhost:16001.  As mentioned earlier, see the Notes & Warnings section at the top of this article for details about FMS credentials.

  2. Once logged in, you should notice that your 6-in-1 data files are loading (this can take several minutes), and your server version number reflects the upgrade.  Please note that if the license appears to be expired you can generally disregard this.  It is typical for this to be slow in refreshing after our annual contract renews.


11) Notify 6-in-1 Users

Finally, once all databases are loaded, you’re done!  Please notify your 6-in-1 users that they are invited to log back into the system at their convenience.



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