Updating Cycles 4D

Cycles 4D includes an on-line updating system. This allows us to distribute bug fixes and updates much faster than if we have to bundle them all up in a service release and notify you so that you can download and install them.

How it works

By default, the updater is set to check for new updates every time you start up Cinema 4D. After that it won't check again until you close and restart Cinema, but you can make it perform a check at any time by clicking the 'Updater...' entry in the Cycles 4D main menu. The updater checks for updates to the plugin files and if it finds any updates, it offers you the chance to install them. Cinema will be restarted automatically during the process.

If you don't want the updater to check for updates when Cinema starts, you can turn this option off in the Cycles 4D preferences.


This feature requires two things:

  1. Internet access so that the plugin can access a remote server and download updated files. If you have no internet access, attempting to use this feature will cause the message 'Error in contacting server' to appear.
  2. Cycles 4D must be installed in the plugins folder in the user data folder rather than in the main Cinema 4D folder's plugins folder. The reason is that the plugin will save downloaded files temporarily to the Cycles 4D folder and will rename/delete files in that folder. On Windows 7 and later, and on OSX, the main folder is protected by the operating system and attempting to save or alter files in this folder will potentially cause the operating system to block the process, depending on the access permissions you have to that folder.

The interface

When you click 'Updater...' from the main Cycles 4D menu, this dialog box appears:

Important: the check which is automatically performed on starting up Cinema 4D will not show this dialog UNLESS updates have been detected.

When the dialog box appears, then if the default startup check was carried out, you are shown that an update is available, or else that it is up to date. (The third possibility is that you are told that there was a problem connecting to the server, but that should hopefully be rare.) To install the update, click the 'Install Updates' button. If you decide not to install the updates, click the 'Cancel' button.

When you click the 'Install Updates' button you are asked to confirm that you want to do this, since it will require an automatic restart of Cinema 4D. Assuming you do want to update, a small progress dialog box will appear. The progress box will then show you what the plugin is doing. Typically, you will see messages indicating that the updated files are being downloaded and then unzipped into the correct locations. You will then see a message that Cinema is now restarting. When it does, the updated plugin files will be loaded.

Important notice for users of Cinema 4D R18 on OSX

There is an issue in R18 running under OSX which may prevent the progress dialog box from refreshing itself during the update process. It may then look as if Cinema 4D has frozen (complete with spinning beach ball). This is not the case, in fact the update is proceeding but the dialog box is not being refreshed. You only need to wait and it will complete the process.


Check for Updates Now

Click this button to perform a check for updates. This will NOT install anything until you click the 'Install Updates button.

Install Updates

If an update to the plugin is available, click this button to install it. You will be asked to confirm this action, since it requires that Cinema 4D is restarted during the process.


Closes the dialog box without installing anything.

If you have problems

The usual reason that the updater fails is when it can't save files to the Cycles 4D folder. That in turn is usually because it is located in the plugins folder in the same location as the Cinema 4D executable file. The operating system protects the Program Files (Windows) or Applications (OSX) folders against unauthorised modification, so it may stop the updater from saving the new files.

To prevent this, always install Cycles 4D in the plugins folder in the user data folder, as explained on the installation page.

If something goes wrong and Cycles 4D stops working correctly, you can try again by clicking 'Check for Updates Now' and repeating the process. If it still fails, the solution is simple. Delete your current Cycles 4D folder, download the full archive from the personalised web link you were given when the plugin was purchased, and install that instead. This will give you a fresh install of the most recent version.

Reverting to older versions

Before installing a new version the updater will archive the existing installation into a .zip file and store it in a folder named 'Cycles 4D' in the user preferences folder. If you need to revert to a previous version, select the version you want (each version is dated and the version number added to the .zip file name) then unzip it into the folder plugins/Cycles 4D, allowing it to overwrite files with the same name.