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With the release of Prepar3D v4.3 (We reported) it starts again: “Now I have to reinstall my flight simulator”, writes one or the other user indignantly in forums or social networks. A complete new installation is no longer necessary since Prepar3D v3. That’s why we’ve created a simple guide for you on how to update it without reinstallation. Then nobody has to deal with the idea of wanting to defenestrate the Flight Simulator PC.

The Flight Simulator Prepar3D v4 has a modular structure, it consists of client, content and scenery. All three modules can be installed, uninstalled and updated separately. While the client module is the core of Prepar3D, the content module contains content such as aircraft, instruments, weather, effects and much more. The scenery module contains the basic scenery of the simulator, i.e. the terrain and the airports.



1. Upgrade Prepar3D v4’s Client

Usually it is sufficient to update only the client module of Prepar3D v4. Content and Scenery do not need to be updated in most cases. So we download the appropriate program for the installation from your Prepar3D customer account.

1.1 Finding the Client Download

The download link for the individual modules in the customer account is a little bit hidden. Therefore we must first click on “+ Individual Component Downloads (click to expand)” on the download page. Then the menu with the download links to the individual modules opens.

Prepar3D v4.3 - Update without reinstallation: Components needed for the update

To update the client we need the separate components of Prepar3D. We’ve coloured them red here.

Now we download the file “Install_Client.msi”. We can safely ignore all other files listed under “Individual Component Downloads”.

1.2 Uninstalling the old client

Next, the old client – in our case Prepar3D v4.2 – must be uninstalled. Therefore we go to the Windows Control Panel and search for “Prepar3D v4 Academic Client”. If you own the Professional version, you have to search for “Prepar3D v4 Professional Client”. The same applies to other licenses (for example the Developer License). Double-click to start the uninstallation.

Prepar3D v4.3 - Update without reinstallation: Uninstalling the client in the System control center

Uninstall the Client now in your system control center

During uninstallation, a window will open asking if we want to disable our Prepar3D license. Because we want to continue using the flight simulator on the same PC, we click on “No”.

Prepar3D v4.3 - Update without reinstallation: Click "no"

Here you can just click “no”

1.3 Installing a New Client

Since the old client (Prepar3D v4.2) has been uninstalled, we can now install the new client just downloaded (Prepar3D v4.3). Therefore we are looking for the new installer and run it. The installation will then be done automatically.

Prepar3D v4.3 - Update without reinstallation: The new client installs itself

The new client installs itself.

1.4 Check version

With the installation of the new client we have almost done it. But now we should check if we really have installed the right version. To do this, we simply take another look at the program overview in the Windows control panel. Prepar3D v4 Academic Client” should now be v4.3.

Prepar3D v4.3 - Update without reinstallation: Check the successfully installation in the System Control Center

In the System control center we can check if the update was successful.

1.5 Delete Shader and Prepar3D.cfg (optional)

Lockheed Martin recommends that you delete the old shaders and Prepar3D.cfg after the update. This step is optional and therefore not a must. If you delete the Prepar3D.cfg, you have to readjust your settings afterwards. Therefore, this step can be too cumbersome for some users. The shaders and the Prepar3D.cfg can be found in the following folders:

  • Prepar3D.cfg: C:\Users\YOUR USER\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4
  • Shader: C:\Users\YOURUser\AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4\Shaders

With Prepar3D.cfg it is enough to simply delete the file. Alternatively, you can rename.cfg to “Prepar3Dv42.cfg.bak”, then there is still a backup. With shaders simply delete all files from the folder.



2. Update third-party add-ons for Prepar3D v4.3

Prepar3D v4.3 - Update without reinstallation: Fully automatic update by the developers of ChasePlane

Fully automatic update: The developers at ChasePlane make it very easy for their customers to update. Unfortunately, this is not the case with all designers.

After the client update from Prepar3D v4.2 to Prepar3D v4.3 it is urgently necessary to update numerous add-ons accordingly. Here is a short overview of how the updates for the most popular products work:

  • ChasePlane: Update is automatically updated on program startup
  • ftx Central v3: Update can be selected at program start and runs automatically
  • Active Sky: Update must be downloaded and installed manually
  • Flight1 GTN: Update must be downloaded and installed manually
  • PTA: Update must be downloaded and installed manually (SimTweaks or simMarket, depending on the shop).
  • Envshade/Envtax: Update can be selected at program start and runs automatically
  • EZCA: Update must be downloaded and installed manually


3. Update content module (optional)

Who also wants to fly the new C-130 Hercules in Prepar3D v4.3, has to update the content as well as the client. In principle, this works in the same way as the client update, which is why we do without separate instructions. For the content update you have to download three files: The Install_Content.msi and the two files “cont1.cab” and “cont2.cab”.

4 Further instructions

Our short tutorial is mainly based on the tutorial from the Prepar3D forum. There you can find more information and may some assistance in case of further problems.

More about Prepar3D v4.3

Prepar3D v4.3 out now!

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