Upgrading to FieldWorks 7

Migrating a project from earlier versions

You will not be able to simply Open a project from a previous version to use it in FieldWorks 7. Instead, during the installation of FieldWorks 7.0 and later, you will be given the opportunity to migrate projects to the new format. A copy of each project you select will be migrated to this version.

To migrate projects at a later date, use File > Project Management > Restore. Select any project backup file from any version. FieldWorks will either migrate the project or will instruct you to download the following additional pieces you need to install in order to complete the project migration:

Uninstalling FieldWorks 6.0.6 and earlier

During the installation of FieldWorks 7.0 and later, you will be given the opportunity to uninstall your last version of Fieldworks, or to keep it and remove just the desktop shortcuts.

♦ Why keep it installed?

Keeping FieldWorks 5.4 or later installed will enable you to restore a backup created in FieldWorks 6.0.6 and earlier without having to install anything else to help with this process. If you think it is highly unlikely you will need to restore an earlier backup, then you can uninstall your last version of FieldWorks. You can always install the necessary components later if you do find you need to do such a restore. (See above.)

Other factors to consider are (a) how much space you have on your computer and (b) how much internet access you usually have. If the answer to (a) is little and the answer to (b) is usually good, then you should probably uninstall. If the answer to (a) is plenty and the answer to (b) is usually restricted, then you should keep the last version installed just in case.

♦ Why remove the old desktop shortcuts?

If you keep your last version of FieldWorks installed for restore purposes, it is still important that you do not edit your project by accident in the older version of FieldWorks. We do not have a good way to merge any changes you make in FieldWorks 6.0.6 and earlier with the changes you have made in FieldWorks 7.0 and later. Therefore, we recommend you remove the old desktop shortcuts so you don’t accidentally start the wrong version of FieldWorks and begin editing there. (Note that if other users have created custom shortcuts, e.g. to a specific project, these will need to be removed manually.)


After you have become established in FieldWorks 7.x and are confident things are working well, you can save space on your computer by deleting the old (pre-FW7) version of the project data files. (During migration to FieldWorks 7, a new copy was made of your data in the new format used by FieldWorks 7.)

Pre-requisite: Uninstall FieldWorks 6.0.6 or earlier and SQL Server (fw instance). We also recommend you backup your project in FieldWorks 7.

In FieldWorks 6.0.6 or earlier, project data files are stored in:

Windows 7/Vista: C:\ProgramData\SIL\FieldWorks\Data

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SIL\FieldWorks\Data

Note: You can delete files ending with bak in these two folders even before you uninstall FieldWorks 6 or earlier.

Pictures and Sound files

In FieldWorks 7, project files are now grouped together in one folder. By default, new projects have folders in which users can store pictures, sound files and other linked files within the project folder. If your project dates from an earlier version, your pictures and sound files are probably stored somewhere else on your computer. FieldWorks will offer to move these files for you after you have been using FieldWorks 7 for a little while (9 times.)

To move them to the new location now, within FieldWorks use File > Project Management > FieldWorks Project Properties. Click on the Linked Files tab. Use the Browse button to browse for a different Linked Files folder. Browse for the following location, or choose a different one of your choice.

Windows 7/Vista: C:\ProgramData\SIL\FieldWorks 7\Projects\<Current Project Name>\Linked Files

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SIL\FieldWorks 7\Projects\<Current Project Name>\Linked Files

When you click OK, FieldWorks will offer to move the currently linked files to this new location.

Once you have moved the linked files for all the projects you care about, you can complete your housekeeping by deleting the entire “FieldWorks” folder if you desire:

Windows 7/Vista: C:\ProgramData\SIL\FieldWorks\

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SIL\FieldWorks\

2 Responses to “Upgrading to FieldWorks 7”

  1. kent says:

    FW6Lite.exe seems to require Vista service pack 1? That seems weird for a Win 2000 installation. Is there any other way to covert backups?

  2. ann_bush says:

    Hi Kent, If you save your version 6 backup so that it includes XML or you have both version 6 and version 7 installed, you also won’t need FW6Lite.exe.

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