The X-Plane simulator is designed for both realism and longevity. Maximizing both of these requires that X-Plane be updated often. Every few months, the we will make available a new update to the simulator. In between these official (or “stable”) releases, users can download beta versions of the upcoming update. These are treated as a kind of “update in progress”—new features and bug fixes are included, but in the beta stage, the updates have not been fully tested in a range of situations. This means that they may create incompatibilities or create other problems that would not be experienced in the stable releases. For more information, see the section “Using the X-Plane Betas.”
Newer versions of X-Plane often contain feature enhancements, bug fixes, stability improvements, aircraft and resource updates, flight model improvements, and even new feature additions.
A purchase of X-Plane entitles you to free updates through that full X-Plane version run. This means that if you purchase the Version 10 discs, you will get the Version 10.10 update, the Version 10.20 update, etc., all the way through Version 10.99 if it exists—all free of charge. Of course, you do not have to take advantage of these updates, but it is recommended that you do so.
As with the version of X-Plane on the DVDs you purchased, Disc 1 (the master disc) must be inserted into your computer to use these updated versions. X-Plane uses this as a “key” to unlock the software. Be sure to have the disc spinning in the DVD drive prior to starting up the program so that X-Plane can find it!
Note that although previous versions of X-Plane required users to have all the desired scenery installed before updating to a newer version, this is no longer the case. New scenery may be installed regardless of updates.
To update X-Plane, do the following:
- Launch the copy of X-Plane that you wish to update.
- Once it opens, move your mouse to the top of the screen and click About, then About X-Plane. The dialog box that appears will show both your version of X-Plane and the latest version available. If these differ, there will be an Update X-Plane button in the bottom right of the window.
- Click the Update X-Plane button. X-Plane will automatically download the latest version of the updater program and launch it.
- In the window that appears, please do not select the “Check for new betas” box unless you are prepared to potentially work with some kinks (per the section “Using the X-Plane Betas” below).
- Click Continue to begin the program’s scanning of your X-Plane directory. This allows it to determine which files need to be updated.
- Assuming there is enough disk space to download the required updates, click Continue to begin the installation.
- The installation files will be downloaded and installed. When the installation finishes, you’re ready to fly.
Do I Have to Re-Download the Demo to get the Update?
NO! You can update X-Plane in a number of ways.
- See the instructions above to automatically update from the “About” box.
- If you have the full sim, the latest installer has an “update” option for full installs.
- If you have the demo, the latest demo installer has an “update” option for demos.
These updates are always incremental demos and are often < 30 MB total; only the files you need are downloaded, and they are downloaded in compressed format to save bandwidth.
How Long Will the Update Take?
The download time depends on the size of the patch, how long it’s been since you’ve updated, and how fast your net connection is. Generally, it should be a lot faster to update than to download the demo; the updates are usually less than 150 MB.
How Do I Update X-Plane if X-Plane Crashes on My Computer?
Even if you cannot run X-Plane (for example, if it crashes due to an incompatibility with your graphics card) you can still download the X-Plane installer application directly and run it to update X-Plane. Here are the download links to the installer apps:
Download, unzip, and run the installer application. Pick update and it will prompt you to select your copy of X-Plane 10 to update.