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Revit Project File Upgrade Strategies and Tips

Jason KunkelAugust 24th, 2020

With Autodesk's recent move to single-user licenses, it is now more important than ever to have a plan for keeping your Revit models in a version that is actively supported. We had an old blog post discussing Revit Model Upgrade tips, and this post has a lot of the same info, but we've tweaked it to align with new information, new tools and new tips. So, you might say that we upgraded our upgrade blog post...


This is our collection of tips and things to think about as you are upgrading. There are some great articles out there on the actual steps you take in Revit (or elsewhere) to upgrade files, so we won't be repeating that information here.

Strategies and considerations when upgrading your Revit files

  • Be aware of the difference between versions and plan for them. For example, the change in how Revit handles Text and then Tags in Revits 2017 and 2018 was easy to deal with if you knew it was coming.
  • Always keep an archive/backup copy of the original model, just in case.
  • Don’t skip versions – if you need to upgrade from 2016 to 2019, go to 2017 first, then 2018, and finally 2019.
  • Clean up the model as much as possible before upgrading – purge, resolve warnings, etc.
  • When you update your Family Library, use a batch updater like the one found in the CADD Toolbox that can make updating a batch of RFA files fast and easy.
  • Is your project in BIM 360 ? There is a great tool that basically lets you click a button and it will update all the cloud models in that project for you. It won't fix issues, but it will save a TON of time on your PC. If it finds any issues, it simply rolls back the models to the original version and gives you a log to start reviewing and fixing those troublesome files.
  • We have heard of Model Groups and Detail Groups get particularly angry during upgrades. Explode and delete it if possible. Sound like a lot of work? The CADD Toolbox has a utility that will do it for you in just one click.
  • If you have trouble upgrading a model, it might be a corrupt family. Save your families from your model before your upgrade. Often a corrupt family will not save successfully letting you ID that bad component. Deal with that component and then try upgrading the model again.
  • Print out a PDF set before upgrade. Then after upgrade print out the same PDF set. Use a tool like Bluebeam Revu to compare and review for differences to target model issues.
  • Unload linked Revit files before upgrading. Don't remove the link, just unload them. Upgrade each individual file should be one at a time and then reload the link.
  • Make sure that the Revits you are upgrading to/through are fully patched and up to date.
  • Wait for a "dot release" or the first update before updating to that Revit version to get all the fixes and updates. Meaning, don't move your project files to Revit 2021 the day after Revit 2021 is released.
  • When you open the model in the new version, check the Audit box.
  • When working in a standalone file, after it is upgraded do a Save As and save it with a new file name. Don’t overwrite the old file.
  • In workshared project files, have everyone sync with central and then close their local files. Open a detached copy with worksets preserved, then save as a new central with a new name. This will force users to get new local files. Follow best practices and get out of the central model once the upgrade is done.
  • Keep every firm/group/project file on your project in the same Revit version. Don't cross the streams... versions.

As always, the CADD Microsystems team is available and happy to help you with your Revit and additional Autodesk software upgrades. If you have any questions or need assistance, you can contact us here.

Interested in learning more? We'd love to chat!

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