Updating SimpleHelp

This document explains how to update your SimpleHelp server to the latest version. If you wish to check your SimpleHelp server version or want to download the latest server version you can use the following buttons:


Important Version Transitions

Please consult the following transitioning guides that are specific to your Update path:

x x
If you upgrading from SimpleHelp v4.x, or v5.0, please consult this guide and the relevant guides below.
If you upgrading from SimpleHelp v4.2 or later please consult this guide.
If you upgrading from v4.1 please consult this guide.
If you are upgrading from 3.x

Check Your License

In order to run the latest version of SimpleHelp your license support period will need to extend beyond the date when the new version was produced. You can check if your license needs to be updated to run the build and update it online by logging in to your account.

Migrating to a New Installation

This guide explains how to update a SimpleHelp server in place (replace an existing SimpleHelp server installation with a new version). If you plan to set up a new version as a new installation and move over to it you should instead follow the Server Migration Guide.

Updating with SimpleSetup

If you already use SimpleSetup to manage your SimpleHelp server then SimpleSetup should be used to update as well. Select your server and click the Update button, then choose the Release button. SimpleSetup will back up your server configuration, shut it down temporarily, download the new version and start everything back up again.

Updating your SimpleHelp server manually

Parts of SimpleHelp update automatically, therefore it is important that you understand how updating works before you start. The basic update process is as follows:

  • The only component that you need to update is the server. When customers and technicians connect, their local installations will update automatically.
  • Remote Access Services (unattended computers) will update automatically when a session is requested by a technician or when explicitly marked to Update Service.
  • The first time a technician connects to a Remote Access Service after an update, there may be a delay for some minutes while it updates on-demand. During this delay it may appear offline.
  • If you have machines that are difficult to access, critical to your business or have a large number of unattended machines you should read the section on Minimising Disruption below.

Updating your SimpleHelp server is a simple process, but you should ensure you follow all of these steps to avoid problems like losing access to Remote Access Services:

Updating on Windows

  • Backup your server configuration folder and if possible your entire SimpleHelp server folder so that you can restore it after the update if necessary. This is a critical step to ensure you have ongoing access to unattended services.
  • Download and install the new version of SimpleHelp. On Windows simply download the SimpleHelp server installer exe and run it. It will automatically shut down and restart your server during the update and retain your previous configuration.

Updating on Linux or macOS

On Linux, providing your server can reach, you can use the Linux install script to update your server for you. Click here for more.

  • Shut down your SimpleHelp server. If you used the Windows installer and installed as a Windows service, you can stop the service from the Control Panel.
  • Backup your server configuration folder and if possible your entire SimpleHelp server folder so that you can restore it after the update if necessary. This is a critical step to ensure you have ongoing access to unattended services.
  • Download and install the new version of SimpleHelp, following the same installation steps as you did previously. If you are unsure what these steps are, you may wish to refer to the Install Guides (Windows / Linux / macOS).
  • Shut down the new SimpleHelp server. Your SimpleHelp server will start in maintenance mode restricting access to avoid Remote Access Services picking up a new configuration.
  • Restore the configuration folder you previously backed up, then start the server again. If restored correctly your SimpleHelp server will start up as usual and will not enter 'maintenance mode'

Updating Remote Access services

When the SimpleHelp server is updated the server version will differ with any existing Remote Access Services. SimpleHelp will notify the technician that this is the case by marking Remote Access Services with the following yellow icon:

Restart Required Screenshot

Technicians can instruct Remote Access Services to update by selecting the services and choosing the Update Service option:


For a smooth transition you should mark machines for Update Service progressively, in small batches, starting with the most accessible, least important machines first.

Minimising Disruption

Where SimpleHelp is providing a mission-critical service it is prudent (as with any upgrade or migration) to test the new version in your environment and with your settings first.

To do so you can request a trial license and run the new version as a separate server with your configuration before upgrading your production server. You can also configure a sample of your Remote Access services to point to both servers to test the new version while keeping them available on the old.

Although we test new releases thoroughly and expend a lot of effort ensuring that automated remote access updates go smoothly it is possible in rare occasions that something can interfere or cause problems with the update process.

For large and geographically distant networks we recommend the following best practices:

  • Ensure you have copied your server configuration folder, and that your new server is using the same serverkeys.dat file. If this changes, your Remote Access Services will not trust your server and will not allow sessions.
  • After updating your server, update your remote access machines in small batches, starting with the most accessible, least critical machines first. Keep updating in batches and leave the least accessible machines until last.
  • For any machines that are particularly difficult or costly to access, open a remote access session before the update and start a Remote Support session. This allows continued access while the machine is being updated, allowing you to verify that all is well.