Installing or re-installing a new version of Studio

If you are installing Studio for the first time, things should run pretty smoothly. However, many users will have an older version already installed, and there are a few other things that can help you get your new version up and running.

Should I uninstall my old version?

Assuming you are going up a whole version number, and not just adding a patch, the basic answer to this is No. Studio has no issues co-existing with earlier versions, and my main computer has every version of Studio from 16 upwards installed. The only real reasons for not keeping at least your previous version in place would be if you are running out of disc space or you can’t abide clutter. Even then, hang on to your previous version at least until you are sure the new version is going to work properly for you. With such a variety of PC hardware and video formats, even if the new version of Studio is mature and reported to be bug free, you could be struck by a problem that is (almost) unique to you. So having the old version to work with your old projects could be a lifesaver.

If you are so tight for space on your hard drive that you only have room for one version of Studio, you are going to struggle anyway. The most likely cause for this is trying to use a small SSD as your boot drive.The option to install Studio elsewhere is there, but I’ve never tried it myself and have read of various issues from people who do so. My recomendation is to try and clean up your SSD so you have space for two version of Studio – other programs are probably more robust when installed elsewhere so move them instead. On my laptop with a 256Gb SSD I manage, but if you are trying to work with less than that and have no additional data drive you won’t get very far anyway.

I’ve bought an Upgrade. What proof of purchase do I need?

In the past Studio would require some physical proof of purchase – inserting the previous disc or at least entering a previous serial number. However, with registration being completely online now you need not worry about this – the only important thing is to remember to use the same email address when you come to register the new instalation. Even very old versions of Studio qualify for upgrade pricing, and I’ve not heard of anyone reporting problems despite not having any physical proof of purchace.

I want to install Studio on a different computer.

Retail versions of Studio are strictly for one computer. However, because there is currently no way of providing proof that you have uninstalled the program, you have a certain amount of wriggle room. If you can’t remove an installation from a computer because you no longer have access Pinnacle assume that you have done so.

However, there are increasing numbers of reports of warning messages from Pinnacle at the time of registration to the effect that the serial number is already in use, even if you use the same email address when trying to register. This is to stop people selling (illegal) serial numbers along with a registration email address. I’ve not yet heard of anyone being blocked from installing a genuine version on a different computer, but multiple attempts from different IP addresses are almost certain to be blocked. Pinnacle don’t release details of how much wriggle room you actually have, but behave honestly and there should be no issues.

Re-installing – Best Practice

If something isn’t working correctly in Studio, Pinnacle support are very quick to tell you to re-install – and that is also the instinctive thing to do. However, in my experience your best bet is to start with resets -the in-program ones if possible, or the various levels of reset you can do by hacking the UserData as detailed in THIS POST.

However, bad installs do happen and on occasions Pinnacle have been know to release a bad patch that you need to roll back from. So here is what to do:


  • Make sure you have your serial number to hand just in case there is an issue. If Studio is capable of running you can get it from the ? menu.
  • Check that you know the email address you used to register that serial number with.
  • If you don’t have a disc to install from or can’t find the download files you can get the install files back to version 19 from the Pinnacle website. For this you will need decent internet access or plenty of time as it is a big download. Check you have access to the download page HERE.


  • In Windows System open the Control Panel and under Programs click on the entry to Uninstall a program.
  • Scroll down to find the entries for Pinnacle. Even if you only have one version, there will be a lot of choice.
  • Right click on the entry the main program – it will just say Pinnacle Studio XX where XX is the version number you want to remove.
  • You are now following the Pinnacle uninstall route. Anything you choose to remove will be re-installed later, so uninstall everything it allows you to.
  • If you haven’t already done so, reset the Settings and Library for Studio by following the instructions linked to above.
  • Optionally, you may want to clean up the Windows Registry – details HERE.


  • If you want to use your own install media you may still have to download patches, so follow the original install instructions and then expect to have to apply a patch.
  • From version 19 onwards I recomend using a fresh Pinnacle download as it will already be patched.
  • Using the link for the version you want, a short stub will be downloaded to your downloads location.
  • Go to this stub program and run it. Now it is just a case of sitting back and waiting, so make a cup of tea if you have slow internet access.
  • Whne the re-install is complete, run the program. If you have previously deleted the Appdata, Studio will run as if it is brand new.

After installing or re-installing Studio it seems very slow.

If you don’t have any older versions of Studio on your computer, a new installation will create a new simple Library with just the sample footage. It still needs time to add all it’s content, however – titles, effects, menus, transitions and so on. This takes time – more so with the Ultimate version and its extra plug-ins.

Open the Task manager (CTRL-Shift -ESC) and see how much use of the CPU Studio is using. If you are doing nothing and the CPU is still running in double figures, wait before making any judgements about performance -this will only happen when you first run Studio.

I’ve been waiting for quite a while now – what is going on?

Do you have an old version of Studio installed? Then even though you may not see the end results, it will be trying to add the old Library. If this is large, it takes time. If it finds something in the old Library that isn’t compatible with the new Studio you may encounter issues, or even a hang.

However, because it doesn’t add the Project Bins, even if this process is complete the content from the old Library may not be showing up. The quickest way to see the Library in versions of Studio with Project Bins is to put any clip from the library on the timeline and use the clip context menu to Find In Library. This will open up a Library tab with the name Library Media, where you can see everything. You can either delete what you don’t want or rebuild the Library again – fortunatly using the Appdata Library reset doesn’t re-trigger the addition of old Libraries.

After the re-install I still have the issue I had before!

Before you resort to looking for support, just try the manual reset process again- refer to the previous paragraph for one reason why that might help.

If not, you may be in a situation where a new patch has turned out to be incompatible with your hardware. Normally this situation is rectified pretty quickly, but refer to the forum or the facebook pages to see if there is any news. If it’s just happening to you (or you are the first to encounter it) you should report it to Pinnacle.

I’ve upgraded from Standard/Plus to Ultimate but I don’t have the extra features!

The program code for all three versions of Studio are the same, but which parts are unlocked will depend on which serial number you enter. To help a re-install Studio pre-populates the serial number with one it finds squirreled away in a Pixie folder. If you didn’t enter the new serial number Pinnacle gave you when you upgraded, no amount of re-instaling will upgrade the program for you. You must enter your new Ultimate serial.

If you performed the In-program update the new serial number should be used, but I’ve read enought posts about the upgrade not working to think this might not always be the case, so check!

Please give feedback in the comments section of this post – I’m sure that there will be situations I haven’t covered or don’t know about. I can edit the post with your help.

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