Free Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Automation software (part 1)

Rockwell Automation has a reputation of charging for their PLC programming software, and that’s true for most of the packages that program their Programmable Controllers.

However, RA does make several software packages available free of charge, and I’ll detail those over the next two days.

Click here for the second part of this article

Rockwell Automation and Allen-Bradley Free Software Downloads LinkWe’ll start at the Rockwell Software Downloads page’s “Free Downloads” link, where several packages are available.

Below I’ll highlight those which I believe are the most useful:

1) Connected Components Workbench (CCW) free programming software for the Micro800, PowerFlex, and PanelView Component:

This free software is three programming packages in one.

First and foremost, this is the software package you use to program Rockwell’s Micro800 family of programmable controllers.

But it also contains the Allen-Bradley PanelView Component programming software, as well as a new editor to configure Rockwell Automation drives, including the new PowerFlex 525.

Version 4 has so many new features that I would highly recommend upgrading to it if you have a previous version.

As CCW requires a fairly current version of RSLinx and ControlFlash, both are included in this large download which you can find using this link:


You can also obtain this software on DVD via an online form here, or from most Rockwell Automation and RA Authorized Distributor offices.

Rockwell Downloads Free Software Listing2) ViewME Transfer Utility 6.1 (under free downloads) free upload / download transfer tool for the PanelView Plus.

This utility allows you to upload and download runtime files (.mer) to and from PanelView Plus terminals.

While it comes with all versions of FactoryTalk ViewStudio, is it also freely available here in the downloads section.

Please note, while this utility does require RSLinx Enterprise and FactoryTalk Applications Platform, both are included in this download which you’ll find after selecting “Free Downloads”

3) RSLinx Classic Lite

The latest version of RA’s communication driver used with most of it’s products is now easier to download than ever before.

Why would you need to update RSLinx Classic Lite?

Updates are often required when new versions of existing products, or completely new products, are released.

MicroLogix Downloads Page4) RSLogix Emulate 500 

UPDATE 10/31/2017: New procedure can be found at

The processor emulation software for SLC-500 and MicroLogix is now free!

This package allows you to select an .RSS program and run it in emulation mode.

You can also monitor the running code with RSLogix 500 or RSLogix Micro.

Next we move on to the MicroLogix Downloads Page for the following packages:

5) RSLogix Micro Starter Lite 

UPDATE 10/31/2017: New procedure can be found at

The free RSLogix Micro Starter Lite programming software, which replaces the older RSLogix 500 Starter 10 point MicroLogix edition, programs a much wider range of MicroLogix products.

Whereas the old free software only programmed the 10 Point MicroLogix 1000, this new free package now programs all MicroLogix 1000’s and MicroLogix 1100’s.

6) RSLogix Emulate 6.0

UPDATE 10/31/2017: New procedure can be found at

Here again you can download the processor emulation for SLC-500 and MicroLogix for free.

Note: You may get a nuisance error about the registry but the software will run fine.

7) MicroLogix Program Download Utility (and more)

UPDATE 10/31/2017: New procedure can be found at

This utility allows you to download an existing program to a MicroLogix without the need for any version of RSLogix.

Just follow the steps to get RSLogix Micro Starter Lite and you see this and other utilities available to download.

Drive Explorer WebpageLite Full Version Of Drive Explorer Software Free From The Drive Explorer page at

8) Drive Explorer Full Edition Drive Explorer Lite Edition

Update: Rockwell has removed the Drive Explorer full edition download but the lite version can still be downloaded HERE.

From the A-B Drives Explorer page here you can download a free copy of Drive Explorer Full, used for programming most of RA’s VFD’s prior to the PowerFlex 525.

In the past, Rockwell only offered Drive Explorer Lite for free, but with the release of CCW Rockwell has ended support for Drive Explorer and has posted the full version as freeware on it’s website.

Free Software Available To The Public In The Rockwell Knowledgebase:

9) SLC-100 / SLC-150 Programming Software

SLC100 and 150 Public Tech Note With Software

Update, July 2022: See my new video about how to get the A-B and Icom Software and Manuals:
SLC-100/150 Programming Software

Update, December 2020: Rockwell has removed this Tech Note 🙁

Update: Rockwell has now locked this answer so only those with a Tech Connect can view it and download the software.

These old PLC’s are surprisingly durable, and Rockwell has made this old 386 and DOS based programming software available free to the public here.

Note: You will need to log into the RA Knowledgebase to access this download, but you can setup an account for free.

Note: While there are other packages available for free in the knowledgebase, they require a paid support contract and therefore I won’t be listing them here as they are not free for the public to download.

That’s it for part one of this article, but please check back tomorrow for part two (click here to view) in which I’ll list several more free software packages from Allen-Bradley, Rockwell Software, and Rockwell Automation.

In the mean time, if you’ve used any of the above packages, or are just happy to have found where to get them for free, please don’t hesitate to click on the “post a comment or question” link below to let us know!

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at

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Shawn Tierney



  1. Update 08/12/15: Over the last two years a number of things have changed on Rockwell’s website and I have updated the above article to represent these changes.

    The changes include:
    – RSLogix Emulate 500 no longer found under “free programs” (but still free)
    – DriveExplorer Full no longer available, but Lite is.
    – SLC-100/150 Tech Note with software link now requires a support contract.

    For more free software links check out part two of this article:


    Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

    • Hello, I bought an old SLC500 to do some automation in my home. Is there any free version that will actually communicate with and program the PLC rather than just running it on an emulator. Does me no good if I cant load it to the PLC. I work for ExxonMobil and I know first hand the money we spend on Logix5000 stuff, however, we have the funds! 🙂 I just need to be able to provide simple inputs with timed outputs. Please, if there is a light version that will do this let me know. Thanks, Jason Ford

      • Good afternoon Jason,

        Since the SLC-500 came out in 1989, they have never offered free software for it.

        They did release a “starter” version for $500 several years ago, but I believe the price has gone up to $800 or more.

        If you want to stay with the SLC-500, and have a 501 or 502, you can get a HHT programmer cheap on EBay.

        You could also ask your local distributor for a free RSLogix 500 Standard 30 Day Temporary Activation…

        Although, if I were you I would be tempted to sell the SLC-500 parts and get a MicroLogix.

        The RSLogix version for the MicroLogix 1000 and 1100 is free, and RSLogix for the rest of the Micrologix line is ~$150.

        Or, you could buy a new Micro820 with Ethernet for <$250 and the software for it is a free download.

        Best of luck,

        Shawn Tierney

        Join my free community to follow along! You can also become a member and support our work at:

  2. Hi Shawn,

    I downloaded the SLC100 software but can’t install it on any Windows platform.
    Is there a way I can install it on any Windows platform?

    Thank you

    • Old DOS software which predate the release of Windows will often need to run in a program like DOSbox. I recommend searching the net for a tutorial on using it with the SLC-100/150 software.

      Best wishes,



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