Seven things you should know about Studio 5000 Logix Designer v21 (formerly RSLogix 5000)

It’s been just over a year since Rockwell launched Studio 5000 Logix Designer, and it seems I’m getting more questions about it now than ever before.

Studio 5000 Logix Designer

As of version 21, Studio 5000 Logix Designer is the new name for RSLogix 5000. However, there are some changes above and beyond the product name you should be aware of before upgrading, and I list my top seven below:

1) Studio 5000 Logix Designer v21 and greater only support “multi-core” Logix controllers

If you plan to use Studio 5000 Logix Designer v21 or greater, your choice of processors is limited to the latest of the latest. This includes the 5570 and 5580 series represent by the 1756-L7x and L8x ControlLogix processors. It also include the 5370 and 5580 series of CompactLogix processors consisting of the 1769-L1xER, 1769-L2xER, 1769-L3xER, and 5069.

Note: Not all new controllers support all versions back to v21.

2) Studio 5000 Logix Designer v21 only supports Windows 7

Still running Windows XP? Well, unless you have Windows 7 (or Windows Server 2008 R2) you won’t be running Studio 5000 Logix Designer v21.

Note: Most of the latest versions only support Windows 10. To find out more, look up the Studio 5000 release notes here.

3) Studio 5000 Logix Designer v21 comes in two incompatible versions

Studio 5000 System RequirementsFinally understand the difference between version 20.01 and 20.03? Time for a redux: Version 21 (or more specifically 21.00.03) of Studio 5000 Logix Designer has the same security holes as v20.01, and Rockwell has released a “patched” version 21.03 has the same backward incompatibility issues that 20.03 has.

4) Studio 5000 Logix Designer Redundancy Support

Studio 5000 21.03If you’re new to ControlLogix redundancy here’s a tip: Not every version of RSLogix 5000 or Studio 5000 supports redundancy (even though the check box to enable it is found in every version.) So if you’re looking for the latest Logix redundancy version, check out the RSLogix /Studio 5000 release notes here.

5) Studio 5000 downloads all comments to the controller

Of all the new features in v21, this is the only one I remember. Since all the new multi-core Logix processors include an additional on-board memory chip, with v21 they also now all support saving routine comments and descriptions into the processor itself.

6) Studio 5000 Logix Designer no longer comes with previous versions, but still has the same part number as RSLoix 5000

UPDATE 08/2022: If you need versions prior to 20.05, you now need to purchase the Legacy option with Studio 5000. See Rockwell’s online software catalog here (you must be logged in with free account to see prices.)

UPDATE 2017: Rockwell changed all existing Studio 5000 part numbers ending in “ENE” to be digital downloads only. To get a physical disk set you must order the part number ending in “ENM”

UPDATE 2014: A few weeks after this article had been written, and several months after the Previous Versions disc had been removed, Rockwell thankfully started including it once more. You can read the full article here:

So you just got in a new piece of equipment with a 1769-L35E? Well, currently there is no software package you can buy that will include a compatible version of RSLogix 5000. However, you probably won’t find out until after you spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on a new copy of Studio 5000.

While my colleagues and I continue to lobby Rockwell to correct what we see as a huge oversight, if you find yourself in this situation don’t hesitate to call whoever sold you Studio 5000 and ask them to burn you a copy of the RSLogix 5000 previous versions dvd.

7) In the future Studio 5000 will include a “View” Designer

So what was the whole point of renaming and rereleasing RSLogix 5000 as Studio 5000 Logix Designer? Certainly not just to enable the saving of comments into multi-core processors right?

As part of a master plan to add more features into a common design platform, behind the scenes a small group of Rockwell’s best and brightest are working on a new editor for a new HMI line. And this new editor, when released, is to be a free addition to Studio 5000.

I hope the above article detailing seven thing you should know about v21 was helpful. If you have any thoughts on this topic yourself please don’t hesitate to share them by using the “post a comment or question” link below.

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

If you found this content helpful, consider buying me a coffee here.

Shawn Tierney



  1. .
    any ideas when the ‘View Designer’ option will be available? I just got setup with Studio 5000 (and RSLogix 5000) and the view designer would be a real help, especially if its free!

    • Martin,

      I haven’t heard any new news yet, except the rumor that the PanelView 5000 hardware is being refreshed as the expect release of Studio5000 ViewDesigner has moved to out to 2015 (or 2016?)

      Hope we’ll hear more at Automation Fair 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Shawn Tierney

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

  2. “Well, currently there is no software package you can buy that will include a compatible version of RSLogix 5000”

    While this is correct it is possible to download RSLogix 5000 versions from the RA website, as long as you have the serial number and company it’s registered to.

  3. Hi Shawn,

    I do have RSLogix5000 bought in 2013 supporting 20.01 firmware. Now I want to work with firmware 24 so how to get the Studio 5000 with existing serial No. Is it free download?

  4. UNBELIEVABLE!! As an integrator I would have to say that anyone at Rockwell who decided that all of this incompatibility is acceptable has no idea what we do and how we use the software. And all this to help unethical integrators password protect and lock down their customer’s PLC’s claiming intellectual property but really for job security (Customers REALLY don’t like this). As a programmer, I would much rather they focus on working out their ever-growing number of bugs and quirks

  5. Totally agreed Rick.

    I’ve been pushing Inductive Automation’s Ignition HMI as an alternative to View SE. Give it a shot. Flexible platform and licensing…. Free tech service that is actually helpful; rather than the old “oh, that’s an activation issue, talk with that group; oh, that’s a logix issue, talk with that group… oh and by the way thanks for the yearly payment on your Integrators kit” wrigga-ma-role BS that RA always pulls. Can you tell I’m seething?

    • sohojinks,

      Do you know if Inductive Automation’s has a free demo download of Ignition HMI?

      I’d love to try it out even though I’m a long time fan of View I hear a lot of good things about Inductive,

      Shawn Tierney

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

  6. Great article! I would stay away from Ignition. I hear horror stories about it crashing all the time, connectivity problems and the old desktop Java technology they use is a complete resource hog and slow. It really isn’t a product that you can compare with View (factorytalk has way many more capabilities). It’s more in line with indusoft or citect HMI, all of which are much cheaper and more user friendly.

    • Thank you Ed for your comments,

      I really want to make time to try those too as I’ve been using View since the beta in 94/95 and would like to see how other systems work (I’ve done some work with InTouch and iFix back in the early 00’s, but probably should look at those again too!)


      Shawn Tierney

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

    • Ed, the cost and maintenance for Rockwell products, as well as the tap dance around the various Win platforms, has forced the end users towards the periphery of HMI offerings. End users can no longer justify the cost induced by the Rockwell mandatory product updates that seem to reflect policies based on planned obsolescence. I have visited many factories, the Rockwell HMI products are facing stiff competition.

      • Good afternoon A Fuller,

        Thanks you for sharing your comment!

        I do agree Rockwell’s 64 bit Windows support that requires exporting and importing old PanelView Plus projects is annoying!

        However, I’m not sure about the mandatory product updates you refer to?

        I own FTView and several Panelviews but don’t have a support contract, and have never felt I was required to update anything as the newest PanelView Plus models still run .MER runtimes over 10 years old.

        Thanks in advance for you insight!

        Shawn Tierney

    • Good afternoon Jeff,

      With billions of people on this planet it’s unavoidable that vendors will have both fans as well as critics.

      That said, having worked with Rockwell products since I first got into the automation industry that is just where my expertise lies.

      However, I warmly welcome readers to submit “how to” articles about other automation vendors, and the details to do so can be found using the below link:

      Hope you have a great week,

      Shawn Tierney

  7. Hello ,
    I need help and I don’t know if this is the place for it. I’m running windows 10 and trying to start studio 5000 ver 23. I do all the start new project and studio starts to start up. But then I get a component of logix designer application stopped and then after that nothing starts up. And then closes out. Did I forget to download something? or what is going wrong

    • Good morning Marcelino,

      I checked two weeks ago and Rockwell still had not listed Windows 10 support for any version of Studio 5000.

      If you need to get up and running quick and Rockwell can’t get their software working on Windows 10 you may want to grab a copy of VMware Workstation or similar product – I have a free course on VMware here:


      Shawn Tierney

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

  8. I can get version v16 v19 v20 v21 and v28 of Logix 500 / Studio / Designer working on Windows 10 without issues I am having issues getting v27 to work it installs just fine just Will not load once splash selection screen disappears.

    I need help AB has flat out said good luck and they wont help me troubleshoot at all.
    V28 dose not support any older processors at least it has no firmware I can find otherwise id upgrade my v27 projects to v28.

    Shawn Bowen

    • What do you mean by “older processors”? Like L6x ControlLogix and L4x CompactLogix? They only go to v20. L7x ControlLogix and recent L3x CompactLogix is supported from v20-28.

      Also, it sounds like you need a virtual machine to run software on if Win X doesn’t work. Do you have a techconnect support contract with Rockwell?

    • Good morning Shawn,

      Thanks for the tip about v28!

      I knew it was needed for the L8, but I can also understand why they might not rev everything else if v28 doesn’t have new features for the other processors.

      Update: Shawn posted below that v28 firmware is now available for additional processors

      I’m also not surprised Rockwell isn’t supporting Win10 prior to the software passing its tests. Hopefully they’ll finish up soon and provide us with some guidance.

      In the mean time, I have to agree with Jeff that until Rockwell (or someone else) finds a patch to make v27 work on Win 10 you might be best setting up a virtual machine.

      Best of luck!

      Shawn Tierney

      PS – We don’t display email addresses in the comments section, only the name the commenter chooses

  9. Rockwell has Now released V28 firmware for all of the processors I use.
    I recieved E-Mail shortly After Posting Comment on here

    V20 stability is not great on windows 10 keeps locking up but so far
    Gives the famous Not Responding Error from Windows 8 Etc.

    V28 works great for what I use.

    I have converted all of my V27 PLC’s to V28 so I can use Windows 10
    v16, v19, v20, v21, & v28

  10. Shawn,

    Pro-tip from me after installing all my Rockwell Software on my new laptop at work: Install the versions backwards from highest to lowest for Logix Studio 5000 and RSLogix 5000. If installing highest to lowest it installs all the redundant software at higher versions first. Then when lower versions are attempting to install they recognize the version on the computer is higher so they skip to the next step.

    I believe it was an overall time saver.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here