What you need to know before upgrading to RSLogix 5000 version 20.03

RSLogix 5000 V20.03 Download NoticeWait! Before you install version 20.03 you really should understand how it's different, very different, from all previous minor revisions of RSLogix 5000.

Update! Version 20.04 solves many of the problems introduced with 20.03 – find out more in our article about 20.04 HERE.

In the past, it didn't matter if everyone in your facility had a different minor revision of RSLogix 5000. For instance, if you had version 19.00 installed, and someone else had 19.01, the two of you could exchange and open each other's files, as well as upload from, or go online with, any version 19 Logix processor.

However, with version 20.03 this is no longer the case. For instance, if you open a version 20.01 file with 20.03 it will be converted to the v20.03 format and no previous version of 20 will be able to open it. Additionally, if you were to download that 20.03 version of your program to any Logix PAC (with any v20 firmware) no version of RSLogix5000 other than v20.03 would be able to go online or upload from that processor.

Note: You can listen to our companion podcast about RSLogix 5000 v20.03 HERE.

Think about it – if just one person in your facility upgrades to 20.03, and then makes a needed change to a program, no one else will be able to open that file or go online with the system without first upgrading to v20.03. This could be hugely inconvenient if discovered while troubleshooting a down line.

RSLogix 5000 Splash ScreenWhy did Rockwell make this change? From what I've read, version 20.03 is a resiliency release which I've interpreted as meaning they've beefed up the security and robustness of the .ACD file. In an odd way it does make sense that once the file is converted to a more secure format it couldn't be opened in the older less secure software. And as version 20 is the last version for many older controllers (including the 1756-L6x, L23, L3xE, & L4x) it also seems inevitable that some new v20 minor revs would be released without backward compatibility.

So, what should you do? I suggest reviewing the impact in time and productivity that migrating to version 20.03 will cause. If your production lines are running non-stop and you don't have time to upgrade all your RSLogix 5000 PC's, as well as take your Logix PAC's down in order to download the version 20.03 program files, you may wish to wait until you can comfortably schedule doing so into your production schedule… if you feel a need to migrate at all.

For more detailed information on RSLogix 5000 version 20.03, see the below three links to public knowledgebase documents from Rockwell Automation detailing this release:

I hope the above information on version 20.03 was helpful.  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below using the “post a comment or question” form at the bottom of this page.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger
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    • Morning Simon,

      Thanks for your question. The short answer is no, you don’t need to use 20.03 and you can use 20.01. The minor version of the Software and Hardware don’t need to match.

      However, if someone already downloaded a 20.03 program to your L6x which you’re trying to upload or view, then you would need 20.03.

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney


  1. Sorry to comment on a kind of old thread but this just stung me hard. In digging it appears v20.3 was released due to a password hole. I am curious why they just didn’t just patch the hole and if you do not have security enabled v20.3 would work with v20.1. It is probably not that easy but this is going to painful as it propagates.

    Nice Blog by the way, just found it.

  2. I have version 20.03 but the program in the processor is version 20.12, but Ive gone to rockwells tech connect support site and version 20.12 is not an available download. How do I upgrade my version to 20.12

    • Good morning Tim,

      When Rockwell develops a new version of Logix, both the software and controller firmware start at the same major rev, like 20.00.

      From that point on, the software and firmware minor revs change based on the need to fix either the software or firmware, and they almost never match.

      In this case, if your processor is version 20.12, you can download to it using either RSLogix 5000 version 20.01 or 20.03 since the major revs match. In fact, as long as your processor is any 20.xx version both RSLogix 5000 20.01 or 20.03 can download to it.

      However, as you’ve found out there is no RSLogix 5000 version 20.12, as it has not needed as many revs as the firmware.

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney


  3. Hey Shawn,

    I have the issue about the version of rslogix 5000. I have the version 21 but the version 21 does not support the L45s. Where could I get the version 20?


  4. Hi shawn, a question can convert a file from version 20.03 to version 21.03, without this online, or you need to be online.

    • Good morning Edgar,

      Yes. If you have 21.03 installed, you just open the file, choose controller properties, and change it to version 21.

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney


  5. Hello Shawn,

    I have a short question. Right now I’m running a programm with version 20.01 and want to convert it to version 20.03. Does this have any effects to the logic of the programm? E.g. losing tags or parts of the logic…?



    • Good morning Mike,

      If you convert your program to 20.03 you won’t lose anything, except the ability to open or go online with that code using 20.01.

      Thanks for your question,

      Shawn Tierney


  6. Hello Shawn,

    I am wondering if I can have other Controllogix software coexisting with version 20.03 of RSLogix. Is there any impact? Does version 20.03 of RSLogix have to be on separated VM?



  7. I am looking to downgrade from v20.03 to v20.01. I am getting stuck as soon as a source protected AOI or signatured AOI is parsed during Import. Do you know of any way to get around this?

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