RSLogix 5000 V20.03 Download Notice

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

Before you plan to install and use version RSLogix 20.03 you really should understand how it’s different, very different, from all previous minor revisions of RSLogix 5000.

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.

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

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  1. Good question. Normally, you would save your newer rev program as an L5K file, and then import it into the old rev. However, it seems like Rockwell is saying this will not work with 20.03 (I have not tried this.)

    So, you may wish to open your 20.03 program as well as a 19.xx program and drag and drop your code from 20.03 to 19.xx. You may also be able to export and import each program, but again I haven’t tried these methods yet.

    Shawn Tierney

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

  2. It doesn’t. I wish I had seen this article sooner. You learn something new everyday. The plant I am working with is a major customer and they are unhappy. The method you mentioned is the only thing I could think of. You can import/export tags only. Everything In the I/O configuration needs to be individually copied one by one. Everything in the Add on Instructions (I use heavily) and user defined tags must be copied one by one to V19. Then….if you have firmware in the associated modules (such as Sercos firmware) that is incompatible with V19 youre going to recreate these and all of the attributes in 20.01 once you get rid of 20.03. Bottom line…DONT DO IT!!!

  3. Hi Shawn,

    i have EVRS Activation for V19 Version so in that condition what should i do to get V20 activation … 🙂

    Waiting for your Reply … 🙂
    Please you can help me detail pocess for that on *edited*

  4. Hi Shawn,

    Actually i have EVRS Activation for R S Logix 5000 V 19 so what should i do to Get R S Logix 5000 V 20 Activation.

    Waiting for your Help… 🙂
    Thanks in Advance.

    • Good morning Aayus,

      I just double checked (Rockwell public Tech Note 52551) and confirmed v20 only uses FactoryTalk Activation (FTA.) So, anyone who has older EVRSI activation would likely need a Rockwell support contract to migrate to FTA and get access to v20.

      To migrate from EVRSI to FTA, you just call or chat with Rockwell Tech Support. I personally prefer Rockwell chat for these type of activation questions, and appreciate a contract is not required for replacement activations (and support) as just a couple of weeks ago I needed to get my own activation replaced.

      While in the past Rockwell has stated to migrate from EVRSI to FTA required a contract, recent experience seems to indicate they don’t seem to require it anymore…?

      But, the only way to get access to download v20 from Rockwell is to have a support contract. So even if Rockwell support upgraded someone from EVRSI to FTA without a contract (something they may or may not do) they would still need support to get a copy of the newer software.

      Hope that helps!

      Shawn Tierney

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

  5. One of the biggest issues was that for .ACD files where parts of the program were source protected, this protection in the earlier v20 versions could be “cracked”.

  6. RW say you can Export from V20.03 and import into earlier version of V20. You just loose the source protection and resiliency you recieved in V20.03

    • 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

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

  9. 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?


  10. 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…?



  11. 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?



  12. 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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