Creating Full-Installation Upgrades

InstallShield 2015 Express Edition

Project: This information applies to Express projects.

Once you have determined that a full-installation upgrade is the best upgrade solution for you, you can begin to create your upgrade in the Upgrade Paths view. You can start by creating a new Express project, or you can open the installation for the latest version of your product and modify it as needed.

Note that a major upgrade signifies significant change in functionality and warrants a change in the product code and the product version; you can update these values in the General Information view.

Note: When you change the product code, Windows Installer treats your latest and previous product versions as unrelated, even though the ProductName values are likely the same. If you want both versions of your product to be installable on the same system, you can simply change the product code and the main installation directory (often INSTALLDIR).

Upgrade paths are for major upgrades only. The Upgrade Paths view is only for upgrading an entire installation, and not for upgrading a few files (patching). If you need patching capabilities, you can create a QuickPatch project.

If you do not use the Upgrade Paths view to create an upgrade for an earlier version of the product, your end users may need to manually uninstall the earlier version of your product before installing the new version. The Upgrade Paths view can handle both the uninstallation of one or more products, as well as the installation of the new version. For example, if your users have both 1.0 and 2.0 of your product installed on their system, and you release 3.0, you can use the Upgrade Paths view to remove any or both of the earlier versions by adding two entries in the Upgrade Paths explorer. Each upgrade path must have a separate entry in the Upgrade Paths explorer.

The following table shows the relationship between the product code and the upgrade code through a first installation version and two product updates. If the upgrade paths were set up based on this information, version 1.0 would upgrade to either version 1.1 or 2.0; version 1.1 would upgrade to 2.0.

Sample Codes for Upgrades

Product Version

Product Code

Upgrade Code










For more information on creating an upgrade using InstallShield, refer to this section of the InstallShield Help Library.