Think you need to update OBS Studio to the latest version? This brief article will teach you how to do that. Once again, I’m going for a no-nonsense approach – giving you all of the info you need to know and none of the fluff so you can get back to creating your content asap.
Table of Contents
Method 1: Update OBS by Retriggering the Check for Updates Process
Suppose you accidentally or purposely dismissed the update window by clicking on the “Remind me later” button or the X button, or you don’t have automatic updates enabled on OBS. In that case, you can manually trigger the check for updates feature again. To do this, simply:
- Left-Click on Help in the top navigation bar
- Left-Click on Check for Updates
If an update is available, a new window will appear with the version number and a changelog that notes all of the fixes and additions made to OBS. The next step would be to Left-Click on the Update Now button and begin the update process. You’ll need to close OBS Studio before it can do what it needs to do.
Quicktip – How to Enable OBS Check for Updates Automatically
OBS Studio will never force you to download an update. This is because the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” is a design staple of this program. Many of you will have a specific setup that works to generate income. You don’t want to tinker with what gets the job done and the bills paid.
However, Enabling Automatic update Checks is still my recommended configuration because you are still choosing whether or not to install the Update. To
- Left-Click on the Settings Button
- Under General, there is a toggle for Automatically check for updates on startup. Left-Click it if it is inactive.
I recommend this setting to be on because it is a very handy way to see what gets added to OBS without needing to consult an Update overview post or video online. Though, you might still have to do that if you aren’t keen on experimenting with the new feature yourself.
Bonus Tip – Prevent the Infinity Mirror Effect in OBS
While you’re here, you might also want to toggle Hide OBS windows from screen Capture. This prevents the infinity mirror effect that can be quite disorienting for viewers.
Method 2: Relaunch OBS Studio
Alternatively, you could also relaunch OBS Studio if you have automatically check for updates on startup enabled. This will rerun the OBS updater on the launch of the program. However, since it opens so slowly, I recommend sticking to the first method to save yourself some time.
Speaking of Plugins – Updating Plugins in OBS Can Be Tedious
Unfortunately, OBS does not automatically update plugins that you install. To have the latest version of those, you will need to go to the forum and download the most up-to-date versions and manually re-install them. This makes the process of using plugins fairly tedious.
Luckily, there is an alternative to this…
Starscape OBS Plugin Manager to the Rescue!
Starscape’s OBS Plugin Manager is what it sounds like – a robust plugin manager that allows you to keep all of your plugins it supports up to date. Unfortunately, this handy OBS plugin updater only supports 77 different plugins at this time. Since I have no way of knowing the criteria that they go off to determine which plugins appear in it, I’ve no idea what plugins will be supported in the future.
The makers of this handy tool even made some software they call “Sputnik,” which is designed to replace the Elgato Stream Deck and the Stream Deck App! I haven’t personally tested this yet, but considering I have recommended alternatives to the stream deck in the past, it isn’t impossible. I personally like that this is one of the few options out there that allow the use of a tablet screen. For an input-focused program, support for a larger touch screen is highly beneficial.
Method 3: Download a Fresh Copy of OBS Studio
If you need to update, and you have some sort of error during the update process (say you had some sort of power loss or something), then you may need to download a fresh copy of OBS Studio. This is usually the last resort method because it does take the longest out of the three methods to update OBS.
As your profiles, scenes, and sources are saved in a separate folder;
you will likely escape the loss of your precious setup. By the way, I do recommend creating a backup of that folder once you’re happy with your streaming scenes, just in case. It never hurts to be prepared.
Will Updating OBS Cause My Settings to Reset?
Fear not! Updating OBS will not alter your scenes or sources in any way, nor will it change any of your encoder settings. OBS updates contain mainly bug fixes and new features, and unless they specify otherwise in the update notes, they will not affect you in a negative way. As stated above, the profile configuration files are located in an entirely different directory than the main OBS install itself.
In fact, I’ve even moved OBS out of the Program Files folder to my Media HDD, and the program launched just fine, and I saw the profiles with no problem.
OBS Updates Have Never Caused Issues With My Ability to Go Live
I have never been adversely affected by an update in my two years of streaming on Twitch using OBS Studio. I have always been able to click the Start Streaming button and go live. The only thing that has hindered me in the past is user error.
As a result, I strongly recommend keeping OBS updated to the latest version to ensure the best possible experience for your audience. But, of course, there is an exception to this.
This exception is the only time I’d recommend purposely avoiding an update – you are on a strict streaming schedule, and the Update would hinder your ability to start on time. After all, as unlikely as it is to cause a problem in your ability to go live, it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility.
However, OBS plugins might not adhere to that same level of update stability. I recommend holding off on updating those before a live stream until you can test for functional stability.
Reverting a Bad OBS Update (Windows)
If you are affected by an update in a negative way, then you can revert your Update. To do this, you need to download a specific version from the public Git project. All you need to do is
- Scroll down to a previous version and Left-Click on the large version heading text
- Under Assets, download the OBS-Studio-Version-number-Full-Installer-x64.exe if you have a 64-bit operating system.
- To figure out if you’re running a 64-bit OS, type in “System Information” in your search bar and launch the program.
- In the first tab, you should see some information under your Windows version. The System Type Property shows you what kind of system it is. In my case, it says “x-64 based PC”.
- Run the Installer – You’ll need to close any running instances of OBS to do so.
That’s all it takes to revert to a previous version of OBS Studio. If doing this didn’t fix your problem, then it is highly likely the problem is being caused by an OBS plugin.