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
How to Tell What Version of OBS You’re Running
Before you update OBS Studio, you may want to check what version of OBS Studio you are currently running. This is important if you use a 32-bit operating system or Windows 7, 8, macOS 10.13, or macOS 10.14, as support for these operating systems was dropped in OBS Version 28. To do this:
- Left-Click on Help in the top navigation bar
- Select About
You should see a new window appear that looks like this:
Note the text just below OBS Studio. 28.1.2 (64-bit) is the version I am currently running and is where your OBS version number will appear.
Method 1: Trigger 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 (Pictured below). 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.
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.
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. Remember the rules of a backup – If it isn’t in at least three different HDDs or SSDs, then it isn’t backed up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Safe to Update OBS?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to update OBS Studio to the latest version. No existing scenes or sources will be touched by an update. The only exception to this is if your operating system is not supported by the version of OBS Studio you are trying to update to.
Due to the UI Framework being updated to a new version, OBS Studio no longer supports the following operating systems as of Version 28 and later:
- Windows 7 & 8
- macOS 10.13 & 10.14
- Ubuntu 18.04
- All 32-bit operating systems
If you are still using these older operating systems, then you will not be able to use the latest version of OBS Studio. In this case, you will need to revert to version 27.2.4, which does support the operating systems and architecture listed above.
If you’re using Ubuntu, or a distro based on the out-of-date version of Ubuntu, then I’m afraid you’ll need to reference other resources, as there are simply too many distros out there to provide a tutorial for each of them within this article.
Reverting a Bad OBS Update (Windows)
If you are affected by an update negatively, 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 “x64-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.
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 in an entirely different directory than the main OBS install.
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.
Does OBS Update Itself?
OBS Studio does not automatically update itself to the latest version. However, it does automatically check for updates and prompts you to update to the latest version, if that option is enabled in the settings.
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 do this:
- Left-Click on the Settings Button within the Controls Dock
- Under General, there is a toggle for Automatically check for updates on startup.
- Left-Click it to enable the feature if it is disabled.
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.
Speaking of Plugins – Updating Plugins in OBS Can Be Tedious
Unfortunately, OBS does not automatically update the 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. I wrote a detailed article about it that will show you the ropes of what the program is and how to use it.
The makers of this handy tool even made some software they call “Sputnik,” which is designed to compete with 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.