Foldit Wiki

Foldit checks for updates each time it starts.

If updates are available, Foldit automatically downloads and installs them. Foldit restarts after installing the updates.

The user can choose to skip the updates temporarily. In some cases, Foldit must be updated in order to open newer puzzles. In this case, the puzzles are visible on the Foldit website (, but not in the puzzle menu of the Foldit client.

Some users have reported problems with automatic updates. It may be possible to download the required files and install them manually to work around problems.

A manual update is not highly technical, but experience working with zip files is probably helpful. Familiarity the Windows Explorer or similar tools would also be helpful.

The examples here are valid for releases 20171208-e675de91df-win_x86 ("main" update group) or 20171208-e675de91df-win_x86-devprev ("deprev" update group. The "main" and "devprev" groups are the same at this point.

The current release id can be found under General Options (control + t) in the Foldit client.

Release components[]

Each Foldit release has three components:

  • binary - the executable game files
  • database - biochemistry data
  • resources - images, sounds, etc.

Each of these components is stored in a sub-directory of the Foldit install directory.

For example, on Windows, a current install consists of three directories:

  • C:\Foldit\cmp-binary-735ed0f007ef61aaae4baeb7d7efdfa4
  • C:\Foldit\cmp-database-9bc402ac6a782db314f6c0f6e61234d0
  • C:\Foldit\cmp-resources-2d883b8ad7a2df9c16fcd0508375b444

There are also three base directories with zeroes in their names, for example cmp-binary-00000000000000000000000000000000. These directories are not involved in the update process.

In addition to the directories, there are three version files:

  • C:\Foldit\version-binary.txt
  • C:\Foldit\version-database.txt
  • C:\Foldit\version-database\version-resources.txt

Each of these files contains the hexadecimal identifier portion of the directory name. For example, version-binary.txt might contain:


Release download[]

During the automatic update process, the Foldit client may download three zip files. Not every new release updates all three components.

It's not known how the Foldit client obtains the current release information.

The downloads for the current release are:

The binary zip file contains the platform id, "win_x86", in this case.

The database zip file as an additional "_13" at the end of the file name, which is not part of the release id.

The resources zip file has an additional "_1" at the end of the file name, which again is not part of the release id.

Manual update process[]

Before attempting a manual update, close any Foldit clients.

First, download the three zip files for the release, as shown above.

Second, unzip the zip files to directories named as follows

  • for binary: cmp-binary-735ed0f007ef61aaae4baeb7d7efdfa4
  • for database: cmp-database-9bc402ac6a782db314f6c0f6e61234d0
  • for resources: cmp-resources-2d883b8ad7a2df9c16fcd0508375b444

If the directories already exist, there's probably no need to update them, but replacing their contents can't hurt.

Third, update the version files with the release id of each component as follows:

  • version-binary.txt - 735ed0f007ef61aaae4baeb7d7efdfa4
  • version-database.txt - 9bc402ac6a782db314f6c0f6e61234d0
  • version-resources.txt - 2d883b8ad7a2df9c16fcd0508375b444

Once these steps are complete, start the Foldit client. If everything was successful, the client should skip updates and start normally.

There's no need to remove the old binary, database, and resource directories. The Foldit client does this automatically.

Addtional info[]

See Foldit file and directory structure for a detailed explanation of Foldit files and directories.

In you have multiple separate Foldit directories (for example, c:\Foldit1, c:\Foldit2, c:\Foldit3 and so on), you can copy the component directories and version files between them to update. Copying the file eliminates the need to download the same updates more than once.