Foldit Wiki

The update progress dialog seen while Foldit is downloading updates.

The update group determines when the Foldit client receives software updates.

The update group is displayed in the General Options menu.

Update groups include:

  • main
  • devprev
  • education
  • experimental

The default update group is main, which is the most stable version of Foldit.

The devprev, or developer preview, update group is used for testing changes to Foldit. Once updates have been tested in devprev, they are released to main.

The education update group features a series of puzzles that focus on the scientific aspects of the game. Although superficially similar to the regular Intro Puzzles, the education mode puzzles include much more technical detail.

The education mode version of Foldit is available as a separate download, see For Educators on the Foldit website.

The experimental update group is currently used for testing new versions of the Rosetta scientific software "under the hood" of Foldit. See New Update in 'Experimental' Update Group! for more.

The experimental update group is separate, and changes to it won't be released to devprev or main until a future date.

When a Foldit client starts, it checks the Foldit server for the current version of the software for its update group. If a new (or at least different) version is available, the client starts to download and install the update. The user may opt to skip the update temporarily.

In some cases, users must accept updates in order to play certain puzzles.

The update group can't be changed within the Foldit client. To change the update group, locate the file "options.txt", and open it in the text editor of your choice. In Windows, the Notepad editor is good enough. Find the keyword "update_group". The line should look something like this:

"update_group" : "devprev"

The value on the right side is the update group, "devprev" in this example.

The Foldit client must not be running when you change options.txt. The client reads options.txt when it starts. The client overwrites options.txt when it stops, so changes made while the client is running will be lost.

The options.txt file is contained in the Foldit installation folder (directory). On Windows, this might be c:\Foldit or the location selected when Foldit was installed.

On Windows, the file "options.txt" might appear as simply "options". There is a Windows Explorer setting which controls display of ".txt" and other well-known "file name extensions". In Windows 10, the "View" menu of Windows Explorer contains a "File name extensions" checkbox. If this box is checked, the full name "options.txt" will be displayed. In older versions of Windows, there was the opposite setting "hide extensions for known file types".

Update process details[]

The Foldit software update process is controlled by three files:

  • version-binary.txt
  • version-resources.txt
  • version-database.txt

These files are found in the Foldit installation directory.

Each of these files contains a unique identifier (UID). For example, version-resources.txt might contain this UID:


When a Foldit client starts, it checks these UIDs against the current UIDs for the update group on the Foldit server. If they don't match, the download and update process is automatically started. The user may cancel the update if desired.

Updates are installed to a directory named with the UID, for example:


might contain a version of Foldit's resources.

See program files for more detail on binary, resources, and database directories.

See manual update for a way to download an update if the automatic update process is failing.