This guide provides detailed instructions for installing ACL Analytics – Desktop Edition (ACL Analytics). Before starting the installation you should read through the sections of the guide that apply to your situation.

You need to complete the following steps to install ACL Analytics:

  1. Check the configuration of the computer where ACL Analytics will be installed to ensure that it meets the minimum software and hardware requirements. For more information, see ACL Analytics system requirements.

  2. Ensure that you have Administrator rights on the computer on which you are performing the installation.

  3. If you are installing using a perpetual license, make sure you have an ACL Analytics serial number provided by ACL, or a previously installed version of ACL Analytics or ACL Desktop with a valid serial number. If you have a previously installed version, the ACL Analytics installer will attempt to activate the new version of the software using your existing serial number.

  4. If you are installing using a subscription license, make sure you have a valid ACL GRC account.

  5. Download the ACL Analytics installation package from the ACL Support Center (http://support.acl.com/supportcenter/downloads.aspx).

  6. Install the application using the instructions in this guide.

Upgrading from a previous version

The ACL Analytics 10.5.1 installer performs an installation of ACL Analytics 10.5.1, or an upgrade of ACL Analytics 10.x. The installer does not upgrade previous versions of ACL Desktop to ACL Analytics.

You can uninstall a previous version of ACL Desktop in a separate operation, or you can install ACL Analytics side by side with a previous version of ACL Desktop. If you choose to uninstall a previous version, perform the uninstallation after installing ACL Analytics so that the installer can retrieve the serial number from the installed version of ACL Desktop.

Installing different versions or editions side by side

ACL Analytics 10.5.1 can be installed side by side with ACL Desktop 9.3 or earlier. Unicode and non-Unicode editions of ACL Analytics or ACL Desktop can never be installed side by side, regardless of the version number.

ACL projects and data files

When you install or upgrade ACL Analytics, any ACL projects you previously created, and any data files, are not affected and are available to use in the new version.

Settings for configurable options

If you have ACL projects with project-specific settings for configurable options (Options dialog box settings), these settings are preserved when you install ACL Analytics 10.5.1. Project-specific settings exist if a preferences file (.prf file) exists in the Windows folder containing the ACL project.

Any changes you have made to the global settings for configurable options are preserved when you upgrade from ACL Analytics 10.x to version 10.5.1. Changes made to global settings in ACL Desktop 9.3 or earlier are not preserved in version 10.5.1. After completing the installation, you can recreate any customized settings in the Options dialog box.

If ACL Analytics 10.5.1 is installed side by side with ACL Desktop 9.x, preference settings specified in either version are treated separately and do not affect one another.

For more information about project-specific and global settings for configurable options, see the ACL Analytics User Guide.

Date fields automatically converted to datetime fields

When you open a 9.x ACL project in ACL Analytics 10 for the first time, it is converted to a version 10 project, and any fields with a Date data type are automatically converted to fields with a Datetime data type.

You can still open the converted project in version 9.x, but the datetime fields are not converted back to date fields. Datetime fields cannot be read by version 9.x, and if you open a version 10 project in version 9.x any datetime field definitions are deleted, which prevents the date information from appearing. You can manually redefine the fields as date fields in version 9.x, although manually redefining can be a lot of work depending on how many fields are affected.

If you think you might want to revert to using version 9.x for a particular ACL project with date fields, consider maintaining two copies of the project, one for use in version 9.x and one for use in version 10.

As an additional safeguard, when you convert a 9.x project to 10, ACL Analytics automatically creates a copy of the project with a .OLD extension. This copy (<project name>.ACL.OLD) is not changed in any way, so you can always go back to this project, and rename it – for example, <project name>_v_9.ACL – and open it in version 9.x without any issues.

ACL sample data files

When you install or upgrade ACL Analytics any existing ACL sample data files are overwritten if they are in the ACL working directory you specify during the installation or upgrade. (The default location is C:\ACL DATA\Sample Data Files) If you have made changes to any of the sample projects or data files that you want to keep, save the files elsewhere before installing or upgrading, or rename the folder containing them. Do the same with the associated command log files if you want to preserve them.

Changing between Unicode and non-Unicode editions of ACL Analytics

You cannot use the ACL Analytics installer to upgrade non-Unicode ACL to Unicode ACL, or vice versa. To change editions of ACL at the same time as you upgrade versions requires that you first uninstall the existing installation of ACL, and then perform a fresh installation of the new version. Before you uninstall ACL, record your serial number. You can copy it from the Acl.ini file in the ACL Desktop or the ACL Analytics application executable directories. The default locations are as follows:

On computers running 64-bit operating systems the default program folder used by ACL Analytics is C:\Program Files (x86)\

Conversion of non-Unicode ACL projects to Unicode

If you use a Unicode edition of ACL Analytics to open an ACL project created in a non-Unicode edition, you have the option of automatically converting the project and the associated log file to Unicode, or cancelling the operation. If you proceed with the conversion, copies of the original non-Unicode project and the log file are saved with the file extension .OLD, and are not altered. The project data files (.fil files) are not converted to Unicode and remain unchanged.

Once you have converted a non-Unicode project to Unicode, you are no longer able to open it in non-Unicode editions of ACL Analytics, and ACL cannot convert it back to non-Unicode. You must use a Unicode edition of ACL to open and work with Unicode projects.

Language support

ACL Analytics is available in nine different languages, including English. The table below summarizes the available languages, and the support for non-Unicode and Unicode editions across the available languages.


Editions supported




non-Unicode, Unicode


non-Unicode, Unicode


non-Unicode, Unicode








non-Unicode, Unicode


non-Unicode, Unicode

Product name change

Prior to version 10.0, ACL Analytics was called ACL Desktop. In the online help and user guides, the short form of the name continues to be ACL. In this installation guide, the name ACL Analytics is used.

To distinguish between the desktop- and network-based editions of ACL Analytics, the full names of the different editions are ACL Analytics – Desktop Edition and ACL Analytics – Network Edition.

Both the desktop- and network-based editions of ACL Analytics are available in Unicode and non-Unicode editions. Unicode and non-Unicode are not part of the product names, however the application installers are identified as Unicode or non-Unicode. Additionally, in the dialog box containing the product serial number and the software version number (Help > About ACL Analytics), Unicode editions of ACL Analytics display the word Unicode after the version number. Non-Unicode editions display only the version number.

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