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» Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered here, feel free to ask it on our Support Forums.

General Questions

Who can use Prepar3D®?

Prepar3D is offered for simulation, training and learning. Example uses of Prepar3D are by professionals, students, or developers:

  • Professionals – This license is intended for professional skills training. This group could include private pilots, commercial flight schools, military personnel, civil organizations such as firefighters/emergency response or students pursuing a technical degree or an advanced degree such as a masters or PhD.
  • Students – An academic license at a reduced price is available for educational purposes at the undergraduate college level and below (students in elementary, middle, high school or pursuing a bachelor’s degree). This is an extension of our philanthropic support for STEM education to engage the next generation of technologists and engineers.
  • Developers – For the individuals or companies who are interested in developing aircraft models, scenery, terrains and weather effects for Prepar3D, we offer a Prepar3D developer license.

Please be aware that the three license types have different end-user license agreements (EULAs) and usage restrictions. For more details, please review the License Comparison page.

Can Prepar3D be used for entertainment?

No, Lockheed Martin does not offer Prepar3D for entertainment, and we have no plans to enter the entertainment space. The EULAs explain that Prepar3D can be used for purposes other than personal/consumer entertainment.

What are the differences between the Academic and Professional versions?

The only technical differences in the software are that the Academic version has a different splash screen and a small watermark in the top-right corner of the main window. Please be aware that they have different EULAs and usage restrictions. Full details can be found on the License Comparison page.

What are the differences between Prepar3D Professional and Prepar3D Professional Plus?

The major difference is the Prepar3D Professional Plus has additional features specific for advanced training. Please visit the product overview and what’s new pages for more information on Prepar3D Professional Plus.

Can Prepar3D be used at home?

Prepar3D can be used in any location. Where you intend to use Prepar3D is not a consideration in the licensing EULAs; it only matters how the software will be used. As specified in the EULAs, Prepar3D can be used for purposes other than personal/consumer entertainment.

How can I obtain a free demo or trial of Prepar3D?

Thank you for your interest, but we do not offer demo or trial copies of Prepar3D to the public. Prepar3D can be purchased directly from our store.

Am I able to get Prepar3D on a DVD or is it only available as a web download?

Prepar3D is only available as a digital download from our website. We chose this method of delivery because it allows you to receive the software quickly and it gives us the ability to provide frequent updates. We do not plan on releasing DVDs in the future.

Questions Regarding Prepar3D v4

What are the license options and pricing for Prepar3D v4?

To see which version of Prepar3D is right for you, please reference the License Options page. Please remember that each version has its own EULA and to read the EULA carefully before making your purchase.

Is Prepar3D v4 still backwards compatible with legacy content?

Prepar3D v4 was developed with backwards compatibility in mind. A considerable effort was spent effort in exposing new SDK capabilities and maintaining backwards compatibility to ensure most third-parties can update to v4 with minimal effort. Therefore, many of the add-ons customers have used in previous versions of Prepar3D can be used in Prepar3D v4. Be sure to contact the content developers of your add-ons to confirm whether or not their product can be used in Prepar3D v4.

Are any new vehicles included in Prepar3D v4?

Yes! The F-16A, F-16AM, F-16C, Lockheed Electra 10A, and the Milviz P-38L are all brand new vehicles to Prepar3D. In addition, we have updated many existing favorites. The updated vehicles include F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, Sikorsky S-70A, and Sikorsky H-60 variants.

Will Prepar3D v1, v2, and v3 still be available for purchase?

Yes. Many platforms have been developed using legacy versions and we want to ensure that there no interruption in the availability of those licenses.

I have purchased a previous version of Prepar3D, do I get an upgrade or a discount for Prepar3D v4?

If you have purchased Prepar3D within 60 days, per the refund policy, you can request a refund and then purchase the desired license of Prepar3D v4. There are no exchanges, upgrades, or discounts available.

I have a developer’s license for a previous version of Prepar3D. How do I update to Prepar3D v4?

If you are a monthly subscriber, you can cancel your current subscription and purchase a new Prepar3D v4 developer subscription. If you wish to keep your v1/v2/v3 monthly subscription you can keep renewing it and purchase a new Prepar3D v4 developer subscription. All major versions can be concurrently installed on the same machine. If you have purchased a pre-paid developer subscription and wish to change it out to a v4 developer subscription, please email licensing@prepar3d.com with your request.

Can I have Prepar3D v4 and a previous version of Prepar3D installed on the same computer?

Yes, any major versions of Prepar3D can coexist on the same computer; however, you cannot install minor versions (v4.x and v4.y) on the same computer.

Questions Regarding Prepar3D v3

Is Prepar3D v3 Compatible with Windows 10?

Yes, Prepar3D v3 is compatible with Windows 10. However not all hardware drivers have been updated for Windows 10 so it is important to check with the manufacturer of your hardware when upgrading to Windows 10.

What are the license options and pricing for Prepar3D v3?

To see which version of Prepar3D is right for you, please reference the License Options page. Please remember that each version has its own EULA and to read the EULA carefully before making your purchase.

Is Prepar3D v3 still backwards compatible with legacy content?

Yes. The Prepar3D development team has partnered with several developers to ensure that most legacy content is backwards compatible. That being said there are many different ways to build content, so there are possibilities that some content might not be fully backwards compatible. Your best bet is to check the license of your add-on content to ensure it is licensed to be used in Prepar3D, and to check with the developer of that add-on content.

Questions Regarding Prepar3D v2

Is Prepar3D v2 Compatible with Windows 8?

Yes, Prepar3D v2 is compatible with Windows 8. However not all hardware drivers have been updated for Windows 8 so it is important to check with the manufacturer of your hardware when upgrading to Windows 8.

What if I Don’t Have a DirectX11 Video Card, Can I Run Prepar3D v2?

Prepar3D v2 requires a DirectX11 fully compatible video card. If there is not a DirectX11 video card, Prepar3D v2 will not run.

Is Prepar3D v2 still backwards compatible with legacy content?

Yes. The Prepar3D development team has partnered with several developers to ensure that most legacy content is backwards compatible. That being said there are many, many different ways to build the same content, so there are possibilities that some content might not be fully backwards compatible. Your best bet, as always, is to check the license of your add-on content to ensure it is licensed to be used in Prepar3D, and to check with the developer of that add-on content.

Questions Regarding Downloading and Activating Prepar3D

I just purchased a copy of Prepar3D. How do I get the software? Where are the download links?

All software can be downloaded immediately after purchase from the Purchased Downloads page. Please be aware that the credentials you enter should match exactly what is in your invoice.

I cannot find my invoice and I need to reactivate Prepar3D. How can I retrieve my license information?

You can use our account information retrieval tool by clicking here. You can search for your license by entering the email address you used when purchasing Prepar3D. If you have a license under the email address you entered, you will receive an email with your activation information.

I have purchased a license and it is not appearing when I enter my information on the Purchased Downloads page. What is going on?

Please make sure you are using the email address or licensing ID from your invoice. This is not always the same information as your Prepar3D.com forum account. To purchase a license please visit our Store. For any account issues, please email the details to licensing@prepar3d.com.

How can I transfer my license to another computer?

Before making any major changes to your computer (hardware swaps, operating system changes, etc.,) please uninstall Prepar3D through the Windows Control Panel. Note: Clearing your registry will not release your activation. If you still get error 5013, please email licensing@prepar3d.com with your License ID and a brief explanation.

Why can I no longer activate after I have reinstalled Prepar3D, updated software, updated hardware, or installed Prepar3D on a new machine? I am getting error 5013 when trying to install. What do I need to do?

Depending on the license you have, it is likely that you have reached the limited number of activations for your specific license. While the licensing software does recognize that the installs are being done on the same computer, if enough of the computer’s information changes (operating system, external hardware, graphics cards, etc.), it will flag your setup as a different computer. If you need an additional activation, because of a hardware change or you are moving the license to a new computer, please e-mail licensing@prepar3d.com with your License ID and a very brief explanation of the reason you need your license reactivated. Your request will be fulfilled within two business days.

When I try to activate Prepar3D, I get error 5022. What should I do?

Error 5022 occurs when your system time does not match our server’s time. In order to activate Prepar3D, you will need to adjust your system time to the correct time for your region.

When I go to launch or activate Prepar3D I am getting error 309 or 306. What do I need to do?

This error typically occurs if you have modified your system clock. If you have modified your system clock forward/backward it could be causing this failure. Please check and make sure your system clock is correct. This may require you to restore your computer to a previous restore point to fix the issue.

When I go to activate Prepar3D, I keep getting error 5012 or 5010. What do I need to do?

That error occurs when trying to activate a copy of Prepar3D with an incompatible license type. For example, if you try to activate a Professional version of Prepar3D, but you use an Academic version license ID. You will need to make sure you install the correct version of Prepar3D and use the correct license for that version.

When I go to activate Prepar3D, I keep getting error 5008. What is wrong?

The License ID or the Password cannot be validated. Likely this is because you are entering the wrong activation password. Make sure you are using the activation password that is contained in your invoice email and not your Prepar3D.com forum account password.

I am having trouble downloading the software. What can I do to make sure the download is successful?

There are many things that could be causing the issues. If you use software that allows downloads to be resumed, IE 8+ or Firefox for example, you might be able to resume your download and continue on if the download is interrupted.

Payment Questions

What payment methods are accepted?

You can purchase Prepar3D with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit card. We are unable to accept PayPal payments at this time, and have no plans to accept PayPal payments in the future.

The expiration date on my credit card has passed and my developer’s license has been cancelled. How do I reactivate?

Your best option is to go to the store and simply purchase a new license. Once a license is cancelled or expired, your credit card will not be charged again.

How do I cancel my monthly subscription?

Your original invoice email contains a direct link to a website to cancel your subscription. It can also be canceled through our License Information page by clicking on the ‘License Type’ that you wish to cancel and following the customer service options.

How do I get a refund?

Our refund policy is available for viewing here. If you qualify for a refund, you can request a refund through refunds@prepar3D.com. Please send your license ID and invoice number along with your request. Please allow 2 business days for confirmation and up to 2 weeks for the refund to process.

Technical Questions

Does purchasing Prepar3D register me on the forums?

No, your Prepar3D customer account and forum account are two separate accounts. If you would like to create a post on the forum, you can create an account by registering here.

Why is Prepar3D closing when I try to open the Scenery Library, save a flight, load a flight, etc?

Hard crashes of Prepar3D are typically associated with administrator rights and permission incompatibilities on the computer. Navigating to Prepar3D’s install directory, right clicking on Prepar3D.exe, and selected ‘run as administrator’ will allow Prepar3D to access and write in the locations required.

What are the technical requirements for Prepar3D? What operating system does Prepar3D require and will it ever be ported to other ones?

The Prepar3D system requirements can be found at the bottom of the Prepar3D Product Overview page. Prepar3D is only compatible with Microsoft Windows operating systems (see system requirements) and it will not be ported to Apple or Linux operating systems.

Prepar3D does not start, instantly shuts down, or does not perform as expected. What is wrong?

Ensure the proper graphics card is set to run Prepar3D. If an onboard video card (Intel HD) is told to run Prepar3D, these issues will likely occur. To correct, use the appropriate video card software to configure the graphic card’s control of Prepar3D. For NVIDIA graphics cards, open the NVIDIA Control Panel, select Manage 3D settings, and set the Preferred graphics processor to High-performance NVIDIA processor. You can also set Prepar3D.exe’s preferred graphics processor directly under the Program Settings tab under Manage 3D settings.

Often you might need to delete the following generated folders/files to have Prepar3D respect your changes. This will result in any add-ons being removed/disabled.

  • %PROGRAMDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3
  • %LOCALAPPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3
  • %APPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3

Verify the fix was successful by opening Prepar3D and selecting Options, Settings, and under Full Screen Settings you should see the correct graphics card listed under Display.

I receive an error stating that, “Prepar3D® was unable to load some program files and will now exit. Please reinstall Prepar3D to restore or repair the program installation.” What is causing this and how can I fix it?

This error can be caused by a handful of issues. First, it is suggested you attempt to start Prepar3D using the executable (Prepar3D.exe) from the installation directory, rather than a shortcut. If that works, it means your shortcut is not linked correctly and you should manually create a new shortcut pointing to the Prepar3D.exe. If that does not work, make sure your computer is fully updated and that you have the most recent DirectX redistributables, Visual C++ redistributables, and .NET 4.0 libraries installed.
Finally, you should delete the generated files by navigating to your Prepar3D v4 installation directory (C:\Program Files\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4 by default) and double-click Delete Generated Files. You can also manually delete your generated files by deleting the following folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4 (or the modified install location)
  • %PROGRAMDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4
  • %LOCALAPPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4
  • %APPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4
  • %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Files

Or these folders for v3:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3 (or the modified install location)
  • %PROGRAMDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3
  • %LOCALAPPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3
  • %APPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3
  • %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Prepar3D v3 Files

Or these folders for v2:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2 (or the modified install location)
  • %PROGRAMDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2
  • %LOCALAPPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2
  • %APPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2
  • %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Prepar3D v2 Files

Or these folders for v1:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D (or the modified install location)
  • %PROGRAMDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D
  • %LOCALAPPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D
  • %APPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D
  • %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Prepar3D Files

After those folders are removed, you can reinstall Prepar3D and everything should work as expected.
Note: Before installing any add-ons or third party content, confirm Prepar3D works from the clean install.