Creating a custom app > Working with plug-ins > Installing plug-ins

Installing plug-ins

Database developers can insert plug-in files in container fields, then use scripts and calculations to install and update plug-ins.

Note  If you are concerned that unwanted plug-ins might be installed when you use solution files on a trial basis, you can disable the Allow Solutions to Install Files option in the plug-in preferences. However, be aware that the solution file may not behave as intended if you don't allow required plug-ins to install. See Setting plug-in preferences.

To install a plug-in file:

1. Create a container field. See About container fields.

2. Do one of the following:

In Browse mode, select the container field, choose Insert menu > Insert File, select a plug-in file, then click Open.

Write a script and use the Insert File script step to place the plug-in in the container field. See Creating and editing scripts and Insert File.

3. Create a script and use the Install Plug-In File script step to specify the container field as the target field.

4. Run the script to install the plug-in.

Plug-ins for FileMaker Pro Advanced are installed in the following folders:

Windows: C:\users\user_name\AppData\Local\FileMaker\FileMaker Pro Advanced\18.0\Extensions\

macOS: Macintosh HD/Users/user_name/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/FileMaker Pro Advanced/18.0/Extensions

Tip  You can use the Get(InstalledFMPlugins) function to identify the version of the installed plug-in and compare it with the version of the plug-in stored in the container field, then update the plug-in by reinstalling, if necessary. See Plug-in update example and Get(InstalledFMPlugins).


FileMaker Pro Advanced can only install plug-ins that match the FileMaker Pro Advanced application's architecture. For example, the 64-bit version of FileMaker Pro Advanced can only install 64-bit plug-ins. Use the Get(ApplicationArchitecture) function to determine the current application's architecture. FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud for AWS can install only 64-bit plug-ins.

FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Server, and FileMaker Cloud for AWS will not load a plug-in if it has already loaded a plug-in with the same plug-in ID.

Some plug-ins may require that you restart FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Server, or FileMaker Cloud for AWS after you install or update them. See the plug-in's documentation.

For more information on installing plug-ins on FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud for AWS, see FileMaker Server Help or FileMaker Cloud for AWS Help in the Product Documentation Center.

You cannot install multiple versions of a plug-in to support multiple versions of FileMaker Pro Advanced.

If your solution requires a specific plug-in version that works only with the current version of FileMaker Pro Advanced, instruct users to manually place plug-ins in the Extensions folder inside the FileMaker Pro Advanced or FileMaker runtime folder of the current version.

If a plug-in is intended for all installed versions of FileMaker Pro Advanced, you must manually install the plug-in in each user's AppData\Local\FileMaker\Extensions (Windows) or Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions (macOS) folder.

The search order for loading plug-ins starts with the Extensions folder inside the FileMaker Pro Advanced application folder, followed by the folder that the Install Plug-In File script step uses. The last location checked is the AppData\Local\FileMaker\Extensions (Windows) or Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions (macOS) folder.

macOS: Plug-ins stored in container fields are compressed by default.