Need Bulk Family Upgrades? You’ve Got Options!

So, I’ve been asked maybe 4.. 5 times in the last week or so “How do I batch update Revit family files?” so for those that don’t know how, here is a run down of some of the options available to you

Bulk File Upgrader – US$99

Harry Mattison of Boost Your BIM has written a Bulk File Upgrader program which you can use to upgrade projects, families and templates in bulk. It costs US$99 and has a very simple to use graphical interface which basically consists of selecting the location of files in and files out.

It’s a pretty simple app, it’s built to do one thing and does it well. You can pick it up from the Autodesk App Exchange here

BIMWerx Bulk Upgrader – US$10

This is a relatively new file upgrade addin that was released just this last week.

The batch file upgrader will scan a user specified folder for project files and family files, upgrade them and save them in the same folder. All backup files are automatically removed afterwards in order not to clutter the folder that is being upgraded.

This application requires minimal input, and works great with multiple library file upgrades. You can grab it from the Autodesk App Store.

CADDaddy Tools – US$12.99

Another alternative is to think about what you want to do in reverse.

James LeVieux sells a great little addin called CADDaddy Tools, it doesn’t upgrade files, but it will export families to a folder location complete with sub-folders that reflect the element category. This is a fantastic solution if you keep all (or most) of your families in your base Revit template. Simply upgrade your Revit template or project and then use the CADDaddy Tools family exporter to export all your newly upgraded families.

You can pick and choose what categories are exported and away you go.

The best part is that CADDaddy  Tools is only US$12.99 for the latest version (2017) and gets cheaper for previous releases and for that price, you also get a few other handy tools as well. Once you’ve exported your families, if you have the Revit version as a suffix to your file names, there are a number of free file name utilities out there that you can use you rename your files to reflect the correct version.

Journal File – Free!

If you’re up for something ever so slightly more complicated than the other two options, you can use a Revit journal script. I’ve tested this to work in both Revit 2015 and 2016 and it will bulk upgrade files with ease and what’s better is you can do it for free!

First download this file and extract the contents to the root directory of your family library. I suggest you take a copy of your family library to make the changes to so you don’t lose the previous version of your families.


Run the BatchUpgrade2016.bat file, this will start by cleaning out all of your old family backup files (i.e. family.0001.rfa) and then it will create a list named famlist_rfa.txt

Once you have the famlist_rfa.txt file, simply drag and drop the BatchUpgrade2016.txt file onto the Revit icon on the desktop. Make sure you drag it to the correct icon i.e. Revit 2016.

Now all that’s left to do is watch the magic!


13/10/16 – Script updated for Revit 2017 compatibility. Please re-download the file for the updated script.

8 thoughts on “Need Bulk Family Upgrades? You’ve Got Options!

  1. avatar Non Joining Group says:

    Have you updated this journal file txt for 2017? I tried it but it wouldn’t work? Thanks

  2. avatar Ryan Lenihan says:

    I believe the syntax for the journals in 2017 has changed which is why it doesn’t work, I haven’t really spent that much time looking into it yet so no, I don’t have anything. I’ll have a look over the next few weeks to see if I can see what the changes are as I’ll need it myself soon.

  3. avatar ceilidhhiggins says:

    Thanks – appreciate your quick reply!

  4. avatar Ryan Lenihan says:

    Hey Celidh, I’ve updated the bulk upgrader to be compatible with 2017 and it remains backward compatible with 2015 & 2016. If you retry the existing download link you should get the file Let me know how you go!

  5. avatar Mark says:

    Hi Ryan, I downloaded the bulk upgrader and ran the .bat file but it did not create the family list file. Running revit 2017 on Win 7 pro OS. Please help…

  6. avatar Ryan Lenihan says:

    Hi Mark,

    Do you have local administrator rights or access to write to the folder that the families are located in? Try right click on the batch file and select “Run as Administrator”

    Failing that, all the batch file does is delete family backup files i.e. *.0*.rfa and then generates a list of what remains. You can do this manually. In a command prompt, browse to the folder you need to work with, then you can remove your old backup files by typing del /s /F *.0*.rfa then once that’s done, you can generate the text file by typing in dir /B /S *.rfa > famlist_rfa.txt

    The first part translates to “delete all files that fit the wildcard *.0*.rfa, search for these files in all subfolders (/s) and force the delete/don’t ask for confirmation (/F)”

    The second part translates to “write me a text file (famlist_rfa.txt) of all the files in the folder and all subfolders (/s) that match the wildcard *.rfa, use the bare format (/B – no headers or strings)”

    Let me know how you go.

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