Understanding v15 – Evaluating or Upgrading

With v15 we have greatly simplified the installation whilst at the same time increasing security by allowing you to have 3CX manage your FQDN and security certificates. However, it is important to understand the following:

A license key is bound to the FQDN (subdomain) you choose!

  • Evaluating / Demo V15
  • Restore of Backups
  • Converting Evaluation to Full Version
  • Upgrading / Existing Installations to V15
  • How to Upgrade

Evaluating / Demo V15

  1. To evaluate, use a free 3CX PBX Edition key -> do not use your existing NFR or purchased key!
  2. Select a test domain -> one that you will not want to use later for your production key!

Go to http://www.3cx.com/voip-ip-pbx/, fill in your details correctly and you will be provided with a free 3CX PBX Edition key. If you are not yet familiar with the 3CX PBX Edition version, here is the edition comparison table: http://www.3cx.com/phone-system/edition-comparison/.

When you choose a hostname, choose one that you will not need in the future. So if your company name is abclimited, and you are evaluating 3CX, do not “waste” abclimited on your test installation key knowing that you already have a commercial key for this installation. An exception would be if you are planing to UPGRADE the PBX Edition evaluation key into a full version and you do NOT yet own a key, then also reserve abclimited on this key!

Restore of Backups

If you install 3CX V15 and you use license key XYZ, do NOT RESTORE backups with another key from the management console to this installation! An exception would be if you are planing to UPGRADE the PBX Edition evaluation key into a full version and you do NOT yet own a key, then also reserve abclimited on this key!

If you restore a backup, you will activate 3CX with the license that is inside the backup and your installation will have FQDN problems and conferencing will not work. Replacing the license key or importing a backup with a different license key requires a reinstall of the PBX!

Converting Evaluation to Full Version

If you evaluated 3CX successfully and you are ready to upgrade your free 3CX PBX Edition key to a full featured commercial version, a Version Upgrade must be purchased on your existing license key.

  • As an End User, you must present your key to the 3CX Partner for the Upgrade order to maintain your installation and FQDN
  • As a 3CX Partner, only order new license keys in case no evaluation has been made using a 3CX PBX Edition key as the FQDN is already bound to a key resulting in a reinstall of the product.

Upgrading Existing Installations to V15

If you bought a 3CX License, then use this key at the installation stage and with this reserve your FQDN.

You will have the option to either choose a 3CX FQDN or to import your existing SSL Certificate for your own FQDN. Decide the options you want to take. If you choose to use a 3CX FQDN, enter your company name as your hostname (abclimited only). This will lock your license key to “abclimited”. The Domain will be reserved for you and only you – providing you keep your maintenance current.

How to Upgrade

If you have a previous version of 3CX, and you want to upgrade to V15, you will firstly need to make sure you have valid maintenance and then to perform the following steps:

  1. Ensure that all Windows updates are installed on the machine you wish to install 3CX. (This can be a time consuming process if you have not done this in a long time. So do this before you uninstall 3CX to reduce downtime)
  2. Access your current 3CX Phone System and perform a backup
  3. Uninstall 3CX
  4. Download and run the V15 install
  5. The 3CX PBX Configuration tool will launch and will prompt you to restore your previous backup. Enter the path including file name where your backup is saved. The license key inside the backup will be used and linked to this installation.
  6. You will be prompted to choose a 3CX FQDN or import an existing SSL Certificate for a domain that you already own covering the chosen FQDN. If you choose a 3CX FQDN, choose your hostname wisely because the license key will be bound to the chosen FQDN.

See Also
V15 FQDN Management and Allocation
V15 “504 Gateway Time-out” message

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  1. If you need to trash an install in order to say go from 3 to 4 digit extensions, will the FQDN originally requested and used then be available on the re-install?

    Or could I partially restore? (Never tried that).

    July 12, 2016 at 5:52 pm
    • @Richard – The FQDN is linked to the license key you used at installation time and not to the backup.
      I can give you some tips to try and save time. Export your 3 digit extensions. Modify them to 4 digits and save the file. (All your extension settings will be OK). At least you try and save parts of the backup.
      Then uninstall. Reinstall v15 and enter the License key. Then you can select your FQDN.
      After you can import the extensions. Then you have 4 digit extensions ready. Like this you can make headway recreating your pbx.

      July 12, 2016 at 7:05 pm
  2. Hello Nicky,
    How can we change my IP address on the FQDN if this is a 3CX FQDN. For example if I am changing my internet provider…

    July 13, 2016 at 12:45 am
    • @Cesar – it is done automatically. When 3CX Detects that your IP has changed, it will automatically update your DNS record on our Name Servers.

      July 13, 2016 at 8:52 am
  3. Mark Cooper

    Latest iPhone 3CX WebMeeting app V9.0.0.2 States (Info: This application is only compatible with Version 15 of the 3CX PBX), isn’t this going to cause problems for sites, not already updated from V14, but have auto-updates enabled on there phone?

    July 13, 2016 at 11:02 am
    • @Mark – If you want to join meetings from iOS devices, you need to upgrade your pbx to V15 and use the new Conferencing platform for V15. This is how it works. 3CX Webmeeting for iOS is a NEW product released to work on V15.

      July 13, 2016 at 11:07 am
  4. Mark Cooper

    @ Nicky, Thanks for info. App was Downloaded months ago, But never used yet. But with updated stated (Added support for usage with 3CX PBX V15) and (This application is only compatible with Version 15 of the 3CX PBX) which makes it sound like it was V14 compatible.

    July 13, 2016 at 11:32 am
    • @Mark Thanks for your reply. Yes moving forward it will work on V15 only. We want users to go to the new V15 infrastructure because it is better and gives a superior user experience. We made many technical improvements to this app now so you should try it. Now is your chance to try it on V15.

      July 13, 2016 at 11:40 am
  5. Nicky, thanks for your response, I have another question regarding the free edition in V15. I understand that I only can connect one SIP provider. But in the case of Gateways, do we just can install one gateway?

    July 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm
    • @Cesar -Yes 1 trunk or gateway. They both are classified as SIP trunks in v15. 1 SIP TRUNK

      July 13, 2016 at 7:03 pm
  6. Mcse


    If we are on v12.5 can we upgrade straight to v15 ? Or do we need to upgrade to v14 first ?


    July 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm
    • Yes you can go straight to v15

      July 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm
  7. The upgrade from 14 to 15 is not working, it loads the backup and at 100% it just stops and does not go any further?

    July 23, 2016 at 10:19 pm
  8. Arkadii

    Excuse me please I’m new to 3CX so where I can find step-by-step instructions for “Converting Evaluation to Full Version” for V15?

    August 25, 2016 at 11:49 pm
    • Charalambos Eleftheriou

      @Akkadii, Even when using a free pbx license key 3CX is a full version, it just has limits for certain things like creating call queues, bridges and allows only one sip trunk to be created. If you want these features you need to upgrade the licence key. Please contact our sales department, sales@3cx.com.

      August 26, 2016 at 11:09 am
  9. Spring

    Hi, If i am on version 12 and want to upgrade to version 15 so just backup from version 12 then uninstall and install version 15 and restore the backup?
    Note: My version 12 maintenance is expired and will buy key for version 15.

    September 13, 2016 at 11:10 am
  10. Spring

    Thanks Charalambos Eleftheriou,
    and during i am upgrade from version 12 to version 14 do i need to activate the license key before upgrade to Version 15?

    September 15, 2016 at 6:04 am