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Vectorworks won't open. Antivirus software to blame.

Jeremy Best


Hi everyone, 


I've had three unrelated users call me this morning saying Vectorworks won't open and displays the error message, "There is a corrupt or missing file in the Vectorworks installation. Please reinstall Vectorworks." - Reinstalling makes no difference because the problem is caused by their antivirus blocking/quarantining the Vectorworks component, 'Plug-In Support.vlb' on-launch. This has affected (so far) Vectorworks 2019 and Vectorworks 2020. 



  1. 'Restore' the quarantined component 'Plug-In Support.vlb' 
  2. 'Whitelist' the entire Vectorworks program folder, AKA adding it to the 'exceptions' list. 

Both of these are done in the antivirus software settings. 


Software Affected So Far: 

Vectorworks versions: 

  • 2020 SP4 (Build 550627) on Windows
  • 2019 SP6 (Build 522773) on Windows

Antivirus programs: 

  • AV Defender
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Sophos

  • eScan

  • G-Data


I'll update this list if I encounter more, but if you have this issue, try to apply the above solution. Some users will need to get their IT provider to apply this solution. 


To prevent ongoing issues I'll request Vectorworks Inc advise antivirus companies to prevent further instances. 


If you encounter this issue the following information would be useful to Vectorworks Inc: 

  1. Vectorworks build number.
    • In Vectorworks, go: Help > About Vectorworks, on Windows or Vectorworks > About Vectorworks, on Mac,
  2. Antivirus software installed
    • Make/Brand
    • Variety/Type
  3. Whether this coincides with a recent update to Windows or your antivirus software
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UPDATE: There is some indication that antivirus companies involved have already updated their antivirus definitions. If so, this means:

  • Users who have yet to be affected but who would have been, won't be affected now. 
  • Users who are affected, should be able to overcome this issue simply by making sure their antivirus is up-to-date and using the newest threat/definitions list. 


If you have been affected, you can try the following instead of the solution posted at the top: 

  1. Update your AV software/definitions to fix the false positive condition. If that doesn't work; 
  2. Unquarantine the Vectorworks files (be careful to not unquarantine any legitimate threats that were also quarantined). If that doesn't work; 
  3. If your AV software continues to quarantine any Vectorworks components; Whitelist the Vectorworks program folder as suggested in my original post. 
  • If you have already deleted the quarantined Vectorworks file/s, just run the 'Repair' mode, found inside the 'Advanced' menu inside the Vectorworks Updater app. - This is found: 
    1. On Mac: Macintosh HD > Applications > Vectorworks 20XX >
    2. On Win: C:\Program Files\Vectorworks 20XX\Vectorworks Updater\
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6 minutes ago, RDS Casa said:

 you think there is something malicious in there? 


No, I don't think there is something malicious in there. This is happening to multiple people on multiple continents all at the same time on software that was previously installed and running fine. It is far more likely that the anti-virus has added some keystring that just happens to match something in the vlb file.


I can not think of any way or reason a malicious person would choose to try and route an attack versus a Vectorworks .vlb file. 

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In the deep of my heart I am a Mac user.


But I run a Windows 10 with internet access since nearly 2 years,

just for CAD and 3D. And I have no Antivirus beside Windows Defender

Tools. I think these external solutions produce more problems than


Edited by zoomer
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