Installing SuperMemo (for Beginners)
From SuperMemo Help
Installation in seconds
Important! You can install SuperMemo in seconds by simply running the downloaded file sm17inst.exe.
Skip reading the rest of this text. It was written for those who are less experienced with computers!
Newer Windows may issue warnings like "this application can harm your computer" or "Unknown Publisher". If you are sure you downloaded from supermemo.org, or super-memo.com, or super-memory.com, or immediately after ordering, you can ignore that message.
Uninstallation in seconds
You can uninstall SuperMemo (without removing your learning material) in seconds if you follow these steps:
- Run Control Panel
- In the Control Panel window, choose Uninstall program (in older Windows Uninstall or change a program)
- In the Uninstall or change a program window, scroll down to SuperMemo, and choose Uninstall
If you cannot find SuperMemo entry in Control Panel, use sm17unin.exe located in the [SuperMemo] folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\SuperMemo\sm17unin.exe (Computer administrator) or C:\SuperMemo\sm17unin.exe (Limited account) by default)
Installing SuperMemo for Beginners
If you already know the basics of using Windows such as copying files, creating directories, etc. you can skip blue insert boxes
Depending on the source of your SuperMemo, you will obtain it in one of the three basic forms:
- sm17inst.exe - install wizard will download all necessary installation components and install, upgrade or update SuperMemo (depending on your current installation and configuration)
- sm17zip.exe - self-extracting SuperMemo (once you run it, it will extract its files to the folder in which it is placed, e.g. C:\sm17)
- sm17.zip - zipped stand-alone SuperMemo (sm17.exe)
This text describes the following procedures:
- Installing SuperMemo
- Providing the password
- Installing collections downloaded from SuperMemo Library (including Palm and Windows CE)
- Installing SuperMemo 17 over SuperMemo 8, SuperMemo 98/99 or SuperMemo 2000/2002/2004/2006/2008/15/16
- Installing SuperMemo 17 over Advanced English
- Updating SuperMemo 17 to the latest release build
- Where is my SuperMemo?
See also: Frequently asked questions
Installing SuperMemo 17
- Download SuperMemo 17 from SuperMemo Store
- Go to the SuperMemo 17 page at SuperMemo Store
- Click Order at the bottom of the page (this will add SuperMemo 17 to your shopping cart and display its contents)
- Click Checkout below the contents of the shopping cart
- Fill out the order form (remember to correctly fill out the billing address which should be your cardholder address, not your current residence address)
- Click Send order
- Click Download beside SuperMemo 17
- Choose Save when your browser asks you if you want to Open or Save the file you wish to download
- In the Save As dialog box, in the Places bar along the left side of the dialog box, click the Desktop button, and click Save to download SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard (i.e. sm17inst.exe) onto the desktop. Install Wizard is a program that does the entire installation for you
- Run the downloaded file sm17inst.exe by double-clicking its icon on your desktop. It will open SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard which will guide you through the setup of SuperMemo 17. Important! Newer Windows will ask if you trust "Unknown Publisher". If you download directly from SuperMemo site or immediately after ordering, you can ignore that message and continue the installation.
- In the first step, you are greeted with the SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard Welcome page. The page recommends that you close all other programs before continuing with the setup. This is to ensure no conflict during the installation occurs. You can close all other running programs in one of the following ways (choose the one you feel most comfortable with):
- Click the taskbar button corresponding to the program you want to close (this will switch you to the program window) and then click the Close button in the upper-right corner of the window
- Right-click the taskbar button corresponding to the program you want to close and then click the Close item from the context menu that appears
- Press the Alt+Tab shortcut key to switch to the next open program and then Alt+F4 to close it. Once you close all other running programs, click the Next button to go forward to the next step
- In the second step, you can choose the folder you want to install SuperMemo 17 and all its components to. By default, the install wizard suggests C:\Program Files\SuperMemo if you are running with a Computer administrator account or C:\SuperMemo if you are running with a Limited account. In case the Install to... folder does not exist on your computer, the install wizard will create it.
If you want to choose a different Install to... folder, click the Browse... button to the right. In the Browse for Folder dialog box, select the new folder and click OK. If you want to create a new folder that does not exist yet, click the Make New Folder button in the bottom-left corner.
Once you choose the Install to... folder, click the Next button to go forward to the next step
- In the third step, you can choose the Start menu folder you want to create SuperMemo 17 shortcuts in. By default, the install wizard suggests the folder named SuperMemo. You can rename it however you like it. In case the Start menu folder does not exist on your computer, the install wizard will create it.
If you want to create the Start menu folder as a subfolder of the folder that already exists, click the folder in the list.
In case you do not want to create the Start menu folder (if you rarely or never use it), select the Do not create the Start menu folder checkbox at the bottom of the window.
Once you choose the Start menu folder or select you do not want it, click the Next button to go forward to the next step
- In the fourth step, you can select the additional tasks you want SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard to perform during the setup. These tasks fall into the following two categories:
- Add desktop icon - select this checkbox (it is checked by default) if you want SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard to put the SuperMemo shortcut onto the desktop
- Add Quick Launch bar icon - select this checkbox if you want the install wizard to add the SuperMemo shortcut to the Quick Launch bar located next to the Start button on the taskbar
- Internet Explorer
- Add SuperMemo Web pages to Favorites - select this checkbox if you want the install wizard to add SuperMemo Web pages (i.e. SuperMemo News, SuperMemo Help, and SuperMemo FAQ) to your Favorites list. Once you select the additional task you want SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard to perform, click the Next button to go forward to next step. In the next step, the install wizard downloads and installs SuperMemo 17 on your computer. As this step rarely involves any interaction with you, this description skips it.
- In the last fifth step, SuperMemo 17 Install Wizard reports to you that the setup has been completed successfully. At this stage, you can yet instruct it to do one of the following two actions:
- Run SuperMemo 17 - select this checkbox (it is checked by default) if you want to run SuperMemo 17 after you press the Finish button at the very end of the installation process. Alternatively, you can run it by double-clicking its icon on the desktop, in the Quick Launch bar, etc. (whichever you have decided to add during the setup)
- Open containing folder - select this checkbox if you want to open a Windows Explorer window displaying the folder which SuperMemo 17 and all its components have been installed in after you press the Finish button at the very end of the installation process
- Read ABC of SuperMemo to start your speed-learning adventure
- Within one business day since ordering SuperMemo, we will contact you with instructions how to input the password needed to continue your work with SuperMemo. Read below about providing the password
- If you have any doubts about any of the steps of the installation procedure, please do not hesitate to write. Even if you are a computer novice, you should not be shy or afraid of asking questions. By understanding your problems we can better support other users in the future
SuperMemo 17 is protected with an unlock password. Without the password it can only run for a limited period of time. To better understand the reasons for which we introduced the password, read about unlocking SuperMemo. Within a business day since buying the program, we will contact you via e-mail and provide you with the unlock password and further instructions.
Important! You should not be afraid of losing the password. Once you input it in SuperMemo, you are not likely to ever need it again. If you ever see the red bar again, it is enough to open any of your previously used collections to restore the program to full functionality. If you lose the password and all your collections, you can always get the password back from us.
You should input the password using File : Installation : Input password. Alternatively, you can just continue using SuperMemo and it will at some point ask you to input the password. If the option Input password is grayed, your SuperMemo has been already unlocked (no action necessary).
Installing collections downloaded from SuperMemo Library
- If you have not installed SuperMemo yet, start with Installing SuperMemo 17 (or your version for Pocket PC, Windows CE or Palm Pilot)
- Download the collections you plan to install (you can download commercial collections from SuperMemo Store or freeware collections from SuperMemo Library). Always download to the SuperMemo folder (e.g. c:\SuperMemo by default in the Windows version). Remember to save with the extension EXE to be able to execute the downloaded file
- Run the downloaded file, e.g. by double clicking its icon in Windows. Once you run it, it will create all collection files in the [SYSTEMS] subfolder located in the SuperMemo folder (e.g. c:\SuperMemo\systems\ by default).
- Users of SuperMemo for Pocket PC and SuperMemo for Palm Pilot should import text files located in each collection's [TXT] subfolder. For example, if you have run RomanceMix.exe in E:\romance, your Spanish vocabulary material will be importable from E:\romance\systems\Basic Spanish\txt\spanish.txt (refer to your SuperMemo for Pocket PC or for Palm manual for import instructions)
- If your collections are in SuperMemo 98/99/2000/2002/2004/2006/2008/15 format, you will need SuperMemo 16 to upgrade them to the SuperMemo 16 format first. Once they are in the SuperMemo 16 format, SuperMemo 17 will upgrade them automatically when you first open them with File : Open collection
- SuperMemo 17 automatically installs true type fonts that ship with your collection. Only Classical Greek comes with non-true type fonts. If you downloaded Classical Greek, please have a look below
This is an exemplary procedure for downloading and installing Medical Biology in Windows:
- Go to the SuperMemo Library page at SuperMemo Store
- Click Medical Biology
- Click Order at the bottom of the page (this will add Medical Biology to your shopping cart and display its contents)
- Click Check out with PayPal button, and log in to your PayPal account to provide necessary information
- Click Send order
- Click Download beside Medical Biology
- Choose Save when your browser asks you if you want to Open or Save the file you wish to download
- In the Save As dialog box, find the SuperMemo folder (c:\SuperMemo by default), or simply type the path you want to save the file to, e.g. c:\SuperMemo\medbiol.exe
- Run the downloaded file (e.g. click Start, click Run and type in the name of the file such as c:\SuperMemo\medbiol.exe). This will create Medical Biology files in the subfolder [SYSTEMS] (e.g. c:\SuperMemo\systems\medbiol.kno, etc.)
- Run SuperMemo 16 in order to upgrade the collection to the SuperMemo 16 format
- In SuperMemo, Choose File : Open collection
- Choose the file medbiol.kno
- Close SuperMemo 16
- Run SuperMemo 17 (e.g. by double clicking its icon created earlier)
- In SuperMemo, Choose File : Open collection
- Choose the file medbiol.kno
- In SuperMemo, choose the Learn button to start learning
Installing SuperMemo 17 over earlier installations
This is how you can install SuperMemo 17 over SuperMemo 8, SuperMemo 98/99 or SuperMemo 2000/2002/2004/2006/2008/15/17 (either downloaded from the Internet or installed from SuperMemo CD-ROMs/DVDs such as Advanced English, MegaMix, etc.):
- Download SuperMemo 17 from SuperMemo Store and save the downloaded file on your disk
- Run the file sm17inst.exe (e.g. by double-clicking its icon in Windows Explorer). Once you run it, it will detect the existing SuperMemo installations and offer you the choice to upgrade (Upgrade) or install SuperMemo 17 in a new folder (Clean install). You should avoid using older versions of SuperMemo along with SuperMemo 17 therefore it is recommended you choose Upgrade to avoid compatibility issues.
- If your previous SuperMemo for Windows was not SuperMemo 16, you will need to upgrade your collections to SuperMemo 16 first. Only collections in the SuperMemo 16 format are upgradeable to SuperMemo 17. This is an automatic process. Only the windows layout may change slightly. You can adjust the layout and save it with Ctrl+Shift+F5
- Once you open your collections in the SuperMemo 16 format in SuperMemo 17, they will be upgraded automatically.
- Within one business day since ordering SuperMemo, we will contact you with instructions how to input the password needed to continue your work with SuperMemo. Read above about providing the password
Installing SuperMemo 17 on a computer without the Internet
You can install SuperMemo 17 on a computer that is not connected to the net (Standalone PC). However, you will, naturally, need a net-connected PC to download SuperMemo in the first place (Connected PC). You will need a flashdrive, DVD-R, removable hard disk, or any other device (Storage device) to move SuperMemo between the computers.
Follow these steps:
- Download and install SuperMemo 17 on a Connected PC
- Copy the entire SuperMemo folder onto a Storage device (e.g. copy c:\SuperMemo\ and all its subfolders onto a flashdrive)
- Move the Storage device from Connected PC to Standalone PC
- Copy SuperMemo folder from the Storage device to Standalone PC
- Run SuperMemo (e.g. double-click the file sm17.exe located in the SuperMemo folder)
- you only need 8.5 MB free on the Storage device to move SuperMemo
- it is recommended that you run SuperMemo As Administrator at least once for it to access the Windows registry and complete the installation
- if you are not sure how to create a shortcut to SuperMemo from you Windows desktop or Start menu, use File : Installation : Install icons (you need to Run as Administrator) for this to work
Updating SuperMemo 17 to the latest release build
Run the file sm17inst.exe. It is stored in the [SETUP] subfolder located in the SuperMemo folder (by default, C:\Program Files\SuperMemo\setup\sm17inst.exe if you are running with a Computer administrator account or C:\SuperMemo\setup\sm17inst.exe if you are running with a Limited account). Once you run it, it will detect your current SuperMemo 17 installation and suggest that you update it. If you choose to do so, it will then compare SuperMemo 17 on your computer with the latest available on our server. In case a newer version is available, it will download it and replace the current installed version with it.
Even if there is no newer version available, the install wizard will allow you to modify your current configuration (e.g. remove or add shortcuts, etc.)
Where is my SuperMemo?
If you are not sure where SuperMemo on your computer is, you can always locate it using Windows:
- Press the Windows logo button
- type in the name of the file using the following selection:
- sm17.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 17 (remember not to put spaces before or after the dot)
- sm16.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 16
- sm15.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 15
- sm2008.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2008
- sm2006.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2006
- sm2004.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2004
- sm2002.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2002
- sm2000.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2000
- sm99.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 99
- sm98.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 98
- sm8.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 8
- sm16inst.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 16 Install Wizard
- sm15inst.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 15 Install Wizard
- sm08inst.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2008 Install Wizard
- sm06inst.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2006 Install Wizard
- sm04inst.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo 2004 Install Wizard
- sm17abc.zip - if you want to locate SuperMemo 16 installation file (installation file is a zip archive containing SuperMemo and its files that can be installed manually without the use of the Install Wizard; you receive this file only if you have problems with the Install Wizard or if you cannot access to the Internet)
- sm16abc.zip - if you want to locate SuperMemo 16 installation file
- sm15abc.zip - if you want to locate SuperMemo 15 installation file
- sm2008abc.zip - if you want to locate SuperMemo 2008 installation file
- sm2006abc.zip - if you want to locate SuperMemo 2006 installation file
- sm2004abc.zip - if you want to locate SuperMemo 2004 installation file
- sm2002zip.exe - if you want to locate SuperMemo 2002 self-extracting installation file (self-extracting installation file is an archive that contains SuperMemo and its files that can be installed manually; you receive this file only upon request)
- sm2000zip.exe - if you want to locate SuperMemo 2000 self-extracting installation file
- sm99zip.exe - if you want to locate SuperMemo 99 self-extracting installation file
- smhelp.chm - if you are looking for SuperMemo Help
- sm*.exe - if you are looking for SuperMemo downloaded from the Internet and you do not remember exactly what files you have downloaded (see the file date stamping to figure out which has just been downloaded)
- All locations of the searched file will be displayed in the column In Folder
- You can double-click files located in the column Name to run them. You can also hold down the Alt key and drag them to the desktop to create new icons. For example, if you hold down the Alt key and drag the file named sm17, you will create a new SuperMemo 17 shortcut on the desktop
- If you have problems locating SuperMemo, remember that you might have renamed its original file (e.g. when replacing an earlier version)
You need to close SuperMemo before continuing with the setup
I have just tried to install SuperMemo but I received the following message:
You cannot install SuperMemo while it is running. Close SuperMemo first.
After I press OK, SuperMemo Install Wizard closes.
Yes, this is the correct behavior. When SuperMemo Install Wizard starts up it checks if SuperMemo is running in the background, and if it does it prompts you to close it before continuing with the setup. This is to prevent any conflicts during the installation process (e.g. when renaming older SuperMemos at Upgrade or overwriting older SuperMemo release builds at Update).
During Update you can check for the latest version of SuperMemo and change your current SuperMemo installation
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 7:40 PM
I have just tried to update my current SuperMemo installation to the latest release build but I received the following message:
You have the latest version of SuperMemo.
When I clicked OK, SuperMemo Install Wizard apparently completed the installation as it reported it as successful. However, when I run SuperMemo and check its version (Help : About), the version ramains the same as the one prior to the installation
When you choose the Update installation path, SuperMemo Install Wizard not only checks for the latest version of SuperMemo but it also lets you change the configuration of your current SuperMemo installation (e.g. if you have not created the SuperMemo Start menu folder during your previous installations, it gives you an opportunity to do it during the Update procedure). When you receive the message as the one in the question, it means the you have the latest version of the software installed on your computer and no newer version is currently made available. Once you click OK to the message, SuperMemo Install Wizard attempts to update your current installation with new settings (if you have modified them). If you have not chosen any new settings, SuperMemo Install Wizard will not do anything (as it can be inspected by clicking Show details during the Installing stage) and still reports the procedure as successful (to reassure users no damage to their current installations has been done).
You can use F1 to access on-line help
From: Garry Gross
Sent: Sat, Sep 01, 2001 10:45 AM
Why I should not be able to just hit F1 to get help after installing SuperMemo?
F1 will work. However, this way you will access the on-line help. This is a recommended way of using the documentation due to daily updates and corrections.
It is not enough if you just copy the font, you need to install it
From: Eugene Holst
Sent: Aug 31, 1999
I am using the Classical Greek but I'm not getting the Greek characters, but some strange symbols instead. I copied the font called graeca.fon from the sm2004\systems\... folders to my d:\Windows\Fonts folder. Is there something else I have to do to have the font available in Windows 95?
Yes. Instead of just copying fonts you should install them. Use Control Panel : Fonts : Install New Font. In the Folders panel, choose the location where your graeca.fon font can be found (here: sm2004\systems\graeca\font\graeca.fon). In rare instances, if Install New Font is not visible, you may have to reinstall Windows or try to set the System attribute on the FONT folder in Windows (this problem appears in some OEM installations of Windows and is not related to SuperMemo)
SuperMemo Uninstall Wizard does not remove all folders/files
From: SuperMemo Install Wizard Beta
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 5:07 PM
I have decided to uninstall SuperMemo but after the procedure reported complete, I have received the message informing me not all folders/files have been removed.
By default, the uninstaller plays it safe and doesn't remove folders/files that SuperMemo Install Wizard didn't create in the first place. Additionally, SuperMemo Uninstall Wizard will not delete any knowledge collections. They will have to be deleted manually at a later time (e.g. in Windows Explorer).
SuperMemo help file may appear empty if active content is blocked
When I double-click on smhelp.chm file, it appears it is empty inside
You need to unblock active content. E.g. in Windows Explorer click Properties and then click Unblock