DaVinci Resolve 16 Public Beta. Should you use it? How to update safely.

I publish here a series or free articles and tutorials, as an introduction and educational resource for my up-coming Editing and Color Grading Workshops and Seminars.

All my courses are for the moment online, using Zoom. Classes are in English, with a maximum of 10 students per workshop. From October to December 2020, al courses have a reduced price of 135 Euros, instead of the regular 195 Euros fee, to help a bit during the Corona Virus pandemic. This is a 60 Euros saving.

My Workshops include: DaVinci Resolve Editing, DaVinci Resolve Color Grading, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro X, and Thinking the Edit (my Film Editing Theory and Analysis Seminar).

If you are interested, click here to find out about the next available dates. You can read reviews about my teaching here. I’m a highly experienced editing instructor, with more than 15 years of workshops behind!.

Now, to the free content of today:


You heard the news: DaVinci Resolve 16 is here.

Blackmagicdesign did it again, and surprised many with this new version of the software, specially in the editing area, with the new Cut page: controversial, but a new way to edit that will make some users very happy.

DaVinci Resolve 16 is still free, with some limitations, and the paid Studio version keeps the same price (300 Euros).

Remember: if you pay for the Studio version, you get all future updates. It’s a one-time-only payment. Example: if you paid for DaVinci Resolve Studio 15, now you can have DaVinci Resolve Studio 16.

It all sounds very good, but should you install and use version 16 just yet?

First, we need to understand that what we have right now is the first Public Beta version of the software.

ScreenClip [10]


So, yes, you can download and use the Public Beta, here.

But, what is a Beta version exactly?

It basically means version 16 is not finished yet, and so, it can have bugs, errors, and be a little problematic.

And this is all normal.

All computer programs release Beta versions, to test them, and solve potential problems.

Same thing happens with Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro X. The difference is, with this programs they release Beta versions in a more “private” way, through a selected group of users and Beta programs.

Blackmagicdesign offers Beta versions of DaVinci Resolve to the whole public, so we can get familiar with it, learn it, test it, try the new tools, etc..

And obviously, it’s important to understand we should NOT use the Beta version in any serious project. It’s just not ready for that!

Maybe in personal projects, with no deadlines, and being very careful, we could make and exception, but I can’t recommend this to everybody.

I’m already using DaVinci Resolve 16 in my workshops, because it just makes sense to study and know the new stuff, but in this particular case stability and bugs are not so relevant.

We’re just doing a workshop!


Now: DaVinci Resolve 16 is working well enough for me right now.

Yes, it can eventually crash con close. I would never use it just yet in a commercial project. But in my workshops, is behaving quite well!


Event considering all this, and all possible warnings, internet and social networks are now full of complaints about the new version.

And I don’t get it.

I just can’t understand how some users are updating to DaVinci Resolve 16, and then they’re having problems, and some of them are loosing work, and then they complain really loud about it.

Funnily enough, some users in Facebook event got to the point of requiring me, personally, to offer them solutions!

That’s just how the Internet is…

Anyway: Blackmagicdesign said we will have the full finished release of DaVinci Resolve 16 in the Summer.

From now on, they will publish new and improved versions of the Beta, more stable, and probably with even more functions. The latest the Beta version, the better it will work.

Once more: we should NOT use a Beta version of any software in real, commercial, projects.

If you edit and grade non-commercially, or have a separate computer, or just wish to take the risk, there’s a couple of things you should do, to do the transition the safest possible way.

But if you do, please don’t complain later.

If something really bad happens, it’ll be your fault!


Keep reading to find out how to play with the Beta with caution.

IMG_9364 (1)


If you need to install today a stable version of Resolve (no Beta), you can just download and install the previous version of the software.

All you need to do is go the Blackmagicdesign Support site, and find the right one.

The latest is DaVinci Resolve 15.3.1.

Find it here:


ScreenClip [3]
Latest solid and stable DaVinci Resolve version



Let’s do it.

We can’t wait and really really really want to use the new version right away.

Please read what follow, and proceed with caution!

Back-up your databases.

If you don’t know what databases are, it’s very important you read this first.

Now: databases created in DaVinci Resolve 15 need to be updated to open in DaVinci Resolve 16.

Once databases are updated to version 16, they can’t be opened in version 15 any more.

Scary, right?

To avoid problems, and before installing DaVinci Resolve 16, we create backups of our databases.

That way, if there are problems when updating, we could re-install version 15, and restore databases as needed.

Steps to backup our databases:

  • Select database, and click in Backup, the icon shown in the image below:

ScreenClip [5]

  • Select a location to save the backup, and click Save:

ScreenClip [6]

And that’s it!

Super simple.

This creates a file with the extension .diskdb (Disk Database), that we could use to restore from in the previous version, by clicking on the Restore icon:

ScreenClip [7]

Important: you need to do this will all databases you wish to update, one by one.

Install DaVinci Resolve 16, and upgrade your databases.

Now that we have backups of our databases, we can download and install DaVinci Resolve 16.

It’s important to understand that when installing version 16, version 15 is automatically uninstalled.

Keep that in mind. If you need to go back, you’ll need to download it and install it again.

To simplify this, I keep the installation files of a couple of the latest version, so I can quickly reinstall when needed.

Note: someone published a method to install DaVinci Resolve 16 and keep version 15 in the system. I’m not sure I can recommend this, as it can be even more confusing for some users, but feel free to experiment.

Now: after installing version 16, we just open it.

When doing so, we will see the options to upgrade databases. All we have to do is click on the button “Upgrade Database”:

ScreenClip [8]

After upgrading, the database opens, and we can access it normally.

Activate Live Save and Project Backups.

DaVinci Resolve 16, in Beta, will crash and close unexpectedly.

To avoid loosing work, it’s very important we active the automatic saving options, not active by default.

To do so, we go to the DaVinci Resolve Menu, and click on Preferences.

Then we click on User, and then Project Save and Load:

ScreenClip [9]

As shown in the image above, we active Live Save and Project Backups.

Live Save saves automatically everything we do, the moment we do it, and in the background (similar to what Final Cut Pro X does).

If DaVinci Resolve 16 crashes and closes, we would just open it again, and we would find the project exactly the same way we left it, including the last action.

Project Backups creates additional copies of the project, and we can set how frequently and where we want to save the extra copies.

If we have problems, we can restore a previous version of the project. This is: we could “travel back in time”.

To restore from Project Backups, in the Project Manager, we just right click on the project, and click on Project Backups. This opens a list with all versions saved. We select the one to restore, and click on Load.

If we active these two options, we should, in theory, never loose work in the software misbehaves.

Never update in the middle of a project.

This is a mantra we repeat and repeat in the world of editing and postproduction: we should never update to a new version of any software in the middle of a project.

This is also true if we use Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro X.

Check frequently if there are new Beta versions.

As I explained above, newer Beta versions will work better.

If we use version 16, it’s important to check often if there’s a new Beta release, and in general, updating will be recommended.

New Beta releases are publish, again, in the Support site of Blackmagicdesign:



Different users are having different experiences with the Beta version.

Write a comment below if you wish to share your personal story with DaVinci Resolve 16.


To check upcoming dates, for both Editing and Color Grading, click here.


One thought on “DaVinci Resolve 16 Public Beta. Should you use it? How to update safely.

  1. So I DIDNT wait…which I thought was fine…now the beta has become too unstable – I know – my fault – is there ANY hack to go back to opening it in a 15? Thanks


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