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Computer Requirements 

Below are basic requirements and recommendations for computer hardware and software. Also see Network and Computer Setup. Enterprise organizations may be interested in HardwareRequirements.pdf.

Server:  The 'server' is the computer that runs the MySQL server program and store the files and the database. In a small office, it may be the same computer as the office server, but it does not have to be. We recommend having a dedicated server to protect data. A basic server could be a workstation, but this is more susceptible to issues, for example if you browse the internet, receive emails, etc. See Network Basics for information on different types of networks.

Any mid-range computer sold within the last few years will meet the minimum requirements. Computer speed, memory, video capability and hard drive capacity will affect program performance. 

Older computers: An older computer slower than 1 GHz will probably not be able to run Windows. Also a computer that old will probably be deficient in memory, video, and hard drive. Memory for older computers is significantly more expensive, and it is usually more cost effective to buy a new $800 computer than to put a few hundred dollars into an older computer to upgrade it.

Open Dental (and MySQL) can run on a Windows Virtual Machine/Server. However, if other services also run on the same physical server, these services may use up resources that result in slower MySQL service, and thus slower Open Dental.

Internet: For the best access to service and updates, you should be connected to a high speed internet connection. Consider this a requirement.

Monitor: See Screen Size
Minimum resolution for Open Dental is 1280x768. We recommend 28" LCD monitors. We recommend monitors with speakers built in.

Memory: 4 - 8 GB is best. 1 GB memory is absolute minimum.
Open Dental uses approximately 60 MB of memory. The minimum requirement for Windows 8 64-bit is 2 GB of RAM. For good performance, we recommend at least 4 GB and for optimum performance 8 GB. If you run more programs than you have memory, your system will run very slow because it is transferring memory back and forth to the hard drive.

Operating system: All of your machines do not have to have the same operating system. If you are purchasing new equipment, we recommend the newest version of the Windows operating system. Any of the following operating systems are supported:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 (and Windows Server 2012 R2)
  • Windows Server 2008 (and Windows Server 2008 R2)

If using Windows 10, Windows Server 2019, or Windows Server 2016, make sure to research automatic reboots after Windows updates and active hours options.

Home editions of Windows are sometimes unacceptable because of connection and networking limits. The best editions are Pro, Business, or Ultimate. Windows 10 S is not supported as Open Dental cannot be installed through the Microsoft Store.

In versions 16.3 and greater, Open Dental requires installation of NET 4.5, which is not compatible with Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. This means that workstations running these operating systems will need upgraded if you choose to update.

The following operating systems were formerly supported. They are no longer supported because Microsoft has stopped supporting them.

  • Windows 2000 (July 13, 2000)
  • Windows Vista (April 11, 2017)
  • Windows XP (April 8, 2014) (cannot be used for eServices)
  • Windows Server 2003 (cannot be used for eServices)

As an alternative to Windows, the server can run Linux or MacOS-X.

Maximum number of simultaneous connections for a windows file share:

    Operating System Maximum # of connections Client Access License needed? Notes
    Windows 10 20   All editions
    Windows 8 20   Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro (not RT)
    Windows 7 Home Basic     Not available in the U.S. and most other developed countries. Cannot create, can only join network. Do not use for your OD server.
    Windows 7 Home Premium 20    
    Windows 7 20   All editions (Home, Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise, N, VL)
    Windows Server 2019 Datacenter No limit Yes See Microsoft for more information.
    Windows Server 2019 Standard No limit Yes See Microsoft for more information.
    Windows Server 2016 Datacenter No limit Yes See Microsoft for more information.
    Windows Server 2016 Standard No limit Yes See Microsoft for more information.
    Windows Server 2016 Essentials 25 No - up to 25 users  
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter No limit Yes See Microsoft for more information.
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard No limit Yes See Microsoft for more information.
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials 25 No - up to 25 users  
    Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation 15 No - up to 15 users  
    Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials 25 No  
    Windows Small Business Server 2008, 2011 75 Yes  
    Windows Small Business Server 2008 FE 15 Yes  
    Windows Server 2003, 2008, EBS No limit Yes for workstations  
    Linux No limit    

Processor: The newer and faster, the better. We recommend Intel. 
Video Card: Most modern graphics processors should work including nVidia, AMD Radeon and integrated Intel solutions.
Hard Drive: Open Dental takes up far less than 1 GB, so any hard drive will work.
Browser Support: When using eServices, the following browsers are supported:

  • Internet Explorer 10 and above
  • All Edge versions
  • Chrome 40 and above
  • Firefox 35 and above
  • Opera 25 and above
  • Safari 8 and above

Note: Google Chrome is the recommended eServices browser for iOS 10 and above.

If using Electronic Prescriptions, Internet Explorer is required.


  • Required: Microsoft dot Net (.NET).
  • To view PDF files: Internet Explorer or Edge, or Adobe Reader version 8.0 or later.

Notebook Computers:  Any fairly new notebook, laptop, or Tablet PC that runs a full version of Windows (not Windows 8 RT) will work. Must support our minimum screen resolution of 1280x768. Versions 17.1 and greater: see Monitor section above.

Because of the large LCD monitors now available for desktop computers, notebooks may not be the best choice. If you get a desktop computer instead of a notebook, you get a more powerful computer with a larger screen at a lower price. Also, watch out for mini notebooks with screen resolutions less than 1024x768.

Before using a Tablet PC as a Kiosk device, see Tablet PCs.


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432