Downloading and Installing MacPractice

Thanks for choosing MacPractice as your practice management software! We aim to provide you a quality experience and a truly flexible tool that can adapt to your practice's unique needs.

This article covers the process to download the MacPractice software and install it on your office computers. Please note that this article is tailored for our more recent builds of MacPractice, specifically Builds 12.11 and up. There are some differences in older builds of MacPractice.

If you encounter any difficulty or are confused by anything presented in this article, don't hesitate to contact MacPractice Support! We're always happy to help.

Requirements to Run MacPractice

Before installing MacPractice, you'll need to do the following:

  1. Confirm your computers meet our System Requirements
    • Almost all the information can be found by clicking the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your display and selecting About This Mac.
    • The resulting window will display the OS version, the processor, and the amount of memory. While you're here, you'll want to ensure that you have plenty of space free in the Storage tab, especially for the Server.
    • You'll note that on our System Requirements page that we have divided up our requirements for Servers vs. Workstations.
      • The Server is the core hub where your MacPractice practice data is stored. You will only have one Server, so only one computer in your office must meet these requirements.
      • Workstations will connect to that Server on your network. 
  2. Confirm your server hard drive uses a case-insensitive file system.
    • On your desktop, locate the Macintosh HD icon, right or control-click it, and select "Get Info". In the resulting window, look for the "Format" line. The format of most Mac computers will be listed as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) OR "APFS".
    • If the format is Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled) or Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive), please contact Apple for assistance with reformatting the hard drive.

Once you have confirmed you meet these requirements, you are ready to continue with the MacPractice Installation.

Downloading MacPractice

When you first purchase MacPractice, you can access the MacPractice Download Site to obtain the MacPractice installer. An e-mail will be sent with your MacPractice serial number, which is a nine digit alphanumeric code that indicates which MacPractice product you purchased (such as MD, DS, 20/20 or DC). You'll use this serial number when you first visit the MacPractice Download Site. The link should also be included in your e-mail.
Upon visiting the download site, you will be prompted to enter the serial number, as shown in the above screenshot. Enter your serial number and click Next. If you don't know your serial number, feel free to contact MacPractice Support for assistance.
You'll be next prompted to log in with your email and password unless this is your first visit to the Download Site, in which case you'll need to follow the instructions in the next section "First Visit to the Download Site".
First Visit to the Download Site 
On your first visit, you'll be taken to a registration form. Fill out the registration form to register for the MacPractice Download site. Enter your Name, Title, Specialty, and email address to which the Serial number was sent. Finally, enter a password and confirm that password. In future sessions, you will need to use the provided e-mail address and password to sign into the download site.

After you click the Register button, a verification email will be sent to the address registered. This may take up to an hour depending on your mail server, but is typically fairly quick. If you do not see the verification email in your inbox, check the Junk/Spam folder to see if the MacPractice verification email was directed there. 
Once you receive the email, verify your registration information according to the directions in the email.
Upon verifying your information, you will be asked to enter the email and password you registered for the download site.
Once you're logged in, you'll have access to all the relevant applications available for your serial number. Regardless of what additional options you have purchased, you will always have access to two downloads. These are the "MP Server" and "MP Client", visible in the above screenshot. If you're installing the Server, you'll choose the MP Server, and the MP Client is for your Workstations. 
If you only have one computer you intend to use MacPractice with, all you'll need to download is the MP Server link. The installation package will be compressed in a .tar file, which you can double-click to extract and open.
Installing the Client or Server
Once you've downloaded and extracted the installation package, you'll simply double click the .pkg (orange box) to start the installation process.
Note: You may be prompted to confirm you wish to install this package as a precaution. Simply click the "Allow" button on this prompt to continue. If there is no prompt, you may need to control-click or right click the package, select "Open With", and then choose "Installer".
The installation process can differ depending on whether you are installing the Client package or the Server Package. We'll be noting which steps are Server-specific.
The MacPractice installer will first check to make sure that MacPractice can be installed on the designated computer. If successful, you should see an Introduction page. Click the Continue button. 

The next page will explain which OS versions are compatible with the build of MacPractice you are installing. If your OS is not supported, please contact MacPractice Support for assistance. Otherwise, click Continue to proceed.

Next, you'll be presented with the software license. You can review this in the installer window, or you can click the Save or Print buttons to retain a digital or paper copy for your use and records. When you have reviewed this to your satisfaction, click the Continue button. <Present in Server>


You'll also be presented with a prompt to agree to the License Agreement. Click the Agree button to continue.


Next, you'll be presented with information on how much space to install MacPractice. The Client installation size is rather lightweight, and the Server will take up more space, and you'll need to account for the size of your database, which scales up the larger the practice becomes. You can choose a different Install Location via the Change Install Location button, but we do recommend staying with the default unless you have a good reason to pick a different location. Click Install when ready to proceed.

<SERVER ONLY> Once you click the Install button, you will be asked to set a password for the server computer that will be used to protect your data. This is primarily for first time installations, as any restored backups will already retain the previously set password when recovered. Regardless, BE SURE TO RECORD THIS PASSWORD SOMEWHERE as without this password, you will not have access to your data.

The OS will prompt for a password to authorize the installation. Enter your MacOS User password here.

Finally, the MacPractice installation will start. Once it completes, you'll see a confirmation page. You can click the Close button to close the installer. You'll be prompted to ask if you want to move the installer package to the Trash.


With the MacPractice application installed, you may want to place MacPractice on the computer's Dock. Go to your Application folder and locate the MacPractice app icon. Once located, you can click and hold the icon to drag it to the Dock. 

And you're done! If you've installed the Server, your next step will be to launch the Server Management App by following the next section. If you've installed the client, you can skip the next section.

Launching and Configuring the Server Management App (Server Only)

The first time you launch the MacPractice software, you'll need to accept the license agreement once more. Once agreed to, you'll find yourself on the login page:Screen_Shot_2022-03-25_at_12.22.13_PM.png

Before you log in for the first time on the Server, you'll need to first launch the Server Management App. The Server Management App is a tool introduced in Builds 12.11 and up, which is used to restore backups and to restart server processes without accessing your MacPractice database, thus avoiding potentially viewing any HIPAA-protected data. We'll provide abbreviated instructions here, but you can learn more about the Server Management App in this article here.

If you are installing the Client, you can safely skip this section and proceed to the next.

To access the Server Management App, you'll click on the circle icon with three dots, located in the upper right hand corner of the login window:


Clicking this will reveal a Server IP address field, which will be used by your Clients. There'll also be a button to "Show Server Management App". Click this button.

Note: On some browsers and configurations this button may not work. In this case, you'll want to access the Server Management App by opening your preferred browser such as Safari or Chrome, and enter this URL into the navigation bar:


You may see a warning in Safari and Chrome. While this message looks particularly dire, the finer print is simply warning you that the certificate for the Server Management App may not be valid. We can confirm that this certificate is valid, and you can bypass this warning, and you shouldn't see it in future visits. You can bypass this warning by clicking the Show Details button that is present, and then clicking the "Visit This Website" link, indicated in the following screenshot: 


Once you're in, you'll see the Create a Server Administrator User page, where you'll configure a User for the Server Management App. This is not the same as a MacPractice User. Currently, there can only be one Server Administrator User. Fill out the name for the person who will primarily be accessing the App, and set a login Username and Password. Be sure to record this Username and Password somewhere for safe keeping, and then click Create when ready to continue.


Once you've finished creating the Server Administrator User, you'll then be prompted to log in. You can use the Username and Password you just provided in the appropriate fields, and click the Log In button.


Next, you'll be prompted for the password you provided during the Installation process.


Next, you'll want to set your hostname so the Satellite App knows where to look for your database on the local network. In almost every situation, this will be "localhost". Note: MAKE SURE this is lowercase, as shown in the screenshot below!



Finally, you'll be prompted whether you wish to create a new database, or whether you want to restore a database from a backup. If you are a new practice, you'll likely need to Create a New Database, although our Onboarding specialist will likely have gone through this process in your stead.

You'll need to provide your serial number and the database name, which in almost all cases will be lowercase "macpractice". Make sure the database name is lowercase!

Once the database is created or restored, you should be taken to the Server Node of the Server Management App. Here, you can monitor the status of the MacPractice Server processes. On subsequent log ins, you'll be taken to this page every time. If you need to start the server, you click the "Start Server" button.


Once the SMA is set up, on future log ins to MacPractice on the Server after a restart will automatically attempt to start the server processes, so you shouldn't necessarily need to log into the Server Management App every day.

You can now log into MacPractice using any MacPractice user's credentials. If this is your first time, your Onboarding specialist should have provided you an initial log in.


Connecting a Client to the Server (Client Only)

Once the Server is up and running, you can begin to install Clients and connect them to your Server. 

When you have successfully installed the MacPractice Client you'll first need to ensure that the Client is pointing to the correct local IP address. You can do this by clicking the Triple-Dot icon in the upper right of the login window, and then supply the local IP Address of the Server in the Server IP address field.

You can usually find the Server's IP address by navigating to the "About MacPractice" menu option in the MacPractice Menu:


In this window, you can simply locate the "MacPractice Local IP address" line and use the corresponding number.


On the first login from a Client to the Server, a MacPractice Client will need to be paired with the MacPractice Server using a passcode presented on the device. When a MacPractice Client attempts to connect to the MacPractice Server for the first time, a 4 digit passcode is generated and remains open for 60 minutes. You can either print this page, or you can simply write down the four-digit number provided in this popup window:

On the MacPractice Server, add the passcode in Preferences > Database Access as shown in the printed instructions. The device will be added to the Database Access list and paired with the MacPractice Server. You can also use this area to disable a computer's access to MacPractice as well.

If you experience difficulties connecting the MacPractice Client to the MacPractice Server, please see the MacPractice Network documentation. You can also try reinstalling the client package by downloading it from the MacPractice Download Site. If you continue to have issues, don't hesitate to contact MacPractice Support! 



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