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I was wondering if it's possible to run two "instances" of blender at the same time. As in installing blender twice and running both, using them for different projects. I ask this because I have blender rendering a project right now and it's taking quite a while. I'm being a little cautious here because I don't want any corrupt system files or anything. Thanks in Advance!

My Rig Specs are:

Windows 8.1 Pro

i7 6700k OC to 4.7GHz

Dedicated harddrive for programs

nVidia GTX 1060

AMD R7 370

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  • $\begingroup$ are you using a Mac ? $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 19 '16 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @lemon Windows 8.1 Pro $\endgroup$ – 0-60FPS Aug 19 '16 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ OK, yes... the problem could be about your GPU resources. From my experience, you may have conflicts effectively concerning the rendering. For other tasks, I have not encountered any problem (even if running the same blender.exe)... but this just my experience... $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 19 '16 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ While you are not on a Mac (as I am), I need to duplicate the Blender install, otherwise launching it again sends you to the already running copy. I haven't needed to do a reinstall or anything like that, just duplicate, and it uses the same user preferences as well. $\endgroup$ – Gliderman Aug 20 '16 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Gliderman You actually don't need to duplicate the blender install on a mac. Just run blender from a terminal, and open as many terminals running blender as you want. I actually have a terminal preset that, on startup, runs /Applications/blender-2/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/blender so that when I spawn that terminal, a new instance of blender starts automatically. $\endgroup$ – JakeD Aug 25 '16 at 15:33
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You can run as many instances as you want off the same install. Just run the .exe again. Note that this may get more complicated if you are launching through a command prompt. I often run multiple instances, especially when doing physics simulations.

Note that when GPU rendering, it tends to cause slowdown/lag on your main screen. This is because the GPU resources are going to rendering. If you have multiple graphics cards it isn't as bad, but you can still get screens slowing down even if they are on a card that isn't rendering.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah ok. Lag on my screen shouldn't be an issue because I use my nVidia card for CUDA and my AMD for running the screens. Thanks for the help. $\endgroup$ – 0-60FPS Aug 19 '16 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Note that the computing power on your machine is indeed limited. The more tasks you do simultaneously the slower the machine will render and you are risking crashing when you reach the end of your resources. Keep in mind that even when you are rendering on GPU, you are still using your system's RAM and CPU. In general it's a bad idea to render and do anything else on the same computer. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Aug 19 '16 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ What cegaton says is correct. However, I will say from my personal (anecdotal) experience that you can get away with quite a lot, especially with a good system. It's pretty common for me to have 1 instance of Blender rendering with 1 GPU, then another instance running physics sims or CPU rendering (freestyle), and then still browsing the web or watching something on another screen (separate GPU from rendering.) Just try things out and see if they work with your setup. $\endgroup$ – Drudge Aug 20 '16 at 0:21
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Why don't you try it and find out?

If running two instances of the same program could cause serious damage, then that would be either a poorly made OS and/or a poorly made piece of software. In this case, you have neither.

No, there's no problem with running two different instances of Blender at the same time. Having two tabs open in any modern browser is almost the same thing. It won't be faster, but it won't cause any problems, either.

You don't even have to install it twice, just launch Blender again and open whatever project you want to work on.

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I use Blender for work in a few capacities, mainly creating motion graphics templates for a startup company and reviewing other animators templates. I usually have several instances of the same version of Blender running, rarely do I have just one instance. I have had no issues on Ubuntu or Windows 7/10 with this. I also have used several different versions at once to test compatibility before, and there were no issues.

Important: It is unnecessary to install Blender (the .msi file on blender.org), rather I recommend organizing your various Blender versions in a Blender folder in your Program Files, using the .zip mirror on the website.

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You don't need install blender more times. I routinely running up to 6 instances of Blender on Linux as well as on Windows before. There are no problem, if you understand how Blender use system resources and you are able to use it smart way. But this is more about "How PC work" than about Blender. Keep in mind: if you multiply Blender instances, you divide system resources .

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This is possible, I have done it before, however, I had to open two instances from opening both in my FileExplorer when making two Youtube Intros. Now whether or not it slows down the process of rendering, I'm clueless.

However, like stated above, it will limit system resources, I don't recommend it, from doing such, I've been rendering for two days now — on the same project. So yes, it is possible, no it does not require you to download multiple times and no — I do not recommend it.

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Why wouldn't you use blender on steam (if you know what steam is). You can open as many as you would like and without any problems because it's not an .exe

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  • $\begingroup$ Running many instances of Blender, even of different versions does not affect anything even without steam. I run 2.76-2.79 and development builds at the same time very frequently. $\endgroup$ – VRM Dec 30 '17 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ why would you use blender on steam? I have no desire for steam to be tracking what I do with blender. $\endgroup$ – David Dec 30 '17 at 14:46

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