Support FAQs

Below you’ll find a list of the most common questions we hear from our clients, and their solutions. Click a category and select your question from the sub-categories.

Configuring Freezerworks

Yes, Freezerworks includes several pre-defined reports as well as the option to create User Defined Reports. Configure User Defined Reports to display any data you have stored in Freezerworks.

Please consult the User’s Manual, watch our Reports video series, or contact our support staff for more information.

Every group is different, so it is best to consult with a support technician on the best implementation path for your group. New purchases of Freezerworks come with one year of the Customer Care Program, which includes implementation assistance.

If you have inherited Freezerworks, check with support via Request Support to see if your Customer Care Program is current.

Before choosing a field type, ensure you have selected the correct table per the instructions under the FAQ “Should I choose Patients, Samples, or Aliquots for my fields?”

Text fields are best when typing in data that vary from record to record, such as a Patient’s MRN, a Patient’s Name, or a Sample’s Collection ID.

Choice List fields are best when choosing data from a pre-determined list, like a Sample Type, Aliquot Type, Study, Collection Site, etc. Most choice lists are going to be Single-Select. Multi-Select is for fields such as Diagnosis or Abnormalities; a patient may be diagnosed with Cancer AND Diabetes, so a single-select dropdown would not work.

Numeric fields are for tracking numeric values such as Current Amount or Number of Thaws. These values open up mathematic automation options, such as ‘Remove 0.5 from the Current Amount of these ten vials.’

Time fields are for tracking times, and by default, track hour, minute, and second. You can change the time format from HH:MM:SS to HH:MM or HH:MM AM/PM in your System Properties.

More complex fields such as Summary Data, Calculated Fields, and Auto-Incrementing Fields are available for Ascent, Summit, and Pinnacle customers. Please contact support for more information on the use of these field types.

Before creating fields, please take a moment to review our video on The Freezerworks Hierarchy.

Samples are a sort of umbrella record that will link together one or more Aliquots, while Aliquots are your actual physical items, often taking the form of vials, slides, tubes, wells, blocks, cassettes, etc. In Freezerworks, an aliquot is always the thing that holds a position in the Freezer.

Samples can take many forms depending on how you want to track your inventory. For example, a Sample with multiple Whole Blood aliquots could represent a single draw at one visit. Samples can also represent the visit itself and could have multiple different aliquot types (blood, urine, saliva) all under the same Sample record.

Keep in mind that all information tracked on the Sample level will be true for the Aliquots below it. Any information tracked on the Aliquot level is true for that Aliquot and can vary between aliquots.

Common Patient Level Fields: Patient ID, DOB, Sex, Ancestry, Name

Common Sample Level Fields: Collection Date, Collection Site, Study, Timepoint

Common Aliquot Level Fields: Barcode, Aliquot Type, Storage Date, Number of Thaws, Current Amount

Please discuss your workflow with a support representative to determine which hierarchy structure is best for you.

The Field Type option for a user-defined field cannot be changed after the field has been created. It is important to know ahead of time what kind of data you would like to enter into a field. To change the Field Type, you must inactivate the field and create a new one.

  1. Open the field and uncheck the Active checkbox
  2. Change the display field name to indicate this field is no longer used, and click save.
  3. Add your new field with the correct Field Type. Note the SQL field name cannot be the same as the old field.

The Homepage is the center of Freezerworks and what you see first after you log in. You can add tiles to immediately begin a host of standard inventory-related tasks, such as adding Samples, searching for records, and importing data, without needing to navigate the Freezerworks menu system.

System Administrators can create and assign a template homepage through Configuration > Configure Homepages. End users can have private Homepages as well, which can be customized by clicking the gear in the top right corner of your screen and choosing ‘Create Private Homepage.’

Please consult the User’s Manual, watch our Homepages training video, or contact our support staff if you need more information.

You can update your default field for searching, default list view, default entry form, default label format, default printer, default field in Explore Freezers, and more by going to My Settings > My Preferences > Preferences and setting your User Preferences. Our User Preferences video is a helpful resource for streamlining your day-to-day work in Freezerworks.


Yes, deploying Freezerworks across locations outside your network is possible using VPN, RDP, or cloud hosting.

If you are considering deploying to a different facility, talk to your IT team about your existing infrastructure and what options you may have available.

Freezerworks Server (Ascent, Summit, and Pinnacle) can optionally utilize LDAP or LDAPS to authenticate users at login.

Customizing Freezerworks

Yes, Freezerworks is a highly configurable software, and our implementation specialists will assist in getting your program configured to meet your needs. If you require additional customization outside of Freezerworks’ current capabilities, we have custom development options, which provide an affordable alternative to fully custom-built applications. Discuss with your support or sales representative to determine if existing features will meet your needs.

Before purchasing labels from a third party, we recommend consulting with your account executive or a support representative to see if those labels are compatible with Freezerworks. If they are not and you cannot use an alternative label, we offer custom label format development at an additional cost.

Error Messages

This error message indicates a serious problem may have occurred with the Freezerworks Server. Contact support immediately if this error occurs.

This error can indicate one of two issues:

  1. The user does not have full access to the Freezerworks folder. Give full control permissions to the Freezerworks folder and all its contents, or right-click on the Freezerworks icon and run the program as administrator.
  2. If on a server, this can mean the Freezerworks Server service is already running when attempting to start the Freezerworks Server application. Confirm all users are logged out of Freezerworks and stop the service before running the server application.

This indicates a serious problem occurred with the data file while saving data. Contact support immediately if this error occurs.

If this is your first time connecting to Freezerworks with your client, you may need to point the client to the server. If this is your first time connecting to Freezerworks with your client, you may need to point the client to the server. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click ‘Continue’ on the error message to proceed to the ‘Connection to 4D Server’ window
  2. Click the ‘Custom’ tab
  3. Enter ‘Freezerworks Server’ into the ‘Database Name’ field
  4. Enter the IP Address of your Freezerworks Server provided by your IT staff in the ‘Network Address’ field
  5. 5. Click OK

If you have previously connected to the server or the error message persists, this indicates a connection problem between your Freezerworks Server and clients. First, verify that your Freezerworks Server is running.

If your Freezerworks Server is running and you continue to see this error, have your IT staff make sure your workstations can successfully ping your server machine and that the following ports are open: 19812, 19813, 19814, 80, 8080, 443.

Rarely when using the software, you may see a pop-up titled ‘Runtime Error,’ which indicates something unexpected occurred while using the program. If you see a runtime error, please expand the details dropdown, take a screenshot, and email it to along with replication steps if you have them. Immediately after seeing a runtime error, do not save data unless you have first consulted with a support representative.

Importing Data

Freezerworks will require a unique identifier to be included in the import in order to select which aliquots you are updating.

Freezerworks will accept:

  • The Unique Aliquot ID (system generated unique number for each aliquot)
  • A unique User Defined Field (must have the unique property selected in Field Configuration)
  • Aliquot Number combined with a unique sample level field.

Once you have added your fields on the Import Fields tab, go to the Import Settings tab and select the Import Type of Modify.

Confirm you are using a valid import file type. We recommend CSV if your data does not contain commas or .TXT if your data does contain commas. .xlsx files are not compatible with Freezerworks Importing.

Perform small, practice imports before importing hundreds of records.

When you edit an import file using Excel to work with an import format, be sure you save the file. If you change an Excel file but don’t save it, the unsaved file will be the one that gets imported.

When testing an import file, copy a small portion of it (a few rows) to a new file. The test file will import faster, and you will be able to locate problems faster than if you import the entire file.

When testing a format, don’t use “Add to List” for importing fields with dropdown lists until you are certain the import format is importing that field properly. Otherwise, you may end up with bad entries in your library for that field that you will have to delete, one at a time.

The import file must be in a text format (comma or tab delimited); it cannot be an application-specific file. For example, do not import files in the traditional Excel “.xlsx” format. Select File-Save As, and choose “.csv” (comma delimited) or “.txt” (tab delimited) from the “Save as type” dropdown before importing. Choose “.txt” when importing data that already contains commas, such as a notes field containing text or a field such as “Last Name, First Name.”

All fields in the import file must also exist in Freezerworks prior to import.

Field lengths in the import file must be less than or equal to the destination field in Freezerworks.

Field types must match the destination field (alphanumeric (e.g., a b c & @ # + ) data will not import into a numeric field).

Date and time formats must be taken into account. Indicate these formats on the Import Fields tab of the Import format. Freezerworks will convert the dates and/or times into the system format if needed. The import file cannot contain multiple date and/or time formats. Convert all dates and times to one format before importing.

This message is common, especially for first-time importers. It just means there is something inside your import file that Freezerworks thinks you should check before proceeding, like an invalid date format, a spelling error in your Aliquot Type, or a letter inside a numeric field.

Click ‘View Error Report’ for a list of the issues found, and use it as a guide to modify your import file. Before attempting the import again, make sure to close and cancel the import and save the changes in your import file.

If you have a question on a particular error in your error report, contact support for assistance.


Regular backups of your data are very important to prevent data loss due to computer malfunction and error.

Manual backups are possible by acquiring a copy of your 4D Data File and moving that copy to a secure location. The Freezerworks 4D Data File will always have an extension of .4DD.

For a standalone installation, the data file will be located in a subfolder called Database. For a client/server installation, the data file will be located on the server in a subfolder called Server Database.

Client/Server users have access to an automated backup program, which can be set to create regularly scheduled backups, as well as keep a log file to monitor all changes made to the data file between backups. Please ensure your automatic backup is being written to the local drive and that the backup file is being copied to an external location.

Consult your Freezerworks System Administrator’s Guide for help in setting up automated backups.

Backups can run automatically at first startup for standalone copies but will only run when the program is launched.

If you need to restore a backup, please contact our support staff for instructions and assistance.


Yes, deploying Freezerworks across locations outside your network is possible using VPN, RDP, or cloud hosting.

If you are considering deploying to a different facility, talk to your IT team about your existing infrastructure and what options you may have available.

Freezerworks Server (Ascent, Summit, and Pinnacle) can optionally utilize LDAP or LDAPS to authenticate users at login.

Yes, a desktop computer can be used as a server. However, it must be used strictly as a server and not as a workstation. A workstation also running a server will very likely slow down program access unacceptably.

Freezerworks uses ports 19812, 19813, 19814, 80, 8080, 443.

The Freezerworks Server must be installed on a Windows OS, but Freezerworks clients can be installed on either Windows or Mac OS.

For a list of supported operating systems, please visit our System Requirements page.

Printers, Labels, and Scanners

Freezerworks can print labels for your aliquots once the records have been created in Freezerworks. Any data you track in Freezerworks, such as a unique identifier, an aliquot type, or a storage date, can be printed on a label in either a human-readable or barcode format.

You’ll need a printer, a scanner, labels, and ribbon to get started. Please check with support before buying any barcoding supplies from a third party; some labels do not have matching formats in Freezerworks and would require development assistance at an additional cost. We offer free Sample Label Kits so you can test labels out before purchasing.

If you don’t already have a unique identifier for your aliquots, consider using Globally Unique Aliquot ID for barcoding, as it is tied to your serial number and guaranteed unique across all Freezerworks instances.

Please consult the User’s Manual, watch our Labels video series, or contact our support staff for more information.

Scanners can be used anywhere a computer keyboard can be used in Freezerworks. Popular uses of scanners include Search by Barcode, Add Samples/Add Aliquots, Homepage Quick Search, List View searching, and QC Check Freezer.

The Quick Search bar at the top of the Homepage is a great option for single-record searching. The default field for searching is Unique Aliquot ID, but this can be customized to search on any field in your User Preferences.

If you cannot update your Quick Search, Search by Barcode is also a good option for finding one record at a time.

Scanners are a standard peripheral and work similarly to computer keyboards. If you can type and scan into a text file, you can type and scan into Freezerworks.

Before troubleshooting with Freezerworks, try using the scanner on any barcode (tissue box, box of gloves, etc.) directly into a text file. If the barcode is entered into the text file, the scanner should work with any barcode in Freezerworks.

If the scanner does not write the barcode into the text file, try restarting your computer, then consult the quick-start guide shipped with the scanner.

If the scanner can scan other barcodes but cannot scan your vial barcode, the barcode configuration may be sized incorrectly. Try reconfiguring the barcode size on your label formats to be larger or smaller and test. It is also possible that your labels are too light or smudged. If that is the case, check out the FAQ, ‘My labels are printing smudged or faded.’

Most scanners can add a ‘prefix’ or ‘suffix,’ which is additional text or actions performed after each scan. These settings are easy to set up, typically by scanning a specific barcode that programs the scanner for you. We recommend an ‘enter’ suffix if you’re scanning multiple vials at once in Freezerworks.

Consult with your scanner manufacturer’s website for help with prefix and suffix settings.

If you print and blank labels begin coming out and do not stop, this is usually due to a gapping issue. Your printer is not sure where one label ends and another begins. Ensure the printer’s gap sensor is positioned under your labels correctly, then consult your printer manual for information on a re-calibration.

If you print and a single blank label comes out, make sure the ribbon inside your printer is facing the right way. Open the printer head and tap a piece of tape or the sticky side of a label to the ribbon. If black resin pulls away, your ribbon is facing the correct way. Make sure the matte side is facing you, and the shiny side is facing the back of the printer.

If you print and ten or more blank labels come out, Windows may be borrowing the ‘paper’ size from another printer or PDF writer. Make sure your default printer in Windows is set to be your label printer and that ‘Let Windows manage my default printer’ is off.

Navigate to your label printer’s ‘Printing preferences’ in Windows. First, lower your label printer’s print speed. If the printer prints too quickly, the resin may not have enough time to heat up and transfer. Next, increase your darkness by 5 points and click ‘Apply’ before attempting to print once more.

Most customers have success with a print speed of 4” per second and darkness of 25.

Quality Assurance

Freezerworks is written and tested in according to FDA regulations and guidance documents, including GMP Quality System Regulation (21 CFR Part 820), Electronic Records – Scope and Application (21 CFR Part 11), and General Principles of Software Validation (FDA Final Guidance for Industry). Click here for more information.

Release Notes

You can read our release notes on our Release Notes page.


Upgrading to the newest version of Freezerworks is seamless and requires no re-creation of data, user defined fields, entry forms, freezers, or list views. Everything you have already created will be preserved, and you will have the added functionality of the newest version of Freezerworks.

Upgrades to the newest version are included free of charge with your Customer Care Program.

Customers in versions older than Freezerworks 2015 may require development assistance to upgrade to the most current version. This assistance is not included in your Customer Care Program but is not always necessary. Please contact your account executive if you are in a version older than Freezerworks 2015 to see if your upgrade may need a developer.

If you work in a validated environment, you may consider pairing our IQ/OQ Validation Package with your upgrade.

Contact support for assistance in upgrading to the most current version of Freezerworks.

Typically, we will arrange a meeting with a Freezerworks user and someone from IT. The upgrade is performed by your IT staff through a guided virtual meeting with one of our support representatives.

Upgrade times may vary from minutes to hours, though most upgrades can be finished within an hour session.

Acquire the password for your ADMIN account. The ADMIN account is not the same as any user with System Administration privileges; it must be the ADMIN account. If you do not know your ADMIN password and are unable to retrieve it, contact support.

If you are in a version prior to Freezerworks 2019, review the Freezerworks 2019 Upgrade Pt. 1 video for all the pre-upgrade steps to complete before your upgrade.

Check our System Requirements to ensure your computer’s OS is compatible with the most current version of Freezerworks.