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KB 2259

All about Capture One licenses: Upgrades, Updates and Activations Explained

Last updated: 01-11-2018


How can I update Capture One?
Do I have to pay for an update or upgrade?
How can I tell if I have any activations left on my Capture One License?
What is the difference between a perpetual license and subscription license?


License Activations

All Capture One single user licenses will allow you to activate the software on atleast 2 computers simultaneously.

Capture One Pro – a single user (perpetual) license will allow you to activate the software on 3 computers simultaneously. However, a subscription license for Capture One Pro will only allow to activate on 2 computers.

  • Please note that the change from 2 to 3 activations on the Pro license was implemented from version 9 and later.

Capture One Pro (Fujifilm) – a single user licenses will allow you to activate the software on 2 computers simultaneously.

Capture One Pro (Sony) – a single user license will allow you to activate the software on 2 computers simultaneously.

Multi User license – a "5-User" license can be used on 5 computers simultaneously. A “10-User” license can be used on 10 computers simultaneously.


Managing Activations

You can find the number of activations you have left for your current license within Capture One. This can be found either in the License window inside the Capture One Menu (Mac), or the Help Menu (Windows).

You can also get this information by accessing your Phase One profile on (Login tab > Software License > License Management).

If you want to activate another computer, you may need to deactivate Capture One on a computer first to free up an activation. Activations can be reset from both the Phase One website, as well as within Capture One. See the links below for instructions:

How to deactivate Capture One / Media Pro using the Phase One website 

How to deactivate Capture One directly in the application

Where can I find my Capture One License code?


Upgrades vs Updates

Upgrades should not be confused with Updates which are always free. An update is a minor version release, such as going from Capture One 11.1 to Capture One 11.2. Your license is valid for all releases that begin with the same number.


How to Update Capture One

To update to the current version, simply download Capture One from the main download page and install as normal. There is no special update download, you will be downloading the entire program again.  

The main Capture One download contains all versions of Capture One: Capture One Pro, Capture One DB, Capture One Pro (Sony or Fujifilm), and Capture One Express (Sony or Fujifilm). As with your initial installation the version that loads is based on your license:

How can I set Capture One to notify me of any software updates?

How can I change my Capture One Activation Mode?


How to Upgrade Capture One

If you are moving between Major Capture One releases (Capture One 10.x to Capture One 11.x, etc.) then you must purchase an upgrade.  

This can be done in the online store at or from a Phase One partner.  When the upgrade is complete, you will receive a new license code for the new software version. The old license will be disabled and cannot be used.  If you still need to activate your old software version, you can do so with the new license code (see "Backwards Compatibility" below).


Free Upgrades

In nearly all cases major upgrades of Capture One is a paid upgrade. (Capture One 10.x to Capture One 11.x, etc). 

If your license contains a free upgrade, it allows you activate the next major upgrade of Capture One at no extra cost. This usually only applies to users with Capture One 3 to go to Capture One 4 and 5. There are generally no free upgrades to go to versions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 of the software.

An exception for some users who purchased Capture One immediately before a new version release of Capture One.

  • Please note that Free upgrades allow you to use the next version only. For instance, a Capture One 9 license with 1 free upgrade would allow you to activate Capture One 10 with the same key. It would not allow you to skip Capture One 10 and activate Capture One 11.

Any upgrades are outlined in the specifications of your License code which can be found by clicking on Software License / License Management window at > Login.


Perpetual Licenses vs. Subscription Licenses

Perpetual license - you pay once for a Capture One version, and you have it for a lifetime. For example, you purchase a Capture One 11 Pro license. You have that license forever. You can also activate any previous version as well (Capture One 10, Capture One 9, Capture One 8 etc).  Upgrades are paid, meaning when a new version comes out, it is a paid upgrade. Again, incremental updates are free (Capture One 11.1 > 11.2 for example).

Subscription license - you pay month to month, or annually. As always, as long as you upto date with your payments, a subscription license works with the latest upgrade or update, irrelevant to version number. So upgrades to the latest version contain no additional costs.


Backwards compatibility

Capture One licenses can be used for all previous versions as well. For instance, a Capture One 11 license can also be used to activate Capture One 10, 9, 8, 7 etc. The exception to this rule is the Subscription license, which are valid for Capture One 8 or newer. They cannot work in Capture One 7 or prior, because Capture One 7 does not understand subscription management.