Every Plugin From the Nik Collection Is Now Free

Every Plugin From the Nik Collection Is Now Free

Nik software is one of the heavy hitters in the Lightroom and Photoshop plugin world.  They are so big that in 2012, the company was bought up by Google. After Google's acquisition, they lowered the price for all the desktop plugins and made their mobile app (Snapseed) free of charge. Now, four years later, Google has decided to bring their desktop plugins into line with their mobile application by making all of them free.

Today we’re making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities -- from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now. 

This is great news for everyone that recently purchased the suite of plugins, and even greater news for everyone that has been wanting the plugins but never pulled the trigger on buying them. This does leave us all with a question, though: Will Google continue to develop these plugins? Or, when they say “focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile,” do they mean they will no longer develop the desktop applications? Either way, the entire set of plugins is already fantastic, so hit the link and get your copy up and running.

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57 Comments

Brian Rodgers Jr.'s picture

This is a very interesting play on Google's part. Though I don't use these plugins on every image, I've been using Nik Soft for years, and have been happy with the results. When Google bough Nik, since I had purchased Nik Software in the past, Google was cool enough to give me the free update to all the apps when they acquired Nik, which I thought was pretty awesome.

I sure hope they don't stop developing the desktop apps. I know everything is going mobile, but I think at least for working professionals, we are not at a point yet where we have a solid workflow solely on portable devices. The time will come I'm sure

Now it's 150$ cheaper to follow along in your Photographing the world tutorial :D

Kyle Medina's picture

This is exactly what came to mind for other people, but I already had it prior to this.

Thomas Wickl's picture

Just my Opinion: Since google did not promote the Nik Tools since they bought them and did not develop them any further till today, I don't think that they will develop them any further. They bought the technology for mobile, not to create a Business for Photographers. The Nik Tools are dead for years, they only maintained compatibility for newer OS. But it's nice to get them for free.

E Port's picture

I'm curious about your ideas on developing the toolset further. They already feel so complete as is, so it's hard to imagine what could be added.

Thomas Wickl's picture

I agreee and personally don't know what they could do. But if the Nik Tools would be Part of a Business they would continually work on it. New UI, new Presets, new Ideas, it would be a must to attract new customers and get current customers to buy updates. But in my opinion we can clearly see that there is no intension to have a healthy business with the Nik Tools. I think they just wanted the Technology for their mobile strategy.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Dfine noise reduction now lags substantially behind more modern NR tools. DxO Optics Pro 10 is currently the king of NR, and it outperforms Dfine by a large margin.

E Port's picture

It would be great to see a current noise reduction software shootout article. (hint for staff writers) Do you have a reference or just personal experience?

Jacques Cornell's picture

This is my personal experience. I used Dfine for 2-3 years before moving from Aperture to LR + DxO. Dfine is a nice streamlined tool that works with little intervention, and you can generate custom profiles for it that auto-apply according to EXIF. I found Topaz DeNoise even more effective, but requiring a great deal of intervention, so not suitable for high-volume work. DxO is zero-click simple (custom default profile) and magically effective. For a high-volume low-light Micro Four Thirds event shooter like me, it's a game-changer.

Ryan Mense's picture

It's still a bit buggy for me, there are those kinds of updates I would welcome.

joe o sullivan's picture

Cringing for everyone who bought it for Christmas..

they get a refund, so thats nice.

Kyle Medina's picture

Nope only 2016. Christmas would be 2015

Jeean Alvarez's picture

Years ago I loved it and used it for 85% of my pictures. Actually I create my own presets but for everyone who didn`t used it before I can recommend it, you can`t go wrong, it`s free.

Doug Peterson's picture

Ironic that this would happen the Digital Transitions releases Capture One Styles for $129 :).

Oh boy.
I gave them $300 before they bought Google... Or was it the other way around? I don't remember.
Anyway... Big Aperture fan here. When Aperture died, Nik died with it. VERY happily living with Affinity and MacFun since then.
AT

Hi, all.
I just wanted to know what the experience is like for the people who downloaded the 'free' software? Are there adverts or other hidden goodies Google is not necessarily telling us about?
Thanks.

Spy Black's picture

Probably loaded with data mining hooks...

Peter Timmer's picture

I've used programs like onOne and NIK in the past when i was beginning photography, and its a good way to play around and see what you like...

But as a professional i never use this anymore, photoshop can do everything these programs do and even better. Focus training your skills in photoshop is what my advice to all photographers is..

These plugin programs often make people create disgusting HDR-like images that just make me wanne puke..

Jacques Cornell's picture

There certainly is a place in the pro's toolbox for these plugins. AFAIK, Photoshop has no comparable noise reduction tools, and its UIs for making B&W conversions and merging to HDR are much more basic. In addition, while you might be able to replicate an effect with PS' built-in tools, plugins can get you where you're going quicker. With 2,000 event photos to deliver at the end of a week of shooting, plugins give me effects I wouldn't have time for otherwise. Also, the lousy results you dislike so much are the result of bad user choices, not the tools. I get very natural results from HDR Efex Pro 2.

Kyle Medina's picture

You must think Elia Locardi isn't a pro then? His work flow is centered around this program. Ridiculous purest talk again.

Peter Timmer's picture

i didn't say that when you use NIK you're not a pro.. I just said i don't use it anymore because i feel like it doesn't get me any further than photoshop does.

Jason Vinson's picture

True... I have never seen a disgusting HDR image produced in Photoshop....

Peter Timmer's picture

you have a point there, in the end it is about the user not the program like Jaques also said..

lee arthur's picture

My issue is when I clicked the link... it did not say free... but 15 day free trial. Did I miss something?

Carl Dickinson's picture

I'm going to download it anyway and see if they want us to buy it in 15 days.

I experienced the same thing

Have there been really any updates to these recently? I use them at times, but can't recall they last time there were any noticeable updates.