QLab 4 uses a new accounts-based licensing system which gives you more flexibility and power over your QLab licenses than ever before.

Purchasing Licenses

You can purchase QLab licenses on our secure online store using a credit or debit card. Once you've chosen the license or licenses that you wish to purchase, click Checkout. You can then log in to your Figure 53 account if you already have one, or just enter your billing details if you don't. It's important to double-check your email address before clicking Buy Cart at the bottom.

If you do not already have a license, completing the purchase will create an account for you, log you in, and prompt you to create a password for the account. You will use this password and your email address in QLab to install your licenses.

Rent-to-own Licenses

Rent-to-own licenses can be purchased on a day-by-day basis. When you purchase one, you choose the start date and the end date, and the license will be valid for that period of time. It's important to note that a one-day rental isn't just 24 hours starting from the time of purchase; the actual calendar date matters. If you purchase a one-day rental license with a start date today, it will remain valid until midnight tonight.

The Figure 53 shop uses your computer's clock to determine the timezone for your rental license.

You can purchase and install rental licenses ahead of time, choosing a start date in the future. On the appropriate day, the license will automatically "wake up" and unlock the appropriate features. When the rental period is over, the license will simply time out. You do not need to "stop" or "cancel" a rental.

Once you have rented a license for 110 days, you will get a free standard license of the same type. The rental days do not need to be consecutive.

Installing Licenses

Installing licenses is most easily done if the Mac that's running QLab can be connected to the internet. (If your QLab Mac is offline, skip to the section below called Offline Activation.)

In QLab, choose Manage Your Licenses... from the QLab menu. You will be presented with the Licenses and Activations window.

Licenses - Log In

Click Log in to install a license... and enter your email and password, or enter only your email and click Get Link.

Using your password

If you enter your password, QLab will present you with a list of licenses associated with your account, along with buttons to install the license.

Licenses - Availablility

In this example, the account contains a Pro Bundle license. You can click Install Bundle to install the Audio, Video, and Lighting portions of the license, or you can click the individual Audio, Video, or Lighting buttons to install only those portions.

Once you click one of those buttons, you will be presented with another choice; which seat to install:

Licenses - Choose A Seat

Each QLab license can be installed on up to three Macs at a time, with three specific uses:

  1. Main. The Main computer is used to run cues during your show. A show that uses one Mac for playing back Audio and another Mac for playing back Video has two Main computers.
  2. Backup. The Backup computer is there in case something goes wrong with the Main computer. You might have your Backup computer hooked up to your playback system, with a system in place to seamlessly switch over from the Main (this is often called a "hot spare" or "hot backup"), or you might have your Backup computer disconnected, but ready to plug in at a moment's notice (called a "cold spare" or "cold backup.") In either case, the Backup doesn't do anything that's audible or visible to the audience during the show unless it takes over for the Main computer.
  3. Edit. The Edit computer is used to work on your QLab workspaces in rehearsal, at your studio, or at home. If you have a visiting artist working on your show, you might loan your Edit seat to her so that she can work on her cues using her own laptop, rather than having to sit in the technical booth to work on cues. The Edit computer never does anything that's audible or visible to the audience.

Once you choose a seat, the Licenses and Activations window will show you the license and seat that you installed:

Licenses - Choose A Seat

If you click Get Link, we will send you an email containing a temporary license link which you can click to automatically log QLab in to your account. This makes it easy to install your license without having to remember your password, as long as you have access to your email on the same Mac that you're using for QLab.

Removing Licenses

To remove a license, choose Manage Your Licenses... from the QLab menu and click the Remove button next to the license you wish to remove.

You can also remotely remove a license from any Mac by logging into your Figure 53 account on our website. To do this, click on the See details link next to the license you want to remove, and then click Deactivate for the seat you want to deactivate. The link will change to say Cancel pending deactivation. If you click again, it will change back to Deactivate and nothing will change. If you leave it alone, the seat will be released the next time QLab is launched on that Mac. Please note that the Mac must be connected to the internet when QLab launches for remote deactivation to work.

In between the time that you click Deactivate and the time that QLab is relaunched, the seat will remain unavailable for reinstallation.

Offline Activation

Adding and removing QLab licenses is typically done over the internet, and that's the fastest and easiest way to do it. If your Mac cannot be connected to the internet, maybe because you're on a boat, or your IT department is grouchy, you can still install a QLab license by using offline activation. Here's how to do it:

  1. Install QLab on your offline Mac. You'll need to download it on a computer that is online, and then you can transfer it to the offline Mac via a local network, a USB key, or any other kind of external drive.
  2. Launch QLab and choose Other License Actions Save Offline Activation Request... from the QLab menu. You will be prompted to save the request file.
  3. Take that file and email it to us at, and let us know which license and seat you wish to install. For example, you might say "I want to install the Main Audio seat of my Pro Bundle" or you might say "I want to install the Main Lighting and Backup Video seats of my Pro Bundle."
  4. We'll take the request file, hand it to our team of license-processing elves, and email you back with the activation file.
  5. When you receive that email, copy the file to the offline Mac (again using a local network or a USB key or some similar method.)
  6. Finally, in QLab, choose Other License Actions Import Offline Activation... from the QLab menu, and select the activation file. Presto, change-o, the license will be installed!

Using QLab 4 licenses with QLab 3

QLab 3.2 and later has the ability to communicate with the new account system, and you can use any QLab 4 license with QLab 3. License activation happens on a per-computer basis, so using both QLab 3.2 and QLab 4 on the same Mac only counts as a single activation.

Modernizing QLab 3 licenses

QLab 4 introduces a new method of licensing which is account-based, rather than being based on a license file. The account-based system allows more exact tracking of which Mac has a license installed, and will bring more advances over time. If you own a QLab 3 license, you can "modernize" this license and bring it into the account system if you wish, but you do not have to.

If you want to modernize a QLab 3 license, you must deauthorize it on every computer that it's been installed on. Then, contact us at and we'll take care of it.

You do not need to modernize a license in order to use it for an upgrade discount.