Nik Collection by Google is now free

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 24, 2016
Updated • May 22, 2018
Companies, Google

Google's Nik Collection, a desktop suite of powerful image editing plugins for Adobe Photoshop and other imaging solutions, is now freely available.

The company bought Nik Software, makers of Snapseed and Nik Collection, back in 2012, to improve its own photo-editing tools and digital imaging offerings.

Nik Collection has been offered as a commercial desktop suite ever since, but this changes with today's announcement that Nik Collection is available freely as of March 24, 2016.

Customers who purchased the 2016 edition of Nik Collection will receive a refund according to Google. Anyone else can head over to the official website of the desktop suite to download it to their system.

Nik Collection

google nik collection

The program is available for Windows and Mac operating systems. Please note that the option to send statistics to Google is enabled by default in the Windows installer.

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.

The desktop suite consists of the following tools that integrate with popular image editing programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.

  • Analog Efex Pro - Apply effects inspired by classic cameras.
  • Color Efex Pro - Apply color filters to images.
  • Silver Efex Pro - Black and white effects, emulate nearly 20 popular film types.
  • Viveza - Tries to make it easier to make precise edits.
  • HDR Efex Pro - Create HDR photos and effects.
  • Sharpener Pro - an image sharpening plugin to enhance details or textures.
  • Dfine - adjust contrast and reduce color noise separately.

A good starting point is the official support page which provides information about each plugin included in the desktop suite, as well as instructions on installing or uninstalling, or accessing the plug-ins from host applications like Photoshop.

Another great option to get started is to head over to the Nik Software YouTube channel which offers hundreds of tutorial videos and more that explain how to use various features of the desktop suite.

Here is a tutorial that covers the Silver Efex Pro plugin.

Google plans to integrate the technology even more into its own web services and applications. That's likely the main reason why it made the decision to offer these plugins for free as of today.

It is unclear right now whether these will receive updates in the future, or simple provided as is with no further updates. (via Caschy)

Nik Collection by Google is now free
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Nik Collection by Google is now free
Google's Nik Collection, a desktop suite of powerful image editing plugins for Adobe Photoshop and other imaging solutions, is now freely available.
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  1. Marly said on April 1, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I want to try installing these plugins with GIMP. However, I haven’t found any clear instructions explaining exactly how to do this. forums touch on the subject [] and provide a Python script, but doesn’t include specific instructions on how to make it all work.

  2. Anthony said on March 31, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    This is a great software toolkit for post processing. I use it as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. There are too many fabulous things you can do with it, and it’s easy and intuitive to use. “Buyer’ beware’: this toolkit is fabulous if you know how to use it. It doesn’t make bad pictures wonderful (artsy, maybe) or a bad photographer good 😁 Lucky for us, Nik has its own YouTube channel with many extensive tutorials. Just try and download. It’s FREE, so it will never hurt to do so.

    Hope the development doesn’t stop now it’s free and Google is focussing on Google photos instead…

    The refund for 2016 works, I already received my money back within a day. Great service but continue updating Google!

    See examples of my pictures post processed with the Nik collection:

  3. Pants said on March 25, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Make sure to disable the two google update services and the two google update schedules, and get rid of the google update exes and remove your permissions from the update folder. The install took ages (20 minutes?) – at least they are all 64bit complaint for my PS version.

    On a side note, portable google chrome is now hooking into windows explorer. Test it yourself.

    In windows explorer, I am in folder c:/test. I open chrome. I now try to rename c:/test to c:/testblah and I can’t. If I have a look with unlocker, there’s chrome with its sticky fingers fukking things up. There is NO need for chrome to do this.

  4. Dwight Stegall said on March 25, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Unbelievable Twitter has been offline nearly 3 hours now.

    1. Dwight Stegall said on March 25, 2016 at 1:18 am

      Sorry my computer screwed. I could go to some sites and not others. I’ve never seen Windows do that before. Restarting it fixed the problem.

  5. Fred said on March 25, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Does anyone know a non-Adobe program that works with the Photoshop CS4 Plugin API, so that I can use these plugins?

  6. Alex said on March 24, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Amazing! If only Adobe ported their products to Linux…

  7. Jojo said on March 24, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I downloaded (430MB!) and installed them. Unfortunately, I don’t have Photoshop or Lightroom but it looks like you can run the exe’s and on SOME of them, there is a file open ability to load a photo to work on. Not all modules have this ability though.

    There also doesn’t seem to be any undo control. Only 1 level of CTRL-Z.

    Google need to distribute a launcher for stand-alone use of these controls. Or maybe one already exists?

  8. dan said on March 24, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Great find! These plugins once cost hundreds of dollars, and are considered by professional photographers as among the very best.

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