Knowledgebase:
Upgrading From an Earlier ZBrush Version
Posted by Matthew Yetter, Last modified by Matthew Yetter on 12 November 2019 05:12 PM
All registered ZBrush users are eligible for a FREE upgrade to ZBrush 2020!  


To begin, please go to the section for your current ZBrush version.  Each section will provide the necessary instructions for how to upgrade that version to ZBrush 2020.

ZBrush 2018 or Above (NOT Floating licenses)

ZBrush 2020 uses your current serial number.   Please follow these steps to upgrade. 
  1. Disable your antivirus software.  This includes Windows Defender.  Failure to follow this step will often result in a corrupted installer that fails partway through installation.
  2. Go to My Licenses and log in.  If you get stuck in a login loop, please see the note below.
  3. Click the button to Download ZBrush 2020.  (You DO NOT need to upgrade your license.  ZBrush 2020 will use your existing license key.)
  4. Choose your region and platform to download.
    • NOTE:  The download button on My Licenses does not expire.  It allows up to 5 download attempts every 24 hours.  It is therefore no longer necessary to keep a backup copy of your installer.  Simply come back to My Licenses whenever you wish to install ZBrush again.  That way you will always have the most current version.
  5. Install ZBrush 2020.
    •  NOTE: For macOS users, if you receive a message that "Install ZBrush 2020.app can't be opened because Apple hasn't been able to check it for malicious software," go to your Mac Settings >> Security & Privacy >> General tab.  There, you will see an option to "Open Anyway."
  6. When you first launch ZBrush 2020 you may be prompted for activation (depending on whether this computer already has an activated copy of ZBrush 2018 or above, and which version).  If so, it will ask for you to enter your Pixologic ID.  This is the same information that you use to log in at My Licenses.  If ZBrush 2020 requires activation on a computer that already has 2018 or above installed, this activation will not deduct from your serial number; it will simply authorize ZBrush.
  7. In the browser window that opens, choose your ZBrush license key and complete the activation.
  8. If you have the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge, run it and activate as well.
  9. Enable your antivirus software again.
  10. You can uninstall your earlier ZBrush version at any time.  Don't deactivate it or ZBrush 2020 will also be deactivated.
Note: Some users report encountering a login loop when they try to upgrade or download.  If this is happening to you, please first make sure that you are either using Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome (for Windows users) or Safari (for Mac users).  Also, ensure that you don't have any browser addons or antivirus software that block cookies.  Our site uses cookies to remember that you have logged in as you navigate between pages.  If it can't write the cookie, it will forget you've logged in just as soon as you've done it.



ZBrush Floating License Users
The My Licenses system is incompatible with floating licenses and cannot display them.  To upgrade your floating licenses you will need a special installer. Please have your IT manager submit a Support ticket to upgrade.  One of your existing license files should be attached to this ticket.  Be sure to also include the name of your organization/company!


ZBrush 4.x Users
If you never upgraded above ZBrush 4R8 then you will need to follow slightly different instructions from those for users that have done so.  This is because we will need to generate a new serial number for you.  All upgrades from ZBrush 4 will be a perpetual license. Please follow these instructions:
  1. Log into the My Licenses page using the email address that your license is registered under.
    • If you have never used My Licenses before, we have created a Pixologic ID for you.  Simply use the "forgot password" feature to reset your password from the random one that we created for you to one that you will remember going forward.
  2. You will see your ZBrush 4 serial number(s)/keys.  Click the blue button to Upgrade to ZBrush 2020.
  3. Select the serial numbers that you wish to upgrade at this time.  If you have multiple ZBrush 4 licenses you can opt to upgrade some of the now and the rest later.  Most users will wish to upgrade all at once.
    • Some licenses are not eligible for upgrade and will not be displayed on this page:
      • NFR licenses are never eligible because they were provided for a specific purpose.  If you still need an NFR copy and do not wish to purchase a license or subscription please send an email to pr@pixologic.com and include an explanation regarding why the NFR is necessary.
      • Cross-platform licenses are not able to be upgraded because they're not stand-alone licenses.  They are rather license add-ons, which is why they were provided at a 50% discount off the regular ZBrush price.  Now that all ZBrush licenses are dual-platform, the add-on is no longer needed.  Simply upgrade the license for your original platform, which will now work on both Windows and macOS.  If you wish to upgrade the cross-platform license you must first upgrade it to a stand-alone license by paying the remaining 50% of the license price.  To do this, submit a Support ticket.
      • Licenses that have already been upgraded will also not display here.
  4. The next page will provide you with a final confirmation.  You may either opt to select different keys or to confirm your upgrade.
  5. After clicking the "Confirm Upgrade" button your license(s) will be upgraded and a new serial number will be assigned to this license.  As you may have noticed, this license will not specify whether it was for Windows or macOS -- All ZBrush licenses now work on both platforms.
  6. Disable your antivirus software.  This includes Windows Defender.  Failure to follow this step will often result in a corrupted installer that fails partway through installation.
  7. Return to the My Licenses page.  The section for ZBrush 4 will now be collapsed at the bottom of the page.  The top of the page will display your new serial number.  It will also have a button to Download ZBrush 2020.  This button will take you to a page where you can choose your region and whether you wish to download the Windows or macOS installer.
    • NOTE:  The download button on My Licenses does not expire.  It allows up to 5 download attempts every 24 hours.  It is therefore no longer necessary to keep a backup copy of your installer.  Simply come back to My Licenses whenever you wish to install ZBrush again.  That way you will always have the most current version.
  8. Install ZBrush 2020.
    •  NOTE: For macOS users, if you receive a message that "Install ZBrush 2020.app can't be opened because Apple hasn't been able to check it for malicious software," go to your Mac Settings >> Security & Privacy >> General tab.  There, you will see an option to "Open Anyway."
  9. When you first launch ZBrush it will ask for you to enter your Pixologic ID.  This is the same information that you use to log in at My Licenses.
  10. In the browser window that opens, choose your ZBrush 2020 serial number and complete the activation.
  11. If you have the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge, run it and activate as well.  Unlike with ZBrush 4.x, the Bridge now activates using your Pixologic ID.  You no longer need a license file.
  12. Enable your antivirus software again.
  13. You can uninstall your old ZBrush version at any time.  You do not have to deactivate it before doing so.

Users of Earlier ZBrush Versions (3.5 or below)
Yes, you are still eligible for a free upgrade to ZBrush 2020!  This will be a perpetual license. However, because you never upgraded to ZBrush 4 our systems cannot generate your upgrade automatically.  You will need to submit a Support ticket so that we can locate your account in our old records and upgrade you manually.  In your ticket be sure to include the following information:
  • The most recent ZBrush version that you have used.  This will help us know where to look in our database, finding your account faster.
  • The email address that you used when you registered that most recent ZBrush version.
  • Your name.
  • If you have it, your serial number or POP Code.
  • If your most recent version was ZBrush 2 or earlier, it will also help if you can tell use where you purchased ZBrush.  For example, at SIGGRAPH 2005, or from Get Software.  This will help us know which database to search in to find your license.

If we cannot locate your license from the information provided, we will reply asking for more info.  Once your account has been located, we will reply with full instructions for how to upgrade.


ZBrushCore Users
Upgrading to ZBrush 2020 is not free.  You have two different ways that you can upgrade;
  1. Log in at My Licenses and go to the ZBrushCore tab.  There, you would click the button to Upgrade to ZBrush Pro.  Doing this will give you a perpetual license for ZBrush 2020, and you will receive a $100 discount off the regular ZBrush price because you are a ZBrushCore user.  When you upgrade, be sure to use the same email address that your Pixologic ID is under.  Changing the email address would break the link between your ZBrushCore license and the ZBrush license, requiring a Support ticket to resolve.
  2. Alternatively, you can purchase a ZBrush subscription.  You will still have the option to upgrade to a perpetual license at any time, receiving the $100 discount as described above.  If you ever do upgrade to a perpetual license, be sure to cancel your subscription so that it does not rebill.  Our systems cannot know on their own that your upgrade is meant to replace the subscription.