Installing and Activating

There are two ways to install Luminar on your computer. The method you choose will depend upon how you purchased Luminar.

Installation for a Mac

1. Click the download link in your activation email (sent after purchase).

2. Locate the installer in your Downloads folder.

3. Double-click Luminar_2018.dmg open the installer.

4. Drag the application into your Applications folder.

5. Choose Go > Applications to navigate to your Applications folder.

6. Locate the Luminar 2018 application and double-click to launch.

7. Enter the email address you used when purchasing the software and your activation key (from your activation email) to complete installation and registration.

8. Click Activate to launch the application.

If you ever lose your activation key, you’ll be able to provide our support team with your email address and they can restore the activation code for you. You can also look up your products and keys at If you purchase software from our website, you’ll need to download and install your software. Follow these steps.

If Bought from the Mac App Store

If you choose to purchase Luminar from the Mac App store, please follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Mac App Store.
  2. In the Search field type Luminar.
  3. Locate Luminar and click the Buy button.
  4. The Mac App Store may ask you to verify your ID and password.
  5. Luminar is downloaded to your Applications folder.
  6. In the Finder choose Go > Application and locate the Luminar application.
  7. Double-click on the Luminar app to launch and use the application. If you ever delete the Luminar application, you can re-download it from the Mac App Store.


The Mac App Store version of Luminar doesn’t offer the ability to be used as a plug-in. To get a version that can, please contact Just provide proof of purchase and they will give you a version that can be used as a plug-in. 

Installing Plugins into Luminar

If you own additional Photoshop style plugins, those can be used with Luminar 2018. This includes plugins such as Aurora HDR (for Mac and PC) and Creative Kit (Mac). You can also access many third party plugins. When Luminar is installed, it will attempt to locate any third-party Photoshop plugins installed on your system.

To use a plugin:

1. Open an image into Luminar 2018.

2. Click the Plugins menu

  • You can choose from Skylum plugins.
  • You can choose Plugins > Other to see autodetected plugins installed on your system
  • You can choose Plugins > Choose plugin... to navigate directly to an installed plugin to open it.

3. The image is opened up in the plugin.  You can now make any desired edits.

4. Click OK or Apply in the plugin to render its result and return the image as a new layer in Luminar 2018.

Download the full Luminar 2018 User Guide for Mac in PDF Format

Download the full Luminar Neptune User Guide for Mac in PDF Format

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