Setting up Capture One

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System requirements, installation, activation, deactivation, registration and opening.

System requirements

Capture One may run on other and older equipment than that listed below, but to ensure the best possible results we recommend that your computer, at the minimum, conforms to the following specifications:

Microsoft® Windows® minimum requirements

  • Intel or AMD CPU with 2 Cores
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • 10 GB of free hard disk space 
  • Color calibrated monitor with 1280x800, 24-bit resolution at 96dpi screen ruling
  • Windows 7® SP1 64-bit, Windows 8.1® 64-bit, Windows 10® 64-bit*
  • Microsoft® .NET Framework version 4.7 (will be installed if not present) 

*Support for Capture One 12 on Windows 10 is supported for builds supporting .NET 4.7 - This is currently from Windows 10 Anniversary Update (build 1607) through to October 2018 Update (build 1809).

Apple® Macintosh® minimum requirements

  • Intel CPU with 2 Cores  
  • 8 GB of RAM 
  • 10 GB of free hard disk space
  • Color calibrated monitor with 1280x800, 24-bit resolution at 96dpi screen ruling
  • macOS 10.12.6, macOS 10.13.6 macOS 10.14*

*Support for macOS 10.14 is supported for builds up to 10.14.5

Recommended system requirements

The above hardware specifications are to be considered as minimum requirements. If working with high-resolution images and doing calculation-heavy adjustments we recommend the following:

  • Intel CPU with 4 Cores or more
  • 16 GB of RAM or more
  • Solid State Disk (SSD)
  • Dual (matching) Graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD with 4GB+ RAM per card
  • Calibrated monitor with at least 1920x1200, 24-bit resolution at 96dpi

Note: Due to the significant additional calculation overhead, systems using 4k/5k monitors will require additional resources in addition to the above recommended spec (both in GPU and CPU power). For a Professional experience we recommend at least doubling the specification above for these configurations.

Capture One may run on other and older equipment than that listed below, but to ensure the best possible results we recommend that your computer, at the minimum, conforms to the following specifications


Capture One 12.x is compatible with the earlier 7.x, 8.x, 9.x, 10.x and 11.x versions. It is recommended to migrate images from 4.x, 5.x and 6.x to version 8.x first, before opening in 12.x. It is generally recommended that you only install one version of Capture One on any single computer. A single-user license allows up to three activations on computers that you own or of which you are the principal user. The license can be used with both Windows and Mac platforms. Multi-user licenses are also available from the Phase One Online Store or from your retailer. Please read the release notes carefully before you install Capture One.

Install on Windows

To install the software please follow the procedure below:

  1. Download the application from the Phase One website at
  2. Run the executable software install file (.exe).
  3. Read and accept the license agreement presented.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Capture One will initiate installation of Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5 if you do not already have it.

Install on Mac OS X

To install the software please follow the procedure below:

  1. Download the application from the Phase One website at
  2. Open the Capture One disk icon (.dmg).
  3. Read and accept the license agreement presented.
  4. Drag the Capture One icon to the Applications folder.
  5. Open Capture One from your Applications folder.

Manual update to latest version

It is important to keep Capture One software updated. After activation and registration, you will usually receive a newsletter reminder that an update is ready for download, although it can be more convenient to choose Capture One > Check for Updates (Help > Check for Updates on Windows). If your Capture One application is downloaded from it will always be the latest version. Installation from a CD version may need to be updated. You can also schedule an automated update if desired. Check Capture One > Preferences (Edit > Preferences on Windows).

Activating Capture One Pro

Capture One is available in four versions. Capture One Pro is the main application and offers compatibility with the widest range of cameras. Capture One Pro for Sony includes all the features of the main application with compatibility for Sony cameras only. Express for Sony has a smaller feature set and is free of charge for Sony camera owners. Capture One Pro DB is provided free of charge for Phase One or Mamiya Leaf users only.

A license code is required to activate Capture One Pro or Capture One Pro for Sony, however a free 30-day trial is available. An Internet connection is necessary to complete the activation. Registration is also required for new customers.

  1. Open Capture One from your applications folder. A product dialog opens.
  2. Select the product from the choice of four options. When licensing Capture One, select either Pro or Pro for Sony, as appropriate. (After expiry of the 30-day trial go to Capture One > License... or  Help > License... on Windows   to open the license activation dialog as illustrated.)
  3. Type in the license code in the field provided. (You will have been provided with a license code from the Phase One Online Store if you purchased it there, or received the 16-character license code by email when purchased from a retailer.)
  4. Type in the email address you used, or would like to use, to set-up your Phase One Account and select Get Profile
  5. If you have registered previously, you will be asked for your account password. After verification, the rest of the form will be filled in for you. If you are a new customer, please fill in the rest of the form. 
  6. Complete this process by selecting Activate.
  7. Your software is now ready for use.


Try one of the following resources if you are experiencing any problems with the software:     

  1. Watch for the latest video tutorials.
  2. Visit for inspiration and troubleshooting.

Offline activation

Capture One Pro users with computers that are permanently offline (e.g., in corporate or secure IT environments), or those who are temporarily offline for any reason, can complete the activation offline. Note that the process still requires an internet-enabled device (e.g., a smartphone) to generate an activation key. 

  1. Open Capture One on the offline computer that you want to activate. If the Activation dialog doesn’t automatically open, from the main menu go Capture One>License>Manual Activation (Mac), or Help>License Information>Manual Activation (Windows).
  2. From the Activation dialog, type in in your license code. This will generate a Registration Key.
  3. Using an internet-enabled device, log in to the My Pages section of the Phase One website.
  4. Enter the key in the Registration Key field and select the Generate Activation Key button. 
  5. Copy the generated Activation Key to the offline Activation dialog on the offline computer, and press Activate.
  6. Your software is now ready for use.


To deactivate Capture One from a computer, an internet connection is required. The application will return to Trial Mode once deactivated. When the trial period has expired all current and pending processing will be cancelled. You will need to reactivate Capture One to continue working with it.

  1. Open the License dialog box via the menu Capture One > License (Help > License on Windows).
  2. Press the Deactivate button.
  3. Confirm that you want to perform the deactivation.
  4. After deactivation, you can reactivate Capture One on another computer.


Register your license to authenticate your installed software. Registration will allow full usage of your Capture One version.

The Online registration automatically registers your license key. When this is validated, it will be kept alongside with information on your computer platform, ID and IP numbers. Phase One keeps all information confidential, according to EU law and international standards. For more information on the license, please read the License Agreement.

The registration of the software will create a personal profile on This profile will provide the opportunity to register your hardware/software and to contact Phase One for any support or sales related questions.

How do I register my hardware product?

  1. Attach a camera and a dialog box will automatically open and ask if you would like to register your product.
  2. Click ‘Yes’ in the Registration dialog box and follow the procedure; this will help in future support cases as well as track ownership of the product.

Can I change my registration?

It is possible to change the priority and even remove the registration completely.

  1. Select the Digital Back that you wish to change updating priorities on.
  2. Rearrange by using the arrows icons.

If a digital back is removed completely you will have the option of re-registering it the next time you connect the back to Capture One.