(Legacy) Upgrading from an earlier ZBrushCore version.

Matthew Yetter
Matthew Yetter
  • Updated
Now Available! ZBrushCore 2021.6.6 is a free upgrade for anyone who has ever purchased a ZBrushCore (original release) license.  It is the final free upgrade for perpetual licenses.
Important:  If you have macOS 10.10 or below you should not upgrade to 2021.6.  ZBrush 2021.6 requires OSX 10.11 or above.


The specific way to upgrade depends on the ZBrushCore license that you currently have:

If you have ZBrushCore 2021
You have three options:
  1. Use the ZUpgrader application located in your ZBrushCore 2021 folder.  This will update your current version to the newer one without requiring a full installation.  This is the recommended option, however a small number of users encounter an issue where ZBrush won't launch after updating.  It simply hangs.  If that happens to you, click here to do a full reinstall.
  2. Uninstall your current ZBrushCore 2021 version and then continue with the "ZBrushCore 2020 or Below" instructions below. 
  3. (Windows Only) Leave your current ZBrushCore 2021 installation.  Follow the "ZBrushCore 2020 or Below" instructions below, but when the installer asks you where you wish to install to, change the destination folder name to be 2021.6 instead.   (This will NOT work for macOS.  With that operating system, ZBrush can only be installed to the default location.)

If you have ZBrushCore 2020 or Below
imply log into My Licenses and click the button to download the ZBrushCore 2021 installer.  If you are asked for activation, do so using your Pixologic ID (the same info that you use to log into My Licenses itself).  You do not need to upgrade your license.  ZBrushCore 2021 uses your previous ZBrushCore 20xx license key.

If you have the original ZBrushCore
You also use My Licenses, but you must upgrade your license before you can download ZBrushCore 2021.  Follow these instructions:

Prior to upgrading, you must create your ZBrush ID if you have not already done so. Please click the Register button found on the My Licenses page and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once you are logged into My Licenses, you should see the list of your license(s).

Make sure that you have the ZBrushCore tab selected. 

Note: If the list is missing any keys that you expect to be there, please see the Troubleshooting at the bottom of this page.

Click the “Upgrade to ZBrushCore 2021” button.  (Do not click the button to Move up to ZBrush as that is a paid purchase to change to the full ZBrush rather than the free upgrade to ZBrushCore 2021.)

On the next page, you will be able to select the licenses that you wish to upgrade at this time. Most multi-license users will want to upgrade all available licenses at once, but it is possible to wait with some of them until later. Next to each key that you wish to upgrade, click its check box. Once you have selected all desired licenses, click the “Upgrade Now” button at the bottom of the page.

The next page will provide you with a final confirmation. You may either opt to select different keys or to confirm your upgrade.

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 is for Windows or macOS – All ZBrush licenses now work on both platforms. Keep this information in a safe place as it can be useful for support purposes. You will also be sent an email with a summary of all your license information.

Now return to the My Licenses page at any time to download the ZBrushCore 2021 installer from there.  Unlike the links sent by email, this download button will never expire.  It allows a maximum of 5 download attempts per day and automatically resets every 24 hours.  For this reason, you no longer need to keep a record of your delivery email or its download links.

You can now install ZBrushCore 2021.


If your My Licenses page is missing keys that you expect to find, there are several possible reasons. Please see below:

  • You’re on the wrong tab. Make sure that the ZBrushCore tab is selected.
  • Your licenses are under a different email address. The My Licenses page can only display licenses associated with the email address that you use to login your Pixologic ID. If you have licenses under a different email address, you will need to login under that Pixologic ID in order to see them.
  • The license was a cross-platform add-on. Please upgrade the license for your original platform. After upgrading, your delivery email will give you downloads for both Windows and macOS. Your serial number will be able to be used for either platform -- or both! Prior to ZBrushCore 2018, all ZBrushCore licenses were specific to either Windows or macOS. In order to assist users who wanted to be able to run their software on both operating systems, we offered a discounted cross-platform license as an add-on for the primary ZBrushCore license. Because all ZBrushCore serial numbers are now dual-platform, this add-on is no longer necessary. However, because the add-on was heavily discounted, it is also not possible to upgrade that as a unique license and these add-ons are not listed as being eligible for upgrade. If you have purchased a cross-platform add-on and wish to make it eligible for upgrade to ZBrushCore 2020 you will first need to upgrade it to a stand-alone license. This may be done through a Support ticket. The cost of doing so is 50% of the ZBrushCore commercial license price.
  • The license was voided. This can happen for any number of reasons including: refunds, merging into another license, platform swaps, etc. Such licenses are naturally not eligible for upgrade and will not be listed.
  • The license is an NFR (Not For Resale) copy. These copies are not eligible for upgrade. You would need to send an email to jaime@pixologic.com to request a new NFR for ZBrushCore 2021.

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