Activation and licenses

This page has information on how to activate and manage your licenses so you can start using Designer.

Activation process per application type

The activation process depends on where you purchased or have access to Designer:

Application TypeActivation process
Creative Cloud Desktop

See the dedicated page in the HelpX documentation.

In case there are any issues the Creative Cloud documentation may provide additional answers.

Steam editionLaunch the product directly from your Steam library.
Substance 3D StandaloneSee the activation process described below.

Activation steps (Substance edition)

Using the activation wizard

Three choices are available:

  • Evaluate this product: generate a license file based on your hardware which will be valid for the next 30 days only.
  • Activate using license file: activate the product with a license file (*.key) downloaded from your account page on the Substance 3D website.
  • Activate using your account: activate the product with a username and password to connect to your account and automatically retrieve the license file.
To install the license file with the Activation Wizard, make sure you run Designer as an administrator and temporarily disable your anti-virus.

Manual activation

You can manually activate Designer by putting the license.key file in the following folder:

Windows11.2 or newerApp Data (local)C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Adobe\Adobe Substance 3D Designer
App Data (roaming)C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Substance 3D Designer
LegacyApp Data (local)C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Allegorithmic\Substance Designer
App Data (roaming)C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Allegorithmic\Substance Designer
Mac11.2 or newer/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Substance 3D Designer
Legacy/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Allegorithmic/Substance Designer
Linux11.2 or newer/home/[username]/.local/share/Adobe/Adobe Substance 3D Designer
Legacy/home/[username]/.local/share/Allegorithmic/Substance Designer
Some of the directories in the paths mentioned above may be hidden by default. Type the path manually in the file explorer or display hidden files to view them.

Make sure that the file is called license.key otherwise the application will not be able to find it.

Environment variable

You can override the location that Designer checks for the license.key file with an Environment Variable.