Is QLab compatible with Apple Silicon (M1 and M2) processors?

QLab 5 is compatible with macOS Big Sur or newer and Apple Silicon-based Macs. QLab 4.6.8 and later is compatible with Apple Silicon processors except for video. If you use Video, Camera, or Text cues in QLab 4, you should use an Intel-based Mac.


How do I get started?

The first thing to do is download the software. It's a free download with a limited feature set. To unlock additional capabilities you can buy or rent a license from our online store.

After you've downloaded QLab to your macOS computer, you can launch it and start working right away. But if you'd like some help getting started, you can also:

Ask us for help

Browse our QLab documentation

Watch our tutorial videos

How do I contact Figure 53 if I need help?

You can count on QLab support. We offer all of our users the same high-quality, free, friendly, and fast email-based support at If you email us during our business hours, 9 am - 7 pm Eastern US time Monday - Friday, we typically reply within an hour.

When you get in touch, please include any details that may help us understand your question, and we'll work hard to get you up and running. If you have a technical question, please include the version of QLab and macOS that you’re running.

Over the past 10+ years of supporting QLab, we've consistently found that email correspondence provides our users with the best and fastest help. We don't offer help over the phone or chat service because email allows us to quickly direct you to the team member who is best suited to answer your question and provides us with a clear record of all of your questions and what we've suggested. We are incredibly proud of our product support, and our dedicated team will get you the solution you need.

We're looking forward to hearing from you! Contact Support

Buying and Renting QLab Licenses

Do I need a license to run QLab?

The QLab software itself is free with a limited feature set. You can rent or buy licenses to unlock more features. You can find a chart of which features are available with each license type and the free version in our documentation.

How do I buy a license? How are licenses delivered?

You can purchase or rent a license from our online store. Your license will be added to your QLab Account. To sign into QLab, open the program and go into the QLab Menu => Manage Your Licenses. Sign in using your email and password.

For details on installing a license, see our documentation.

How many computers can I use my QLab license with?

Each QLab 5 license can be installed on up to two machines. You can use the two installations for any purpose within your organization. For example, you could have a main and backup copy of one show, or you could use each installation for a different show. You can access our full license agreement by opening QLab and selecting "Read License Agreement" under the QLab menu.

Can I try QLab before I buy it?

If you want to try QLab’s licensed features you can use Demo Mode. Demo Mode creates a new workspace where you can use all of QLab’s licensed features for up to 60 minutes. You can start demo mode by launching QLab and selecting “Start Demo Mode” under the QLab Menu.

How do rental licenses work and what is "rent-to-own"?

Rental licenses are an affordable way to access QLab for short periods of time. Rental licenses are short-term expiring licenses that stop working when the rental period ends. You can purchase and install rental licenses ahead of time and choose the date on which they will start. On the appropriate day, the license will activate and unlock the features. When the rental period is over, the license will simply time out; you do not need to “stop” or “cancel” a rental.

Our rental licenses are "rent-to-own," which means every dollar that you spend on rental licenses can be applied towards the purchase of a standard QLab license. At the end of each day, you'll receive "store credit" equal to the value of that day's rental. That store credit can be applied to the purchase of any standard, non-rental QLab license. You can view your store credit balance on your account page or on the checkout page.

Want to trade in a rental before it's finished? Simply select "Choose licenses to trade in" under the License Overview heading on your account page.

What if I rent a license now, build my show, and then the rental runs out?

Your work is still saved in your workspace, even if your license expires. All the license does is unlock the features to allow you to run cues that require the license, it doesn’t affect the workspace file itself. Just rent another license next time you need it, and your cues will run just like they did the first time.

How does store credit work?

If you own a standard license, you can trade it in to receive its full purchase price as store credit. Did you buy the wrong feature set? Want to upgrade from an existing license? Select "Choose licenses to trade in" under the License Overview heading on your account page. (Please note that trading in a license permanently deactivates the license and removes any existing installations of that license.) Once you've traded in your license, you'll have a store credit balance available that you can apply to the purchase of any non-rental QLab license.

If you're renting a license, you'll receive store credit for the entire dollar amount you spend on rental licenses. The store credit balance updates once a day automatically. You can trade in your unused rental days manually on your account page.

You can see your store credit balance on your account page. When you check out, you have the option to apply any portion of your store credit balance to your purchase, or to hold on to it for later. Store credit can only be applied to the purchase of standard licenses, it can not be used for rentals.

If you rented QLab 4 licenses before the switch to our new store credit system and did not yet earn a permanent license, you’ll receive full store credit for all of your rental days.

*Our lawyer would like you to know that Figure 53 reserves the right to end or modify the store credit program at any time without liability (though we have no present intention of doing so!). Unless we end the store credit program, store credits do not expire. Store credits have no cash or cash surrender value, earn no interest, do not appreciate in value, are not adjusted for changing prices, and are not investments or securities. Store credit cannot be transferred, sold, assigned or otherwise traded without our consent - but we're happy to help you at if you have questions or if your organization has multiple accounts and you did want to transfer credits between commonly owned accounts.

Do you offer educational discounts?

We do provide educational discounts. To access educational pricing you’ll need proof of status with an educational institution. Usually writing to from an educational email address and attaching a copy of your ID is sufficient. If, for some reason, you are unable to provide these things, please write to with an explanation. See this page for more information.

Do you offer bulk pricing or site licenses?

We offer site license options for larger institutions such as schools or rental shops. Read about our site licenses here or contact with any questions.

Do you accept purchase orders?

QLab is made and supported by a small team, so unfortunately we’re not able to accept purchase orders. We apologize for the inconvenience. If it’s helpful we can provide a sole source letter stating that there is no other seller of our software.

What is your reseller pricing?

We only sell QLab directly from our website, so we have no special relationships or pricing with dealers or resellers. We prefer to deal directly with our customers whenever possible. Of course, sometimes the end user isn't able to make the purchase, and a reseller is necessary. In that case, you're welcome to purchase the license from us and sell it to your client, but we do ask that you send them to us for support and help; they can reach us at We feel that we don't just sell QLab licenses - the support that comes along with it is part of the product.

If you do make the purchase on someone else's behalf, please ask them to create an account on our site. Then, once you've made the purchase, write back to us with the order number of the purchase and we'll transfer the license from your account to theirs. They can create the account at

if you’re a reseller buying on behalf of an educational institution please contact support so we can get you registered with educational discounts.

Upgrading QLab Licenses

How do I upgrade from QLab 4?

You can trade in your QLab 4 license to receive a significant discount towards a v5 license. As part of the upgrade process, your QLab 4 license will be permanently deactivated and you will be signed out of any existing installations. If you still need to access QLab 4 workspaces, you can do that using your QLab 5 license.

All QLab 4 purchases since November 1, 2021 will be credited towards V5 licenses at their full original purchase price.

If you purchased QLab 4 before November 1, 2021, you are also eligible for a discount on V4, based on the type of license you're upgrading from:

Before Nov 1, 2021After Nov 1, 2021
QLab 4 Bundle$749 discount$999 discount
QLab 4 Pick-2$599 discount$749 discount
QLab 4$299 discount$399 discount

For QLab 4 licenses purchased at the educational pricing, the discount amounts are as follows:

Before Nov 1, 2021After Nov 1, 2021
QLab 4 Bundle$600 discount$799 discount
QLab 4 Pick-2$509 discount$679 discount
QLab 4$261 discount$349 discount

Ready to upgrade? Start the process here.

If you have a QLab 4 site license and would like to upgrade to QLab 5, please contact

Why should I upgrade to QLab 5?

V5 contains a number of additions and improvements from v4, including a brand new video engine that vastly increases QLab’s speed and power when working with video. QLab 5 also allows multiple people to collaborate on a single workspace from networked machines.

There are many other changes and improvements: you can read the full list in our documentation.

I have a v3 license. Can I use it to upgrade to v5?

Unfortunately, no. If you have a v4 license you may trade it in for store credit which can be applied to any v5 purchase, but v3 licenses no longer carry any store credit value.


Why isn’t there a Windows version of QLab?

QLab relies on a number of frameworks that are part of macOS, which means that to port it to another platform would require rewriting it from scratch. We’re a very small company of around a dozen people, and don't have any Windows development experience. We focus on the one platform in order to do the best work we can with the resources we have.

What kind of computer do I need to run QLab?

QLab 5 is a Mac-only program. It requires macOS Big Sur (macOS 11) or higher, and can run on any Mac that can run macOS Big Sur or higher. QLab 5 runs on both Apple Silicon processors and Intel processors. Because QLab is a flexible program that can be used in a variety of ways it’s difficult to outline strict rules for what properties your machine will need.

You can find a more detailed description of considerations and recommendations in our documentation, or you can write to our support team with specific questions.

Can I use QLab on my iPhone or iPad?

No. QLab requires a full version of the macOS to run, so will not work on an iPad or iPhone. If you're only running sound, we make an audio-only playback program for iOS called Go Button. Go Button is a standalone iOS app that provides a self-contained show control system that runs on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Go Button is free if you are only using it for one show.

I want to use QLab 4... what do I do?

V5 licenses work with QLab 4, as long as you are running QLab 4.7.0 or higher. You can download QLab 4 here.

QLab 3, QLab 2 and QLab 1 are no longer supported, and we are unable to generate new licenses for them.