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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Installing Nik Collection - Windows

The Nik Collection can be downloaded free at:

These instructions relate to Photoshop Elements but are also relevant to other compatible Editors. Quit Photoshop Elements before starting.

Click on Save file – the download will start automatically and will be saved into your downloads folder.

When the download completes go to your downloads folder and look for the Nik Collection file.

Double-click on the Nik icon to start the setup and click yes to authorize the installation in the User Account dialog.

After language choice click OK and the installation wizard will appear. Click Next.

Click I agree to accept Google terms.

Click Next to install in your Program Files – the default location.

A list of host applications will appear and the Nik plug-ins will be installed in each one, not just the one highlighted. If any of these applications are open you must close them. Then click the Install button. A progress bar will indicate that setup and installation has started. When complete click Finish.

Launch Photoshop Elements or your chosen application e.g. Photoshop CC or Bridge CC.

Open a photo for Editing. You can drag the Nik Selective Tool to the side.

Click on one of the Nik Plug-ins e.g. Color Efex Pro 4 and the plug-in will launch together with your open image.

Click the Add Filter button and choose from the templates on the left.

Click OK when finished and save as usual or click brush if you want to add a mask to make the Nik filter only apply to selected parts of your image. Set color chip to white and use the brush to reveal the parts you wish to apply the adjustments to. Then click apply and save as usual.

If you wish to hide the Nik Selective Tool, click the settings icon (bottom left – Selective Tool) and choose to not automatically show it, then click OK. 

The Nik filter effects can then be accessed from the Editor Filter menu.

You can choose to show the Nik selective Tool at any time by going to

File >> Automate Tools >> Nik Collection Selective Tool

Please note, HDR Efex Pro 2 is not compatible with Photoshop Elements. Photoshop Elements cannot support 32-bit images, which is a requirement for HDR imaging. All other Nik Plug-ins should work.


  1. I have installed as above to PSE 2018 but can not get access to the selective tool. The plugins appear in the filter menu but only HDR seems to work correctly. The others load up but do not create a layer in PSE so the work can not be saved. On startup the editor informs me that some plugins are not available. Can anyone assist me in getting this collection to work correctly as it looks awesome? Thanks.

  2. If you have chosen Photoshop Elements 16 – 64 bit in the installation wizard you should be able to open a photo in expert mode and use the menu e.g.
    Filter >> Nik Collection >> Color FX Pro 4

    Add your filter(s) from the left hand panel and when you finish simply click the word Brush. The Selective tool should pop-up automatically and you can click Apply. Either click OK and save or click brush to apply a mask. Then select the black thumbnail mask in the layers panel (not the image thumbnail) choose the brush tool, set the color chip so that white is on top and start brushing over the image to reveal the effects in the parts of the image preferred.

  3. You can also launch the tool from the PSE Editor menu after opening an image. So give that a try and keep it open with the layers pallet.

    File >> Automation Tools >> Nik Collection Selective Tool

    Otherwise run the installation again by double-clicking on the DXO NikCollection app which should be in your downloads. The installation Wizard should launch again.

  4. Hi again.

    I have tried everything. I have even downloaded PSE 2013 to see if it worked with that. No. I can find no way of saving the image once it has been edited using any of the collection tools. It just reverts back to the editor if I press brush or ok so waste of time really. Shame as it looks good if it worked. Spent all day on it and have now had enough. On the youtube tutorials it shows a mask being created when the filters are applied which is then available in the editor on exiting. This does not happen for me.

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  7. I’ve just tried again and it’s working OK for me. Sorry you are having problems. I added a graduated filter and then clicked the add filter button to add a second – pro contrast. I then click OK and the PSE Editor is returned. There is a small wait for processing and then the Nik layer appears above the background layer without any mask, just the filter adjustments showing. I then flatten the image and re-save.

  8. Hi 99jon and thanks for all your help. I have now discovered that the Nik Collection apps all work independently of PSE as standalones. Once I have done what I want with the collection I can then use PSE to do anything else required. So, I am 95% happy.

  9. Hi Nick, glad you found a work around.