I Have To Double Buy Screenflow To Use On Desktop & Laptop? You Guys Are Making Me Leave Screenflow!

I love Screenflow and have used it for years. But this dumb (greedy??) policy that you can't activate it on a desktop and laptop is absolutely ridiculous.

I want to use Screenflow on my desktop and laptop, I'm the only one using it, and I don't want to hassle with deactivating and reactivating all the time...that's crazy.

Why would you have a policy that requires this? It's not customer friendly and is just plain dumb. 

I can purchase on the App store but then it's $130/year and no $40 upgrade. I don't want to do it but this kind of thing is forcing us to switch to Camtasia. 

Who can I talk to in order to get this policy changed? I tried talking to sales and there's nothing they can do. 

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  • Let's look at it over a 5 year period. If a new version of Screenflow drops every year, and I want to use on both of my computers, I have to buy the App store version every year which is $650 ($130 x 5 years). Versus $200 ($40 upgrades x 5 years). Because I want to use Screenflow on a 2nd computer, I have to pay more than triple? 

  • I don't know what policy you're talking about. I recently purchased a new computer and so for a short while had SF7 on 3 computers. All got locked out which was frustrating, but the situation got solved quickly. Now I have it on two computers. 

    On both computers I can go into Prefs and click on deactivate. Simple.

    If I remember the wording correctly there are 2 key issues:

    - you can't be using SF7 on two different computers at the same time

    - they ask you to consider buying a second license (but don't require)

    Maybe I'm missing something in what you've written but it seems perfectly kosher to have on 2 machines that are both yours as long as you are not using both at the same time. Since one computer is at home, the other at my office, this is a completely fine arrangement. 

  • Sierra Hawk You can deactivate on one computer and activate on another in 15 minutes or less. It's often much less. You can move the activation from computer to computer as often as you like. Mathew's information is worth reading as well.

  • CraigS Thank you, I don't want to have to activate and re-activate all the time though, that's a bad user experience. Why make a user hassle with that? Why can't the license allow for using on 2 computers in the 1st place? 

  • Mathew Mitchell The problem is that you have to deactivate and activate each time..that's crazy. Let's say I'm on my laptop and I want to use Screenflow..I have to go to my desktop to deactivate there first? What if I'm not at the office and don't have access to my desktop? It's ridiculous. I love Screenflow but this is too much. 

  • Sierra Hawk  Okay, maybe I somehow have a different version from you but I don't need to do this. It works perfectly fine on 2 different computers NOT used at the same time with Screenflow. Does that not work for you? 

    Deactivation is needed, absolutely, however if you need to start using a third computer and need to deactivate one of the two active ones beforehand.

  • Mathew Mitchell No, I can only use on 1 computer. Whenever I want to use it on my laptop, I'd have to deactivate on my desktop first, every single time. Horrible user experience and for no good reason. 

  • CraigS Not to mention, if I'm out and with my laptop and can't deactivate my desktop, I'm stuck, I can't use it. How is that a good user experience? 

  • the details are here:



    All I can really say is I can flip back and forth between my 2 machines without deactivating. So maybe I do have some sort of different license. 

    CraigS I went to the Sales FAQ page here:


    And there I found no mention of this 1 computer policy. Certainly the norm is on 2 computers (not using both at the same time). Some companies allow for more, as does the App Store. If this is the unusual policy of the company it should be stated in a clear way as it certainly goes against reasonable expectations. Obviously a company is free to do 1 license/activation if they want, but they should also clearly state that so the buyer knows before they purchase. 

    I do fear the result of such a policy is it will drive more and more folks to purchase Camtasia over time. 

    I create well over 90% of my screencasts on my very nice iMac 27. But there are times where I need to make quick screencasts at home/road with my laptop because of a specific problem one of my students is facing. Making it harder to do this does cause some aggro. I'm sure I could learn to do the de-activate on iMac and then activate on laptop routine before a trip: that would be easy enough. But it would be cumbersome to do it at the end of each working day: and I never know when then need to do a "quickie" screencast might pop-up. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen occasionally at unpredictable times. 

    I know you don't have control over these things, but it's worth a discussion with relevant folks at Telestream. Either change/tweak the policy a bit, or make the policy much clearer to buyers before they purchase. 

  • Mathew Mitchell  

  • Sierra Hawk Mathew Mitchell
    Please contact sales if you have questions or comments about the license agreement.

  • CraigS I did contact sales and they said it's only for 1 computer and the only way to use it on a 2nd would be to deactivate and activate every single time. I love Screenflow but this is too much. I can use Zoom or Camtasia on all devices with no issues and no jumping through hoops. I'm sure I'm not the only one leaving Screenflow because of this. Hopefully you guys change this policy because I'd love to stay. 

  • Sierra Hawk Have you expressed that you're leaving over this. Sales needs to know that.

  • I totally agree!! Screenflow was once a software that I recommended to everyone who was looking to begin video editing on a Mac.  It was an affordable solution that you could use in your home computer and your MacBook. But now, it’s clearly run by an investment group and they have raised the price to the very most they can get for it, they have reduced the licence to “one” computer and if you want to have it on your own personal MacBook, you have to buy it again.  Apples own Final Cut Pro X is a better deal and a far better editor.  I have to thank the Telestream Profit Group for pushing me away and into FCPX, that was the best move I could have made. So, today I do not promote or suggest Screenflow.  And I even see today, on Black Friday, they don’t even offer a deal.  It’s all about getting as much as possible out of their users, and that is ultimately killing their following.  They are typical 21 century corporate fools who don’t know the value in building a tribe of devoted fans.  Pay up people or simply switch to FCPX or DaVinci and enjoy an even better video editing software.  
    Telestream, you lost me as a customer as well.  And no deals in Black Friday says even more about you as a company!  

  • Dave Wilson We now have an online tool that allows you to move the license to any computer you like as often as you like. License Reset Tool. 
    You can also buy from the Mac App Store which allows you multiple installs. 
    As to ScreenFlow and editing, RedShark has noted our significant improvements. ScreenFlow is now a fully-fledged NLE

  • CraigS 

    Really Craig, you have the spend $600 to $900 in order to get Screenflow at half price (saving $64.00). That’s a joke.  I don’t want wirecast or wirecast pro, the two most expensive pieces of software you sell. 

    As for being a full ledger NLE, technically yes, but it’s no where near FCPX and if I buy two copies of Screenflow, I might as well buy FCPX and work with a much better editor.  And all the updates are free!!  Screenflow is a great little editor and it’s easy, but it would be much better if you at least allowed 2 installs.  And constantly we’re confronted with another updated version, another few to pay twice, and if you ‘try’ that updated version, it kills your working version. So frustrating to reverse all of that.  

    Logging on and deactivating your desktop and then activating your MacBook is a pain in the back side, and a waste of time.  Or arriving at a hotel, needing to get a quick edit out and realizing you forgot to change over your license, and that’s another waste of time.  So, buy FCPX, install it on all your Mac’s and just get work done.  Updates are free and it’s spectacular editor.  Sorry, I was a huge Screenflow fan and pointed everyone there, but I don’t anymore.  That’s on you!  

    Like 1
  • Dave Wilson Keep in mind special discounted sales are not obligatory. They do benefit certain people who are considering certain purchases. 

    The reason why people use ScreenFlow may overlap but is not the same as FCPX. In fact many editors use both, doing screen capture, callouts, actions in ScreenFlow and export ProRes to finish in FCPX. When FCPX features aren't needed, users finish in ScreenFlow. Adding Proxies and the Clip Player are major improvements for those who can finish in ScreenFlow.

    The Mac App Store version of ScreenFlow allows multiple installs. We offer both our webstore and App Store versions so the customer can choose which best suits them. 

  • SF9 is my last upgrade...

    As a college professor, the COVID virus situation forced me to move nine classes online, simultaneously and immediately... I need two computers with all my main programs, to handle the mountain of necessary multitasking... SF being limited to only 1 mere computer is, well, indeed a limitation. 

    So, since SF wants me to buy a 2nd copy, I will —> but the second copy is going to be CAMTASIA!  And if Camtasia works on two computers at the same time (without a ludicrous activation-deactivation-activation-deactivation-activation-deactivation-activation-deactivation-activation-deactivation-protocol), it's good riddance SF.

    And I'll do my very best to steer as many of my co-workers as I can away from SF. 

    I'll be sure to let everyone know how my "1-computer SF9 –> 2-computers CAMTASIA" transition goes.

    Like 1
  • Oben said:
    SF being limited to only 1 mere computer is, well, indeed a limitation. 

    Apple Store version of ScreenFlow doesn't have that limit. Like other Mac App Store apps, you can install on multiple computers that you own (I believe 5).

  • I agree. I have it on my iMac and my Macbook pro. You used to have no problem using it local and portable. Now I have to go through the hassle of deactivating on my iMac to go portable and vice versa. What a hassle! Looks like I may be going back to Camtasia. Sad!!

  • Hi Jim,

    If you are using it specifically for screen capture, you might as well put up with the hassle, but Telestreem did tell me that if you buy it from Apple (App Store), it does cover more machines.  But, I just looked at the License agreement and that is FALSE. It's only good for one computer.

    [2.1Scope of Licenses.  
    (a)Software. Telestream hereby grants You a non-exclusive, non-transferable and non-sublicenseable license to install and operate the Software in machine readable (object code) form on one (1) computer operated by or for You, on Your own behalf that You own or are licensed or legally entitled to use. ]

    If you are using it for video editing, you might as well switch to FCPX since that does a much better job and it's not that hard to learn. Yes, it's definitely more involved but in the long run, it's time well spent learning it.

    Screenflow was a great 'easy to use' program for $100 and you could use it on 2 machines. That made it a 'must have' program. But now, it sells for $129 and you need 2 copies... that's a jump from $100 to $258.00 That's huge. (and $258 Canadian is $355.75... that's a joke!)  But they are toting it as professional NLE which is, a stretch. It's easy and it does plenty of things, but it's not at the same level as FCPX which sells for $289.00 and you can use it on all your Macs. That's a difference of $30 and you are into a serious video editor that is remarkable. But it doesn't do screen capture (not yet anyway.. QuickTime is starting to lean in that direction)

    Screenflow has thrown away it's niche for a quick profit. What always happens in this case is another Screen capture application will surface with amazing features and they will build a cool community around it and price Screenflow out of business.  This sort of thing happens all the time.

    But, that being said, if you are strictly doing screen captures for tutorials or demonstrations, then just buy one copy and do the license switching and complain to others about it so Screenflow just might pick up on the problem they are creating.


    I did a quick look in the App Store and there is a Screen Recorder app... It's $2.90. There is also "Record It" and that's about $20.00.. Isn't that interesting!  These programs also have "Family Sharing" which means you can run it on any machine you own. But they are definitely NOT a screenflow contender, yet it won't be long before you will be able to get a great screen recorder that rivals Screenflow and it will be under $100, and will work on two Macs. It's just a matter of time.

    Screenflow, hello? I hear this complaint all the time. People disheartened and pissed about your business model.  A cost of $260.00 for two computers is ridiculous. It's Screenflow, the happy, friendly, easy to use program that should be on "everyone's" computer.  You should be flooding social media with creative ways to use this happy-go-lucky app. I think of Insta360 and how fast they have leaped into the 360 market and the number of people who are using those cameras (and the two editors they provide for free) in creative ways. Insta360 taught their audience how to be cool.

    There is a massive audience who would spend $100 and place your Screenflow app on their home machine and their MacBook and with your coaching, they could be creating the best Social Media content ever, and easily. But no, you would rather be shitheads and charge double and we should be thankful. That's old, that's yesteryear!  You're missing the larger market, you are going for the cash and not the audience. How about a ISO PhoneFlow app?  Where is that? Maybe it allows a user to capture (limited) News clips, YouTube clips, Radio audio clips and you can create a Social Media piece out of those pieces.  I don't know why you are stuck in this old model. All you really have to do is allow "TWO" installs.  That's EASY and you can move on to teaching your audience how to create creative media and outstanding online content which drives MORE CUSTOMERS to your software.  You are throwing away a legacy for $129.00, that's hideous and foolish. 

    Like 1
  • I had the same issue since I purchased from the website. Fortunately for me, that was refunded and I purchased from the Mac AppStore and although I use this only on my MacBook Pro, it is comforting to have it working on my iMac as well...Just in case.

    I totally agree with the fact that the web-based licensing needs to be relooked at.

  • Dave Wilson App store allows up to five machines. App Store has a specific agreement. Do not miscast that information.

  • Nitin Chandra said:
    totally agree with the fact that the web-based licensing needs to be relooked at.

     We have and for reasons we determined, we decided only one active license. You can work on any computer and move the license or move the document since only the export would be watermarked on an unlicensed machine you can actually still capture and edit. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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