Disclaimer

The following instructions use the Dropbox plug-in for illustration purposes, however the process is nearly identical for other plugins as well.

All screenshots are clickable for viewing at full resolution.

Installation

IMPORTANT: Before you begin the installation be sure to have the Lightroom application closed.

The ZIP archive you have downloaded contains a single folder with a bunch of various files inside. This folder is the plug-in. In our example, the folder name is, DropboxExport.lrplugin.

You can keep the plug-in anywhere on your hard drive, you will just have to tell Lightroom where it is, so it can load the script files when the application starts. I recommend creating a designated folder for all of your Lightroom plug-ins and keep them there. This way it's going to be easier to manage your plug-ins and install updates. Here are my suggestions:

Windows XP, Vista, 7: %APPDATA%\Adobe\Lightroom\Plugins
Mac OS: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Plugins/

The paths above are recommended, however, not mandatory. You can create a folder for Lightroom plug-ins anywhere on your hard drive, for example, D:\Lightroom Plugins. In fact, if this is the first plug-in you are installing, there would be no "Plugins" folder - simply create it.

The folder you select for installing the plugin must be readable and writable by your user account. Do not place the plug-in in any system or protected folders, like "Program Files" on Windows. Otherwise the plugin will be unable to apply automatic updates.

Windows Installation

Install the plug-in by extracting the DropboxExport.lrplugin folder contained in the zipped package to %APPDATA%\Adobe\Lightroom\Plugins.

Using Windows native Compressed Folder tool

If you are using the standard Windows folder compression tool then you have to do a little bit of manual work because the tool does not support environment variables. In this case, it can't extract files to %APPDATA%\Adobe\Lightroom\Plugins, you have to resolve the %APPDATA% macro by hand. Here is how you can do that:

Launch Windows Explorer. The easiest way to do that is by using the "Windows-E" key combination. You can also click the Windows Start button, then click Computer. Type in or paste %APPDATA%\Adobe\Lightroom into the address bar, then hit enter. Windows Explorer should navigate to the Lightroom directory:

If the Plugins folder is not there (which would be true if you are installing your first plugin), click New folder and create a new folder named Plugins. Keep this window open.

Now locate the downloaded ZIP file, and double-click to open it. Windows will show the content of the ZIP file, which consists of a single folder named DropboxExport.lrplugin. Right-click the folder name and choose Copy from the popup menu.

Go back to the other window where you have your %APPDATA%\Adobe\Lightroom folder open. Right-lick the Plugins folder and choose Paste from the pop-up menu. This will make a copy of the DropboxExport.lrplugin folder and its contents inside of the Plugins folder.

Using 3rd party compression tools

If you are using WinRar, 7-zip, or WinZip, you should be able to use environment variables in the "extract to" path:

After extracting the files, your installation folder should look like this:

If you are having trouble navigating to the "Plugins" folder, you can copy %APPDATA%\Adobe\Lightroom\Plugins to the clipboard, click the path bar in the Explorer window, then hit Ctrl+P to paste the path there.

Installation on Mac OS

  1. The downloaded ZIP archive should appear in your Downloads folder.
  2. Double click the ZIP archive to unpack the file. A DropboxExport.lrplugin folder will appear on the desktop (or, depending on the configuration, in the Downloads list).
  3. I recommend keeping your plugin files in ~/Lightroom/. If this is the first plug-in you are installing, you would need to create the Lightroom folder in your home directory.
  4. Drag or copy the DropboxExport.lrplugin file from your desktop (or from the Downloads folder) inside the Lightroom folder.

Sometimes the ZIP may unpack the folder under a different name. For example, instead of DropboxExport.lrplugin the folder would be named "DropboxExport.lrplugin 2". Make absolutely sure the folder name does not have any "appendixes", otherwise Lightroom will be unable to recognize the plug-in and you will get errors when trying to install or enable the plug-in.

Adding the plug-in to Lightroom

  1. Start Lightroom and bring up the Plug-in Manager (File | Plug-in Manager...).
  2. Click Add.
  3. Navigate to and select the Dropbox.lrplugin folder. Click Add Plug-in.
  4. The plug-in will need to add a metadata fields to your catalog, so you will be prompted for permissions to update the catalog. Click Update Catalog.

Now the plug-in is ready for use. Dropbox should appear in the list of installed plug-ins in the Plug-in Manager, with a green ball next to it.

If you get errors when adding the plug-in, then most likely the unzipped folder name has been altered - this sometimes happens under Mac OS. Make sure the name ends with .lrplugin and does not have a space and a number at the end, otherwise Lightroom will be unable to recognize the plug-in.

Activation

Select Dropbox in the list of installed plug-ins on the left hand side. The Plug-in Info panel will be displayed on the right:

Click the Activate Plug-in... button. The Plug-in Activation window comes up.

Enter your first name, last name, and the serial number exactly as they appear in the registration e-mail from alloyphoto@alloyphoto.com. Then click Activate...

Once your information is validated, Lightroom will display a confirmation message:

Now you can click Done to close the Plug-in Manager. Now you are ready to start using the plug-in.