Sublime Forum

Update licence problem


What the actual f* is this ?

When I purchased the licence, it said forever for version 3

and now it popped a window for update, didn’t say anything that it would be something critical


this is morally wrong, to the team and managment of the company, shame on you
shame on you
shame on you
shame on you
shame on you
shame on you
shame on you
shame on you
shame on you



Must say that i will not support this kind of shitty business!

Time to start using the vscode



Sublime Text is currently on major version 4, your license is still valid for all versions of Sublime Text 3. See the Sales FAQ and the Sublime Text 4 announcement for the changes to the licensing model. We have documentation on how to use previous versions of Sublime Text if you don’t wish to use the latest here.



A bit too late, you should have done that prior to version 4 release…

And please, stop acting like everything is OK and under control, you are just making it worse. ST caused a lot of trouble to long-time users with the latest major upgrade, at least take it with dignity.



The team has accepted that the upgrade process could have been smoother and have shown ways to continue to use ST3 as well (as Ben has mentioned in the previous post). The major upgrade doesn’t invalidate your license in anyway and it also doesn’t make your license unfit to be used on ST3 after the upgrade.

I don’t think the SHQ team deserves any of the negativity posted here. Everyone is a human and we all make mistakes. They have accepted it and so they have made good improvements in update dialog which now (added in Build 4114 & now available in the latest stable 4121) shows all the information necessary for you to think before upgrading (changelog information for next version, next version information, whether the license could be used for the next version upgrade etc.)

One can give a feedback in a humane manner as well. There is no need to keep up the blame game. Just move on.



You don’t get it, do you? Upgrade process was automatic, no one asked users if they want to do the upgrade, there was no warning of any kind, settings folder was overwritten, everything just broke, licence included. Major fiasco, really. I have posted a question here, asking for help on how to restore everything that was lost, but without luck.
So, when someone replies with “your license is still valid for all versions of Sublime Text 3”, how is that inline with “a humane manner”? Really?



The upgrade process is not automatic nor does it happen out of the blue. There will always be a A new version of Sublime Text is available, download now? modal dialog.

The major downside to that dialog was that it did not tell the users that it would update their ST3 to ST4. ST4 was in a year long semi-private kind of beta in the official discord server and it really wasn’t something to which anyone had a thought about.

This is now fixed with the latest stable in the form of an updated dialog as I mentioned earlier.

I am kind of tired of saying this, but your existing license doesn’t break just because you upgraded from ST3 -> ST4. It is still valid for ST3.

Which is a correct fact. He is answering a query. How else should it be worded so that “doesn’t sound offending” ? I really don’t understand what part of that reply triggered you so much.

Anyways I am going to stop because this has already been discussed plenty enough on the forum and I don’t want to dig out another long buried feud over this update business.



I’m on Linux, there is no modal dialog. It’s automatic, just like with any other repository.

Yes, licence for ST3 is still valid, only you get a broken software after upgrade/downgrade, with all plugins and settings messed up.

But you are correct, this is pointless. Market share among IDEs/editors will be the best judge on this.



A lot went into ST4 actually to keep existing ST3 packages working. Yes, I do agree that the upgrade process may not be 100% smooth given how many changes have gone into ST4.

Edit: As a one final message, I am not trying to be difficult or sounding harsh. The upgrade process affected a lot of users, but let’s just accept and move on. The dev’s anyways can’t undo what they did and they have done their best to provide support and not let such a fiasco happen in the future. I am pretty sure no software out there would have a 100% “users always happy about everything” lifecycle. We make mistakes, we learn, we apply so it doesn’t happen again, we move on. Peace :handshake:


  • I had ST3 until TODAY, don’t know why there was no update notification earlier.

  • i see that ST3 didn’t even have updates in the last year?

  • The update notification didn’t say anything about anything, how should I have known that i will need to start paying 69 eur EVERY year if i click the update ?

  • After reading the docs and using 2 hours of my time got to revert back to ST3 and fixed weird addon errors that came with the downgrading. So it was not painless to downgrade

It’s not just you, Spotify, Evernote, Trello, Youtube, + 100 others, they’ve all done the same immoral thing. And they know it. And they don’t give a fuck, only more $$$$



Under Linux the upgrade would be controlled by your distribution looking for upgraded packages, presuming you’re not using the tarball version (which it sounds like you’re not, since in that case you get a popup window telling you about the new build that takes you to the download page).

As a result of the community backlash, the update dialog has been reworked to make this more clear, as seen below. This particular update is the first one in Sublime history where the user base rose up in complaint, even though the upgrade from ST2 to ST3 behaved the same way.


From the purchase page:



Current currency conversion from USD to Eur:


Thus, the perceived per-year cost of a license is 28.45 eur, assuming that at the end of the three year period you decided to purchase another 3 years updates. If not, you could continue to use your copy of sublime in perpetuity, in which case your per year cost declines as time goes on.

In any case, while we all recognize that the situation is less than ideal and disruptions to tooling is unpleasant, please try to keep your language civil and profanity free.

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When I purchased SublimeText 2 back in September 2013, it was clearly stated that this license would be good for ALL future versions of SublimeText, including major versions. This upgrade not only tricks users into installing a version that would be unlicensed, but the change in licensing is effectively theft.

You should have made several clear announcements before you dropped this license change on us, and you should honor your original licensing terms when people purchased it under the perpetual license model. And don’t hide behind “keep it civil”… if someone swears and yells at you because you did something wrong, it doesn’t invalidate that you did something wrong. And yes, you should feel shame. You should feel disgusted with yourselves… we are disgusted with you. I’m switching to vscode and I’ll be telling everyone I know to do the same. Your oblivious faux innocent attitude is insulting to our intelligence. SublimeText, you are dead to me, and probably dead to many users the world over. Enjoy what little money you get from this upgrade stunt. It will be your last.



The sales FAQ from 2012 through 2014 states that licenses are for a specific major version and that the next major version will require an upgrade fee. This has always been the case up until the changes for ST4 going forward.

  • Upgrade Policy
    A license is valid for Sublime Text 2, and includes all point updates. Future major versions, such as Sublime Text 3, will be a paid upgrade.
  • Expiration Date
    Licenses purchased for Sublime Text 2 do not expire, however an upgrade fee will be required for Sublime Text 3.




then move on. no need to make a thread about it.

Use ST3. Your license is valid there.

Marketshare here is irrelevant. ST still has a lot of paying users. You can’t compare that directly to something that is free like VS Code.

You aren’t seeking help. You are ranting.

There is nothing immoral about charging for goods and services. People have to eat and pay bills.

No theft here. Your license is completely valid for ST2. Will always be. Same terms apply in that instance.

They did announced ST4 and the changes in here, on Reddit, Discord, etc… Not SublimeHQ fault, you did not see it or weren’t paying attention.



I am thinking about sending an email to registered users about the license policy change in ST 4 but it’s probably too late now.

1 Like


Next time for sure. I will also add to send one or two emails to users before their 3 years of support expire as a reminder.



Well why does my ST2 license work in ST3?



The announcements should have been made in-app if they were going to trigger a click-thru update that changed license requirements. Or they could have sent an email to registered users to notify them of the impending change. It is not my responsibility to consume social media to know what their plans are.



in osx, there was just too simple update window. Mistake did happen already.

I see now that it’s not 99usd / year but per 3 year.
But when the team of ST is doing like this with low morale, what makes you to trust them that they won’t release ST5 in 1,2 years and require you to pay more again ? nothing, the trust is gone, morale is gone.



Read everything, again, carefully.