How to add Pixelmator’s new Retouch extension to Photos

Pixelmator has added an extension that enable you to retouch photos using Pixelmator tools inside of Apple’s Photos app. The new feature lets you use Pixelmator’s image editing engine to improve images without disrupting your Photos workflow. Pixelmator 3.5 was released this week, and the update is available to download from the Mac App Store.

There are a lot of great changes in 3.5, including a new smart Quick Selection tool, new Magnetic Selection tool, efficiency and performance improvements for El Capitan and much more. New retouching tools work with Apple’s Photos app.

Photos’ support for third-party app extensions lets you to make changes to your photos without leaving the Photos app itself. The functionality you get is a subset of the full app, designed to help you make quick changes to your photos without disrupting the Photos workflow. Pixelmator already had extension support, but the new Retouch extension adds Repair, Clone, Light, Color, Soften and Sharpen tools.


Apple leaves you in control of extensions’ connectivity to your Mac. Even after you’ve updated Pixelmator, you still need to tell your Mac you want it to use the new features. Follow these steps to activate the new functionality.

To enable Pixelmator extensions in OS X

  1. Download and install Pixelmator 3.5 or later from the Mac App Store (link above).
  2. Click on the  menu.
  3. Select System Preferences.Sys pref
  4. Click on Extensions.Screen Shot 2016 05 26 at 9 02 46 AM
  5. Underneath All, make sure the Pixelmator Retouch extension is checked (you can check the other ones if you want too).Pixelmator extensions
  6. Close Extensions. When you open Photos, you should see the new Retouch extension available. (Pixelmator already supported Distort). Click the checkbox to enable the new feature.

3 thoughts on “How to add Pixelmator’s new Retouch extension to Photos

  1. Sorry to let this slip through the cracks – I was in the hospital when you posted. Still having trouble?

  2. Hi Peter,
    I am like Wayne. The link never showed up after the check of the extension checkmarks.

    Could you help me ?

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