• Most Cinema 4D plugins come as a simple zip file, which contains everything the plugin needs.

Unfortunately, c4d now needs a new build of each plugin, for every version of Cinema 4D.

  • An R20 plugin, will only work in R20  (20.059)
  • An R21 plugin, will work in  R21, but also in S22  (21.207)
  • An R23 plugin will only work in R23, but might work ins S23, or might not.  (23.008)

its a bit of a mess, but that is how Maxon seems to like it now, so we have to deal with this new reality.

For R20/R21/S22/R23 (or later):

  •  Since R20 there is a a new feature, which allows you to place a plugins anywhere. 
  • The old plugins folders should no longer be used.
  •  If you don't already have your own plugins folder, simply make a "plugins" folder yourself, anywhere.
  • Make a folder for each version of cinema 4D.
  • Then extract your plugins to that version specific folder.
  • Then go to your Cinema4d preferences/plugins list and add each plugin, or point it at your version specific folder. 
  • you can include the entire folder, or point specifically to an individual plugin folder, which I recommend.
  1. Be sure you are not loading any plugin twice, as Cinema 4D is easily confused.
  2. You should not use a network folder as a plugin location, especially on a mac.
  3. Consider that Cinema4D will attempt to load all plugins, regardless of the version they where build for, which can create startup issues, if you have lots of plugins, or the dev has not thoroughly tested all builds across all versions, for this scenario.
  4. You should make a habit of being organized with your plugin folder structure, and get used to that.
  • Once you have linked your plugin(s), restart Cinema4D.
  • You should see something like this :

On a MAC?

See this important info on installing c++ plugins on newer versions of MACOS..

  • Extract the zip using a decent zip tool, The latest versions of Mac Apple decided to quarantine extracted zip content for you inconvenience.
  • If you copy past the folder contents, make sure you are not copying a link, but are really copying the files properly to the destination folder.
  • Use any third part extractor to extract zip files. The system extractor can cause problems that will drive you nuts.

Some important things to remember:

  • In some cases you might need to extract a plugin to your user/plugins folder. This is apparently Maxons preferred plugin location now.You can find the user plugins folder by navigating to
  • your preferences and in the bottom left corner of that prefs dialog, there is a button to show your C4D user folder in explorer (or finder)
  • on Mac it is now recommended, that you install plugins in prefs/plugins as apposed to app/plugins.
  • Cineware (C4DLite) does not support plugins !

Worth mentioning:

  • On Win 10, you should probably start using something like 7Zip to extract files. The system extractor can cause problems that will drive you nuts.
  • On a Mac, make sure safari is not unpacking files when you download them. This can result in safari quarantining plugin files, which will drive you nuts. There is a safari setting to change this behavior. you do not want to unpack trusted files on download.

  • Older plugins, compiled with older versions of cinema4d, wont work in R20 or later, without a specific, for your version of Cinema4D. 
  • All you need to do, is extract the zip file to your plugins folder, and restart Cinema4D.
  • TIP: You might be able to use a plugin bridge to get older plugins to load into your version of Cinema4d. This generally will not work for shader plugins, but for modifiers,generators,tags it might work, if the plugin is not too complicated.
  • in all versions pre R20, it is enough to extract the plugin to the plugins folder which is already present in your Cinema4d folder.