Using the Figma Desktop App

Figma is a browser-based web application, which means it can be run on all full desktop operating systems (MacOS, Windows, Linux, etc), as well as Chrome OS.

Figma also has native Desktop Apps available for both macOS and Windows devices. The Figma Desktop app gives you access to all of the functionality of the browser version, in your own native environment.

Figma has a desktop app available for both macOS and Windows devices.

In this article we'll cover:

  1. Supported Platforms
  2. Downloading the Figma Desktop app
  3. Opening Links in the Desktop app
  4. Managing Color Spaces

Note: When you log in from the Desktop app, Figma will direct you to the browser to complete the log in process. Once completed, Figma will then return you to the Desktop app.

Tip! If you're using either of the Figma Desktop Apps, then you can access and use your locally stored fonts, without needing to install the Figma Font Helper. Any locally stored fonts will appear in the font list automatically.


Supported Platforms

Figma has a desktop app available for macOS and Windows. You can download the Desktop app to run Figma "natively" on your computer.

Before you start, you will need to ensure your OS version is supported:

  • macOS: You must be running 10.11 (OS X El Capitan), or later.
  • Windows: You must be running Windows 7 or later in a 64-bit environment.

Learn more about supported platforms in our Supported Platforms and Browsers article. To find out which version of operating system you're using:

macOS (Apple)

  1. Head to the Apple menu in the top-left corner.
  2. Select About this Mac from the options.
  3. The version number will be displayed under the version name.

Windows

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Enter "Computer" in the search box.
  3. Right-click and select Properties.
  4. Identify the version under the Windows edition field.

Note: It's not possible to run the Figma Desktop app behind a proxy. If you're using a Proxy, you will need to use Figma in the browser instead.


Download the Desktop app

  1. Download the Figma Desktop app:

  2. Or, click on your name in the browser app and select Get Desktop app from the options: 
  3. The Figma desktop app will be downloaded to the location you have configured. Click on the downloaded file to run the installer.
  4. Move the Figma icon from the Downloads folder to your Applications folder.
  5. Delete the Installer from your Desktop or Downloads folder.
  6. Open the Figma app to get started.

Opening Links in the Desktop App

You can access your Figma Files and Prototypes via their unique URL. These can be used to open the File or Prototype in the browser, or in the Figma Desktop app.

There are a few different methods for opening Figma URLs in the Desktop app:

Note: Prototyping links will continue to be opened on the browser.

Open in App Prompt

When you click on a Figma link, anywhere online, Figma will open this in the browser.

  1. If you have the Desktop app installed, you'll see an alert that asks Do you want to open this file in the Figma app?
  2. To continue to view the File in the browser, select Dismiss
  3. If you'd like to open all Figma links in the Desktop app, click Open in app without making any changes:
  4. To only open the app this time, uncheck the box next to Always open in the app before you click Open in app:

    Tip! If you chose Always open in app, Figma will remember your decision. The next time you open a Figma URL you will be shown a loading screen in the browser.

  5. The Figma Desktop app will be opened and the File loaded. You will still be able to view the File in the browser, click the Open here instead link in the browser window:

Open Figma Links Setting

If you have a File open that you'd like to view in the Desktop app, you can use the "Open in Desktop app" setting:

  1. Go to the menu in the top-left corner.
  2. Select Open in Desktop app from the options: 
  3. The File will be loaded in the Figma Desktop app. 

Keep in mind

You will need to log in to the same account on the Browser and Desktop app before opening the link. If you are logged into an account that doesn't have access to a File - or you're logged into different accounts - you will not be able to access the File.

Always Open Links in Desktop App

If you want to open Figma URLs in the Desktop app, by default, you can adjust your preferences. These preferences will only apply if you have the Desktop app installed.

  1. Open the menu and hover over the Preferences option.
  2. Select the Open links in Figma app setting: 
  3. A checkmark will be displayed next to the setting to show it is enabled. If there is a check next to the the setting already, you can select the setting again to disable it.

Managing Color Spaces

If you are using Figma in the browser, your color space is set to managed sRGB. Any assets you export from the Figma browser app will also use the sRGB color space. You can't change the color space used on the browser.

On the Desktop app, the color space will be set to Unmanaged by default. This allows you to use the color space designated by your system's display settings.

You also have the option to switch to an  sRGB color space. This allows you to use a consistent color space between the browser and desktop apps.

Note: When set to Unmanaged, colors may appear differently between Team members and/or displays.

Regardless of your color space preferences, all assets will be exported from Figma in the sRGB color space.

Updating your Preferences

On the Desktop app, you can switch between using an sRBG or Unmanaged color space.

  1. Open the Figma app.
  2. Head to the Figma menu
  3. Select Color Space from the options.
  4. Choose between sRGB or Unmanaged
  5. Restart the Figma application to apply your changes:

Glossary

  • The Figma Desktop App is a downloadable version of Figma. You can run the Desktop app natively on a supported macOS or Windows computer. Like the browser app, the Desktop app requires an internet connection to run.
  • The Figma Web App or Browser App is the version of Figma that you can access via your internet browser. You can use the Figma web app across many platforms. This includes macOS, Windows, Linux and Chromebook.
  • A Color Model is a specific approach to interpreting and displaying colors. There are many approaches to color models e.g. additive color (RGB) or light subtraction (CMYK).
  • A Color Space is the implementation of that specific color model. This could apply to a system display setting, a design tool or an exported asset. For example: sRGB is a color space of the RGB color model.
  • A Color Profile is the specific attributes of any color within a color model. This could be a numerical value, or a hexcode e.g. 25.159.251 or #199FFB.
  • sRGB (standard Red Green Blue) is an RGB-based color space. It was developed by HP and Microsoft in the 90's. It is the standard color space used on the web, including but not limited to bitmap images.
  • A Managed color space refers to an environment where a specific color space is defined. For web applications, this is usually sRGB.
  • An Unmanaged color space is an environment where you use the system's display settings. This is the default color space for the Figma Desktop app.
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