and How to use Iris for free


Why Iris is freemium?

We first created Iris as a student project for one competition. After we won it the project was free and dead for a couple of months. I knew that there is potential and need for this type of software. After a couple of people messaged me with feature requests I decided to continue working on Iris. It was a tough decision, but I quit my job as a programmer and started to work on Iris full time.

At first I wanted Iris to be free. So a couple of months I was just building it every day and I placed one donation button on the website. Can you guess how much money I made for 5 months? – Exactly 0$. The donation model was just not working.

Then I started to search investors who want to put money into Iris. Well it was a massive fail. All the people just laughed at me. You want to make software for eye protection with a timer? Are you serious? Are you stupid? And you are alone? You need a team. You need a programmer, you need a designer, you need a salesman, you can’t even speak English properly. This is stupid, you will fail.

I haven’t heard that many “No” in my entire life. It was kind of depressing. But you know I was crazy enough to try to build something alone, with no investment and with no money.

The second thing I tried was 1 month free trial and subscription for every other month. Which means that every month you pay a little for Iris. I didn’t liked this, because once 1 month passes, Iris will just stop to work. Which kind of sucks. Many people liked the program, but they just didn’t wanted to pay. I don’t like to pay for software also. I try to use only open source programs and I understand them perfectly. But since I didn’t have any income and I was starving, I needed to make it work somehow. I thought a lot about the licensing and created new model for Iris.

Now Iris is free for 4 hours per day. Every day you will get 4 hours of Iris usage. You can use Iris your whole life, but the free version is 4 hours per day. This time will only expire when Iris is running. You can pause Iris and stop the exhausting of this time. I think this is pretty cool for everyone. Win for the people who want to use Iris for free and win for the people who work on Iris.

You can also buy 1 month of Iris usage. Again this time will only expire when Iris is running. When your PC is off your time will not deplete. Which again I think is cool for everyone. Many companies just want as much money as they can. We want to create value for you. Money are just a side effect of this. With this payment model your 1 month can be 2-3 or even a year of Iris. You can again Pause Iris at any time and the timer will stop. You are the one who decides how much to pay.

What is the free version of Iris?

The free version of Iris is 4 hours per day. All Iris features will work. When this time expires some of the features will stop to work and the Iris icon will become red. The next day you will get again 4 hours of Iris usage. Iris is free every day for 4 hours. This time will not deplete when Iris is paused. You can pause Iris by right clicking on the tray icon and choosing Pause Iris. When Iris is paused the icon will be yellow.

Are there totally free versions of Iris?

Yes old versions are free. The most popular and almost latest free version is 0.2.6. You can find all Iris versions at GitHub. The latest free version was 0.2.9. I will never remove this old free versions of Iris. Maybe in the future there will be updated lite free version of Iris, but for the moment this is not a priority.

Iris mini

The future is now. Iris mini is totally fre version of Iris. You can dowload it from here

How much Iris costs?

Iris costs 10$ per month or as I like to say 0.01$ per hour. This is month ofusage, not month in the calendar. It expires only when you use Iris.

How to pay for Iris?

We support PayPal payments at the moment. To buy Iris you can go to the Iris Buy page by clicking on the PayPal button in the app or by going directly to

How to get my Iris activation code?

After successful payment you will be redirected to the Iris website and receive your activation code. You will also receive e-mail with your activation code. If you don’t get your activation code automatically write us a short line and we will create your activation code by hand. However this is super rare case when you have closed the browser, before the redirection to our website.

Where to place Iris activation code?

Copy your activation code to the Iris License page and click Activate code. The Expires in message will increment with 31 days. You can stack multiple activation codes to get many months of Iris.

What if I have multiple machines?

By default you can activate Iris 1 time on every OS. If you have 1 machine Windows, 1 machine Linux and 1 machine OSX you can use the same license code on every machine and it will work. The problem comes if you have several machines running Windows for example. The code will work only on the first machine sorry. If you want to use Iris on your second Windows you should buy another activation code. Or you can contact me and I will reset your activation code by hand, but please this is if you have 2 PCs, I don’t buy that you have 100 Windows PCs.

How to use Iris for free?

To use Iris for free forever you can use combination of pausing/unpausing Iris. When Iris is paused your daily usage will not expire. To pause Iris right click on the tray icon and click Pause Iris

You know that Iris is paused when the icon is Yellow.

You can also use the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+P to Pause and Unpause Iris.

60 thoughts on “Licensing and How to use Iris for free

  1. You should start a YouTube channel; this would help attract both attention and revenue, the latter being through video advertisements. Meanwhile, I could share links to this website with other people I know who might be able to help you out.

      1. Hi Daniel
        I really appreciate your amazing work and will support you by broadcasting your website to all my friends and family. As I am a techno dinosaur, I will enlist my son, Kyle to help me with the purchase. I hope you will develop the software for iPads and iPhones. If your travels take you to Singapore, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to our local delights. Best wishes, Anne

      1. I have purchased other software, namely M8Software’s Spartan Standard (multi-clipboard), for which users get a lifetime license for that particular version (including updates/bug fixes, etc.). When the developer comes out with a newer version of the software, I buy the newer version – which includes the updates/bug fixes, etc. for that version. The older versions are still operable however, meaning they will always work. They may not have any of the newer features of the “latest” version, but they still work fine. So far, I have purchased versions 4.0 up to and I am now up to version 14. So I have purchased 11 versions of this software. Eventually, I was able to purchase a lifetime upgrade license so I no longer have to pay for the next versions. But, I do recommend this software to many others as there is so much one can do beside simply copying and pasting as with most clipboards.
        Maybe you could consider something similar to this scheme – a one-time fee for a particular version and its bug fixes. You could always save new features for a newer version of the software and charge for the newer version as above. This was just a thought I had as I do know that some people get a little nervous about monthly subscriptions, even though it may be on a “timer.” ;o)

  2. I will buy a month of Iris after I get paid for my next invoice, now that I have read your licensing page. My suggestion is that you make it more clear on the “buy” page, that you are paying for 720 hours of active Iris time that doesn’t get used up when Iris is paused, not 31 days of Iris in “Premium mode”.

    I was honestly about to learn a new programming language to make a free competitor to Iris the first time I saw your “$10 a month” activation model, Now I think what you’re doing is pretty cool. 😉 Just be as clear as you can about what $10 buys you. Hopefully that will get you more money to grow the project!

    1. For me “Buy” page is also confusing. You really have to make it more clear. What is Iris Lite, Iris Mini Pro ans Iris? I don’t get it. I think you should make another page explaining only this – features of and differences between versions.
      This doesn’t mean that I will not try and eventually buy your product 🙂

  3. Sell IRIS at 1 or 2 USD monthly and remove all the free versions. I can buy at that price and many other users too can buy monthly.

  4. And I have a little suggestion on the Mac versions. Could you change them to a OS X style appearance? It is a bit weird to see a windows 10 style close button on the upper right corner of the apps on a mac.

  5. This unconventional subscription model is too confusing. What is 1 month? Is it 30 days x 24 hours = 720 hours/month? I predict that customers will end-up frustrated when they realize that they expired big chunks of thier subscription because they forgot to pause iris or turn-off the computer before leaving for the day or night. Many will uninstall it after they run out vs. taking the time to re-order another subscription. Get yourself aligned with the generally accepted subscription models that work: a monthly or annual fee with an auto-renew option that is a set it and forget it is already proven to work.

      1. Your software sounds cool and I’m looking forward to giving it a try. But I agree with Peters comment. Keep it as simple as possible with the subscription model and in line with what works and what people are used to.
        This will also avoid people feeling disappointed about their experience when they realise that forgot to pause and lost a big chunk of usable time with the software.

  6. thank you for creating iris — i’ve just switched from using f.lux after having heard ben greenfield’s podcast. i have a question re: iris mini [on MacOS]: when switching to the ‘manual’ (sic) mode, the colour temperature of my screen changes, as well as brightness (and flicker, as you decribed); however, there are no actual settings / no actual GUI in the Mini version that I can see that would allow tweaking what these manual settings actually are. is it perhaps something that needs to be done manually / from a command line / in a batch file located somewhere in the app’s folder?

    thank you.

  7. Здравей
    Платих офис версията на Ирис, но при вкарване на кода за активация ми дава съобщение че не съществува вече като код!
    Преди това инсталирах фри версията 1.4 мисля че беше от септ 2016.
    Можеш ли да ми помогнеш да активирам софтуера.

  8. Юнак!!! Дай Боже повече като теб! Само успехи, здраве и щастие!

  9. Hi Daniel,

    Iris looks awesome! I think it would be better to sell the software outright, and not do a subscription. This is a fantastic product, and I am happy to pay for it. Lots of other people will too. I don’t like vague subscriptions, and would prefer to pay once upfront. You will lose lots of business with the subscription model. Make it simple to pay for and you will have more money coming in than you can imagine.

    Also, I have a mac and it would be great to see it on the app store. From your description, I can’t really tell what is the difference between the versions, do you perhaps have a video that explains it?


  10. I’m using Iris Mini as a trial and really like it. Like others have commented, I would be happy to pay for the software but the Freemium license model doesn’t work for me. My systems (Linux and Widows 7) are on 24×7. The screens “sleep” when the system is not in use. I would prefer either an annual, unlimited use subscription or a one-time outright purchase. Annual subscriptions should include free upgrades. A one-time purchase should have free point release upgrades and a minimal fee for major release upgrades.

  11. I think your subscription pricing would be easier to understand if you named it “Pay-as-you-go” and made it very clear how the clock runs down, meaning what is the smallest clock interval that is tracked by Iris to estimate usage.

    I am impressed both with your application design and your pricing modes, so now I will give it a try

  12. Zdravei Daniele i pozdravlenia za tova, koeto s trud si sutvoril !
    Toku-shto prochetoh materiala (s tvoeto ime vutre) ot Dr.Mercola, razbrah za vsichko tova i se nadiavam da go kupia i az. Ne sum reshil oshte koi ot variantite e po-dobre za men, az lichno bih predpochel da ima po-prostichko obiasnenie-kakto redovno kupuvam razni polezni (i ne tolkova polezni…) programki, s godishen abonament (bez da triabva da izchisliavam chasove i meseci, on & off).
    Kakto i da e, iami predvid, che Dr. Mercola se chete ot milioni hora i spored men tova e edin idealen shans i za tebe (sorry, che minah na “ti”!).
    Shte razucha vsichko po-podrobno (sega, toku-shto otkrih tozi web site) i shte vidia kak nai-dobre “da uredia” 2-ta si PC-ta.

    C uvajenie,

  13. I want to but IRIS full version outright.

    I want a multi license ( for my PC’s and MACs)

    Like a 5 pack, full ownership, for every with upgrades for free.

    How much?

        1. Yes I will think about it one more week. I am thinking about 10$/per year (calendar year) and 10$ for lifelong and I think I will just make it lifelong and search for many people to buy it. It seems the most beneficial for the users to be lifelong like Iris mini.
          And I will remove Iris lite since it just makes it more confusing and only Iris will remain for 10$ for lifetime

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