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Download Photoshop: How to try Photoshop for free or with Creative Cloud

download Photoshop - A woman working on Photoshop.
(Image credit: gorodenkoff)

Looking to download Photoshop CC? While the days of simply installing the software with a CD are gone, the process of getting Adobe's creative cloud doesn't have to be confusing. There are plenty of different subscriptions that Adobe offers to ensure that many creatives can get the software package that suits them best. We know there are a lot of options to choose from, and it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start when there are so many options. That's why we have put together this super handy guide that'll help you through the process of subscribing to Adobe and downloading Photoshop CC. 

If you know what you're looking for, then you don't have to worry about reading all about the different subscription options, you can just jump straight in and go straight to Adobe to download Photoshop. This link will allow you to download the version of Photoshop that best suits your device, whether it's for PC, Mac or iPad. It'll even allow you to start a seven-day free trial just in case you wanted to try out the software before committing to a full subscription. 

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Adobe Photoshop isn't the only image-editing software, in fact, there are loads of other options out there. If you don't think Photoshop is for you, then we have a handy guide on the best Photoshop alternatives. Or if you're debating whether to invest in Photoshop or Lightroom, then check out our piece on Photoshop vs Lightroom, where we compare two of Adobe's most popular photo-editing tools. 

Can I download Photoshop for free?

Photoshop

Download a free Photoshop trial for PC, Mac or iPad now
This seven-day trial enables you to try the latest version of Photoshop for free. You don't have to buy the software once you're done, but if you like it you can convert to a paid Creative Cloud membership after the trial has expired.

This is a very popular question, and in short, yes, you can download Photoshop for free, but only for a week. Photoshop is a paid-for editing program, but Adobe does offer a free week-long trial on their creative apps for both the Windows and Mac OS software.

So what does the free trial get you? Adobe cuts no corners with its free trial, and for a week you will have access to the entire software including all its latest features and updates. This means that you can get a grasp of the software, and get a true experience of what subscribing to the app would be like which should help you decide whether it's the right photo editor for you. You don't even have to submit your credit card deals to get a hold of the trial, so there's no chance of accidentally paying for a full year's subscription without meaning to (we've all done it).

We seriously do not recommend using any other platform to try and download the software for free. Not only is it illegal software piracy, but downloading it from an unreliable source may invite harmful malware or viruses onto your device. Thankfully, if you download directly from Adobe, you won't have to worry about any of that stuff!

How do I buy Photoshop CC?

Photoshop CC

Buy Photoshop CC from £9.98 / $9.99 per month
Adobe’s industry leading software enables you to create and enhance photos, images and designs. You can download Photoshop to your PC or Mac from $9.99 / £9.98 per month, and there's a seven-day free trial to experiment with first.

To download a full version of Photoshop from the outset, you'll need a Creative Cloud membership. There are a number of different options: you can choose a Single App plan, which gives you just Photoshop CC alone, or a plan that includes more of Adobe’s creative apps.

Adobe's Photography Plan gives you access to Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic, which might be all you need if you're working with photography alone. Lightroom is a similar beast to Photoshop, offering a slightly pared down suite of photo-editing tools, but very likely all the ones you'll need. It also offers a lot of tools that are amazing for speeding up workflow, allowing you to easily import, manage and organise your files. If you're producing high volumes of images, it's a lifesaver. 

Getting Photoshop with the All Apps plan

If you're looking to do more than photo-editing, then you may well benefit from Adobe's All Apps plan. As the name suggests, this is a plan that gives you access to, well, the lot. Photoshop for photo-editing, Premiere for video-editing, Illustrator for digital art... we could go on. 

Getting Adobe’s entire collection of creative desktop and mobile apps (although not the new Substance 3D apps), including Photoshop, and all of the same additional benefits as the Photoshop Plan, will usually cost you $52.99 / £49.94 / AU$76.99 per month.

Naturally, this is more expensive than any other plan, and is only really worth it if you're planning on using all of the apps. As an individual, this is unlikely, which is why Adobe offers a range of plans for businesses. Plus, teachers and students can save up to 65% by getting Photoshop CC as part of the All Apps plan.

It's also worth keeping an eye out for deals, as Adobe often runs limited-time offers that allow you to snag multi-program subscriptions for a fraction of the usual asking price. Right now, Adobe is offering a flash sale on its All Apps plan, which of course includes Photoshop CC, giving users in EMEA territories a whopping £120 a year off the plan. It's only running until October 19 – so act fast!

Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan

Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan - £50 £40, €60,49 €48,39 
Save 20%:
Save on Adobe's all-you-can-eat package, which gives you access to over 20 Creative Cloud apps including Photoshop, Illustrator InDesign and much more. EMEA markets only (except Russia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Ukraine, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa). Ends 19 October.

If you miss out on this deal, then make sure you're keeping an eye on our Adobe Creative Cloud discounts page, as we keep it up to date with the latest offers.

What’s the price of Photoshop CC?

Download Photoshop: All Above the Sky by Erik Johansson

All Above the Sky, by Erik Johansson (Image credit: Adobe / Erik Johansson)

As you can see, there are plenty of different subscription options for Photoshop CC, meaning the price you pay will vary depending on what you select.

If you want to know the minimum amount you can pay to get Photoshop CC, then we can reveal that the cheapest way to download Photoshop CC is as part of the Creative Cloud Photography plan, which usually costs $9.99 / £9.98 / AU$14.29 per month.

This gives you access to Photoshop CC, Photoshop for iPad, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic, plus 20GB cloud storage, Portfolio (for creating portfolio websites), Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark (where you can quickly create your own branded graphics, web pages and videos).

Another option is the Single App Photoshop plan. This costs $20.99 / £19.97 per month, and will give you just Photoshop, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark. Why would you pay more for fewer programs? Well, the  Single App Photoshop plan also comes with 100GB cloud storage, making it a good choice if you don't need the other apps but could do with a lot more cloud storage for your files. 

If you like creating on the move, Adobe has put together a new bundle, which saves you 50 per cent on the price of its four design apps. Appropriately called the Design Mobile Bundle, it includes Photoshop and Illustrator for iPad, Fresco for iPad and iPhone, as well as Adobe Spark and the Creative Cloud app.

There's also the All Apps version that we've detailed in the section above. And finally, you can buy Photoshop through an All Apps + Adobe Stock option for $82.98 / £73 / AU$116.58 per month, which (as the name suggests) gives you access to Adobe Stock on top of the All Apps benefits. 

Photoshop discounts for teachers and students

If you’re a student or teacher, you can buy Photoshop as part of a discounted All Apps plan at a much lower rate. That will give you the entire collection of creative desktop and mobile apps, plus 100GB cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio and more – for just $19.99 / £16.24 / AU$21.99 per month for the first year, $29.99 / £25.28 / AU$43.99 thereafter. 

The only non-subscription version of Photoshop you can buy is Photoshop Elements, which is an entry-level version of the image-editing software. It contains most of Photoshop’s pro features, but is more simple to use and has fewer options. You can download Photoshop Elements 2021 for PC or Mac for a one-off cost starting from $99.99 / £69.99 / AU$145.19.

How can I get started with Photoshop?

Download Photoshop: Image of a person hiking in a forest

In this Photoshop tutorial, illustrator Charlie Davis walks through how to use the Pen tool and textures to add depth

Once you've downloaded Photoshop, check out our collection of the best Photoshop tutorials to get started. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate-level or a pro, you'll find a huge range of new tips and tricks to help you work more quickly, efficiently and creatively in Photoshop.

Don't worry if you're pressed for time: on our YouTube Channel, we've got a selection of handy Photoshop Two-Minute Tool School videos that walk you through all the essential tools in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.

Meanwhile, you might also want to check out our round-up of the best free Photoshop brushes the internet has to offer.

Photoshop CC: Key info you need to know

Photoshop CC is Adobe’s flagship image-editing app. There's are some good reasons why it remains the industry-standard software for photo-editing all over the world. It’s slick, fast and it boasts a powerful, extensive tool set to bring your ideas to life.

For layered image editing – including typography, 3D modelling, and drawing – it remains the first choice for professional creatives all over. And with new AI-powered updates to streamline your workflow even further, it's increasingly freeing graphic designers, artists and photographers from the tyranny of tedious, repetitive processes so they can focus on the fun part of creating (see our Photoshop CC review to learn more)

As part of your CC subscription plan, you’ll receive all Photoshop updates for free. The latest version offers improvements to existing features like Content-Aware Fill, as well as performance enhancements.

Photoshop is available for desktop, smartphone or iPad, and supports every file format available. A full version of Photoshop CC for iPad is also now with us.

Adobe Photoshop: Android and iOS apps

There are also free Photoshop Android and iOS spin-off apps that you can download for your mobile device. These give you access to key Photoshop tools on the move, enabling you to create, edit, annotate and share images wherever inspiration strikes. 

If you have a Creative Cloud membership, you can send your images to Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC to fine-tune them on your desktop later. Alternatively, if you're not sure about committing to Photoshop CC, these stand-alone mobile apps offer a good way to test the water. 

Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express
This mobile photo editor and collage maker allows you to quickly edit and share your photos. It offers Raw photo support and features such as Auto Fix, Blemish Removal, Noise Reduction, Perspective Correction, watermark functionality and more. The app now includes the former Photoshop Mix and PhotoshopFix.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Adobe Photoshop Sketch
With Photoshop Sketch, you can create expressive drawings using natural drawing tools like pencils, pens, markers and watercolour brushes. They interact naturally with the canvas, so you can create all the textures and blending effects you’d get on paper.

Adobe Creative Cloud for mobile

Adobe Creative Cloud for mobile
With Creative Cloud for mobile, you can organise your projects with mobile access on your devices. Collaboration with other CC members is easy too, with features such as screenshot syncing to annotate or mark up designs.

Photoshop alternatives

Finally, if you’re still not sure about being tied into a Creative Cloud subscription plan, there are lots of non-subscription-based Photoshop alternatives, such as Affinity Photo, that let you purchase a licence with a one-off fee instead.

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Julia Sagar

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.