Where Can I Find a Free Download of Photoshop?

Don't fall for 'Free' Photoshop downloads

Why you shouldn't pirate Photoshop

Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash


Adobe Photoshop is not a free program and downloading illegal copies puts you at risk for viruses or claims of copyright infringement. However, you can download a fully-functional 30-day tryout of Photoshop from Adobe. If you wish to continue using the software after the free trial period, you will need to purchase it.

Photoshop Is Now in the Cloud

Photoshop CS6 was the last boxed version of Photoshop. It was withdrawn in 2014 when Adobe's Creative Suite changed to the subscription-based Creative Cloud service. It is now only available with an ongoing subscription, although a free trial period for Creative Cloud is still offered.

The full Creative Cloud package includes more than 20 desktop programs and mobile apps, including Photoshop and Illustrator. It is useful for designers, photographers, and other creative professionals who rely on a variety of Adobe software.

Some people find that this complete package offers too much for the type of work they do. If you don't want all of the applications in the Creative Cloud, you can subscribe to a single application or the photography plan, which includes the latest versions of both Photoshop and Lightroom. These options have proven to be popular with professional and amateur photographers.

Lost Installation Media

If you have lost your installation media for Photoshop and you have a legitimate serial number, install the trial version. Enter your serial number during the installation process to convert it from a trial to a non-expiring full version.

Stay Away From 'Free' Photoshop Downloads

Don't be tempted by a free Photoshop download online. Many sites will try to trick you into thinking you are downloading a legitimate or official product. However, the files they are distributing are actually almost always infected with malware or a virus.

The safest place to obtain a legitimate download of Adobe products is from Adobe.com. Only the most recent versions are distributed as trials, though you may have some luck finding older versions of Photoshop on Adobe's FTP site. There is no guarantee that you will find an installer for the version you need, however.

If you need to re-download an older version of Adobe Photoshop from a non-Adobe site, research the safety of the source and run a virus scan on anything you download.

Save Money With Photoshop Elements

If the cost of Photoshop is too much for you, consider Photoshop Elements instead. Photoshop Elements offers about 99 percent of the functionality of Photoshop at about a sixth of the price. It was designed to meet the needs of most non-professionals who will never use many of Photoshop's advanced features.

A free 30-day trial version of Photoshop Elements is also available for download from Adobe.

Consider Another Image Editor

The software market is so saturated with options for free and inexpensive Photoshop alternatives that there is no need to pirate Photoshop.

If you're unable to obtain Photoshop legally, try one of the very good photo editing programs available for free. Many offer the same features found in Photoshop, so you're really not missing out on much.