What Is Photoshop Portable Version?

Beware of sites offering Photoshop Portable or Photoshop Lite versions

Two computers and an iPad displaying photoshop with hands pointing at paper


scyther5 / Getty Images

There is no Photoshop Portable or Photoshop Lite version published or supported by Adobe. If you find a Photoshop Portable version available for download, it is almost certainly an illegal cracked version of Photoshop, which could potentially carry a virus or other malware.

Unsupported or Pirated Photoshop Versions

All of the following downloads are unsupported or likely pirated and should be used at your own risk:

  • Photoshop Lite
  • Photoshop Portable Lite
  • Photoshop CS5 Portable
  • Photoshop CS4 Portable
  • Photoshop CS3 Portable
  • Photoshop CS2 Portable
  • Portable Photoshop CS3 Extended
  • Portable Photoshop CS4 Extended
  • Portable Photoshop CS5 Extended
  • Photoshop CS5 Extended Portable
  • Photoshop CS4 Extended Portable
  • Photoshop CS3 Extended Portable

Adobe's Move to Subscription Service

Many illegal downloads disappeared after Adobe moved its software to a subscription-based model called the Creative Cloud (and many free alternatives exist). Although you can still find older CD-based versions of the software offered by private vendors or sites like eBay, you need to know that you are essentially on your own when purchasing this software. Adobe no longer supports the versions of the application, and if you encounter a licensing issue when installing this software—which is likely—Adobe won't help you.

Beware of 'Included' Photoshop Software

Another clue that the software may not be legal or supported occurs when you purchase a computer and the vendor presents you with a list of software that will be loaded onto your new computer for a small extra fee. The odds are good that the software is illegal.

If the software is already on a used computer you acquire, you may encounter major issues if things go wrong. If the license for the software hasn't been transferred to you, you can forget about any support.

Affordable Legitimate Option to Photoshop

Users who don't require the full power of Photoshop may be happy with Adobe Photoshop Elements. This affordable software is a standalone package from Adobe that works primarily with your personal photos. You can brighten, add effects, enhance clarity, and add color with Photoshop Elements. You can also organize your photos, curate them, and find by people, places, or events.

Photoshop Apps for Mobile Devices

For anyone who is looking for a mobile version of Photoshop, Adobe offers several apps for iOS and Android mobile devices. Each of the apps focuses on a limited aspect of Photoshop tools and capabilities. The Photoshop apps are free of charge and are available at Google Play and the Apple App Store:

  • Adobe Photoshop Express provides fast, powerful, and simple photo editing. In addition to basic crop, straighten, and rotate capabilities, Express ships with 60 fun filters that turn any photo into artwork.
  • Adobe Photoshop Mix creates multilayered designs using your images. Apply filters or combine photos for fun or surreal images.
  • Adobe Photoshop Sketch includes drawing tools and brushes for realistic watercolor paintings or treatments of existing images. If you like to draw, Sketch is for you.
  • Adobe Photoshop Fix focuses on image retouching and restoration. Heal, Liquify, Smooth, Lighten, and other tools provide powerful image-editing effects.