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Is Photoshop Free?

Photoshop is not free and requires an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription starting at $9.99/month. However, it is possible to try out the Photoshop desktop version with a free 30-day trial.

How to Get Photoshop for Free

Here’s the deal, a Photoshop license with an Adobe Creative Cloud plan allows two installations of Photoshop. If you have a friend that already has a CC plan and is willing to share their login info, then you can get Photoshop for free.

Keep in mind, Adobe only allows running one instance of Photoshop at a time with the two included installs. Therefore, you and your friend can’t use Photoshop simultaneously.

Furthermore, sharing Creative Cloud memberships is against Adobe’s end-user agreement and is discouraged.

Though the desktop version of Photoshop is a premium, the mobile versions are free, and all you need is a free Adobe account. There are actually three Photoshop mobile versions, which I’ll discuss later in this post.

Photoshop is king when it comes to photo editing.

When the general public thinks of photography software, they think of Photoshop. Heck, Photoshop is now a verb like Google.

And that’s why many photographers want or need Photoshop. It’s an amazing software for advanced image editing.

But Photoshop can do more than image editing; quite a few graphic artists use Photoshop to draw. It’s is also capable of editing videos but is not recommended (there is better video-editing software like Premiere Pro and Final Cuts Pro).

As fantastic as Photoshop is, it’s not free.

Photoshop Desktop Version

desktop version of Photoshop screenshot

To utilize the full power of Photoshop, you need its desktop version for advanced image editing.

Previously, photographers and designers could buy Photoshop outright with a perpetual license, meaning they owned the software and only had to pay for upgrades.

But with the introduction of Adobe’s business method of subscription-based software, the Creative Cloud came into fruition. Eventually, Photoshop was added to the Creative Cloud, and users could no longer buy a perpetual license. The subscription method angered many users, and many of them no longer use Photoshop.

In my opinion, the Adobe Create Cloud Photography plan at $9.99/month is still a great deal and includes Photoshop and Lightroom. And as you probably know, you can’t get Lightroom for free.

Get Photoshop Mobile Free

The good news about the Creative Cloud is it includes Photoshop Mobile for free – all three versions of them.

Yup, three different versions of Photoshop are available for Android and iOS devices: Express, Mix, and Fix.

  • Photoshop Express: This is the main version of Photoshop Mobile that allows you to make edits and the one you’ll use the most.
  • Photoshop Fix: As the name suggests, it allows image retouching and restoration.
  • Photoshop Mix: Allows users to make collages, cut photos, and other effects.

When I first tried to install Photoshop Mobile, I wondered why there were three different versions, and I thought it was a bit redundant. And it is.

In fact, Adobe has discontinued Photoshop Fix and Mix from the App Store and probably will follow for the Play Store. Adobe acknowledged the features from Fix and Mix would be added to Photoshop Express, which is excellent news for a mobile photographer’s workflow.

There is a premium version of Photoshop Express, but many photographers don’t need it (always). The premium version is included with a Photoshop CC plan.

Is Photoshop Elements Free?

Photoshop Elements is not free, and it usually costs $99.99 but does include a 30-day free trial.

On the other hand, Photoshop Elements is a dumbed-down version of Photoshop CC (full version), and I highly don’t recommend it. You’re not going to get the same results.

Is Photoshop Free for Students?

The premium versions of Photoshop are not free for students. However, the Creative Cloud All Apps plan is reduced to $19.99/month (instead of $52.99/month) for the first year and $29.99/month after that. That’s a savings of over 60% the first year.

But if students only want Photoshop, it’s still cheaper to go with the Adobe Photography plan at $9.99/month.


Photoshop is arguably the best image-editing software, but it does come at a premium. The one thing Photoshop can’t do is organize photos, but you can check out the best photo organizing software or how to organize photos with my digital photo filing system.

Though you can’t get Photoshop for free, the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan includes Photoshop and Lightroom, a great ROI compared to other photography software.

I also recommend downloading Photoshop Express on your smartphone because it’s a great app, and the free version is sufficient for many.