Adobe Photoshop Software, Where to Find without Subscription

Hey guys!

I've recently purchase a laptop for personal use at home & looking to get Adobe software for it (mainly after photoshop or lightroom), I used to have these on my old PC years back where I didn't have to subscribe to them at all. How do people "purchase" these software these days without having to have subscription?

Thank you in advance!

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  • Adobe stopped selling CS6 back in 2017, so you may have trouble finding anything other than Creative Cloud subscriptions now.
    You can get a subscription for just Photoshop & Lightroom from $14.29/month at least, rather than getting the whole suite.

    • Not actually totally "legal", this is officially for people who have bought the CS2 license in the past, as they shut down their old registration servers.
      But if it's just for personal use, they aren't exactly going to hunt you down for it.

    • seems they may have finally taken it down? I do recall they were publishing the installer and the keys there.

      Where can I download my Creative Suite app?
      Installers for Creative Suite apps are no longer available.
      - Creative Suite 4, 5, and 6: If you purchased your Creative Suite app from Adobe and your account is still active, you may be able to download it from your account.
      - Creative Suite 2 and 3: You can no longer reinstall Creative Suite 2 or 3 even if you have the original installation disks. The aging activation servers for those apps had to be retired.

  • I'm still using an old version of Photoshop, but if I didn't have it I would look at alternative programs. While I love Photoshop, the monthly pricetag is pretty high if you're not using it professionally.

    I would suggest looking at Paintstorm ($20), GIMP (free), and other affordable art programs that you just buy once and don't have to subscribe to if you can't find an old version of CS6. Best of luck!

    Edit: Well, looks like you can get CS2 for free! That's amazing :)

    • You can't actually get CS2 for free legitimately. Adobe's pretty clear that it's only for existing CS2 owners because they can't be bothered fixing some issue with activation. It requires you give Adobe your details to download it too, so while the world probably won't end if you use it for touching up your family photos, wouldn't advise using it for any professional purpose.

      • It's a shame it's not CS3 because I legitimately own that one. So far I've been able to keep installing it on my new PCs (uninstalling from old ones) but I do worry that one day in the future I won't be able to anymore.

  • If you don't absolutely need photoshop itself, I'd recommend Affinity Photo ( - and if it isn't urgent, wait until they have a sale: Its a one off purchase rather than a subscription.

    There is many articles comparing the two (and most have some degree of bias one way or the other! - including me? :P ) but I'd say the general consensus is that Affinity is almost as good and better in some areas.

    And there is of course GIMP for free :)

    • I'll definately keep my eyes open on Affinity, looks to be a good alternative to Adobe. I can't justify paying a subscription on Adobe (don't know why they made it like that these days)

      I miss the days where you will be able to find the program on torrents and download it with a crack no problems lolol

  • For photoshop have a look at Krita ( to see if it has the features you require as it includes some of the Photoshop features, but not all.

    For lightroom have a look at Blender to see if it has the features you require.

    If you need Adobe software then you probably need to buy old versions from ebay or gumtree or facebook market place etc.

  • If you have kids in school sometimes they have Adobe subscriptions you can use (Educational - which will watermark stuff in the background so don't try and do commercial stuff)

  • I am using CS5. The only possible issue you might encounter is using ACR to process your RAW files. Some cameras I use have DNG options.
    No problem with ACR. Else I use the native RAW processor and save in the lowest compression JPEG (unless you need 14bit TIFF), then use PS5. Using Sony, I convert ARW to DNG and use ACR. Fuji RAFs do not convert well. There are wierd mesh looking pixelation. So I use the native RAF processor (based on Silkypix) to convert the RAF.

  • Have a read of this reddit thread if you are open to alternatives. This one is free, and you use it in your browser.

    The first question and answer in the thread:

    What do you think the biggest advantage of Photopea is over Photoshop (other then being free, of course)? What about GIMP?

    Unlike Photoshop, Photopea can open almost any structured graphics file (XD, Sketch, SVG, PDF, XCF, Corel) and save them in a PSD format. There is a Vectorize Image (bitmap tracing) feature and several other features, that are not present in Photoshop. Also, Photopea runs on Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and anywhere else, where you have a browser :)
    Unlike GIMP, Photopea fully supports the PSD format. So it has features such as layer styles, adjustment layers, smart objects, smart filters, text warping etc.

    This free option could have what you need.

    • Wow thanks for showing me this, I can't beleive this exists. Kudos to the fella who created this, I mainly use it just to muck around with images and edit photos I take on my phone really so this will be good enough for the time being.