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Home > Tools November 7th, 2014

The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC)

What's in the Adobe Creative Cloud?

With over 8 million customers having already signed up in the 3½ years since it launched, Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC) product line has been a success exceeding even the company’s own expecta­tions.  Still, there are a lot of misconceptions out there that we see from time to time, or that some folks seem to believe… (do you?)  Here below we dispel and debunk the top 10 most common myths we’ve heard – and hopefully even if you already know the scoop or use Creative Cloud you’ll pick something up… read on!

Myth #1: “‘Creative Cloud’ sounds like cloud storage only – which is just a way to store your files, and I already have Dropbox which is free.”

Some say the name is misleading – but the Creative Cloud is actually a comprehensive collection of creative tools and services including the new CC 2015 release of desktop products, Acrobat DC Pro, Adobe Muse, Lightroom 6/CC, Behance ProSite, Adobe Edge, and more – the full working versions…  You do also get 2-20 gigabytes of online storage space for syncing and sharing your files, but that is only one piece of of the big picture.

Myth #2: “I don’t want to be constantly connected to the Internet to start and run my creative apps; what happens when I’m on a plane?”

You do not have to be continually connected to the Internet.  After the CC applications are installed and running on your desktop, online access is only required once every 4 months for revalida­tion of your annual membership. Plus there are solutions in place if you’ll be offline for an extended period – like traveling for six months without web access… just contact Customer Service.

Debunking the Myths About Adobe Creative Cloud

Myth #3: “The applications can’t be very powerful if they are running in a browser – trying to run Photoshop over the web is going to be really slow.”

None of the the tools mentioned above are hosted or web-based versions… These are the genuine desktop products that you download and install right on your computers, and work just like usual – these are not web applications, it’s not “software as a service” (SaaS), and your CC programs like Photoshop will run as normal.

[ Related: Photoshop Will Always Run on the Desktop ]

Myth #4: “The subscription model sounds like it might be more expensive than perpetual licensing, so it may not be worth it to me.”

When you add up the price tags of all the individual products you can install and use in the Creative Cloud, the total value is over US$10,000.  The Master Suite by itself historically sells for $2,600, and that’s just part of what you get with a newer CC 2015 release… All ongoing updates and upgrades are included, as well as free professional training.  You can access these leading products for $9-$49 a month, one year at a time, and install & run them on up to two of your computers (including both PC and Mac) – compare the two options in detail here.

Myth #5: “So I can have the entire latest Master Collection and more for $1-2/day, and do anything with it – it must be too good to be true, no?”

There’s no catch. It works exactly as described, you can imagine and create without bound­aries using all of the world’s best tools for photo, image, video, audio, graphics, illustration, web, print, mobile, publishing, gaming, animation, development and design – and so far the overall user reviews and ratings are close to 5 stars out of five.

Myth #6: “Well, then Adobe is going to entice everyone to the Cloud – and once we are all hooked, they are going to jack up the prices.”

Adobe has offered subscription-based CS products for seven years now, and over that time their prices have only fallen, never risen… You’ve got elasticity of the demand curve – the lower the monthly rate, the more people sign up, the greater the cost is spread out, and repeat.  It’s a virtuous cycle in our view – and if anything, no guarantees but we think prices will continue to drop as the Cloud grows… The most recent evidence (and price cut) is Adobe’s new introduction of a $9.99/month plan. The bottom line is raising to unaffordable rates would be counterproductive. But if you’re still worried about it, then you can always choose to lock in your pricing in advance.

Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!

Myth #7: “If my friend or client or colleague isn’t a Creative Cloud member, I can’t share my files with them.” …or… “But I don’t want to share all my work publicly/online.”

If you’re concerned about sharing files with people using older versions of the CS tools, check out our CC File Compatibility Guide. And using the cloud storage is not required. For any files you choose to store online in Adobe’s Cloud, you can easily set different levels of sharing – from keeping them completely private to sharing them publicly with anyone at all. Viewers will be able to do many things like see thumbnails and larger previews, change layer states of PSD files, step through Illustrator artboards and InDesign and PDF pages, and see file metadata from within their browser [watch video demo here].  But you can also keep your files entirely offline on your local disk as normal, because saving a copy to the online Cloud storage is completely optional.

Myth #8: “The Creative Cloud isn’t free (is it?), so if I leave then I will lose all my files.”

No worries – there is a totally free (for life) level of Creative Cloud membership which provides ten terrific benefits including free products & services, that anyone can sign up for… If you cancel a paid membership then you’ll have a 90-day grace period bring any cloud storage down to the size of 2GB free (or can buy additional storage separately if you like).  You prob­ably also saved your files locally on your computer as well, before sharing online.

Myth #9: “Even if I only use one or two applications, I have no choice but to buy the complete Creative Cloud membership, right?”

Worldwide Offer: Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 plus Lightroom 6/CC for $9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)

No, this is false. Just like it was with the previous suites and point products, you still have the option to buy either the discounted bundle of everything or just a single program if you prefer. If you only want to use an individual tool or two, then you can sign up for a Single-App Membership at a lower price ($9-19). For example, Adobe is now offering a special Photography Plan worldwide that gives both Photoshop CC + Lightroom CC (the full desktop and mobile releases) for $9.99 a month.

Myth #10: “With the Cloud you can’t ever stay on or run previous versions if you want to, you are always forced to update to the latest release, right? I might not always be ready to do that, plus some plug-ins might not yet work with the newer version.”

No, in fact it’s optional – and your call. Creative Cloud makes updates avail­able for those who want to install them, but the applica­tion manager will not automati­cally update your system without your go-ahead… You can continue using the versions you have already downloaded, and then choose if and when to install the new releases, whenever is convenient and best for you. On average for each CC tool, the pacing of available upgrades has been every 2-3 months. And IT administrators can use the new Creative Cloud Packager utility to fully control all aspects of deploy­ment on any group of computers.

Bonus Myth: “If for some reason Adobe decides to stop offering products in the Creative Cloud, then I’ll be stuck.”

In the event that Adobe decides to discontinue any products in the Creative Cloud, then they will make the most recent full and permanent version of the software available free of charge to active members on an as-is basis. But that seems unlikely to happen, because with the brisk adoption the offering has been receiving – almost 65,000 new customers each week – the future of Creative Cloud appears bright.

“In the event that Adobe decides to discontinue any of the products in Creative Cloud, we will make the most recent version of the product available for download free of charge to active Creative Cloud members for a period of no less than 90 days. Such downloads will not require a subscription and will be licensed on an as-is, no warranty basis …”

Do you have any questions, thoughts, or other myths you’ve heard about the Creative Cloud?  Check out our extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, or just post them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also

New Adobe CC 2015.5 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 plus Lightroom 6/CC for Just US$9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)
  1. Rajib L Sarma

    Can I get a standalone version of Photoshop cc 2015 to buy so that I can reinstall the software without actually again downloading in case I need to reformat my hard drive? If so, how it can be registered? Will the monthly subscription plan still work? Grateful if you will kindly enlighten me on this.

  2. barathi

    The Creative Cloud Desktop app is about 150 mb. The installer is a small app. But when you run the installer it downloads the creative cloud desktop application which is around 150 mb in size (after installation size was 160mb on the disk). The download speed was poor though other downloads on the same network were good.

  3. dewbert

    You do not have to be continually connected to the Internet. HOWEVER, if you are connected to the internet, your CC software communicates via the internet, even if you are not using CC Libraries or other features that require a connection to the internet (per an Adobe tech support rep) and, therefore, CC may slow to a crawl, depending on your internet connection speed, Adobe’s server capacities, and everything in between.

    • No, sorry. Not at all. If you are not using the (optional) connected services like Typekit fonts, online Cloud storage or CC Libraries, then any background Adobe-related internet traffic is nominal and insignificant. Even if you are actively using these features, you would be hard-pressed to notice any difference, unless you are uploading or downloading something very large and intensive.

  4. Marcus

    I’m getting ready to purchase for work and home use but to me it just doesn’t seem like a “cheaper” option than just having a standalone package like CS6. Maybe I’m missing something but if I go subscription-based after the year is up I have to subscribe for another year basically buying the same software package year after year. Where is the value in that?

    • Hello Marcus, in terms of expensive pricing, you may be forgetting that CS6 had a very large upfront cost just to get in the door… Photoshop CS6 Extended used to sell for $999 by itself, and the most comparable suite to what you get now in Creative Cloud was CS6 Master Collection – which cost $2,599 at the time. And of course, upgrades always cost extra with the old model. Meanwhile, CC gives you more still than the Master Collection ever did.

      If you want less than the entire collection of creative tools, then there’s always the CC Single-App option(s) instead, including the very popular $10/mo. Photography Plan with Photoshop + Lightroom.

      What people often forget is that software and technology don’t stand still. So while you think you might “own something” with the old CS licensing model, nothing is “forever” in technology without active, ongoing support… Hardware and software evolve quickly, then old programs aren’t supported and eventually stop working properly on newer computers or operating systems (especially Mac OS; Apple is notorious for breaking backwards compatibility) – so for most people, static software has a practical usable lifetime.

      CS6 is already reaching that point now. Adobe ceased selling CS6 standalone on their website last year. The reason is because it’s nearly 4 years old now (from spring 2012) and increasingly unsupported; they stopped releasing updates for it last summer as the newer CC rapidly grew and took over. With the CS6 software EOL and end of support, there are no updates, no bug fixes, and no guarantees it will run on future operating systems. So at this point we’ve stopped recommending it as a good or viable option going forward.

      By contrast, with CC all ongoing upgrades, compatibility updates and product additions are always included – so becoming obsolete will never happen. The monthly payments are also more affordable in the new model than in the old model – where the software used to cost many hundreds or often thousands of dollars upfront, and never evolved.

      For a more detailed analysis of these points, see:

      Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) vs. Creative Suite (CS6) – The Pros & Cons

  5. Christian

    Now, I’m a student in a Vocational High-School, and I’m taking Graphic Communication and Design. However, I dont have the money to spend on the paid Creative Cloud Suite, as Im trying to purchase a car. So, I downloaded the Free Creative Cloud version, and it says I have limited access (expected), but only a 7-day membership, while your article stated it was a Lifetime Membership. If the membership ends, do I lose all of the programs I have downloaded onto my computer, or do I lose just the Creative Cloud services? I would really like some help with this, please.

  6. Mike

    Isn’t it true that Adobe software is insanely expensive with no new features being delivered – just UI updates and this is just a method to try and lock people in. All that’s happening is you are making CS6 obsolete when it was perfectly adequate for most users by refusing to support new platforms like windows 10 and hires screens properly. I would have paid for a CS6 update. Stop telling me cloud is worth thousands of dollars when i use premier and Photoshop a couple of times a year.
    I am trying to reinstall CS6 now which Adobe are making as difficult as possible and will be moving to a much cheaper fixed price competitor when it becomes available on Windows in the Fall. There is no sensible option for people like me who get into photography and video a couple of times a year. Do a deal with all the other subscription wannabes and offer a package for 10 bucks a month where i can use a single package of any software I want one at a time for video, music and graphics editing. Something like Netflix for software. Then i might buy it.

  7. David

    Adobe CC feels like a big drain on my money. Yes it includes a lot etc. but that doesn’t mean I magically become wealthier.

  8. Every single major network or production company I work with reverted to CC 2014 as the last “stable” version of CC. I primarily work with FOX Sports, NBC/Universal, Outdoor Channel and Discovery. CC is little more than a cruel joke designed to make professionals miss deadlines.

    In my own edit suite, I’m still running CS6, though lack of support for newer codecs is prompting me to look elsewhere.

    As the director and post production supervisor of Outdoor’s MPH block coming in 2017, I’m looking to move our entire post production away from Adobe entirely (the interoperability nightmares between CS6 and CC is inexcusable), and we’re exploring other options.

    Can you imagine using CC four years from now to open a timeline you’ve created today (…”and back on Pinks: All Out 2020 is the 2016 winner of….”)? That’s going to be a nightmare.

    Sorry, Adobe. I’ve been a loyal customer since before there was a creative suite, but your greed, lack of stability and forced upgrades (yes, not allowing backwards compatibility is a forced upgrade in the real world) are pushing professionals to look for alternatives.

    Too bad. So much promise squashed. Give me a solid piece of software I can buy flat out. Not this lease/partially functional garbage you have now.

    • Not really sure what you are talking about Alex. There are no forced upgrades with CC subscriptions – you are free to use whatever version you like, including back to CS6 from 2012 if you want. All major releases are included for subscribers, available to download, install and run at any time.

      With CC 2015 there is some level of backwards compatibility with older versions, but this is limited by evolution in the file formats which are necessary for the forward progress of the tools. This naturally happened with CS as well (as it was developed years ago), not just CC.

      As for stability, we’ve never had any problems at all with any of desktop applications in the Creative Cloud suite. We’ve heard of a few customers here and there who had some glitches with earlier revisions of CC 2015, but the software has since been updated (as it regularly is at no cost).

      As for customer adoption of CC, we see quite the opposite as Adobe continues to post accelerating Creative Cloud growth and increasingly higher numbers of paid subscribers well ahead of company and industry forecasts.

      On dominant trends, it’s quite the opposite in fact – the CC video apps have quickly become the tools of choice for professionals everywhere:

      From Sundance to Hollywood, More Filmmakers Than Ever Editing with Premiere Pro CC

      Sorry, but your comment comes off more as an inaccurate rant than anything else.

  9. Andy Hunt

    I’m running an old MacBook Pro using OSX 10.7.5 – if I purchase a licence will I automatically be assigned the version that I can use on my machine, or will I have to contact Adobe first?

  10. John

    Myth #6: “Well, then Adobe is going to entice everyone to the Cloud – and once we are all hooked, they are going to jack up the prices.”

    Not a myth anymore is it?

    Adobe: Strong Creative Cloud Growth to 7 Million Paid Subscribers

    Not hard to force 8.4 million CS users to the cloud years ago and pitch you have 8 million cloud users already.

    • Yes John, it’s still a myth. Adobe has still never raised their core/baseline subscription prices for any creative product.

      The only reason that rates recently went up in a few international locations is because those countries’ currencies had weakened considerably against the US Dollar, so Adobe was (and still is!) receiving much less in those currencies than what American customers actually pay in USD for the same products.

      As for your other hypothesis, you should read the article you linked. If you did you would see that prior to the launch of CC, there was an installed base of 12.8 million customers using different versions of the older CS tools, which had been built up over a decade… The latest subscription figures show that Adobe has attained over half that user base for the new Creative Cloud products in the space of just a few years, at a steadily faster (accelerating) pace.

      And of the current CC subscriber base, millions of those paying subscribers are actually brand new to Adobe products.

      So put those facts together and it’s clear that customers weren’t “forced,” but chose to make the switch and adopt the newer and better tools.

  11. Carlton

    I have the the CC 30-day trial installed, do I need to download and reinstall the software when I subscribe or will a licence/serial code work?

  12. Marcus

    Sorry if this is the wrong place for this question, but I’m having trouble getting started with the Creative Cloud membership. The agency I work for just purchased a CC for Teams membership and I was emailed an invitation to join. I accepted the invite and was directed to Adobe log in. The username had my same username I use for email within my agency and password was blank so I choose “forgot password.” It’s been 2 days and I still haven’t received an email from Adobe on resetting the password…

    I’ve already tried checking spam folders etc.

  13. Marcus


    Thanks for the help, I got it squared away…

  14. Marien

    Hi ProDesign! I really wish Adobe had an intermediate plan between the single app and all the apps. I only use 4-5 programs and paying $50 a month for a bunch of software I don’t need seems excessive. I would gladly do a $30 subscription for life to get just the 4 or 5 programs I really need.

    It would also be great to have a “household” plan. Both my husband and myself are designers and buying 2 licences would run us $100 a month… $1200 a year!!! We fully support paying for software, but the current rates are unattainable for us, which means we sadly stay behind :-(

  15. brent
  16. Kilian

    because of virus oversensitivity, my work pc isn’t connected to the internet. Is it possible to download the current Adobe cloud products and future updates on another computer where the applications are not installed and install them on the offline pc?
    And what happens after one year when I decide against prolonging the membership? Can I use all the programs and apps frozen in their then current version until the apocalypse (or until the wall between the U.S.A. and Mexico is built)?
    Best wishes,

    • Welcome Kilian, it sounds like you are in need of offline/standalone installers for Creative Cloud… For those, see here for the CC 2015 version, and here for the CC 2015.5 version.

      As noted in the article above, Adobe CC does need to periodically revalidate itself to ensure your subscription is current. This happens very quickly if/when the installed system is connected online. And for annual subscribers, this is only required once every 4 months.

      If you cancel your CC membership, you will not lose any of your files. Some of the CC apps will run forever with a free (for life) membership, but most of the programs work only with a valid active subscription.

      If you have any further or follow-up questions, just post back.

  17. Asha

    I think this is an amazing idea for those wanting to use adobe products, but don’t have thousands of dollars upfront to pay for it. This also seems to counter the pirating issue they’ve been having for years and make the application more available to the average man. People may be complaining about paying around 20 bucks monthly, but still pay their phone and internet bills, buy food, etc for way more than this amount monthly.

    I have been wondering though, what if someone stops paying for 6 months or so, would there be any late fees? Or in order to reactivate the plan, do you have to pay what was due before?

    • Hi Asha, thanks for your comment. No, there are never any late fees with Creative Cloud subscriptions. You pay for what you need and use, and then you can cancel when your membership term is up – either month-to-month or annual, depending on which you select:

      So it’s flexible and you can pick back up subscribing and using the software at any time in the future and it will work again for you and still open all of your files and projects… There is no penalty or fee for the time you hadn’t been subscribed, no longer how long or short that may be.

      Finally, whenever you restart your membership, you will receive the current versions of the applications (the latest available) at that time, because ongoing upgrades are included. Or, you can access any previous version of the CC tools, if you prefer – because Adobe keeps all prior releases available in an online archive for subscribers to download and use if/when needed.

      Hope that answers your question.

  18. I’m retiring in 5 years time. How will I be able to view or work on any “old files” such as family stuff in Indesign or photoshop in say 10 years time? Will I be “locked out” of these files unless I have CC?

  19. So wait…if I download the cloud, I can’t save the images to my desktop?

  20. Kevin M

    Myth 11: Adobe software has always been affordable. This is false and now with the new subscription model it is more expensive in the long run because you have to keep paying in order to use it. The real myth is why are people so gullible to think this is a good deal? I used to purchase a bundle and I can use it indefinitely and with this new model I have to keep on paying them. I used to be able to go to Adobe Add-Ons and download and use free plugins. Now they have forced us to have a subscription to use the free add-ons. They conveniently title it by saying it is “Free with a subscription”. Who in their right mind see anything here that indicates it is free? Adobe has always been greedy and now they are over the top with their greed! The only good I see with this new cloud model is they seem to actually update their software, where before we would beg and cry when something was broken and in very rare cases did they ever fix anything! NO, Adobe Cloud is a joke and I for one will not cave in and purchase a single thing from Adobe EVER again! They have lost a huge sector of us that was dedicated to using their software, all because their greed is stronger than their desire to create creative tools for professionals!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kevin. From a cost-of-entry standpoint, the monthly payments are much more budget-friendly in the new model than in the old model – where the software used to cost many hundreds or often thousands of dollars upfront, and did not evolve. In addition, with CC, all ongoing upgrades with new features and performance improvements are always included at no additional cost. So the software will not become obsolete or stop working on a new operating system.

      And as you pointed out, because of the relatively frequent upgrades (every 3-4 months), the company is able to respond and evolve at a faster pace.

      Because of the far lower cost of entry, CC has been able to introduce significant numbers of new customers to Adobe, as well as reduce piracy. Adobe CFO Mark Garrett said this at the 2015 Global Technology Conference:

      The cloud for Creative Cloud and Document Cloud helps quite a bit against piracy. My analogy is kids who used to download music from say Napster stopped doing it when Apple and iTunes came out and they could buy it in a legitimate and affordable way. So now people who don’t want software downloaded off the web that may have viruses in it, that might be buggy, that isn’t up-to-date and isn’t current, that doesn’t leverage the ability to sync and store and share or use mobile – we’re seeing that really switch over and people being legit and subscribing to the service. And it’s a much lower price point now, because you’re subscribing as opposed to of laying out thousands of dollars upfront.

      Something else that is very powerful: Never before has the company had over 8 million customers all using the exact same release of their creative products – not even with any version of Creative Suite (ever). That type of connected community and version compatibility just builds on itself.

      Nobody can predict the future, but thus far it seems clear that Adobe is not going back to the old model… Creative Cloud has been an even greater success than the company anticipated and its growth continues to accelerate – so, unless something unexpected happens, folks probably shouldn’t expect the story to change from here on out.

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