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Home > Deals August 8th, 2011

Buy Adobe After Effects CS4, Get CS5.5 Free

Get CS5.5 Production Premium Including CS4

Even though Creative Suite 5 has been out for over a year, and CS 5.5 since the spring, some components of Creative Suite 4 remain surprisingly popular… In particular, the two applications After Effects CS4 and Premiere Pro CS4, which were released in the fall of 2008, are still sought by many. At first this might seem odd, but there’s good reason… Why does this duo of earlier tools remain in demand?

It’s no doubt owing to the 64-bit-only requirement for those two products (and only those two products) in Creative Suite 5… Adobe explains the reason for this is because developing in native 64-bit gives the best optimized performance benefits with the demanding technical requirements of working with high definition video. But these won’t run on many older computers.

Note this is more of a Windows factor and does not affect the majority of Mac systems using Intel proces­sors… But with no 32-bit Windows versions of After Effects CS5.5 or Premiere Pro CS5.5 offered, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising the CS4 releases continue to be needed. After all, statistics show that 43% of the broad Internet community still runs on Windows XP – making it still the most widely-used Microsoft Windows platform – but which isn’t supported for those CS5 apps.

The question then becomes, what to do about it? If you’re still on 32-bit or XP, but need one of these products after the free trial has run out, would your best choice be to buy the previous generation version of CS4? Doubtless your next computer will be 64-bit – so wouldn’t it be better to invest and get both – CS4 (for current use) and CS5.5 (for future growth) – two for the price of one? Especially since these two latest releases have been getting stellar reviews from many sources

Purchase CS4 and CS5.5 Together, Same Price

Adobe has never sold the previous version of any software once a new major version is out, but fortunately in this case they have made arrange­ments. Today if you purchase a new suite edition, either CS5.5 Production Premium or CS5.5 Master Collection, you will receive both the CS5.5 and the CS4 releases for these particular applications – two versions to cover all possible instal­lation scenarios, at no additional charge. The solution comes in the form of an extra 32-bit Support Package that contains the two CS4 releases.

So with this bonus, Production Premium becomes a pretty sweet deal as it includes seven major CS5 products but costs less than two of them – plus now you also get two CS4 apps on top. Add it all up and you’re getting a total value of $6,641 in the suite for the price $1,699, or almost 75% off individual prices with the collective package.

[UPDATE (Jan. 2012) – This could become an even better deal now with Adobe’s new discount: save an extra 20%-off on CS5.5 upgrades.]

If you qualify for it, the Student and Teacher Edition is an even bigger savings at $449, which is an incredible 93% off… And naturally you can try it out first for free if you like (separately from those CS4 links), completing the trial picture.

Or, One Other Option – For Buying a Standalone CS4 Product

There is one other way to do it, if you prefer not to buy a suite – but instead want to buy just After Effects CS4 or Premiere Pro CS4 by itself… or, if you want to purchase any other CS4 product or suite.

You can get an Adobe “business” license (a.k.a. volume license) – even if you are not a business or not buying in volume… With this option, you can purchase CS5.5 online but request a previous version instead. In other words, you order the current version but receive and use a prior version – see the Backward Licensing Policy. Thus (for example) you could buy After Effects CS5.5 via this method, but actually get and run After Effects CS5 or CS4 (genuine and safe) in its place. Or pick any other product and do the same thing.

And with this approach too, you can switch back up to CS5.5 later if you want, at no extra charge… So in all cases, you’re effectively buying CS4 and getting CS5.5 free as a bonus, for future use.

One final note: Trying to find these older programs from any other / non-Adobe sources (like eBay) these days is definitely not recommended.

[UPDATE – Learn Adobe After Effects at your own pace with a free 3-hour training course.]
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  1. W

    Exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  2. Ephraim

    I still didn’t got the direct link for “After effects cs4” free trial that I need since I have a 32-bit system

    • Hello Ephraim, your comment was brief so not sure exactly what it is you’re experiencing or missing, but here again are the direct links to download the CS4 trials, which is referenced in the content above – and would suggest reviewing the instructions and comments there if you’re having any difficulties downloading the files.

  3. lijie

    thank you, i finally found it this website – really helped, it has everything! yay soo happy i love this website.

  4. Anonymous

    When i downloaded the after effects trial, i could only use it once, and that was for a very brief moment. What’s the point in showing a trial when it only works once?

    • Hey there, Adobe’s free trials run for 30 days for almost everybody, but occasionally trials end early because a trial or installation of the same application existed on the same computer at an earlier time, or other causes… This comes via Adobe:

      “Trial periods may end prematurely for a variety of reasons, including changes made to your system time or to modifications the product installation/launch files (ie, permissions changes).

      Tip: If your trial ends prematurely, try downloading a new trial on a different machine.”

      Visit the Adobe Trial Download Support Page for more information.

  5. Muhammad wali
  6. zz

    when I download it what do i do?

  7. Jeff

    I’m trying to buy an After Effects CS4 upgrade for Windows. I have version 6.5 and a serial, and I can’t upgrade to CS5 from that, but I could if I could find a boxed CS4 upgrade. I’ve called Adobe twice and no help, they say find a retailer that still has a box.

    They want 1k$ for the full version, and an upgrade would only be $299. No luck searching online either. This site is the closest I’ve found, but won’t get me a licensed After Effects CS4 with what I have.

    Where can I buy After Effects CS4 by itself – anyplace, any suggestions?

    • Welcome Jeff, good questions. Unfortunately finding a legitimate and safe copy of CS4 to purchase these days is a challenging task. As you saw, Adobe does not sell the old versions in any form, except in the case described above (bundled with CS5 Production Premium or Master Collection).

      You’re right that with After Effects 6.5, you’re too far back get the discounted upgrade pricing for CS5… Adobe CS5 has a “three versions back” policy – meaning back to After Effects 7 at the most, and following that, CS3 (After Effects 8) or CS4 (After Effects 9).

      So if you want to buy After Effects CS4 or Premiere Pro CS4 standalone, or upgrade to CS4 Production Premium, your best bet is to look for an Adobe Authorized Reseller/Retailer… (search by zip code or country) You may not find what you’re looking for in stock, but it could be worth a try.

      There’s a lot of bad software out there that will harm your computer, so please be really really careful. Try to find a vendor you trust, that you’ve heard of, and that you are sure is genuine, authentic, and legal.

      Sorry if we can’t be of more assistance! The suggestion in the article is really the best, safest, and easiest option if one can manage it.

  8. Jeff

    Thanks a lot for the quick answer! I’ll keep looking through the resellers.

  9. Taylor

    I still can’t find the direct download link to After Effects CS4. Help?

  10. Fred

    Trying to get the CS4 trial of after effects… But when I click the link to “file1” I just always get sent to an adobe page asking me to sign in to continue my trial downloads… So I press ok, then I’m signed in and stuck on the home page… Which has no links or anything to after effects CS4 … So basically I just can’t get to the download >.<

  11. Yasmine

    where can i download the CS4 free trial??? i cant find it :(

  12. Lee Min Ho

    Hey, love your site. But I cannot download Cs4, both file 1 and 2. I’ve tried everything. Switch from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome, clear cookies, make new Adobe account.

    I really need the After Effects Cs4 trial for some video editing. Please help.

    Thank you!

  13. Vicky

    Hi… Actually I have a general question, because I haven’t understood something yet… Is it possible for After Effect CS5 to work on a 32bit computer?

  14. Matt

    Looking to buy after effects CS5.5. Does it come in DVD so I don’t need to download anything? If so how much? Cost of delivery etc

  15. Leani du Toit

    Dear Adobe Team,
    I want to purchase Photoshop and InDesign BUT…
    I live in a very rural part of South Africa where reliable internet data – and sometimes water and electricity – is not always available. This complicates my access and functionality of your fabulous Cloud concept.

    From all the research I have done so far, the only wise alternative seems to try via your ‘downgraded licence’ arrangement.

    Please advise me if this option is still available. The web articles and community conversations seem to be dated around 2012 so I am not sure if this solution is still viable.

    Kindly send your reply to my email address as I am not sure if I will be able to find this exact page again.

    Warm regards from the dark side of the moon :)
    Leani du Toit
    …living in the Karoo…go google Philippolis, Free State and discover this magical little village which we call home!

    • Welcome Leani,

      As a paid CC subscriber, you can downgrade to CS6 – but not any lower. All Creative Cloud subscribers are entitled to use any version of their tools from CS6 or later, and these are always available to you.

      However, you should also know that 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.

      But importantly, from your reference to the “fabulous Cloud concept,” it sounds like you may be under the impression that you need a constant Internet connection in order to be able to use the new CC applications… In fact, this is a frequent misconception – please see Myths #2 and #3 here:

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

      So provided that your computer meets the Adobe CC system requirements, your better option would be to just order the latest CC 2015 desktop programs delivered to you on disc media, saving the initial download. See how to do that in this guide:

      How to Get a Creative Cloud DVD, Backup, or Offline CC Installers

      Hope that helps!

  16. Leani du Toit

    Dear PD human :)
    I am so grateful for an answer…

    I will study the links in your answer and see if I understand the differences between the options.
    I am not a complete technophobe but I like to touch the disk and know that if I have to change to a tower from my laptop when it dies, that I know how to reload the software from that very same disc…forgive me for such small thinking…but I work in very primitive environments and need to balance this life with the discipline of not always wanting the newest and the fastest ;)

    Good news since my enquiry!…we can get a satellite wifi connection installed but at a high price but at least it is do-able :)
    Will get back to you if I need some more help.
    Thank you very much for your time and attention.
    Regards from this side!

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