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How Long Do Adobe Free Trial Periods Last? Here’s Why It’s 60 Days

How to Download and Start an Adobe Software Free Trial

How long are the free trials for Adobe software? Most people would say 30 days – but practically speak­ing, it’s actually twice that, at 60 days.  Here’s why, and how you can do it…

After downloading and installing Adobe’s free trial software – whether it’s the latest major release CC 2014 (have you tried it yet?), CS6, Acrobat, Captivate, or Lightroom – your official free trial will begin for 30 calendar days from the date you first run the application (like Photoshop) on your computer.

Once you reach the end of that month – if you haven’t already purchased the product – then that free trial period will end and all the files you created will still be yours, but the software itself will no longer start on your system. And redownloading or reinstalling it won’t give you a new free trial.

So, if your initial trial has expired but you haven’t decided yet whether you want to keep the tools, then what do you do? Well, aha – there’s a little-known tip, and it goes like this:

  1. All of Adobe product lines mentioned above have subscription plans available that can be canceled at any time for any reason (yes, even CS6 and Lightroom which are both included together with Creative Cloud). Even individual apps like Illustrator or InDesign or Premiere.
  2. This is the key point. Adobe actually has a strong Return Policy for purchases that are made directly from them… All software orders (except for Monthly plans) are 100% fully refund­able within 30 days for any reason at all, via a simple live chat that only takes a couple minutes. And since the software is downloaded electronically, there’s nothing physical to return (or do).
  3. So if you want or need another month to evaluate the apps, sign up for the Annual plan option and the product will work again. Then in 30 more days, if you don’t want to continue, just cancel the plan before that month is up for a complete money-back refund.
  4. When you cancel this Adobe-direct purchase within 30 days of your order, you’ll receive a full refund issued back to your credit card (or PayPal) within about a week. (Be aware however that more than 30 days after purchase, you would not be able to cancel without an additional fee.)

So with this easy technique, you effectively extend your Adobe free trials to 60 days because you have up to two months to make a final decision on the products. In other words, you double the length of time that you can try out and use them without any financial commit­ment. But of course if you only think you’ll need the tools for a short time anyway, then you may just be better off going with a straight­forward CC Month-to-Month Plan, where you pay only for the months you use the software (as long or as short as that may be).

Adobe clearly states: “If you cancel within the first month, you will receive a full refund…” for all annual memberships, for both individuals as well as for teams.  And we have done this so we can confirm that it does work! Just make sure that you get the software directly from Adobe in order for this process to work, and not from a reseller or retailer.

[UPDATE: Adobe requests that you not use this approach if you aren’t serious about continuing with CC… In other words, please don’t sign up with the express intention of cancelling. For that, you can use a simple pay-by-the-month plan instead.]


This basic approach can also be used even if you have already completed your 30-day free trial at any time in the past. So it’s especially good to know with the CC 2014 release having come out, where all CC app trial periods were reset anew.

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Note that all CC 2014 trials are fully functional and can run side-by-side on your system with older CS versions, without interference. The Windows or Mac OS downloads can also be installed on multiple computers if desired – and easily converted to full versions without having to reinstall the software.

No license key, serial number, or credit card is needed to download or run the initial free trials. And importantly, even after the final expiration of any free trial period, you can still keep and maintain the free level of Creative Cloud membership with permanent benefits for life, at no cost.

Addendum: The strategy described above is also helpful if you buy a perpetually-licensed product and a new version comes out within this time window, then you can simply trade what you have and get the next release instead…  So customers who recently bought Acrobat XI (right before Acrobat DC came out) were able to easily return it for a refund and get the new version instead (or the Creative Cloud, which always includes it) – meaning there’s some “insurance” (or a grace period) for a free upgrade, which is a nice side benefit – so long as you’re aware of it.

See Also

Download New Adobe CC 2015 Free Trials (Direct Links)

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  1. Heinrich

    Honestly, A 30 day trial is way to short for a non-commercial buyer. I downloaded Adobe Premiere Pro (and many other apps) and I then just got so busy in that month that I couldn’t really use the trial apart from opening it the first time :) and then the trial expires without me using it.

    I have often then bought some of these softwares, (when I download a trial there is usually a good chance that I will end up buying the product), but it would really be great if the software companies could change the trial periods from 30 DAYS, > to rather allowing you to open the application a maximum of 30 TIMES or 3 / 4 or 6 months, whichever occurs first.

    • Hi Heinrich, that’s a neat idea and perhaps Adobe will adopt a plan like that someday! One challenge though might be that you can keep a single launch of an application “open” for a long time on your computer, during hibernation and sleep, etc… So definitely there has to be that time-limit component in there as well.

      In the meantime, hopefully you can use our technique above on how to double/extend your free trial period for up to 60 days, which works for most any Adobe application.

  2. ashwin

    I just want to try out Prelude CS 6, is there any way to do this as I have no use of other products included

  3. Lacey

    So, how many times can one do this?

  4. Grateful

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! i only need the cloud for a month while my computer is being repaired and since i had done a trial a little bit ago (but didn’t choose to upgrade from cs6) i thought i was SOL. This helped me IMMENSELY

  5. Karen

    I have your PS/LR plan but I wish you had an option that would let me add Illustrator. I can’t afford everything.

  6. faizan

    my cs6 photoshop is expired, and its not showing in program and features to uninstall. i just want to uninstall it, please give me some advice.

    • Sure Faizan, if you have already used your operating system’s uninstall function and it didn’t remove everything for some reason, then you can completely uninstall any Adobe application (of any version) by just downloading and running the official Adobe Cleaner Tool, and then rebooting your computer afterwards.

  7. Jatin

    I have one query. I am from India and for few months I have come to UK.

    Now I want to buy Adobe Creative Cloud 2014. I will be using my Indian online transaction that will be in INR, which is Rs. 499/- per month. Please note that I will be doing this online transaction from UK.

    So my question is, does this product ‘Adobe CC’ work worldwide, or does it have country or territory restrictions?

    I mean doing so can I use this product from any corner of the world?

    Please advise.

    • Hello Jatin, you should have no problem – your Creative Cloud membership is based from your home geography (your country of purchase), so you can travel without worries to anywhere in the world… Your access to your tools and services will not experience any interruption, plus your desktop apps will already be downloaded on your desktop for your offline use.

      Generally speaking, you only need to connect periodically to the Internet, as with any usage of CC anywhere.

      Hope that fully answers your question, if not then just post back!

  8. Julie Lea

    This sounds great in theory, but Adobe doesn’t live up to their guarantees. Their 30-day money back guarantee is all over their website but when I asked for my money back on day 21 they refused.

    • Hi Julie, please tell us more. We’ve been running this site for over five years now and we’ve never heard of anyone having a problem before! Even if the software is opened, installed, activated, running, etc. It’s all right there in black and white.

      But if you have a legitimate case that wasn’t handled correctly, then we’d be happy to see what we can do to help through our direct contacts with the Adobe Support Team… Just let us know by responding to this comment with more details – thanks. Otherwise we’ll assume you resolved the issue.

  9. Dominik

    The Adobe return policy was changed for month-to-month subscriptions.
    You will no longer get money back for those plans, only annual subscriptions are fully refundable within 30 days.

    http://www.adobe.com/misc/subscription_terms.html

    • Thank you, alert reader Dominik! Adobe did just change the subscription terms for Month-to-Month plans, so that the monthly cost is no longer refundable…

      However the subscription terms for both the 12-Month and Prepaid plans remain the same, and continue to be 100% refundable within the first 30 days.

      So the technique detailed above (to extend the free trial giving more time to try out the software) does still work, but you need to choose the Annual plan instead of the Monthly plan when signing up.

      Just be aware that if you still wanted to cancel the Annual plan more than 30 days past the sign-up, then an additional fee would apply. (Otherwise of course you could keep the subscription instead.)

      A natural alternative would be just getting one of the Monthly plans to begin with, where you only pay for the months you use and need the apps – for as few or many months as that may be.

  10. Mackie

    I was just wondering if it’s possible to run to trial versions on 2 different computers, and if so how do you do that?

    Thanks
    Mackie

  11. Mackie

    How would you download the trial on the 2nd computer? The person has already downloaded the trial version and has no photoshop. So i have downloaded the trial and was wondering if you could run it off 2 computers?

    I know you can run a paid version on 2 computers…. Would I have to log into my account on that 2nd computer?

  12. Mark San Diego
  13. kd

    Can you get a free trial of something, like photoshop, if you have never done a free trial but you used to have a subscription that expired?

  14. Hi,

    I started an account on Adobe CC under the promotion released about couple of months ago, and I opted for 1-year subscription on the basis of monthly payment for CC teacher package that was available by that time. I did that exactly on Wednesday, 13 May 2015, and the monthly payment amount is 135 LE (LE = Egyptian Pounds, in French language as local currency name in use in Egypt).

    However, soon after that subscription my bank asked for renewal of my credit card to deliver me a new one with a smart chip and then to delver me a secure code activation for payment with that card on the Internet.

    This credit card renewal has taken all that time, from Wednesday 27th of May 2015 up to the present day (Thursday 26th of June 2015) when I finally became able to pay my CC monthly payment on the Internet via my new credit card number.

    During this long lapse of time my Adobe CC Teacher account seems to became “expired” for non-payment / billing issue, in time, since Monday the 8th of June 2105 or some time after that date.

    Today (Thursday 26th of June 2015) I tried all Adobe online pages in relation to this issue in order to introduce the new credit card number in vain. I do not know what to do with that issue in particular as all Adobe online pages lead me to the same page on my account where there is no way to update my credit card number.

    If it is possible for you to forward this message to any service that can help solving this issue please do.

    Thank you very much.

    The last email message I received from Adobe CC was the following

    Hi Mohamed Fahmy Hussein ,

    Your Creative Cloud membership has been transitioned from paid to free because we were unable to bill the credit card on file. Please update your payment information to resume your paid membership.

    Membership Details

    Current Product: Creative Cloud membership – Student & Teacher Edition (one-year)
    Most Recent Transaction ID: 9963703659
    Next Payment Date: 08 June 2015

    If you need help or have any questions, please contact Customer Support.

    Thanks and enjoy,

    The Adobe Creative Cloud Team

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