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Comments on “How Many Computers Can You Install or Run Adobe Software On?”, Page 3

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  1. Maibe

    Hi all, i read all the previous questions here but i would like to ask one myself to make sure i will make the right decision. I need to buy the Adobe CS5 for my studies. But i also would like to share with a friend, we are on Mac. I know we can’t use at the same things, but even like that do you think i can install and run the software successfully? Even not using at the same time, will it work installing for both computers. Thank you very much and congratulations for your useful website!


    • Greetings Maibe, thank you for your kind words. If Adobe CS5 is installed on two computers, the licensing clearly restricts its use to only one computer at a time – and the second copy is for the use of the same person exclusively…

      Please be very careful as we’ve heard stories of Adobe software suddenly becoming useless for people who’ve tried to install it on a friend’s computer in addition to their own. The same would go for trying to use any two machines simultaneously.

      The good news is since you’re a student, you can already get a generous discount of up to 80% off the normal prices the rest of us pay. Hope this helps!

  2. Maibe

    Thank you very much!
    But what do mean by suddenly becoming useless for people who’ve tried to install?

    Once again, thank you!

    • Maibe, when you purchase any software (not just Adobe’s), you don’t actually own the software, but rather you’re paying for the right and privilege to use it (per the creator’s terms)…

      Your serial number is a digital representation of this right that is granted and managed online on an ongoing basis by the activation technology of Adobe’s licensing servers.

      So what the previous response is referring to is if you were to violate the terms of your agreement with the provider (Adobe EULA), you can lose your license – i.e., lose the right to use the software, that is, have your license digitally revoked. And it does happen.

      For more details, please see this page on Adobe Software Activation, or you can contact Adobe Assistance for more information or if you have any further questions.

  3. CN

    Hi, I am an end user of CS5 at work. If my company allows me to install a copy of CS5 at home, in the event that I need to work from home, can I also use it occasionally for my personal needs (non-business related)?

  4. Esha

    I have asked this before but i cant see this in the website but anyway… I have purchased Adobe CS5 web premium student edition and it has been installed in my macbook. But i wanted to install it at my work for my own use and if i leave the job then i will uninstall it but what i wanted to ask is, is this possible to do? and will i be able to install this software again if i have another comp???

    Basically saying if i download the software at work and then afterwards uninstall it and use it in my other computer at home while having one already in my macbook?

    Sorry i know this is way confusing but if i could get a reply for it, it would be wonderful…
    So, can you please send me reply ASAP if possible…?
    Thank you,

  5. Ayusha


    So do you mean afterwards i can transfer the software between computers!!! :S

    • You can switch most Adobe products between systems (see how-to in the response above), provided that running the software on that new computer would be allowed under your licensing agreement.

      For example, Adobe’s education editions can only be run on personally-owned computers, and are not transferrable between two people. But Adobe’s regular commercial editions are runnable on any type of computer, as well as being fully transferrable or resellable.

  6. Jason

    I have CS4 creative suite and i have installed it on my desktop and laptop. i am purchasing another laptop for my 2nd office (another city) and was wondering if i could purchase another CS4 license (single)? Thanks in advance

  7. Ayusha


    So, i bought student edition so… does it mean education edition!
    And i also wanted to ask about microsoft office for mac student version… my sister bought a new comp but i was wondering if she was able to download the software in her comp as well…


  8. Omar Weaver

    Well it’s me again. I have another question. As I said before my CS5 program is on my Girlfriend’s laptop. Since I have a feeling it may be impossible to uninstall the program, what should I do – just deactivate it and place it on a new laptop, should be fine correct?

    I hope that is all I need to do. It would be great if I could get all the info I can. And I need the site to deactivate the program, can you help me with getting the proper link. It would be great… Thanks.

  9. William Schneider

    My old computer I gave to my grandkids and I believe ‘Light Room’ was uninstalled. I had a new computer made from scratch and downloaded Light Room into it. I hope if I ever have to change computers I won’t have to purchase Light Room a second time. Actually, this is Light Room 2 (upgraded).

  10. phil

    Hi, I have two computers, my main one in the office is running windows7 pro 32bit, and my laptop is running windows 7 pro 64bit –

    My question is, when you say “For CS5 the two machines must also be of the same operating system platform (Windows/Mac), because the software is licensed and delivered for use on a specific platform.” Will i be ok having a 32 bit and 64 bit version running?


    • Yes Phil, definitely. Good question and the answer is with CS5 you have to be on either PC/Windows or Apple/Mac. And with either of those platforms you could be on any version of the operating system, and doesn’t matter whether 64-bit or 32-bit (so long as it’s supported by the official system requirements for your application).

      Some other of Adobe’s recent products are multi-platform – in particular Lightroom 3 and Photoshop & Premiere Elements 9 – meaning you can run a single license on both/either Windows and/or Mac… So hopefully this is the direction Adobe will move with future versions of Creative Suite – perhaps with CS5.5 or CS6.

  11. John

    Hi, I have just purchased a volume license for education for CS5 for my department within the university.

    Once I have installed CS5 on all work / university machines, will people still be allowed to install on a home laptop as per single editions? Same user and not at the same time.

    And am i right in thinking the one serial covers all the licenses, and how will adobe know which ones are home/work or doesn’t it matter i.e Is it best to install all work machines first ?


  12. John


    Thanks, We had the option to
    a) buy a license for each user or
    b) buy X number of licenses and ensure no more than X are being used at one time.

    We went for option A so I think I was expecting separate serials but obviously not, so I was just wondering how it worked with having only one. i’ll try and find out more info. Thanks

    • Sure John – and yes, with Adobe’s open licensing plans you will always have one single serial number for all the installations of your product – in fact, that is considered one of the nice advantages of the volume programs versus having to shuffle and manage individual serial keys, and gives you more flexibility in the long run.

      Also you get a discount, which never hurts – plus you can run cross-platform (PC or Mac interchangeably), or even install one version back (CS4) if you need to.

  13. Keith

    I have cs3 on my system but have the new cs5 web premium, I use InDesign but this cs5 web premium doesn’t have InDesign, my question to you is: if I install this new cs5 will I still be able to use my cs3 InDesign without any problems?


  14. Curtis

    I just purchased one upgrade to Photoshop CS5 through Adobe and my order went through the volume license website. My account shows I have a Mac license number and a Windows license number, and it shows I can download each. So I have two questions:
    How many copies of the CS5 program can I install – one at work and one on my laptop? And is that per license #? In other words, 2 windows installs and 2 Mac installs since I have 2 license numbers?

    • Hello Curtis, that’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Adobe’s volume license programs work a little differently than the standard retail/boxed versions, but generally speaking, one feature they share in common is the ability to install on up to two computers – both a work and a home or portable system, provided the software is used by the same customer and not run on both computers at the same time…

      With a volume purchase (even if it’s for as little as a single copy of the software), besides getting a discount you also get a serial number for both platforms (as you discovered) and can choose either Windows or Mac for each installation – and flexibly switch between the two if you like.

      Here’s more from Adobe’s EULA:

      2.6 Restrictions on Secondary Use by Volume Licensees. If the Software was obtained under an Adobe volume license program (currently known as Adobe Open Options) by any licensee other than an educational volume licensee, the second copy of the Software made under Section 2.5 must be used solely for the benefit and business of that volume licensee.”

      Or put in plain English:

      “… if you’re the primary user of a volume license Adobe product installed on a computer at work, you can also install and use the software on one secondary computer of the same platform at home or on a portable computer.”

      You can read more about it – including the complete details on the unique crossplatform feature and other benefits – in our new article:

      How to Get Flexible CS5 Volume Licensing with Adobe’s “Business” Store

      (But please note it’s not just for businesses – anybody can use it…)

      Hope this helps!

  15. Hi, My guess is that my question has been answered before but I can’t find an answer. I work for a design studio and we need three and soon to be four machines that we can run CS5 on. Do we need to purchase a copy for each machine or can we get additional licenses? This is for business use and we must be able to have the three to four stations in use at the same time.
    Thank you for your time,

    • Welcome Joshua, thank you for your comment. For your needs of multiple CS5 seats with concurrent use, you would need to either purchase either a copy for each computer, or go with the easy Adobe Volume Licensing Program.

      We would recommend the latter because it’s cheaper and more flexible all the way around, plus has some nice additional benefits over the shrinkwrapped software. Hope that answers your question!

  16. Thank you for the quick response and information!

  17. debbie

    I have enrolled in an online college where I am beginning Web Design studies. I have a Mac Pro and a MacBook. I want to install student versions of CS5 Web Premium and a standalone student version of InDesign CS5, which I plan to purchase soon, on both of my computers. I know this is allowable for regular versions of Adobe Creative Suite software, but is it allowable to install on two computers for student versions as well?

  18. Sam

    Hi, i just purchased a copy of the student master collection for CS5 and i was wondering is it possible to install the programs on two laptops? I dont own a desktop and instead i use two portable comps. I wont use the software at the same time on more then one comp, plz let me know. And if u dont know could u mention where i could possibly be able to see how many comps i can install it on – thanks.

  19. Lynnette

    Hi, Im interested in purchasing the Photoshop student & teacher edition, and I was wondering if I would be able to install them on 2 desktops in 2 separate homes? Thank you!!

  20. Jessie

    hi there
    I was just wondering, I bought the CS5 creative suite at the end of last year (the student & teacher edition) and i have installed it on our mac desktop at home, and we now have a mac laptop which i would like to install it on so i can take my work to the university and do it there as well. Is it possible to have CS5 running on both computers? thanks so much! 🙂

  21. Bernie Lampert

    Hi there
    I recently purchased CS5 and installed it on my PC, my dilemma is that I also use a Macbook and would like to use it on there as well – is there any way that I could use the same license on the two machines as I certainly cannot afford a second copy?

    • Welcome Bernie, and thank you for your question – which is a good and frequent one… The answer is that with the retail version of CS5, unfortunately no – it’s not currently sold as multiplatform software, so you have to choose one other the other: Windows or Mac. And where needed and possible you can do a (free) CS5 crossgrade between the two.

      Hopefully Adobe changes this in the future, and there is some hope – for example, right now both Lightroom and Photoshop Elements have become multiplatform packaged, so maybe (hopefully) we might see a similar evolution in CS5.5 or CS6.

      However, in the meantime, there is one possible solution. Rather than buying the off-the-shelf version of CS5, you can get it from the Adobe Business Store (a.k.a. volume licensing) instead. If you do, you’ll actually receive two serial numbers for your software (one for each operating system platform) – and could run your two permitted activations of the application on both Windows and Mac. The cost is actually less, you don’t have to buy more than one, and if you already own the product you can get a trade-in with Adobe. See our recent article with more details on this open licensing program.

      Hope this might work for you.

  22. Eddie


    I would like to purchase Adobe Web Premium CS5 for Windows, but only install Photoshop on one computer, Illustrator on another and Dreamweaver on another box. They would be used by different people.

    Does the licence allow this? Or should I purchase separately the 3 software packages?


  23. Jessie

    firstly, thank you for the first reply – and one last question, do you need to purchase a new licence from adobe or can you use the same one?
    thanks again! 🙂

    • Sure Jessie – and to answer your second question, you should be able to use the single license you bought to install the software on both computers (sorry if that wasn’t completely clear before)…

      Good luck and enjoy the product!

  24. Eddie

    Thank you for your quick and complete answer!

  25. Maureen

    OK, thanks to my husband and my daughter, I am taking the plunge from PSE 6 (Mac) to Photoshop CS5 Extended and have two questions:

    1. I currently have PSE 6 on my macbook pro and want to install the Photoshop CS5 Extended (Student & Teacher Licensed edition). Do I or should I first uninstall the PSE 6 prior to installing the CS5 Extended, or will it not matter?

    2. I am a part-time student at our local community college, but my daughter bought the CS5 from her university because it was about $30 cheaper. Will there be an issue activating it using my student info/ID or whatever it might ask upon activation, or should I use my daughter’s student ID info for activation. I will be the sole user of this CS5 gift.

    • Greetings Maureen, and congrats on that nice upgrade. To answer your good questions:

      1. Fortunately you don’t have to uninstall any older versions with Adobe – you can keep the previous releases installed on the same computer running as long as you like, and they should both function fine, no problem. Often the prior releases continue to be helpful as you get up to speed with the latest-and-greatest. Some folks (like print shops) keep CS2 plus CS3 plus CS4 plus CS5 all installed on the same computer.

      2. You might want to double-check with Adobe but if you received a new education edition as a gift, and are an eligible student as defined by them and the sole user, then you should be OK in activating and running it with your credentials. See more in, What are the Limitations of the Adobe Student & Teacher Editions?

      Hope that addresses your questions and good luck with the new software!
      (plus here’s 17+ hours of free CS5 tutorials to help you get started)

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