The All-New Adobe CC 2015 Release Download the New Adobe CC 2015 Release Now! Direct Links Here What's the Difference Between CC 2015 vs. Older Releases – What's New?
Home > Tips January 6th, 2012

How to Download or Order Prior Adobe Releases like CS4 or CS5

[UPDATE (June 2014) – See this comment below for an important update on this article.]

Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.5 has been out since May, and has generally been well-reviewed and even lauded as a must-have release…  Nevertheless, some folks are still looking for or require older versions of the software, like CS5.0 or CS4.  Why?

Two common reasons are the higher system requirements – 64-bit for some components of CS5 like After Effects & Premiere Pro, as well as cases where the rest of a customer’s site is still running an older version and would like to add a new setup with the same compatibility. And occasionally some folks say they prefer the earlier, simpler versions over newer ones with more features.

The challenge is, once a new release comes out, Adobe no longer officially sells the older version (with one exception). So if you need a prior release, what do you do?

How to Order Adobe CS5 or CS5.5

If you want the trial version to use for 30 days, that’s easy – Adobe actually keeps most older original trials still available for download on their servers – including all of CS4 and CS5, plus earlier releases of Acrobat, Lightroom, Elements, etc… You can find those trials all linked for download here:


But how about when you want to actually buy CS4 or CS5?

If you ask Adobe, they’ll usually tell you to check their official list of authorized resellers & retailers to see if someone still has the version you want in stock. The problem is it’s inconvenient to search as often those stocks are thin or sold out, and no longer available.

So, do you turn to other random sources like eBay or Craigslist?  If you’re smart, definitely not – we strongly advise against eBay et al.  So what do you do?

The Solution: Order “Prior-Version Software”

Fortunately, there is an easy solution. It’s little-known, but Adobe actually sells a special type of license that can be “downgraded.” These unique products come from the Adobe Business Store (and are also known as volume licenses) – but you don’t have to be a business to get them, or even buy more than one copy, and they can be easily purchased online instantly with a credit card.

So these “business” licenses have this helpful capability which allows you to order the latest release (like CS5.5 or Acrobat X) but then optionally receive and use the prior version instead (like CS5.0 or CS4, or Acrobat 9).  Here it is spelled out:

Backward Licensing Policy
Adobe allows program members to order a current-version license but to use a prior version. These members can contact Adobe Customer Service to request a serial number for the earlier version if they do not already have one.

Prior-version software is available via Electronic Software Delivery [download from Adobe]. The program member must follow all guidelines of the current-version EULA.

Adobe has a name for this program (which again, anyone can buy from) – it’s called the Transactional Licensing Program (TLP) and it doesn’t cost extra – in fact customers typically get discounts off the regular price. And there are other nice features of these licenses as well, including the ability to run your software multi-platform on both Windows and Mac OS – which is also not possible elsewhere.

So if this is what you need to do now, then you may want to check this out.

[UPDATE – Good news: there is now also the availability of the same volume licensing solution for education purchases, with up to 80% off the regular prices for students, teachers, and schools.]
Categories: Tips Tags: , , , , ,

Share This

Email this page
Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 plus Lightroom 5 Desktop and Mobile for Just US$9.99 a Month
  1. Joy Fenton

    I would like to purchase PS CS5 for work. My computer will not support anything above this. I also want to be able to put on my laptop as I do some work from home (2 licenses). Is there anywhere or any way to do this?
    Thanks.

  2. vanessa

    So I bought a new computer & downloaded my PS CS4 – it takes my serial number when installed, but then after I click on Ps it ask for the license key again & won’t take it.

    I even deactivated from old computer, thinking that was it.

    Can’t get a hold of anyone at Adobe customer service, automated thing says go to website & ask. No one will answer question and I don’t want the newest version.

  3. Eric Wang

    I wish to have a CS4 for my mac. I have never owned a copy because we always used IBM in the office. Now we have a mac. Can I get this in CD format? Please let me know. Thank you.

  4. Carey

    My hard drive crashed unexpectedly. I am trying to reinstall the CS3 program, but the code is not being accepted. Any ideas? Still using XP on this old computer. Thanks

    • Hey Carey, unfortunately that kind of thing (licensing or serial code issues) is out of our power to help with… You have to contact Adobe directly.

      It’s possible since your old disk crashed without being able to deactivate the software, that you may have unexpectedly exceeded your two-system limit for software activations – in which case you’d have to contact them anyway, to see if that could possibly be reset. Not sure if they still do that for CS3, but you could try.

  5. Yolanda

    Hello, I have had CS4 PS and DW on my MacPro since 2009, now I would like to use InDesign as well. Do I need to un-install PS and DW first then re-install them again along with Indesign?

    • No Yolanda, all different Adobe tools and releases install and uninstall separately… You can install and uninstall multiple applications at the same time with a suite, but it’s not required to do so.

  6. Elaina

    No questions, just thank you so much for this! You’ve helped me out of a bind more than once because of a scratched cd! Really appreciate this!

  7. claudya g

    Hi, my notebook only has space for CS4 now, i wanna make the trial downloads, but at the page have 2 links (part 1 & part 2) for Windows, i ask at forum but have no answer. I wanna know: i download part 1 & 2 and install them both? Is this? And to buy the license? Retail? Thanks for any help. Hugs

    • Hello Claudya, you need both files on Windows. Make sure both File 1 (.exe) and File 2 (.7z) are downloaded into the same folder or directory. If your two files don’t have those extensions, then rename them back. The files should be in a simple folder (not a long or complicated path) on the same disk where you want to install the software to, and not on a separate drive.

      You said you wanted to buy CS4, but Adobe no longer sells it – CS4 is now very dated software (7 years old). Adobe still sells CS6 now (from 2012), and also of course the latest release which is CC 2015.

  8. claudya g

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll follow the steps. Yes i know CS4 is older, but, as i mentioned, i don´t have too much space, & i think my Pentium processor here will not run CS5 or above lol. I’ll try to buy with some retailer. Hope i can, ty.

  9. claudya g
Comment pages
1 2 26173
  1. No trackbacks yet.