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Home > Tips November 4th, 2015

How to Join Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Free

Get Adobe Creative Cloud Now, Free or Paid

Having originally launched four years ago, by this time you’ve heard of Adobe’s fast-growing Creative Cloud, you’ve dispelled the all-too-common myths out there surrounding it, and perhaps are considering subscribing to CC now that over 6 million of your colleagues already have…

You may also know that Adobe stopped development of the older “CS” releases back in 2012, and that there have been thousands of new product features, enhancements, and performance improvements added to CC since then, as well as integral new services.

But did you know that no matter what you do, you can sign up right now for a zero-cost class of membership that never expires and provides free benefits for life?  Anyone can have this free level currently in 84 countries worldwide, even if you still use the older tools instead, or even if you use no other Adobe products or services at all.

Here is all of what you get completely free, permanently:

  1. Two gigabytes of cloud space for storing, syncing, and sharing your files online (same as Dropbox).  The content your Adobe project/data files (like PSD, AI, INDD, or PDF) can be intelligently viewed in any browser, in application-specific ways… Viewers (including clients and non-Cloud members) can easily turn layers on and off, display relevant metadata, make comments, optionally download the files, and more – all without needing any other tools.
  2. Full integrated use of Adobe’s new family of mobile apps (over a dozen strong!), enabling you to sketch, draw, paint, create layouts, edit photos and make videos on your tablet or smartphone. Now powered by CreativeSync technology, your assets and apps are connected across your desktop computers and mobile devices, so you can do great work anywhere.
  3. A lifetime license for Adobe Bridge CC, their flagship desktop media browser and powerful digital asset manager that allows you to efficiently locate, organize, browse, preview, and batch process your content files – including most image, vector, audio and video files. Easily view and manage Photoshop PSD, Camera RAW, Illustrator AI, InDesign INDD, Acrobat PDF, Flash SWF, and many other types of files and documents, all without paid programs. (Yes, it’s free!)
  4. Adobe Creative Cloud Growing Fast, Now Millions of Paid Subscribers (Click to Enlarge)
  5. Unrestricted use of Edge Web Fonts, a vast collection online fonts served forever to any website(s) of your choosing. Now over 500 free hosted typefaces to choose from!
  6. A full non-expiring license for Adobe Edge Animate 1.5 – you can download and use the EA desktop application to create interactive and animated web content with HTML5 technology.
  7. Game Developer Tools to build, optimize, and deliver web and mobile games – including free Adobe Scout and Adobe Flash C++ Compiler.
  8. Free PhoneGap Build capability to create a mobile app with HTML, CSS and Java­Script, and then deploy it to a wide range of devices.
  9. Free for one mobile device: Edge Inspect (formerly Adobe Shadow) to easily preview your work live on your device from the desktop in fast, remote-controlled fashion.
  10. No charge get started with Typekit professional fonts: choose two online font faces from nearly 1,000 available to use on a single website. You can also sync more than 130 great fonts to use in your favorite desktop programs, including CC trial apps, older versions of the Creative Suite, and even non-Adobe applications.
  11. Unlimited access to free Adobe Story screenwriting software to turn your ideas into screenplays and scripts.
  12. Integration of Behance’s community and portfolio capabilities, allowing you to seam­lessly create content, seek feedback, showcase and distribute your work. Behance now has almost 6 million members receiving over 200 million page views per month, and is a fantastic way to get exposure from like-minded creatives.
  13. Plus… fast and easy access to the free trials of all the new CC 2015 tools and services.  Even if you previously ran an Adobe trial in previous years, you still receive a fresh new 30+ day tryout period with the latest CC release. And every time Adobe does a major upgrade to the software going forward (expected to be annually), you’ll get another new free trial.
  14. What’s New in Adobe CC?

    How to get all this?  Well if you already have an Adobe ID then all it takes is confirming the free signup. And if you don’t have an Adobe ID yet, then it’s just six fields to fill out and no credit card needed:


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

    Creative Cloud: Compare Free vs. Paid Memberships

    If you later decide to join the Creative Cloud as a full paying sub­scriber, then you’ll keep all of the benefits of the free level of membership above – plus add the following:

    • Full access to the complete Adobe CC 2015 toolset, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Muse, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat DC Pro, Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition, Edge Animate, Typekit Portfolio, and much more.
    • Use of the latest creative technology from Adobe with ongoing upgrades included as soon as they become available – you can always run the most recent product version.
    • You also have the ability to download, install and use older releases like CS6 Master Collection (together on the same machines as CC) if you want or need to.
    • Soon, the Behance ProSite (which is included for paid CC members) will be upgraded to Adobe Portfolio, which gives you a quick and intuitive way to create a beautiful portfolio website to show off your work, without having to write a line of code.
    • Access to 20 GB of online storage and other services from Adobe such as free Creative Cloud Training produced by industry-leading partners.
    • Full access to new and additional products that were never available through traditional perpetual licenses, such as Adobe Muse, Edge Animate, and Story Plus.
    • You can install the desktop programs on up to two of your computers, and easily move the software between different systems as needed.
    • Flexible and modest payments through monthly and yearly subscription options.

    And if you ever stop or cancel your paid subscription, you will still retain all benefits of the free membership for life.

    Do you have any further questions on what Creative Cloud is about, or how the free membership compares versus the paid/complete membership?  Check out our extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, or just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!


    See Also

    New Adobe CC 2015 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

    Keep up with the latest on Adobe software — subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter or Facebook… You can also enter your email and have new articles sent directly to your inbox.
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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. obz

    hey there, can you recommend which version of photoshop and illustrator is best recommended for macbook pro 2015 model?

  2. Claudia

    Is it really true that Adobe Bridge (the full version) is totally free to download and use forever, and I don’t have to pay for it or have a subscription?

    • Yes Claudia, it’s absolutely true – although not that many people know about it because Adobe hasn’t really publicized it widely…

      You can install Bridge CC either standalone by itself, or together with other applications like Photoshop CC (and all the rest)… Either way, the license for Bridge is completely free and never expires, whether you’re running a free CC trial or a paid subscription. Regardless, Bridge will continue to work and be able to manage and view your media and Adobe files even if/when your Creative Cloud trial or subscription ends.

      To get your permanently free copy of Adobe Bridge CC (100% legal and genuine), you can download and install it here the traditional way (look for the big blue “Download” button at the upper right), or you can use the CC direct download links here.

      For more details and information, see this related post:

      Yes, It’s True: Adobe Bridge CC Is Completely Free for Everyone

      Hope you enjoy it, and it helps your workflow!

  3. Gyanish

    Is Edge Animate 1.5 really available for free? Clicking on the link takes me to the Edge Animate CC page and I can only download a trial of that.

  4. Gyanish

    @ProDesignTools
    Okay thanks a lot! Guess I went to the wrong page.

  5. Kyle

    Hello there. I think your website is great! I’m surprised no one has yet asked this: with the current Black Friday CC subscription discounts going on, what will happen if I paid for the “All Apps” Creative Cloud subscription discount and skipped the free membership? Are there any benefits offered via the free 30-day trial of Creative Cloud that the “All Apps” paid subscription for the same thing (Creative Cloud) does not include?

    At http://creative.adobe.com/plans, the Black Friday discount for “All Apps” marked down to $39/mo is stated to include “the entire collection of 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps including Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC” but does not reveal what all the apps are. If you look at the list of Single Apps for the $15.99/mo offer, there are only 11 apps shown. So are the other apps the same ones from the free membership?

    The end of your article also mentions, “And if you ever stop or cancel your paid subscription, you will still retain all benefits of the free membership for life.”

    I’m a little confused. Does this mean that upon stopping or cancelling a paid subscrption, all the benefits of the free membership are retained only if I have signed up for a free membership PRIOR to a paid subscription?

    Sorry for all the questions. Thanks!

    • Hey Kyle, thanks for the props! Apologies if it wasn’t fully clear – the paid plan benefits are better than the free level of CC membership, and they definitely include everything the free level does (plus more).

      But the point is that if/when you stop your paid CC subscription, then you will still have all the free level benefits available to you. And most of those benefits (as described above) are not time-limited trials.

      However, no one needs to pay in order to get or take advantage of the free level of Creative Cloud – it’s free for everyone, no matter what.

      As far as what’s included in the paid membership, here’s a list of all Adobe tools you get in the Complete Creative Cloud.

      And yes, all the paid plans are currently discounted for Black Friday, and are the best prices Adobe has ever offered on these products.

  6. Kyle

    Hey ProDesignTools,

    Thanks for the clarification and the links! I’m still not sure whether I must sign up for the free membership PRIOR to a paid subscription, to keep all benefits of the free membership?

    • Nope – if you sign up for a paid plan first, then you’ll get both the free plus paid benefits (everything).

      So what you get with paid is absolutely better, but you can always switch back to free later regardless.

  7. Kyle

    That pretty much clears it all up. Much appreciated!

  8. Phil

    Well, I was certainly excited to see this free and permanent licensing for Bridge CC and for Edge Animate as well….until. Yep, a little research and a call to Adobe reveals there is no such free licensing for anything at all, except of course the famous Adobe Reader.

    Bottom line, Adobe answered my inquiry as though I were a new arrival from Mars. The guy on the other end even commented, “Really?!”

    So what give, Prodesigntools? Is this your OWN deal of some kind? A way to harvest emails? Come clean, please.

    • Hey Phil, your comments are misguided and misplaced. The individual you spoke with is incorrect. Everything published in the article above is 100% true and absolutely accurate.

      Don’t be surprised, it happens sometimes… Some of the front line phone/chat reps are relatively new and not all of them know everything.

      Rest assured – we’ve been running this site for over 6 years, and as official Adobe Partners we talk directly and regularly to the product managers and software development teams, and we pride ourselves on our accuracy.

  9. Phil

    My apologies – I can certainly understand how a tele-rep could be uninformed or mistaken. I am sorry I came across that way here. You guys at ProDesignTools do have a great reputation — no doubt well deserved.

    Apparently the free level is offered here, but doesn’t appear in Adobe’s web or ads, as you did indicate above. While an avid Adobe desktop user for many years, I’m not a CC member, and just wanted to try out the experience before committing to a paid plan — especially with this Black Friday special going on.

    Thanks again.

  10. Phil

    @ProDesignTools
    My sincere apologies. It was pointed out above that deals like the free level are difficult to find on the Adobe web, and perhaps the rep was in the dark about this particular opportunity. You folks have a very good reputation, and I should not have questioned your motives at all. Sorry.

    As a longtime desktop user of Adobe’s photo and video products, I have zero experience “in the cloud,” so just wanted to see how it works before doing the Black Friday special paid route.

    • Thanks Phil – appreciate your response, and no hard feelings. Our goal is exactly to surface little-known scoops, helpful tips, and insider resources for Adobe users like yourself… If you read everywhere else what you find here, then we wouldn’t be doing our jobs!

      So it’s no surprise that not everyone at Adobe knows about the kind of information we post here – we’d be more surprised if everyone did.

      But yes, it’s definitely true – both Bridge CC and Edge Animate 1.5 are completely free for everyone with licenses that never expire – and if you want to download them to use and prove it to yourself, feel free!

      Likewise all the other benefits listed above for the free level of Creative Cloud are gratis for life. What does expire without a paid subscription is all the free 30-day trials for the CC desktop applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and the rest.

  11. tesoro

    is Muse also free? I am already a subscriber to the photography bundle and pay $9.99/month, more with tax. How do I get it? I only see the free trials…thank you!

  12. i need to reveal something that happened to me, which illustrates just how focused Adobe is on changing people over to CC:

    i (against my better judgement) installed the CC management tool so i could install the free Bridge CC, and the perpetual version of Edge as suggested here. when checking for updates on my standalone Lr6, it opened the CC management tool instead of the regular update dialog. i noticed that it said Lightroom CC 2015 was installed. since i didn’t install CC 2015, i uninstalled it from this tool. can you guess what happened? Yes, that’s right – it uninstalled my standalone version. i immediately uninstalled every trace of CC ANYTHING off my computer, and am in the process of re-installing Lr6 standalone. the best part is that i chose to not save my preferences when uninstalling Lightroom CC 2015, since, you know, i never actually installed it. so now all my standalone preferences have vanished too.

    please note that standalone versions of Lightroom are TOTALLY incompatible with installations of anything CC, because CC will take over management of updates and that is where the problem lies.

    the future of Adobe…. what a joke.

    • Sorry you had difficulties MJ, but the future of Adobe (and the CC products) appear very bright indeed.

      Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 are in fact the same program – there is only a single download and a single installation. Just like with past Adobe software (e.g., Photoshop Standard vs. Extended), the version of Lightroom that you get depends on which one you purchased.

      Nevertheless, Lightroom CC would not have been active on your system unless you personally had chosen to install or purchase it. If you ever have any doubt about which products are actually installed on your computer, just check via your operating system.

      It sounds like you opted to delete Lightroom’s preferences, so they would not be saved across reinstallation. Normally they would be preserved, as that is the default behavior unless the user decides otherwise.

      Finally, if you want to quickly install Adobe Bridge CC or Edge Animate 1.5 (both completely free), then you can use the direct download links for Bridge CC here and for Edge Animate perpetual here.

  13. Jeanne

    Hey, so I just downloaded Creative Cloud because I wanted to use After Effects. I don’t know much about it, but is it completely free? Can I, for example, install the Photoshop app in addition and use it “safely” without any costs? And if no, for how long will it be free? Thanks!

  14. Jen

    So when I cancel my subscription I can still use Photoshop, Illustrator, but not Muse, correct?

  15. Jen

    @ProDesignTools
    I have been a member of creative cloud and also had the pleasure of experiencing creative suite for years. My issue is that there are a certain range of customers adobe has/had who have been left in the dark. For people who need these programs to advance in their career or in between jobs. I don’t care about constant updates but I would like to be able to use the programs when I need them. Sometimes that may be every day this month or a couple days next month. Maybe a month I don’t use it at all. Before I could do so freely without worrying about a monthly payment. I had it available to me whenever I needed it and was able to pay for it in full and not resubscribe. I could upgrade whenever I felt the need to or the benefit of an upgrade or when I was able to pay for an upgrade. This Creative Cloud has been nice but it’s put me into a bind more than anything at this point. I am looking for a way I can still utilize the programs that I paid for but not continue with full membership. I know there is a month-to-month option but that doesn’t help me with using what I paid for when I need it. I fell like I wasted my money in this case and should just go back to working on CS5 until somehow those are locked up unable to use to push everyone to CC. A company should take care of all considerations for what they bring to the table, but it seems it is now ONLY about the money.

    • Well before, it also cost up to $2,599 upfront just to get in the door. Now, it’s just a fraction of that cost in a month – and you get more & better tools and services.

      As you pointed out, there is a monthly plan that allows you to pay for only the months you use. Per your example, you could go a month between usage or a year – or more. You can always come back to it later, and would only pay when you needed it.

      And as the article above describes, in the meantime there is a permanently free level of Creative Cloud membership for all who sign up. Plus, Adobe will be resetting the CC free trial periods at least once every single year, granting everyone another free 30-44 days with the latest version.

      There are some users who wish it, but it seems clear that Adobe is not going back to the old model – and neither will they “lock up” the previous CS programs. Rather, the old Creative Suite software is unsupported and will continue to grow obsolete and not run properly on modern operating systems.

      The model changed. The pricing changed. For many it will be less expensive than before, and for others it will be more expensive. That’s bound to happen with such a big model change. But Adobe continues to lower their subscription pricing over time, so that is good.

      The pricing is so low in fact for the $9.99 Photoshop + Lightroom plan, that it’s pretty much a no-brainer for a lot of users (compared to the old model where that software cost over $1,100 upfront).

      The bottom line is that Creative Cloud has been growing fast with accelerating adoption, and has been an even greater success than the company anticipated… So, you probably shouldn’t expect the story to change from here on out.

  16. Muffins For Ever

    The link redirects me to the “products” page. Any ideas? Or is it just my computer?

    • Not sure which link you’re referring to – but if you simply sign in or sign up (free), then you will start your free trial of whichever CC products you want, as well as begin your free-for-life level of Creative Cloud membership (as described above).

      After downloading and installing the trials on your computer, the CC desktop tools will run for 30 days for free (or possibly up to 44 days). If you decide to buy a CC plan, then you can activate the software for ongoing use without needing to reinstall it.

      But either way, the other benefits of your free level of Creative Cloud membership don’t/won’t ever expire.

  17. Muffins For Ever

    @ProDesignTools

    Sorry for not making the link obvious. So basically, this is the link ProDesign sends me:

    https://creative.adobe.com/join/starter

    and this is the link Adobe redirects me to:

    https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/catalog/desktop.html

    I’m not sure why it does this.

    • Ah, OK. It looks like Adobe changed part of their website structure since this article was published a few months ago… They modify their site from time to time, and then forward visitors to other pages. Thanks for the update, and we will make the adjustment in the article above.

      But what we said in the last reply still holds – if you’re interested in a downloadable trial of the CC software in addition to the other advantages offered by the free level of Creative Cloud membership, then just choose the applications you want to try out there.

  18. Muffins For Ever

    Also, Adobe Animate isn’t free (using the direct link your website gave.)
    If there are any solutions, that would be great. Thank you for your patience!

    • Right, that’s because the page you mention goes to the latest/current release of Edge Animate CC 2015, which is only offered & available via paid subscription (after the trial is over).

      For the older, free standalone version of Edge Animate 1.5, see this page for a direct link.

      (Make sure to carefully follow the important instructions given there in order for that download to work.)

      Hope that helps!

  19. Muffins For Ever

    @ProDesignTools

    Thanks! But just one more thing, I’d like to know how all of this works. Like, have you partnered with Adobe and sponsoring them? This is the first time I’ve been on your website and everything seems kinda out of my way when it comes to understanding things.

  20. Tiffy

    I have had the free version of Creative Cloud for a while and I subscribe to the Photographer’s deal of getting Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99. I have some questions:

    The Edge Animate that shows up on my PC is 2014.1, and when I attempt to open it I am asked if I want to start my free trial now. I clicked no to close it, but what gives? Is this an older version that will not be free to keep? Does this mean that if I download the trial of the Photoshop cc 2016, and do not purchase the suite I get to keep Edge Animate for free after that? Do I need to delete my current cloud and download this version it?

    I don’t know if that is clear or not. I hope so. I appreciate you all!

  21. Nick

    @obz
    Demand ownership of these programs or a lifetime guarantee that it will always be $7 a month! Adobe is greedy and they are forcing people into new software against their will.

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