How to Transfer an Adobe Software License (CS6) Between Parties
We’ve previously covered here how to transfer Adobe software products (like CS6, Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements, or Acrobat) between two computers, including from PC to Mac or vice versa. In this article we’re going to focus on transferring the actual legal license from one person or company to another, like transferring the title to a car or home between two people.
Moving the software physically is mostly a technical task, but doesn’t cover what happens if the recipient has problems, needs customer support or updates, wants to be registered with Adobe, and be recognized as the new legal owner and user of the tools. To address those needs, just follow the transfer process described below to “unregister” the program from the old owner and re-register for the new one.
You could use this technique when giving or selling a traditional Adobe license to a friend or family member. In fact, transferring your Adobe software can be a great strategy in certain situations… Say for example you are thinking of getting the Creative Cloud, and so would have an older Creative Suite tool that you wouldn’t use anymore… You can easily transfer that to someone else you know, and then sign up for the Creative Cloud instead – and this is exactly what customers are doing.
[ Trying to decide which is right for you? See: Creative Cloud vs. CS6 Comparison ]
So all you have to do is download Adobe’s Transfer of License form (North America, or Rest of World), fill it out and return to them to effect the change in ownership. Note importantly though that Adobe’s Education (including the Student & Teacher) products are not eligible for a transfer of license – they cannot be resold or given away… Read more about the various limitations of Adobe’s academic products. (And as far as we can tell, Creative Cloud memberships cannot be transferred either.)
OK, so the transfer form itself is pretty straightforward – just things like the name, version, and serial number of the product, plus the names, contact info, and signatures of both the transferor and the transferee. Note that the transferor needs to have the software registered with Adobe, which can be done electronically and just takes a minute plus can get you free goodies. Once submitted, Adobe then takes a couple weeks to process the transfer request, at which point the recipient becomes the new registered owner of the software and the legal licensee who can receive customer service and support.
Note that you can’t transfer individual components of a collection like Creative Suite 6 – it only goes for the whole package. Also, you are transferring all versions that are connected with that product – so for example you can’t use your copy of CS4 or CS5 to get discounted upgraded pricing on an upgrade to CS6, and then give or sell your old copy of CS4/CS5 to someone else – it won’t work. You could either upgrade to CS6 and keep the earlier one, or purchase the full version of CS6 and transfer the prior one. See more about the allowed uses of previous versions when you’re upgrading Adobe software.
One last part that sometimes trips people up is the proof of purchase: if you didn’t buy the software directly from Adobe then you need to provide one – and any receipts from Internet auction/vendor sites such as eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon Marketplace are not accepted! So this is yet another reason to avoid these places like the plague…
OK, ready? Be sure to read the (important!) full instructions to make a transfer, including step-by-step on what you need to do and include together with the official form. Note that Adobe does not limit how many times their software can be legally transferred, although each customer can initiate a maximum of four transfers in their lifetime. Also, if there are any support contracts attached to a license, those won’t transfer to the other party.
Finally, before you submit the transfer, be sure to deactivate and uninstall the software on all your own systems.
[ Learn about how many machines you can run Adobe software on. ]
Hope this information helps… but please post any questions you may have and we’ll get you answers fast!
If you’d like to move away from shuffling serial numbers altogether, consider Adobe teams/group licensing to simplify management and reassign seats flexibly instead of one-at-a-time copies…