One of the biggest strengths of the Creative Cloud 2021 release is receiving a complete set of creative tools with an ongoing stream of updates included at no extra cost… We no longer have to wait years for our products to innovate and keep pace with evolving technologies; instead we receive the latest and greatest features and improvements as soon as they are ready.
Normally the Creative Cloud works seamlessly with these ongoing product updates… The CC Desktop App runs in the System Tray and notifies the customer that a new upgrade is available for any of the included applications like Photoshop CC, and (optionally whenever desired) the user clicks one button to automatically download and install the update in the background.
Sometimes, however, subscribers need more control for various reasons… You might want the ability to download and apply updates manually, save/backup or work with the installers offline, use the exact same version as your coworkers, or be able to go back to a previous version by rolling back a specific update – in other words, easily downgrade back to any prior/older CC release.
In some cases, you can use the CC Desktop app to do this, but not always… Yet how to do all these things without using the Desktop app manager not readily apparent to most people – but fortunately, here, we’re going to give you the answers. Generally speaking, to build or restore to any version of any Creative Cloud app when needed, you can use these steps:
NOTE – Adobe has discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud apps and as a result, under the terms of the licensing agreement, those versions have officially been deemed “unauthorized” – even if they still install and run on customers’ computers… Technically, use of such versions is “at your own risk.”
To roll backwards to a prior/earlier CC version (downgrade)
- Uninstall the Adobe tool using your operating system’s uninstall function… Next, download and run the Adobe Cleaner Tool to ensure it is removed completely. Reboot your computer.
- Download and install the base release of app you want to restore using the special direct links… Use the direct download links for CC 2021 (the current version), 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015.5, 2015, 2014, or 2013. Then run the application and make sure it is activated by signing in with your Adobe ID.
- For CC 2015 and earlier versions: Download and apply the patch update for the version you want to upgrade your base release to. We have curated sets of updates available for CC 2015 (Windows or Mac), for CC 2014 (Windows or Mac), and for CC 2013 (Windows or Mac). Note all patches are cumulative and include earlier updates for that release.
- For CC 2015.5 and later versions: All newer installers are full product builds for each version, so no patching or further update is required.
Or, to go forwards to a newer/later CC version (upgrade)
- If you don’t already have it running on your computer, then start by downloading and installing the base release for the desired version – all those links are given in step 2 just above.
- If applicable (for CC 2015 and before), simply download and apply the CC patch update for the version you want to upgrade your current release to… The direct links for all CC updates are given in step 3 above. Because all patches are cumulative, you can just pick the one you want to upgrade to. Note that for CC 2015.5 and later, all installers are complete product builds for each available version, so no patching or further update is necessary.
Note: If you’re not sure what is the current version of the tool you’re running, then just select “About…” or “System Info…” on the the app’s Help menu and it will give you that information.
To go back or use a prior release, like CC 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, etc.
- If it helps or if you didn’t know already, the older CC 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015.5, 2015, 2014, 2013 and Creative Suite 6 (2012) versions of the applications will run under your Creative Cloud membership – and they can co-exist together with the newer CC 2021 releases… Technically, you can choose most any version(s) you want.
- If you need to get those installers quickly, you can access them via the Creative Cloud Download Center, which maintains some prior major releases for you – or you can instead use our collections of Adobe CC 2019 Direct Links, 2018 Direct Links, 2017 Direct Links, 2015.5 Direct Links, the 2015 Direct Links, the 2014 Direct Links, the 2013 Direct Links and/or the CS6 Direct Links.
So there you have it: three common and helpful use cases for situations you may encounter, either now or bookmark for future use… If you have difficulties with any of the above instructions or steps, please post a comment below and we’ll assist!
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