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The Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ: All Your Top Questions Answered

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Adobe Creative Cloud: Frequently Asked Questions – and Answers


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170 thoughts on “The Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ: All Your Top Questions Answered”

  1. The latest version of Photoshop I have is CS2, which isn’t covered for the $29.99 offer to try the Cloud. Is my only option to buy a new full version of Photoshop or to join the Creative Cloud for $49.99 per month? I also want Lightroom, which I’ve never owned. If I choose to buy Photoshop, is there a discount to buy Lightroom along with it?

    • Hi Sanchez, thank you for your question. Ordinarily with Creative Cloud, you can run it in any language and on any platform that is available, and freely switch between them. So if you join then you can use whatever language option(s) you want, including English.

      Here are the countries where Creative Cloud memberships are currently offered:

      Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

      Regrettably, Turkey is not presently on that list… However Adobe says they intend to make Creative Cloud as widely available as possible, and will share more details about new country availability over time.

  2. Is it possible to use this as storage space for files linked to emails?

    I have created an html email and stored the image files on our Creative Cloud account. When I use the link provided by Creative Cloud in my html I get a broken link. Why is that? I notice that the link turns my “.jpg” file name into a series of numbers. I place this url (see below) in my html but there is no “.jpg” anymore in the file name so I am assuming Dreamweaver isn’t picking up that it is an image.

    Can I not use our Creative Cloud as storage space for image files linked to html emails?

    • Hello Tina, Adobe has said that you can use the online storage of Creative Cloud to store or share anything you want, any kind of file or data – there are no restrictions…

      They use a uniform naming convention to tag and display the file, which allows the Cloud to show it in a context-sensitive way with all of its properties – for example, images will appear as Photoshop files, PDFs will appear as Acrobat files, videos will appear as Premiere files, and so on. This way you and your clients can see all of the data and details for the file at its online page – which is the link you posted.

      If you want the full, “raw” path to your resource (with nothing else), then you can right-click it and select “Open image in new tab,” “Copy image URL,” or similar command – then you’ll see the stored file name and type.

      Users of the shared resource can of course get complete access to the original file (including filename and extension) if you enable “Allow Download” in the sharing options for the page.

      Hope this helps!

  3. I inadvertently signed up for the trial offer of Creative Cloud before I really knew what it was. The trial expired and now I can’t create a PDF file (e.g., using Print) or open a PDF by double-clicking on it. I get a popup saying my trial has expired and I must sign up for CC. I can right-click on the file and open it with Reader but I shouldn’t have to take these extra steps just because I don’t want to sign up for CC!

    Getting increasingly disgruntled with Adobe

    • Hey Scott, that’s simply because you still have the full Acrobat Pro installed, but it will no longer start because your trial period ran out.

      If you don’t intend to purchase the Creative Cloud or any of the individual products like Acrobat XI, just uninstall Acrobat Pro and then Reader will take back over for all your (read-only) PDF functions.

      You may have to uninstall and reinstall Reader (or better yet upgrade to the free new Adobe Reader XI) to make sure your PDF file associations get reconnected as you would like.

      Hope this answers your question and takes care of it for you.

  4. I currently own CS3 Design Premium, but would like to download a 30 day trial of CS6 Design & Web Premium first. I am considering subscribing to Creative Cloud with the discount ($29.99 offer) after test-driving the CS6 trial.

    My question is do all the files/documents created from the Cloud software get stored only through Creative Cloud storage online, or can the files be saved to your own hard drive on the computer and/or backup external hard drive? I have the space and feel more secure knowing all that hard work is physically stored on my own as well as through Cloud.

    Also, what happens to your files when your annual Cloud subscription expires and you decide Creative Cloud isn’t for you and would like to return to a boxed version of the product?

    • Greetings Connie, thanks for your questions. Adobe set things up pretty sensibly. You can do a free trial of CS6 and then purchase with the Creative Cloud instead, or vice versa. It’s entirely up to you which to get, and in most cases you won’t have to reinstall the applications on your computer as they are the same.

      Now one thing about your files and documents in the Cloud – they actually go in the other direction. In other words, they’re on your computer first – and then you upload or sync them up to the cloud as desired using the Creative Cloud Desktop App. So, they do wind up stored in both places – online and locally – as you desire.

      And some final good news: You can sign up for a free level of membership for the Creative Cloud, whereby you receive 2GB of online space to use perma­nently for sharing and storing your files, even if you never become a paying subscriber to the Cloud. So to answer your question, you will always keep your files as they don’t go anywhere after the trials for the individual tools are up.

      Hope this helps!

  5. I just installed CS6 using a disc I had purchased. It’s now asking me to renew my subscription to the Cloud when I try to open an application. WHY??? This is VERY FRUSTRATING!

    • Welcome Larry, it sounds like the program still thinks you are in a trial mode… Try going to the Help menu and selecting “Activate…” – and then enter the valid serial number that came with the box/disc you purchased.

  6. Hi!

    Our company has a Cloud membership and we had previously installed Premiere Pro CS6 but now the trial had ended. We have logged in with our Cloud ID and re-installed Premiere multiple times but it is still saying that the trial has ended and “want to buy a licence or buy Cloud membership?” and when trying to licence the software it is asking for a serial code which we have checked from Adobe that is not required. Same goes for After Effects.

    Can you help us?

    • Hi Henry, thanks for your question and we’d be happy to help. You’re right that traditional Adobe software requires a serial number for licensing, whereas the Creative Cloud just uses your Adobe ID login (typically your email address and password) to confirm your membership and license.

      In your case what happened is your system got crossed up somehow with the free expired trial beforehand conflicting with your Cloud subscription… Normally this should work fine and you should be able to convert your perpetual trial over to work in the Creative Cloud, but in your case what you need to do now is uninstall all Adobe software, reboot, and then run the Creative Suite Cleaner Tool, reboot, and then begin again installing all the Cloud applications from scratch.

      Running that special Cleaner Tool should finally remove all traces of Adobe software from your computer, allowing you to reset the system and begin completely fresh. Hope this solves it for you!

  7. Thanks for the quick reply. Problem solved already. Googled `till I found the solution. But thank you anyway for your answer, hope it will help others!

  8. It seems that I can no longer open the pdf files I have in my Creative Cloud folders. Has there been a change?

    I use the pdf format because it allows me to work with other programs. Working in XP.


    • Hey there Fred, do you mean open them online or locally on your machine?

      The only recent change of which we are aware with the Creative Cloud was the replacement of Acrobat X with the new version Acrobat XI… But that would not affect your ability to open PDF files in any fashion, only make them better.

      If you’re having any difficulties, have you checked the Adobe Support Pages?

  9. I have an older version of Illustrator for a Mac and have since switched to a PC for economic reasons… Can this program ID number be used toward an upgrade for a PC Windows version upgrade?

    If so please send me a link to where I can get it.

  10. I plan on working on projects which, once completed, will be protected by copyright… I don’t want to share anything and I don’t want to have any project or part of it on the Cloud server… how can that be done?

  11. So I can just go online, download the programs from Cloud that I need and use them on my hard drive, without EVER having any of my work stored online? and Cloud will not have access to my projects which are momentarily being edited in my (premiere pro) timeline? (I read Myth Number 7 but I don’t feel it fully answers my question.. need to make sure I understand well).

    Thank you.

    • Yes, absolutely DB – with the Creative Cloud you just download and install all the Creative Suite programs to your desktop as usual, and then it’s completely up to you as to whether you want to share anything at all to your available online storage… You can use the full amount you get, or nothing at all. In your case, you’ll just save your projects and files locally to your own computer when working with the tools, as customers normally do.

      Furthermore, you will always retain full ownership, control, and copyright of your files, whether you decide to share them on the Cloud or not. Adobe has no part in that.

      The easiest way to see how it works is just to download the free Creative Cloud trial and you’ll get full use of everything for a month, exactly as we’ve described.

      Hope that fully answers your questions – if not then just post or stop back anytime.

  12. I just went through the website and the FAQs but I still could not find the definite answer, whether the upcoming Creative Suite CS7 and/or parts of it could still be purchased.

    In other words: Will the Creative Cloud be an option or will it be the only way to use CS7? And if it will only be an option: Is there any information available on pricing yet?

    Thank you for your answers.

  13. “While Adobe Creative Suite® 6 products will continue to be available for purchase, Adobe has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products.”
    ( )


    [UPDATE (Spring 2013) – Now confirmed: Next Release of Creative Suite to Launch May 6th.]


    Creative Suite (box version) is not Creative Cloud. Adobe should respect confirmed announcement, official declaration, and should not change upgrade policy suddenly. This is unfair to current box software users.

    Maybe it is good time to migrate to Corel, Avid, LightWorks or any open source?

    • Well, that second quote is from our site, not Adobe’s. Creative Suite 7 (CS7) is what the next release was commonly referred to in the online forums, in user groups, etc. – however, Adobe did not preannounce or use that language publicly… Apologies if it misled, Bartek. Now, with the CC release, the Creative Suite is being superseded by the Creative Cloud.

  14. Adobe should apologize me and other customers (not, an affiliate of Adobe).

    In May 2011, senior vice president David Wadhwani wrote, “So Adobe decided to ship major milestone releases of Adobe Creative Suite software approximately every two years, with mid-cycle releases”:

    Adobe introduced a one version back upgrade policy. Many people bought upgrade from CS2/3/4/5 to CS6 in order to retain the possibility to upgrade to CS6.5, CS7 – according to one version back upgrade policy.

    Today is approximately two years after the cited statement. And what do we see? Adobe SUDDENLY decided to not ship major releases of Adobe Creative Suite Software. Adobe decided to eliminate Creative Suite product line with no prior announcement.

  15. I understand that I am not required to install any new version of the desktop software available in my membership. I also have flexibility on when I install an upgrade, if I choose to do so.

    What happens when I have 3rd party plug-ins and an update is released and I choose to install the update, will my 3rd party plugins still work? I know in the past when new versions are released, I have to convert my plugin code with the newest SDK, will I have to do this when updates are released?

    • It’s a good question Lorretta, but the answer is going to depend entirely on the individual plug-in providers, not Adobe. Since you have complete control of when you upgrade, you may wish to check with your third-party providers for what they say about their separate plugins… It’s out of Adobe’s control what they do.

      But really, the scenario is no different from how you operate right now… Up till now you’ve decided what plugins you use, and when you upgrade. The plug-in vendors tell you what versions they’re compatible with, and/or what you need to do when upgrading.

      The process going forward would be exactly the same, only that all upgrades would all be available to you free and automatically included in your CC membership whenever you want them.

      And, when you do upgrade, you just have to reinstall your plugins on the separate new version, as usual.

  16. So as developers of plugins for InDesign, we do not have to worry about SDK changes between versions, just full versions (meaning from CS6 to CS7 or CS8, and for example CS6 8.0.0 to 8.0.1 would be okay) – is this correct?

    • Sorry Lorretta, we didn’t say that at all… All we can say is that you’d need to check with Adobe and your plugin developers about intra-version compati­bility.

      With InDesign, you example, the file format usually does change between each release because new features introduced. However, there are ways to manage that and save back to prior versions.

      With the new “Adobe CC” release coming out soon, we can tell you that InDesign CC will have a different file format from InDesign CS6 – that is confirmed…

      However, InDesign CC will support backsaving to the prior version. But any third-party plugin impact is going to vary.

      Hope this helps.

  17. Here’s a question I haven’t seen addressed directly anywhere yet:

    I lead a team of 6 designers, and the bulk of our work is collaborating on InDesign files which currently live on a local server, with links to hundreds of .eps files (also stored on the server). Can CC act as a substitute for a local server? That is, can we have an InDesign doc on the cloud with live links to .eps files also on the cloud? Or does there need to be a local copy to sync with?


  18. Hi,

    Any clues on the future relationship of Technical Communication Suite 4 and the Creative Cloud? Or the future existence of TCS4? Will it get discontinued like eLearning Suite?

    I’m a long term user of FrameMaker and am considering a subscription, but I’m really wary as Adobe just discontinues things out of the blue and a subscription to TCS is such a lot more expensive than CC even though it has a lot less in it. I don’t want to get trapped in an old subscription if they suddenly include it all like Digital Publishing Suite. Also I’d really like it to include Edge Animate, but that’s only available in CC and yet if I was subscribed to TCS4 then I’d already be paying for some of the apps in CC.

    I’m not actually anti-subscription format and I like to use the latest stuff, but my instinct is telling me to find an alternative for FrameMaker rather than have to deal with this total confusion from Adobe. Any advice?

    • Hey Sarah, where did you hear anything about the eLearning Suite being discontinued?

      Adobe is definitely still offering it – it just hasn’t been updated (yet) with the new Captivate version 7, which was released earlier this week…

      There have been some customer requests to add Captivate and other products to the Creative Cloud, but Adobe has not done it – and we’re not sure they ever will because they say they are different business units…

      We have not heard anything otherwise for TCS either.

      So holding your breath for one thing or another may not be the most productive way to go… We’d suggest a choice on what would work best for you today and going with it. Subscriptions can always be canceled or even upgraded to other memberships within the Adobe product line – just contact Customer Service to see what they could do, if it ever came to that.

  19. I am thinking about getting a year subscription of CC for my husband for Father’s Day! When we go into the Creative Cloud, will we see each others photos? My husband & I keep all of our photos separate from each other’s. We own an iMac and he would go to his side and have his pics and I would have my side of the computer etc. I would like to pull up the CC and pull my pics not have his all mixed in – will this be possible or would we both have to have our own subscriptions? OR would it be a matter of just having what photos we are working on at the time not store all our photos in the cloud! I hope I am making sense lol

    • Yes that’s right Missy – you wouldn’t have to store any photos in the cloud at all if you didn’t want to – it is completely optional

      But not to worry, there are definitely ways to do it that should work for you… For example, you can easily create separate folders in the Creative Cloud to use and share from. That way your files and photos would be kept distinct and not mixed together, even with a single CC membership.

      Hope that answers your question – if not then just post back!

  20. Thank you so much, you answered so many questions in one post!!

    One more question :-) Can you get the LR app as a single app subscription? Or does it come with any other single app subscription? We really would use it for our personal photos so not sure if the whole cloud would be used! Thanks!

    • Sure Missy, glad to help. As you know, Lightroom is part of and comes with the Creative Cloud. It is also still sold separately, as a standalone traditional (perpetual) product. You can buy it either way.

      At this time, it is not offered separately in subscription form, or included with any other application subscription.

      Adobe has talked about the possibility of putting together a “photographer’s bundle” in the future, but there is no certainty or timeline.

      So for now, your best bet is to go with the complete Creative Cloud, or with Photoshop CC standalone and then add a permanent Lightroom license.

      Note that the Lightroom 5 beta is out and the final version of LR5 should be released soon – and will automatically be included in the Cloud with a free upgrade.

      [Update: Lightroom 5 is here, now!]

      Bottom line, you can’t go wrong by getting the free Creative Cloud membership, trying out all the apps and services gratis for a month, and then seeing what you want to stick with.

      Hope this helps!

  21. @ ProDesignTools

    Thanks very much for the clarification. Interesting, and maybe reassuring, about it being different business units, that could explain some things like TCS4 being well hidden away on the website. But I do wish they’d take a more ‘a la carte’ approach and let customers choose their own sets of applications, rather than serving up set school meals. Or at least offer a sensible price for a combined TCS4 and CC subscription that acknowledges there is overlap. Maybe I’ll just have to hope they add Edge Animate to TCS4 sometime (???)… it’s an ideal companion to Captivate. But I guess there is other software similar to Animate on the market. Odd though to be forced to look at competitors products.

  22. I am having an issue. I purchased a laptop from someone. It was fully restored. I went in to try the cloud for 30 days for free and the apps to see if I want it. It had me create an adobe ID. It had me log into the adobe cloud on the download manager. Then when I went in to open the CS6 app it pulled up this box saying I needed to renew my subscription under this other persons email address. I clicked on the box to sign in under a different user and it still wanted a serial number. How do I fix this? I don’t know what to do and I am so frustrated. Thank you!


    • Hi Amy, it sounds like because you purchased a used (secondhand) laptop, that computer had already been used for a free trial of some CS6 software…

      In that case, you cannot run a second 30-day trial on the same system, even for the Creative Cloud.

      But not to worry – next week the new “CC” release is coming out (replacing CS6) and everyone will get a new brand new trial period to check it out…

      So stay tuned, pretty soon you’ll be able to download the CC version (which is better than CS6 anyway) and try it out free for 30 days (or even 60 days).

  23. I just purchased a membership. I already had CS6 Design Standard on my machine. When I go to download CC apps, it says they’re all trial versions except for the three programs I have from my disc version. It says they’re “up to date” although I don’t see how when the CC versions are supposed to be different than CS6 boxed versions. Aren’t the CC versions of Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator different?

    I read some online comments about this and apparently I have to deactivate my boxed CS6 version in order to download real versions of CC apps? That sounds like the perpetual version I bought, which I am cherishing in case I can’t afford to continue CC membership, will be subsumed and taken over by CC version. I’m not giving up my boxed version. Does deactivation keep it safe in case I need to go back to it? Seems like a pain to deactivate and then reinstall all over again and risk a conflict with detritus left over from a CC installation. I thought they would run side by side. It looks like earlier version (CS3, 4, 5) will run side by side but not CS6.

    • Not to worry Toni. The “CC” versions of the apps actually are not out yet… They are expected to be available June 17th.

      And in fact, what you read elsewhere is incorrect – they will definitely download, install, and run alongside CS6 with no problem. You do not have to uninstall or deactivate your CS6 (or older) programs.

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