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Home > Tips January 25th, 2017

Adobe Just Stopped Selling Creative Suite 6 Entirely – Here’s Why


Almost five years ago, in the spring of 2012, Adobe launched two major products at one time: Creative Suite 6 and the Creative Cloud. The Creative Suite 6 suites were well received and cost from US$1,300 to $2,600 – while Creative Cloud, a subscription to their full range of creative applications, had a much lower cost of entry and gave customers access to the CS6 tools and services, as well as ongoing upgrades. A year later, Adobe announced that CS6 would be their last perpetual software release, and there would be no CS7.

Here's the page where you previously could buy Adobe CS6

Since then, the Creative Cloud has evolved to include the newer milestone releases CC 2013, CC 2014, CC 2015, CC 2015.5, and now CC 2017. Over this time, thousands of new features and improve­ments have been delivered exclusively to Creative Cloud members, while the original CS6 release has remained largely static. By law, with the purchasing model that CS6 had, Adobe could not legally add significant new features to the traditional release.

By June of 2014, after the first two major CC versions, Adobe described new CS6 sales as “de minimis,” with the vast majority of customers choosing Creative Cloud instead.

Adobe did continue providing maintenance (bug/security) fixes to CS6 and refreshing Camera Raw through July 2015, over 3 years after CS6 came out – but then finally discontinued support in order to evolve the platform and pursue further innovations in image processing and workflow technology.

Thus, CS6 was written before and is not supported on newer operating systems, meaning that officially Windows 8.1 and Mac OSX v. 10.9 (“Mavericks”) are the latest compatible OS versions.

Shortly thereafter, in September 2015, Adobe stopped selling Creative Suite 6 online on their website… Essentially the reason was because the newer CC rapidly grew and took over. Some CS6 editions could still be purchased from the company after that point, although only by calling an Adobe call center directly and only for older operating systems.

But with the CS6 software EOL (end-of-life) and end of support, there were no further updates, no bug fixes, and no guarantees it will run on the latest or future operating systems. So finally, earlier this month, Adobe ceased any remaining sales of CS6 for good:

As of January 9, 2017, Creative Suite is no longer available for purchase

Looking for Creative Suite 6? The latest versions of all your favorite apps like Photoshop and Illustrator are only available with a Creative Cloud membership. You’ll also get ongoing product upgrades, hundreds of step-by-step tutorials, built-in design templates, your own portfolio website, and more.

That notification comes from this page where you previously could buy CS6:

So really the only path forward for Adobe creative products now is CC, which are considered better tools anyway, or you can downgrade them to use CS6 instead – because Creative Cloud subscribers can choose either or both versions.

With Creative Cloud, all ongoing upgrades, compatibility updates and product additions are always included – so becoming obsolete will never happen. The monthly payments are also more budget-friendly in the new model than in the old CS model – where the software used to cost many hundreds or often thousands of dollars upfront, and never evolved.

Many of the Creative Cloud desktop applications let you export files to the Creative Suite 6 version of that same application. However, note that new features added to the desktop applications after CS6 may not be supported in the exported file, or by the CS6 application.

Finally, while Adobe no longer sells CS6 in any way, some readers may ask if is it still possible to find it secondhand on other sites like eBay or Amazon? The answer is yes, perhaps – but it doesn’t matter, because even if you could, you wouldn’t want to try buying it from those places.

Bottom line: Last year we stopped recommending CS6 as a good or viable option going forward, as it is simply not current or future-proof… And Adobe has finally closed the last door on this. But now you know the full story, and why.

Do you have any further questions about CS6 or CC?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also

Get New CC 2018 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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  1. Pam Curtis

    I just purchased a new laptop and bought a subscription to the adobe cc suite. I have already installed CS4 and it runs, but I do want to install the new cloud suite. However I would like to keep my Fireworks that is already installed. How do I accomplish this? I still have the CS4 discs and serial number.

  2. Bridget

    Halo, I just want clarification on the programs under creative suite

  3. Graham


    Does my computer have to be online to use adobe photoshop CC ?

  4. Tara

    My computer was purchased in 2010 but as far as computers go at that time, it was state-of-the-art, excellent graphics and so forth. Fast forward to 2018: it just got fixed at the shop and I’ll be bringing it home soon. The issue is the hard drive – it’s about to go belly up. So I basically need to get my photos off and move on.

    However, around that same time, I purchased creative suite CS4 but mainly just used bridge, Photoshop and acrobat. I have a laptop that has windows 10 but CS4 seems not to want to install on it. I paid a crap ton of money for that software and did not expect to have to ever have to purchase more products. So your site tells me that even CS6 is not usually working with windows 10 and you don’t even sell it any more. Well bully for you for screwing people out of their software that they spent a small fortune on. So what, now i can spend more money and another small fortune yearly with small payments monthly for the same thing with updates. So basically I am screwed. thank you so much for wasting the 600.00 I spent. Even my cheap car that I spent less on than the software and is older than your software is lasting longer than your software. So now people are giving you a small fortune a little at a time and your making bank will good for you while the rest of us get taken.

  5. Tara

    I was so up set that i forgot to add my question with the message i just sent. why cant adobe offer free downloads for those who have product keys? so it will work with windows 10 and so I don’t get screwed out of the six hundred or so I paid for this program??

    • Hello Tara, we were wondering if there was a question in there somewhere. CS4 is ten-year-old software. Not sure of any company who still supports and makes changes to technology that came out 10 years ago.

      In fact, you make an interesting analogy about the cars. Your older car may still work, but that’s because the infrastructure that it depends on is stable and has not significantly changed over that time. However, imagine if the gas that it ran on changed every single year, and you demanded that the car manufacturer make internal changes to your existing vehicle so that it would continue to run on incompatible new gas formulations.

      That is basically the scenario with something like CS4 running on much newer releases of of Windows or macOS. These modern operating systems have removed support for older technologies and programming interfaces (APIs). Programs that were written back in 2008 relying on those would have no way to know or anticipate this. Thus, the fault for pulling the rug out lies more with Apple (particularly) and Microsoft.

      And as far as the evolution of newer, advanced capabilities within an application, powerful new software features are often only made possible by using the latest hardware architecture and instruction sets. Computers and operating systems are growing more advanced all the time, and it would be retrograde for new program releases to avoid using any recent platform improvements or optimizations.

      The only way is to keep up with this when using sophisticated application software is to keep it relatively current with upgrades. Either that, or you would need to maintain a computer using a prior operating system release that fully supported that older software. In other words, you need to match the age of the o/s with the age of the application.

      That said, you can still try googling the name of your Adobe release and operating system version and see if other customers have had any success getting it to work. Sorry we can’t be of more assistance than that, but hope that helps at least explain the situation a bit better.

    • PS – For more discussion on this topic, please see the earlier comment here.

  6. JS

    @ProDesignTools Funny all this stuff of CS products only working on older OS. My CS5 Master collection runs completely fine under my Windows 10 Pro v1803. I despise subscription software and abhor any company doing so. It’s shame, as I would have been perfectly happy upgrading mine to CS6 Master collection on my PC, but for Adobe greedy money-grubbing pockets. It makes me want to switch to Corel products and be done with Adobe for good. As soon as you stop paying the CC subscription to ADOBE, you lose all ability to use those tools and they become worthless, useless programs on your PC.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and of course you’re entitled to your opinion. But it’s hard to dispute that Adobe’s switching to subscription was ahead of the curve of so many other companies doing it since, and it has been a successful move for them and also greatly expanded the customer and user base of their software.

      Obviously not everyone is on board with it, but on the whole, Adobe’s creative products are more popular and widely-adopted than they have ever been in their history. So despite some skeptics and critics, ultimately the proof has been in the pudding.

      Anyway, as pointed out in the comments above, this train has left the station a long time ago and the company is clearly not looking back.

  7. sfxphil

    What Adobe and other companies that switched their software to cloud access don’t care about are the 30 million+ Americans who have limited access to the web. If for example you live in a remote location and have a company like Hughesnet supplying your internet access, charging upwards of $120.00 a month for just 30 GB of bandwidth. Using cloud-based software is out of the question. I started using Photoshop version 1 in the UK in February 1990 and diligently updated with every new version until they deserted their loyal customers after version CS6. Now that I live in a remote area of Maine, I’m stuck having to use outdated software. So my question is what computer-based software is available that will run on a Mac still has updates available and has similar properties to Illustrator ? Thanks

    • Welcome, Phil. Well, the first thing we would say is that it’s a frequent miscon­ception that Creative Cloud is truly “cloud-based software” in the way that you’re thinking… It’s simply not true, despite the name. All users of CC tools can run and work locally on their desktop computers, just like with CS6. For more details, please see Myths #2 and #3 here:

      The 10 Most Common Myths About Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC)

      In other words, you can be completely disconnected from the Internet for months at a time, and you can still use your CC desktop tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Animate, Premiere, etc, no matter where you are…

      Perhaps the better question might be how do you get the Creative Cloud applications installed on your computer if there’s no DVD available or shipped to you from Adobe? The answer is the CC program installers indeed do need to be downloaded from the web. (But then again, even the CS6 updates did not come on any disc and also needed to be downloaded online.)

      What we would suggest is using the Creative Cloud Direct Download Links, which can be helpful in a situation like yours where you might want to download on one system (with a fast/unlimited Internet connection, like at your public Library or an Internet café or a friend’s or relative’s house) but then install on another machine (like your home computer or laptop).

      There you will find the standalone installer(s) for the CC applications you choose… Then you can copy or move those over to another system, via whatever means you wish (USB/flash drive, CD/DVD media, etc).

      Hope that helps!

  8. Jo Ewing

    I have CS4, and need to update my laptop, Current laptop is Win 8. Can CS4 be installed on Win 10? I have the original discs and serial numbers.
    Will Adobe let me install CS4 on Windows 10?

    • Hey Jo, CS4 is unsupported so it’s going to be hit or miss. We’ve heard stories all over the map, from “it worked for me” to “no luck at all.” So your mileage may vary.

      It may also depend on which release of Windows 10 you’re running, either before or after the Anniversary Update (version 1607), or other particular aspects of your system configuration. We’d suggest taking a look at the Adobe Forums help threads here:

      Is Creative Suite 4 Compatible with Windows 10?

      Be sure to deactivate all your installations of CS4 before you attempt to install on Windows 10.

      And please keep in mind that when owners of old programs have problems with Win 10, it’s not Adobe’s fault… Adobe did not change your old tools to make them stop working… Microsoft and (especially) Apple changed their operating systems and that is why your old program may not work, not because of anything Adobe did… Also, every time Microsoft or Apple issues a Windows or macOS update, there is the risk that an old program that was initially functional will then stop working… Bottom line, old programs generally require a matching (and supported) old operating system of the same era.

  9. t switch

    I purchased Adobe Creative Suite 6 & photoshop 7 a few years ago (full set, not CC) as a student.
    That iMac is a brick and purchased the new iMac High Sierra 10.13.6.
    It was only installed on that one computer, but need to install on this new one.
    Will this work? should I contact adobe and remove the old computer so I can add the other computer?
    I am no longer a student… any help would be appreciated.
    Never had a adobe ID that I can recall.

  10. Jo Ewing

    Ok, thank you for all your help

    Regards, Jo

  11. Ruan G

    Hello i was wondering if anybody can help me out with this. I want to buy adobe Photoshop cs6 on ebay and the seller mentioned that he has deactivated the software is “Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows). Deactivated and fully tested.”

    But i saw on the forum that the license has to be transferred
    and i saw this tip from ebay:

    “After Adobe receives the completed Transfer of License form, Adobe registers the software to the new owner. Registration ensures that Adobe recognizes the new owner as the legal licensee who can receive customer service and support. Adobe’s site states it may take three to four weeks for your license transfer request to be processed.”

    But as of 2018, adobe stopped supporting cs6 suites.

    so i’m not sure what to do.

    i enjoyed using cs6 photoshop trial than cc.

    also if i buy a brand new dvd box of cs6 photoshop
    do i have to deal with license transfer
    or can i just put in the license and use it afterwards.

    Kind regards

  12. Tom

    For all those that still use installed software over online cloud based, you only need to get a Virtual machine on your system with an old operating system of Windows. This will ensure that your new computer will operate properly without having issues with the old CS4,5,6 applications.

  13. andrej

    @Ruan G
    I am also interested in this question. I’d prefer to invest into the software once, rather than monthly. Still running Windows 7, just as most of the industry does. Anyone tried to purchase and install CS6 Photoshop or Master Suite in 2018? How did it go for you, Ruan?

  14. Anonymous

    I also have several versions of the older creative suites, and now I am forced to upgrade to the cloud version. That is total crap! My older machines run other devices that have no upgrade options and will not function with cloud versions. My business is dependent on these older versions of the Adobe software. I have tried to locate older Adobe software or buy it from other sources with no luck.

    Well, Adobe, what does someone running a business that depends on some older equipment to operate now do with no working options?

    This is outrageous, especially considering that I have purchased three separate Adobe Creative Suite Master Collections. All of which no longer function on the current or even older computers as the activation codes are no longer available and my attempts to contact Adobe and resolve this have met with total failure.

    Time to stop buying Adobe and allowing an alternate software company a chance to do better.

    I feel this is a money grab, although not in one upfront lump, but now even more over a period of time. I know that CC comes with updates, but I was not needing the constant upgrades or updates.

    Shame on you and I will speak truthfully about your company to all who are affected.

    A disgusting turn of events and a gross failure of Adobe to support the loyal customers who have paid for the product previously.

    Shame on YOU!!!!!

    • Not really sure what happened here; it’s not clear at all from your comments… Why exactly are you no longer able to run the older versions of Creative Suite on your older systems? What do you mean by, “the activation codes are no longer available”? And which versions of CS Master Collection are you talking about here? Please give more details if you’d like us to be able to help you.

      So long as nothing changes with your PC/Mac platform (which is how it sounds with your “older equipment”), and your license keys are legal (unclear), then you should be able to continue to run the same product(s) on the same computer(s) indefinitely.

      If not, what happened exactly – and how is it Adobe’s fault? And why do you say you are unable to contact the company successfully?

  15. Jamil


    CS6 products actually do work with Windows 10, and I have a few running successfully. There are some minor work-arounds you must do though. For example, for Photoshop CS6 I have to set the shortcut to run as administrator, because Windows 10 no longer allows Photoshop to create scratch disks on the root of my C: drive. Running as administrator allows the software to function as it should. Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 also functions, but during installation I had to not install the sonic CD writing drivers. With older versions of Windows 10, they would cause the operating system to fail to start up. However, you may deselect these drivers during installation.

    Honestly, with Photoshop CS6, I really do not need any of the newer features Adobe is introducing. It was a complete product for my needs, and I cannot ask for anything additional.

  16. mark
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Update: You Can No Longer Buy CS6 from Adobe - Here's Why