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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 newer operating systems and is not supported on them, meaning that officially Windows 8.1 and Mac OSX v. 10.9 (“Mavericks”) are the last 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 official 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:

https://www.adobe.com/products/cs6.html

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 makes or sells CS6 in any way, some readers may ask if is it still possible to find it secondhand on sites like eBay or Amazon? The answer is perhaps – but it doesn’t matter, because even if you could, you wouldn’t even want to try buying it from those places… Because if you do happen to see a copy for sale out there, it’s likely neither legitimate nor safe.

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 as of January 2017, Adobe has finally closed the last door on this. But now you know the full story, and why.

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

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180 thoughts on “Adobe Just Stopped Selling Creative Suite 6 Entirely - Here's Why”

  1. Hi, I purchased CS6 boxed set “design and web premium” (student/teacher version) and promptly misplaced the box. Just found, opened, and came up to speed that the webpage is no longer available to obtain the serial number to install, and the standalone product is no longer supported. Is it just (expensive) trash now? Should I commit to Inkscape and other open source source software? I don’t use design software often enough to justify a subscription. Anything to salvage from the CS6 discs? Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Look at Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer from Serif about £50 each, one time purchase. Very good alternatives and can open adobe illustrator and photoshop files

    Reply
  3. @ProDesignTools

    It doesn’t matter the excuse. People who purchased physical software in the past should be grandfathered into the monthly program by at least being granted the basic features. Not every human being updates their operating systems & devices. My computer is still overstating on Windows 8 no problem. Still running PS CS6 no problems.

    If you pay for it, it’s yours. Period. They don’t have to provide support but people should

    Also, a non-Adobe reseller that would sell key only would be any university bookstore in any college across the United States up until I believe 2010ish.

    Reply
    • A university would be an educational volume licensee… That is not at all the same as a reseller. So what we wrote stands.

      No legitimate commercial reseller was/is ever able to offer CS6 downloads other than Adobe themselves. Because Kerry didn’t have actual CD/DVD disc media, it sounds like all she really bought was a (black market) serial number, unfortunately, which Adobe later revoked.

  4. @ProDesignTools

    Same for me. I have two computers bought in 2005 and 2007.
    Those two premiere pro systèmes ( premiere pro 1.5 SD in the first and, and CS3, 4 and CS5 for the second for HD édit ) have acceleration and breakout boxes made and sold by the Matrox company that add input/output connectors. Matrox RTX100 for my SD edit suite and Matrix Axio LE for the one for HD/ and SD edit. I have all the DVD set for those for versions of premiere, but can’t install and/or activate those from adobe and the answer I got is, we do not support it anymore. I do not want support, just the right to use them. For example, I just want to replace my C: drive in one computer. Made a ghost of the disc and put the image on an bigger hard drive and the premiere pro message when I started it said: a change happened on your computer and you need to re-activate it to continue using it, but the server or human to do the re-activation no longer exists and I can’t use my system anymore. Even if my computer is the same when I installed that software, adobe does not let me use those versions that are still strong enough for what I have to do.
    Me too, I just want Adobe to let me use my old things that I had paid for. I don’t want a “by month paying solution” when my old version does all that I need for the family video that I do with my two old systems …

    Reply
  5. ProDesignTools:

    Well, another anonymous comment with few specific details… While it’s true that CS6 is generally no longer supported, it is untrue that issues with genuine product activation of validly-purchased licenses are unsupported. So something’s not right there.

    Hello again, Mr pro design,

    It’s the same for me. I can’t have support on how to make my legal and registered version of Adobe Premiere Pro that it is installed in the same computer since 2005, if my memory is good, they (Adobe) do not want to help me make my product reactivated for me to continue using it like all those past years.

    Reply
    • Bonjour Clément,

      Which version(s) – precisely – of Premiere Pro are you trying to reactivate without success?

      And on which release of Windows? Thanks.

  6. I purchased CS6 Master Collection in 2012. I primarily only use about four applications in the collection. The CS6 version of these more than meets my current and foreseeable requirements in this area. At the time of buying the Collection I was still employed, but shortly after I retired. Not requiring all the bells and whistles of the Creative Cloud (CC) versions of the applications I utilise I saw, and currently see, no need to upgrade to CC – to say nothing of the fact that as a pensioner, I cannot afford to ongoing monthly cost. The version of CS6 I purchased was the Apple version. Several months ago, I decided that I wanted to install CS6 on my Windows-based laptop so that I could work when away from home.
    I accessed my Adobe account and sought out the Download and Install page. I was able to access the link for the Windows version of CS6 download. I tried to do this but had problems. It took my some time to resolve these. By the time I had it was early last month. I retried to access the Windows download link again but was unable to do so. I contacted Adobe help via the online chat. It appears to me that the people manning this site have little comprehension of the English language. I explained my problem and was provided with a link. This turned out to be the link for the Apple version. Numerous attempts proved fruitless because the result was the same every time. Yesterday I was given a link and this advised that I was now unable to download CS6 for a platform other than that that I purchased in the first instance.
    If my laptop was an Apple, I could download it and install it on that laptop – but as it is a Windows laptop, I am unable to do so. Adobe’s web page still advises that I am able to install CS6 on two computers regardless of the platform, yet this is not the case. WHY?

    Reply
  7. I bought Creative Suite 2 in about 2011 and it has CS6 Illustrator and PhotoShop, but it says on the box CS2.

    The program on my computer with windows 7 says it is CS6 64-bit and I have always known it to be that.

    Is there an answer for that, plus I’m ready to get a HP laptop with Windows 10 and they are assuring me at Best Buy (the manager of that dept., who is a Windows employee) that it will run in compatibility mode.

    I want to run it on Windows 10.

    Reply
  8. I purchased CS6 in 2012 and used it until my iMac crashed in 2019. After moving and misplacing my CD, I purchased a new iMac, retrieved the files from my old mac but it will not open on the new mac. What can I do?

    Reply
  9. The Creative Suite (CS) nomenclature only began with the bundled products that targeted various workflows, starting with CS, CS2, CS3, etc.

    Reply
  10. So, the only possible way to get CS6 is to use an illegal version, really??? If it’s so much worse than CC, why isn’t it for free on their website? I’m not willing to pay monthly. I’ve just changed AutoCad for ZWCAD because of the subscription and not regretting it :))

    Reply
    • CS6 is completely unsupported with no further updates for years, so Adobe does not offer it in any form. It was also written back in 2011-2012 for older operating systems, so it is not at all compatible with modern platforms like macOS Catalina.

      And if Adobe gave it away for free on their website, then users would no doubt be contacting them for assistance, and perhaps fewer would end up being paid customers for CC. Vulnerabilities and incompatibilities would persistently arise, as this is dated software.

      In any case, Creative Cloud is the evolution of CS6 and has added thousands of new features, performance improvements and other enhancements since then. If you haven’t missed what you don’t have yet, that’s fine – but if the latest releases can help millions of people get better work done faster, then time is money.

      How much time (and money) will you lose by using outdated and less-productive tools indefinitely? In most people’s lives and/or careers, the amount of time needed to complete your work is important. In other words, work smarter, not harder.

      As for trying to get/use an illegal version of CS6, that would not be a good idea:

      A Word on Adobe Software Piracy – “If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…”

  11. @Clément Paradis
    I upgraded my 2009 iMac OS several times since 2009 until the Mac OS High Sierra, and my CS3 is working as it should be without any problem that I know. I still use CS3, it does everything I needed to. IMO, you pay more for newer version just to get more tools, but I prefer to do everything with just simple pencil, brushes and paints and that’s how to develop your skills as real artists. It’s real, cheap, and cheerful!

    Reply
  12. I’ve used After Effects CS6 for these 8 years. Of course I’ve tried the newest versions from CC2014 till CC2020, but I was not so comfortable with some changes in the interface and application and most of all I didn’t like constantly lagging playback and render. I thought that’s because my computer is pretty old for new applications.

    Now I’ve upgraded my computer and after installing Windows, it turned out that I’m able to install only the current version of After Effects… I’ve been trying to work in AE2020 for a month now and it’s lagging and freezes constantly and out of memory on the simplest projects. I understand that new users just can not compare this with a normally-working application because they started their learning from CC versions. Now I understood all these memes with AE errors. I saw these error messages once a week with CS6, now I see them many times a day.

    I don’t know how I can get CS6 legally. It seems like piracy is the only option and I don’t want to do that.

    Reply
    • Hi Oleg, we haven’t had any issues with After Effects 2020 here – do you have all the latest updates available?

      Regarding CS6, please see our previous comment just above.

  13. @Cindy Harrison
    Make sure you do not have Catalina OS installed, as it will not work properly. High Sierra will work and maybe Mojave. I tried the Catalina upgrade and completely messed up my Mac. I had to reinstall the original OS using the online recovery tool (Command + R on boot up). Then I had to do an upgrade to High Sierra. I still had a few issues but came across a blog that gave the info need to do a bug fix so that CS6 would still work.

    Reply
  14. If you have a boxed, licensed and registered copy of CS6 Design & Web, are you still able to use it? I will no doubt need to upgrade my laptop at some stage and would like to reinstall the software with the disks I have (including serial number). It’s a student edition paid for in full in 2013. I only have it installed on one computer so can I just install it onto a new Windows 10 computer, then deactivate and uninstall it from the old computer, to avoid chances of completely losing the use of the software altogether.

    Reply
    • If it is a legal and legitimate version that you purchased yourself, then you should still be able to use it provided that the operating system you’re running supports it.

  15. Hello,

    I was working in Flash CS5.5 and CS6 for some time and I really liked it. CS6 was the best version. At school they had to upgrade to CC and every graphic design teacher hated and was every time swearing during lessons on how terrible the CC is and that it’s updated so fast, that it’s hard to even orientate in the UI. To be honest, I found the CC versions very unkind… And since I legally have PS CS6 and AE CS6 for some time, I want to use CS6 myself again but now on my device. I really don’t want to pay monthly for something I won’t even use. (Tools which CS6 has is all that I need to create what I want) I don’t worry about compatibility because I tried to install a trial on win 10 and it worked all right. I saw you wrote on your site that it’s available to downgrade CC to CS6. Is it still available? And if I downgrade the software, would it be mine forever without paying monthly? Myself I see that Adobe doesn’t like beginners of their own carrier… I finally want to make something with it but the CC is useless in my experience and it costs a lot of what it can do. Also as I said above, you pay for some tools which you won’t use. One of the examples is auto- lip synch. I really don’t need it since I can make it well… So if there’s some possibility to downgrade I would be really glad :)

    Best regards

    Reply
    • This article is a few years old and due to recent changed in licensing terms, last year Adobe revised their policy about CC subscribers being able to download and use CS6 instead… Please see:

      Adobe Limits Software Version Downloads, Incl. Some Direct Links

      In our opinion from using the Creative Cloud tools every day, both the performance and ease-of-use for virtually every Adobe product has improved since the Creative Suite days… Especially for Photoshop and Illustrator.

      Adobe has generally streamlined and improved the user interfaces and continues to increase deep GPU support within the CC products. We think the applications are smoother, faster, and better-looking. You also benefit from regular upgrades included in the price, keeping your tools fresh, relevant and useful.

      For example, the current featuresets for Premiere Pro and After Effects 2020 are now light years ahead of that they were back in the CS days.

      So on the whole, we would not want to go back to using the older releases if we had a choice.

  16. I suppose that the real reason of unavailability of old versions is some legal issue with copyrights, that they spoke of a year ago… Because After Effects got some new or updated tools but it became slower and less stable and all these ‘light years ahead ‘ improvements are just an excuse. (I am speaking only about AE, not Photoshop or Illustrator.)

    Reply
  17. I have been using the “Adobe Creative Suite CS6” for years. Since it’s no longer available, I would like to purchase the latest which features Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. What item should I now ask for?

    Reply
    • Hey Bernard, that would be the Creative Cloud “All Apps” plan; it’s the subscription plan which includes everything – all creative tools (those you mentioned plus many more) and all services…

      You can compare & choose Adobe’s different options here:

      http://www.ChooseCreativeCloud.com/

      Hope that helps answer your query, and just post back if you have any follow-up questions.

  18. Hallo,

    ich habe mir 2012 CS6 Design Standard gekauft. Bin bislang sehr zufrieden damit. Da ich einen neuen Computer habe benötige ich die Installationsdateien nun erneut. Gibt es noch irgendwo einen Download-Link. Alle Links, die ich auf dieser Webseite gefunden habe landen bei der Adobe Cloud-Version.

    Vielen Dank
    Wolfgang

    Reply
  19. @faye toby
    All they want is to bill everyone monthly.
    Do you realize how much money they are making on these idiots paying monthly for software.
    How fracked up is the world now.

    Reply
    • Actually, 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… Creative Cloud has steadily grown since then and the total number of paid subscribers is now over 22 million customers – far more users than Creative Suite ever had.

      So this ship has sailed – Adobe is not going back and they’re not changing the model. There’s no question that some folks weren’t happy about the transition from perpetual-only to subscription-only products – but as a Pulitzer Prize winner once said, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” Adobe took a risk and it could have flopped or flown. They may have lost some customers, but at the same time gained many more new ones because of the far-lower cost of entry than before.

  20. It is upsetting that Adobe has once again prioritized profits over their customers. Adobe Creative Cloud in 2021 is an absolute nightmare and costs users and companies so much money to maintain. For anyone wanting a sustainable solution: get Adobe CS6 and learn Python. Anything you want to add, you can, but Adobe is greedy and will not help you.

    Reply
    • Why would you say Creative Cloud is “an absolute nightmare” in 2021? Are you just talking about cost?

      CS6 is nine years old now, end-of-life, no longer sold, completely unsupported, and won’t run at all on modern operating systems like Catalina or Big Sur… (thanks, Apple 🙄) It is not a recommended solution now or going forward.

    • let’s be real, people will go back to linux days and use softwares like GIMP, inkscape, and for video use Resolve by blackmagic; also if you stick in animation, use opentoonz, pencil 2D; for drawing use firealpaca, medibang, krita; these all are free, and yes you can use blender as well ! Let’s get a life!

  21. I have many nine-year-old applications that work just fine, age has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with cs6 not working; it’s because Adobe does not care about its cs6 customers. PERIOD

    Reply
    • If CS6 still works for you, then that’s great. But it’s Apple that pulled support on macOS, not Adobe. The biggest issue is about the core operating system support for older runtimes and dated API’s in programs that were written in many years ago. And it’s worse for macOS than it is for Windows… Apple is notorious for doing this. Microsoft is a bit better at managing old interfaces and compatibility in later Windows o/s releases.

      But saying that Adobe should still have ongoing development and updates for CS6 today is like saying they should have continued to provide full support for Photoshop CS (2003) after Photoshop CS6 (2012) came out.

      They’re only going to ride one horse forward. Focusing development efforts on modern versions of Windows and Mac operating systems allows Adobe to concentrate on building the features and functionality most requested by customers, while ensuring peak performance that takes advantage of modern hardware. In order to benefit from the continued developments in hardware and software, inevitably older releases become dated and obsolete.

      But again, if CS6 still works for you and you don’t need or want anything better/newer, then that’s fine.

    • ProDesignTools, sorry, but what does this have to do with macos or Windows, or their comparison? Nobody asks for the new updates of CS6, or its further development. Just leave it at that. Let us use the old version of the applications. CS6 works fine with Win10 as well as Win7, much better than for example CC2020, without permanent crashes and freezes.

    • Actually, there have been people who have asked for new updates to CS6, as well as further development. Perhaps you’re not one of them, but that doesn’t speak for everybody.

      Nobody is not “letting you use” old versions of CS6… Not us and not Adobe. That’s up to you, if you can get them to install & run on your current hardware/software platform.

      However, it is true that Creative Suite will simply not work on newer releases of macOS like Catalina and Big Sur, because all support for 32-bit software was dropped by Apple. Perhaps you weren’t aware, but that’s what we were referring to.

      Your last statement is not accurate. We’ve had no problems at all with the latest releases (2021, 2020) of Creative Cloud. The vast majority of customers are the same. Occasionally some folks run into issues, as can happen with any version of software, including CS6.

    • I disagree with the ProDesignTools’ reply to you.
      “But saying that Adobe should still have ongoing development and updates for CS6 today is like saying they should have continued to provide full support for Photoshop CS (2003) after Photoshop CS6 (2012) came out.”

      That is not the same at all. CS6 was the last of a product line. And it is now unsupported by the company that created it. What’s the same is if after I buy a Ford car for $40,000, you tell me it will be the last Ford car I can buy that I can fully pay for and own. You do this because you are rolling out this new Ford model that will be rental only. I can keep it at home but it will only run if I make the monthly payments for life, or until you change your mind about the “subscription” requirements. And support for my older model keeps dwindling, suggesting that eventually I may have to buy a “subscription” for a car and pay for it monthly for life. :)

    • Andrea, if all new Ford cars were electric (which is the direction they’re going actually), would you expect them to retrofit all nine-year-old cars to also be electric?

      No, the older cars are going to stay in the technological era they were developed in, and it’s the owner’s responsibility to maintain that environment as it was.

      It’s the same for running CS6 and maintaining the older hardware and operating systems that it was built for. It still works in those conditions, the same as when it first came out.

      In any event, the fact that CS6 won’t run on newer releases of macOS is because of changes that Apple made, not Adobe.

  22. I legally own and use Lightroom CS6 and use it on a Windows 10 laptop when traveling occasionally and desktop for basic editing and filling. It’s working flawlessly and I love the minimalist and functional interface.

    I tried CC Lightroom just recently and struggled with the way it tried to commandeer my meager slow internet at inconvenient times, as well as the thought of yet another monthly payment to keep track of now that I’ve stopped working.

    How can I manage to configure it only to access the internet when I can spare the bandwidth?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Well, the Lightroom CC app is going to use more Internet than your current version because it is a cloud-based product…

      You may want to go with the latest release of Lightroom Classic instead. It works similarly to the old Lightroom 6 in both user interface and bandwidth usage. But, it has a lot of upgraded features and performance improvements compared to LR6.

      Lightroom Classic is also included in the $9.99/mo. Photography Plan, along with Lightroom CC and Photoshop, with ongoing updates included.

      It’s what we use here, so we’d say give that a shot.

  23. I have cs6 on an old macbook air. Can I copy these over to a new m1 chip macbook? I do not have the original install disks.

    Reply

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