Sometimes even after using Adobe’s free trial downloads to try out the software before buying, customers may wish to return an Adobe product or exchange for something different instead – say swapping the Photography Bundle or returning an individual Creative Cloud tool and getting the “All Apps” plan instead (which includes 21 applications instead of one).
In which case, did you know that Adobe offers a full money-back guarantee on all current products? This goes for both subscription products as well as non-subscription products, including Creative Cloud (CC), Acrobat, Captivate, Elements, and so on. This offer applies even after you’ve already downloaded and installed the software on your computer(s), or after a free trial has expired. However, you can take advantage of this refund policy only with purchases made directly from Adobe.com (worldwide) – not with anything bought from resellers or retailers, and never from auction sites.
Yes, it’s true – for non-subscription products, simply contact Adobe within 30 days of your order – via live online chat is usually fast and convenient. Then, just follow the correct procedure and they will take it back (after being uninstalled and deactivated from your computers, if applicable) and issue you a complete refund.
For subscription plans, it’s even easier – in most cases, you can simply change or cancel your plan online yourself for any reason) within 14 days of your initial payment, usually without needing to contact Adobe at all. Refunds are typically processed within a week. Note that after the 14-day window has passed, a fee may apply for early termination of Annual plans; the fee is typically half of the remaining 12-month subscription commitment.
How the Policy Works
For all Adobe subscription products (such as Creative Cloud 2023 or Acrobat DC, and even for the month-to-month plans), the return period for a full refund is 14 days from the date of your initial payment. For all Adobe perpetual products (like the standalone/desktop versions of Acrobat 2020, Captivate 2019, or Elements 2023, whether buying full or upgrading from an older release), the return period for a complete refund is 30 days from the date of your order.
So this means all your purchases are protected right out of the gate – and effectively you’ve got 21-60 total days (7-30 days of a trial + 14-30 days of a “warranty”) to make sure the product is right for you and definitely the one you want! If not for some reason, then you can cancel your purchase for a no-questions-asked refund.
In other words, even after clicking “buy” and fully activating the software, you still have the chance to change your mind later. Returns can be processed whether you originally paid via credit/debit card, PayPal, bank transfer, or purchase order.
This is one reason why we recommend buying direct from Adobe whenever possible – it’s simpler, faster, and cleaner – and you can always be 100% certain your software is genuine, safe and authentic – plus you can download & use the products instantly and return them easily if needed.
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What If It’s Beyond the Return Period?
If you bought a subscription plan and it’s already past the 14-day return/refund period for your purchase and you still wish to cancel, then we have an informative guide for you here:
What You Should Know Before Canceling Your Adobe Trial or Subscription
Please see that article for your options, which may save you some time or money.
“Grace Period for Free Upgrades”
What’s especially interesting is that you can use the exchange policy above to create your own “grace period” when buying any Adobe product, so that if a major new release comes out within a month of your purchase, you can simply trade what you have (return it for a refund) and get the newer release instead… This means you basically have got some “insurance” for a free upgrade, which is a nice side benefit.
You can read more about this here:
» Do I Qualify for a Free Adobe Upgrade?
For More Information
There are some conditions and fine print, so you may want to read the full return policy in detail which includes the step-by-step procedure that you need to follow to get your money back. And be sure to simply contact Adobe Customer Support if you have any questions about it.
Here are more helpful tips for managing your software investment:
- How Many Systems Can You Install and Run Your Adobe Programs On?
- How to Move Adobe Software Between Computers or from Win to Mac
- How to Legally Transfer Adobe Products Between Two Parties or People
- Download the Complete PDF Documentation for All Adobe Applications
Do you have any questions about the details in this article or how Adobe’s Return Policy guarantee works? Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!
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12 thoughts on “What Is Adobe's Refund & Return Policy? A Money-Back Guarantee”
I feel just devastated at the moment. In November I learned I can’t update my CS4 Premium Package to CS6 and have been forced to an unwanted CS5.5 to be able to upgrade to CS6 because I couldn’t afford byuing it completely new when CS6 comes out. I bought it via credit card to be able to pay the price for the software in monthly installment because I couldn’t really bring up the money to pay it full immediately. In fact I couldn’t really afford to pay that money at all, but felt I have to because I had no other options. And now I learn that all the sorrow that this price politics caused me has been unnecessary. Thank you Adobe, thank you so very much for not thinking before talking. Thank you for making a complete idiot out of me because I gave the information (of not being able to upgrade to CS6 from CS3) to my friends and colleagues who bought the software too – due to my advice they spent large sums completely unnecessary. And of course the 30 days warranty is over and I can’t give back the software I never wanted in the first place. BTW it is not installed yet but stays untouched at my shelf because I never meant to use it but I wanted to be able to upgrade to CS6.
So sorry Silvia if it’s too late for you to get a return if that’s what you want. Since we don’t have power in those things, you might try sharing your story also with Adobe Customer Service directly to see if there’s anything they can do for you.
But don’t forget too that your upgrade cost from here to CS6 should be considerably less than if you hadn’t done that, because of Adobe’s Tiered Upgrade Pricing Policy. In other words, it should cost a good bit less to upgrade to CS6 from CS5 than from CS4 – so your investment in what you spent shouldn’t be lost.
Well, I have been trying to get a refund for my student edition of CS 5.5 that I purchased in Dec. 2011. My student id was good until the end of the year but Adobe said I had to be enrolled in the last 6 months. My classes were over in March and I am now waiting to get accepted into a graduate program. Anyway they said because I wasn’t a student in the last 6 months I was not eligible to register the software. So I said OK now I need to return this product. I uninstalled and followed all the directions, sent them all the receipts (I purchased it from an outside retailer) —— now here we are Feb. 10 and I still don’t have a refund and the only thing Adobe Customer service has been able to tell me for the past 3 weeks is that my refund has “been escalated” and no I cannot speak to anyone else….no way. This whole process has been abysmal. I don’t have $500 to lose and the software is nothing but a coaster as it is now. I can’t get anywhere with Adobe…..please can someone help me?
Sorry to hear that Stephanie, but you should be getting that refunded soon… According to Adobe’s policy, it can take up to 20 business days (4 weeks) for refunds from reseller purchases – which are issued via check.
Really only Adobe can complete that for you – but if another week passes now and it still isn’t resolved, please contact us with your Case Number… and we’ll see what we can do to make sure it’s taken care of!
He was selling fake Quark Software
Your above comment of “He was selling fake Quark Software” has nothing to do with the above article by ProDesignTools at all.
Why would you want to return such awesome software in the first place?
LOL – good question Michael!
We just want to make sure folks are aware of it just in case, and can feel more confident knowing that Adobe’s got a money-back guarantee return policy backing their purchase if they need it.
Thanks for your comment!
I want to cancel my recently-purchased APE 2022. How do I go about accomplishing that task.
The instructions on the Adobe site are exactly the same as what appears on my desktop..
Example: It says go to Adobe account then click on Manage Plans. That does not appear.
Mark, are you talking about Photoshop Elements? That doesn’t have a plan; you purchased it outright. So, it’s a different process.
See here for how to return a non-subscription product.
How does my girlfriend return “Photoshop Elements 2023” ? It was a gift for me. It was bought at a Best Buy. It has never been opened.
No way do I want it.
You’d have to take it back to the retailer it was purchased from, because it was not bought from Adobe directly.