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It's True: Adobe Bridge 2021 Is 100% Free for You to Download & Use

What Is Adobe Bridge?

In response to our How to Join Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Free post, we received this question from a reader:

Hi – is it really true that Adobe Bridge (the full version) is totally free to download and use forever, and I don’t have to pay for it or have a subscription?

The answer is yes, it’s absolutely true – although not that many people know about it because Adobe hasn’t really publicized it widely…

Bridge 2021 is Adobe’s flagship desktop media browser and powerful digital asset manager that allows you to efficiently locate, organize, browse, preview, and batch process your content files – including most image, vector, audio and video files. You can view (in fullscreen) and manage Photo­shop PSD, Camera RAW, Illustrator AI, InDesign INDD, Adobe XD, Acrobat PDF, Flash SWF/FLV, and many other types of files and documents, all without paid programs.

While Bridge won’t edit the content of these files on its own, it works beautifully as an easy-to-use visual gateway to all your creative assets – a universal file manager and very handy utility for quickly viewing and working with your creative files in many different formats (Adobe and otherwise). Bridge can also manage & set file metadata, create collections, add image watermarks, rate & label photographs, do slideshows, perform batch file operations including renaming, browse directories without importing, support multi-user workflows, and more. And it’s available worldwide in dozens of languages for both Windows and macOS:

Adobe Bridge Workspace - Download Free Full Version Now

What’s less known is that the license to run/use Bridge is completely free from Adobe and never expires! It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a free Creative Cloud trial or a paid subscription (or even any other Adobe software at all). Regardless, Bridge will legally continue to work and be able to manage and view your media and Adobe files even if/when your trial or subscription ends.

Surprised? Well, it used to be (with CS6 and older) that Adobe Bridge was bundled together with paid programs like Photoshop and After Effects. But Adobe decided to unbundle Bridge and make it a separate download for Creative Cloud, so now this product doesn’t even require a paid subscription. This basically means that Bridge comes with all CC plans – including the popular Photography plan – and even the 100% free level of Creative Cloud.

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You can install Bridge 2021 either standalone by itself, or together with other applications like Photo­shop (and all the rest), or even Photoshop Elements… Either way, Bridge requires no purchase, no paid membership or subscrip­tion, and not even any other Adobe tools on the same system. It installs and runs fine, and even allows updating to the latest version of the app itself plus the ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) plugin for the display and previewing of raw files within Bridge.

Adobe recommends that photographers use the more sophisticated Lightroom ecosystem to manage their photos, and that’s a product and workflow which work amazingly well for many customers. But folks who want a simple solution including designers who work with many different applications and file types will still want to use Bridge. Plus, you can install and use it on as many computers as you like, your friends and colleagues can use it, your clients and customers can use it, all at the same time (and even with the same files collabor­atively) – there is no cost or limit or restriction.

So how to take advantage of it? To get your permanently-free Adobe Bridge (100% legitimate and authentic full version), you can download and install it here – look for the big blue “Download” button at the top right, which will give you Bridge via the Creative Cloud Desktop App. Alterna­tively, you can use the CC direct download links. Either way works fine – and it’s not a free trial, nor has any expiration date – as promised above!

Get it now

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If you’re not yet running the most recent release of Photoshop, then you can easily get it (plus Lightroom, and all ongoing upgrades to both products included) through Adobe’s Photo­graphy bundle for just $9.99/month. If you’d like to try out the latest Creative Cloud 2021 software first at no cost, then just download the free trial to get started.

Watch: Adobe Bridge in One Minute

Adobe’s Julieanne Kost: Should You Use Lightroom or Bridge?

This policy could change at any time, so don’t miss this unusual opportunity to quickly grab the full working version of new Bridge 2021 legally from Adobe at no cost:

Download now

See Also

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Do you have any questions about Bridge?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

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133 thoughts on “It's True: Adobe Bridge 2021 Is 100% Free for You to Download & Use”

  1. I am delighted to have Bridge download-update now, installed after so many years with older versions.

    Bridge is one of the few organizers left that does not force ‘importing photos’. How can I easily import 500,000!!!

    Reply
  2. Bridge CC is not free!

    According to Adobe, one has to subscribe to the Creative Cloud to be entitled to use Bridge.

    Check with adobe before posting stuff like this!

    Reply
    • Bridge is free.

      And yes, we’ve definitely checked thoroughly with Adobe about this.

      The cost of Bridge changed in 2013 when Adobe unbundled it from Photoshop, and made it a separate free download that does not require a subscription… Anybody can download and use it.

      Bridge is first-and-foremost a media manager, browser and previewer – and in that capacity it will work with any Adobe files/software of any version, as well as all non-Adobe files/software. In fact, Creative Cloud customers can use Bridge to manage and view/preview their CC files even if/after their subscription lapses.

      The article above was originally published in 2015. Adobe has absolutely seen it and repeated the same thing:

      Do You Have to Pay Extra to Download Adobe Bridge?

      If you have anything definitive to the contrary, then you’re welcome to post it here and we’ll help clear it up for you.

    • The article is not misleading. Bridge definitely does download, install and use the latest Camera Raw for its own functionality, and within Bridge, the ACR plug-in works in a read-only way in order to display and preview the content within your Adobe files. Bridge CC can also edit image metadata and the like, however to make changes to the image pixels (and actually open the file for editing) you would use your version of Adobe Photoshop and/or the Camera Raw plug-in that comes with it.

      So whenever there is a new update to ACR, then your Bridge CC will definitely receive that update for those purposes. By using the current release of the ACR plug-in, the free Bridge CC will always be able to properly manage, display and preview the latest Camera Raw images within its media browser. The key to remember is that ACR is used by several Creative Cloud/Suite apps and is technically separate from Bridge.

      Bottom line, you can absolutely download and use Bridge CC free for life. And Bridge will install the ACR plugin alongside for its own specific needs. But again, you would not get to use the full editing functionality of Adobe Camera Raw without making a purchase, as that would be giving away the keys to the store – and we never said otherwise.

  3. I installed PS7 on my Dell WIN 10 computer but the Bridge and or RAW plug-in didn’t come with the disk? I use my WIN 7 computer with PS5 to work JPEGs using its RAW plug-in. This older computer is dying and I want to have the RAW/Bridge plug-in for my PS7 system. How may I do this without spending more money?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Vince, which version exactly are you referring to when you say “PS7”? (check under the Help menu > About) Normally all older releases of Photoshop came with Bridge bundled together. With CC above, they unbundled it and made Bridge a separate free product and download.

  4. I just downloaded Bridge and I have PSE 11 – is there a tutorial or something available to help me from the beginning figure out how to use these two efficiently together?

    Reply
  5. While Bridge CC does work with the standalone version of Photoshop CS6 X64, it has two serious glitches:

    1. At most 33 highlighted images in Bridge CC can be opened at the same time in Photoshop CS6.

    2. The “Open in Camera RAW” command does not work, but the plain “Open” command launches PS CS6.

    This makes Bridge CC adequate for casual RAW image editing, but impractical for very large projects.

    Reply
  6. I was helping a friend install Bridge CC on his laptop, telling him that it is now free and does not require an Adobe ID or a sign-in, but read on several forums that Adobe Camera RAW is not activated, or does not open when a RAW file is double-clicked in Bridge. This defeats the purpose of having Bridge, because Photoshop by itself does not edit RAW files. Is this the case with Bridge CC? That, as you say on your blog, that Adobe Camera RAW is read-only and does not edit files?

    Reply
    • Bridge CC is completely free, and you can make changes to image metadata using it, as well as all the other Bridge functions described in the article above… It is Adobe’s flagship desktop media browser and a powerful digital asset manager.

      However, without a subscription to Photoshop CC, you cannot use Bridge to do editing with Camera Raw. The standalone version of Bridge CC includes and uses the Camera Raw plug-in in read-only fashion for accurately displaying and previewing your images within the application. If you want to make changes to your photos using Camera Raw, then you need Photoshop, which also uses the same ACR plug-in as Bridge, but with full editing functionality.

      This is similar to what we wrote above (read that for more details), but hope that clears it up once and for all!

  7. I have downloaded the Bridge CC, but when I try and open Camera Raw it tells me that the parent application is not active and that a qualifying product must be launched at least once to use this feature.

    Reply
  8. launching camera raw from adobe bridge cc2017 shows this error “CAMERA RAW NOT ENABLED: Camera Raw editing requires that a qualifying product has been launched at least once to enable this feature.”

    Reply
  9. This entire campaign to make Adobe appear as though Bridge CC is free is untrue.

    What you’re not telling people is that YOU DO have to have an adobe ID and a saved cookie to download and install Bridge.

    Reply
    • Sorry, no. Bridge CC is free. And when you download Bridge CC 2018 using the direct download links, and then install it standalone onto your computer, the process does not require an Adobe ID nor does it require logging in at any point – neither for downloading, installing, nor running the program. (if that’s truly important to you)

      Besides, this is not a ‘campaign’ that Adobe promotes. It’s something that we published, and Adobe acknowledges. And it’s a useful product to have, at no cost to you or anyone, for the reasons outlined in the article. But Adobe is not out there pushing it, and most people don’t realize it.

  10. Is there a possibility to change the cache to another drive? Now it uses my SSD-C-drive. I want to have the cache on a non-SSD-drive. I don’t see this option under preferences>Cache>Location. Can you help me with this?

    Reply
  11. That’s the problem: I cannot change the cache to another drive, only to the C-drive. Before and after restarting Bridge.

    Reply
    • Here’s what’s new in the October 2018 release of Bridge (version 9.0, aka CC 2019) – some other major features:

      – Bridge now has an modern, enhanced user interface to provide you a similar experience like other Creative Cloud applications.

      – You can now cut, copy, or move files and folders across Bridge and Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder.

      – Bridge now supports preview, thumbnail generation, metadata tagging, and keyword generation for Adobe XD files.

      – The Libraries workspace in Bridge now displays a high-quality preview of Creative Cloud Libraries items.

      – You can now share a cache with other Bridge users and let them use the shared cache instead of creating a cache.

      – Bridge now lets you change the capture time of the JPEG and RAW image files, just like the way it is done in Lightroom.

      – Bridge now processes and maintains a media cache of all audio and video playback files.

  12. In case you didn’t realize it, the “Free trial mode” expires after 7 days now that a sign-in is required.

    Reply
    • We’ve been in touch with the Bridge Product Team at Adobe and they tell us that’s not true, quoting:

      “Bridge is definitely free; just a login is required for everyone.”

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