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Get Flexible CS6 Volume Licensing with Adobe's "Business" Program

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How to Run Multiple User or Computer Licenses for Adobe CS6


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104 thoughts on “Get Flexible CS6 Volume Licensing with Adobe's "Business" Program”

  1. Hello,

    Please can you advise.

    I currently use CS3 on an Windows XP desktop PC, and a notebook running Windows 7.
    I want to upgrade to CS5 and install them on both above.

    However within the next 6 months I want to get a new PC and a new notebook and run CS5 on both of these. I use my notebook for updating when abroad.

    I am a single user and not a volume licence holder. Should I hold back and _not_ purchase CS5 until I get my new computer and notebook?

    Please can you advise the best way to proceed economically?

    I would not want to run CS5 for a few months but then find I cannot transfer all my work and CS5 to the new computer.

    It there a way to cope with redundant machines / broken machines / obsolete machines or even stolen notebooks. We all know how computers break!

    With regards

  2. Hello,

    Thanks for getting back to me and the link which answered my questions perfectly.
    Much appreciated.

    Will look forward to purchasing the CS5…I have been with Dreamweaver since Macromedia D3,
    please keep up the good work.

    With regards

  3. Hi. My friend bought Adobe Photoshop 5 several years ago and I want to install and register it on my computer. She is the only one to have installed this product, so how many people can use and sign up?

  4. Just need some clarification on the TLP program…. We are considering purchasing multiple licenses for InDesign CS5. My office has a total of 10 active workstations, but no more than 5 people will ever be using InDesign at one time.

    Under the TLP, is it possible to purchase only 5 licenses, but install the program on all 10 workstations, knowing that we will never use more than the 5 licenses at one time? Or does each workstation need its own license? Thanks.

  5. Just wondering is it worth using the TLP program for 2 licenses? Or easier just to buy two versions of the product?
    We are upgrading to CS5 Design premium from CS3. Not sure whether to just buy 2 packs of the upgrade or look into the TLP program which i’m finding kind of confusing to be honest!

    • Hello Taryn, you could go either way on that, really… You can see a lot of the benefits outlined above. If you had more than 2 users, then definitely it would make sense.

      Some people go with the Adobe volume licensing for just one seat in order to get some of the advantages – multi-platform software, older version if/when needed, possible price discount, licensing management tool, etc. – so it really depends on your needs.

      One other consideration is the likelihood that your 2 licenses today might expand to 3 or more in the coming months or years, as your business grows…

  6. Hello,

    I work for a small publication and we just upgraded to CS5.5 for a PC. But now we find that it would be ideal to install the suite on a Mac as well. Since we already bought the new suite, how could we get it onto the Mac? Can we just go back and buy the volume licensing discussed on this page, or is it too late? And how much extra would it cost?

    And just out of curiosity, is it possible to download the Mac version from the Adobe website and just use the same serial number we have for the PC?

    Any information would be great! Thanks!

  7. These are the exact questions I had. I posed them to someone in sales on the phone and they concurred that volume licensing could be used by one person to have one seat, but installed on PC and Mac. However, I have now been told I’ve purchased the retail license on the website and it can’t be converted later into a volume license.

    I was transferred from sales to volume licensing customer service who say you can only have the install on either PC or Mac for the two computers. “Oh you may need to buy a second license.” Sorry I’m a one-man band here and I could barely afford the $2887 for the first license! I would say be very careful before proceeding with this – make sure you contact Volume Licensing to ensure you can do what you want to do with your PC and Mac first.

    • Hey there Amanda, thank you very much for your thoughts and feedback. You may have gotten some incomplete information… In the comment just above yours, notice that Adobe does state it’s possible to move from an individual boxed product to a volume license, with credit offered for past purchases. It is also very easy to upgrade from a previous retail version (e.g., CS3, CS4, or CS5) to a current CS5.5 volume (“business”) license at their Business Store.

      Worst case, you could return the shrinkwrapped software you just purchased under Adobe’s money-back guarantee (even if opened, and even if bought from a reseller), and then get the full volume license instead online for the same price or less.

      Regarding installing the volume software on both Windows and Mac – this is definitely possible, and Adobe supplies two serial numbers, one for each operating system. However, for any Adobe license, it isn’t allowed to run on both of your installed computers at the same time, as each seat is for a single user. So you have to choose which platform you want to be active at any particular point in time – but it is very straightforward to change activations between your installations, if and when you need to switch around.

      Really hope this helps!

  8. I am located in Australia so I am going around and around in circles being told to call the USA, then told to call Australia. I have been on hold to Australia now for an hour on the phone. Tearing my hair out as I have outlayed all this money only to find out I can’t have it on my Mac! Most of the sales and support staff I talk to don’t seem to have much understanding of volume licensing and they just pass the buck. I’m not getting anywhere. :(

    • Very sorry to hear that Amanda, that you’re having troubles sorting it out… Definitely ask to speak to a supervisor if and where you can!

      If you need to, point them back to this page, or this one with more on how to run on both platforms, or to the pages on Adobe’s site linked from here with the information.

      Good luck!

  9. An update – I have done some additional hunting around and managed to find a software company that sells Adobe volume licenses in Australia. Their phone no. on the Adobe website is disconnected, but I found their website and to my relief the volume licensing can be done. I have put in for a refund of the retail CS5.5 Design Premium from Adobe that I bought. A shame none of the Adobe customer service or sales people in either Australia or USA could tell me how to do this!

    • So sorry Amanda – it was not clear the nature of the issue from your previous comment… However, you do not need find a reseller in order to buy a volume license in Australia!

      Adobe offers volume licenses direct for Australia/New Zealand – and many, many other countries – so you don’t have to hunt high and low to get this…

      Just go to the Adobe Store Selector and choose your country, and then “Business Store.” That’s it. You’re there, and can simply buy it online – either downloaded or shipped to your local address.

      Adobe now has online volume/business stores all over the world – including where you are, plus North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa… And they’ve recently added the same thing for volume purchases of education licenses as well.

  10. My mom is purchasing CS5.5 through the Ed department (she is taking a college class and works at a college). I’m going to college next year and will need the same software.

    My question: if she buys the plain old master suite through the Edu discount, can we install it on two machines? Same license?

  11. Just to follow-up my posts, I have now successfully returned my full retail priced Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium and purchased a (single) volume license of the same product in Australia, which has enabled me to get an install file and serial for both my PC and my Macbook Pro. It is all working fine.

    Thanks to all for the assistance given in this forum. I hope that posting here about my problem and resolution will help others.

    As an aside, my business website is linked from my name and I offer copywriting, editing, graphic design, email marketing, website updates, and social media marketing in Australia.

  12. I have the retail version of CS 5.5 Master Edition. I’ve had five different conversations with Adobe about volume licensing. I’ve been transferred all over the place.

    I’ve been told I don’t qualify because I’m not a “real business.” I am, and have the business license to prove it, but the customer-no-service person who accused me of that transferred me to someone else while I was in mid-sentence trying to explain.
    I’ve been told that I can’t switch to a volume license simply to run on two platforms.
    I’ve been told that I’ll have to purchase an entirely new license for my new Mac, with no discount available.
    I’ve been told that I might be able to do this as an upgrade with CS 6 comes out, but it can’t be done if it’s not part of an upgrade.
    I’ve been told that discounts are never offered for prior purchases when moving to a volume license.
    I’ve quoted their own policy to them directly from their web site, to no avail.

    I am so frustrated and so tired of Adobe’s attitude. I’m just a little guy, and I can’t afford to keep throwing money at Adobe.

    • We’re sorry for your frustration Judy. The first part is definitely incorrect – anybody can buy a business/volume license. Anybody. Just do it online with your credit card and there are no questions asked.

      Heck, last month there was a problem with the widely-publicized 20%-off upgrade discount showing up in the regular Adobe Store (however it was reflecting properly in the Volume Store). During a chat with an Adobe rep about this, she said, “Let me provide you with a direct link – you can purchase the software instead at the Volume store and get the discount and use it for your purpose.” There was nothing ever said on either end about being a business.

      That said, Adobe doesn’t want to convert over existing CS5.5 licenses to a volume license without an upgrade involved. If you have an older product though, you can easily upgrade to the business license for the same cost, as the rep suggested… And then you’d receive two serial numbers for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

      For CS5.5 (current version) owners, Adobe is willing and able to do free “crossgrades” from one platform to the other… In that case you have to choose and use a single platform only though.

      In your case, the thought to do it when CS6 comes out might be the best advice. You could buy an upgrade to the business license at that time – and then would get the Creative Suite multi-platform capability, provided the policy does not change.

      Hope this helps!

  13. @Judy
    I feel your pain Judy. It is hard for us little guys. In my situation it was soon enough after buying the retail version that I could get a refund. Then I was able to buy the volume license instead, and it all worked out. But dealing with Adobe is frustrating – you get transferred all over the place and sit on hold for hours.

    • Amanda makes a good point Judy, which is detailed in the comments further up – if you bought your CS5.5 within the past 30 days then you can return it directly to Adobe under their full refund policy and then purchase the volume license instead… It may not be an option in all cases but it’s certainly something to mention – thanks Amanda.

  14. Thank you for your kind replies. Unfortunately it’s been more than 30 days since I bought CS5.5, so returning it is not an option. My PC is my main workhorse. I also have an HP laptop that CS5.5 is activated on. The Mac is a new purchase meant for travel, and because I need OS X to publish to iBooks (if it’s not one thing, it’s another).

    My choices, as I see them, are:

    1) Leave everything the way it is, with all work being done under Windows, passing epubs to the Mac as necessary.

    2) Run Win 7 on the Mac under Bootcamp. Deactivate the HP laptop and install CS5.5 on the Mac. Reboot every time I need to use CS, and the reboot again to do something with the results.

    3) I have an existing stand-alone license for Acrobat Pro X that I could use to get a discount on a new version of CS on the Mac platform. The best I could afford would be Design Standard, which leaves out Dreamweaver. Since a lot of my epub work needs Dreamweaver, this isn’t really an attractive option.

    4) Go with option #2 for now. Hope that Creative Cloud will allow dual-platform subscriptions, and will be within my price range–neither of which seems really likely given what I know about Adobe.

    I would have simply purchased the volume license on Adobe’s web site, but neither upgrade path seemed to fit my situation, thus my fruitless attempts to get info from Adobe’s customer service.

    Thanks again!

    • Sure Judy. As mentioned above, you could also upgrade to a permanent CS6 volume/business license when it comes out in the future, and that would allow multi-platform usage regardless.

      As you note, there is also the option of a technical approach to use the Windows version on a Mac by running dual-boot or virtualization software like Apple Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion, or VirtualBox.

      This does however require some know-how to set up the framework and install Windows onto your Mac, plus maintain the separate environment – as well as rebooting and switching between the two, and extra costs (like the utility itself and/or an installable copy of Windows). Virtualization also demands a lot of memory and hurts performance.

  15. @ProDesignTools
    Actually, I’m a fairly technical person, having built the PC that CS runs on, and I have Windows running under Bootcamp already. Bootcamp is free, so the only cost associated with this approach is Windows, which is a good deal less expensive than any CS upgrade path. Bootcamp is not virtualization software. It allows an actual dual boot into native Windows. (I use VMWare to run OS X on my PC, so I am familiar with this solution as well.) The only downside to this is the need to reboot. But this is probably how I will proceed since the other choices aren’t that appealing.

  16. We have 2 or 3 CS3 (Standard & Premium) serial numbers and now need 5 or 10 users. How does volume licensing save us money? The Single User price is virtually the same as the boxed product. We use all Macs except for 1 stubborn person …

    • Hi Thomas, the discounts aren’t huge at lower volumes within the program, but it’s definitely cheaper than buying the regular versions (either full or upgrade) – and the discounts gets greater with the order size. See the Instant Quote Calculator for your particular case.

      The biggest cost savings actually comes from reduced maintenance, flexible management, and simplicity of additions for multiple licenses… Plus you can easily switch platforms if you need to (not possible elsewhere), or even “downgrade” to a prior version if you need to match up with older installa­tions. So you have greater ability to adapt and accommodate different situations within your group.

      Here’s a long list of benefits of the business/volume program… Basically, there’s no downside to going this route.

  17. I’m a newbie, looking into buying photoshop cs5, for personal use. I’ve found ads online from someone (small computer repair store?) offering downloadable versions of software, including cs5.5 for $65. I’m guessing that he bought a volume license and is just offering individual activation from his account. I don’t have a problem with this if it’s legit, really can’t afford it otherwise. I know, I know, buyer beware. But can this be done? Here is the email reply I received.

    my software lasts forever and you can install it in 5 pcs

    I have full cs5.5 masters collection its $65 if you purchase downloadable version today, for every additional purchase it will only be an additional $25. Adobe CS5.5 Master Collection includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat X Pro, Dreamweaver, After Effects, etc… all transactions are handled securely via PayPal Or Google-Checkout. Purchase includes full program, product key, activation file, and instructions.

    box copies of office cs5.5 is 720 dollars really if you’re not retail store or big business you don’t to pay all that if you’re looking more affordable deal i can give you cs5.5 masters collection back up copy for only 65 dollars

    Downloadable product comes with valid serial, install instructions and a permanent activation, item has been tested, so can be confident that its going to work.

    Once paid I will send the download link for the program instantly to your email address.

  18. We have a CLP and volume license at our company. Are we allowed to install the software and license key then ghost (or clone) the PC to use as a base image for multiple PCs? If so, do we activate the license before we clone the PC? Or should we wait to activate the license until after we make the duplicate PC from that image?


    • Greetings Chris, you perhaps should double-check with Adobe on that, but if it were us then to be safe we would ghost/clone before activating. That’s the way the software is normally installed, and is used to operating.

      With a volume license it actually may not make any difference, because all machines are on the same serial number and you’re limited by the number of seats you have purchased – but nonetheless we’ll still stick with the advice to activate after cloning, with confirmation from Adobe.

      Hope this helps!

  19. Have a question about volume licencing… It is looking very attractive from what I read, but before I commit I just want to check that it works the way I expect it to.

    – We have 8 computers (PC) on a network
    – Max 2 or 3 people would use Creative Suite at any one time
    – Looking to buy three licenses through volume licensing


    1. Creative Suite can be installed on all computers.
    2. It is the same serial number on each computer.
    3. Only three users can be using ANY of the Creative Suite programs on the computers at any one time.
    4. Is there any activating or de-activating required after one user / PC is finished and another user starts.


    • Welcome Peter, thanks for your questions… Adobe does offer site licenses as well as floating licensing across a network of computers for concurrent or shared use, but they are really only possible with CLP for Education (in other words, large schools under contract).

      With the TLP volume licensing setup described here (and available directly via the Adobe Business Store), you can install on as many machines as you like, but can activate and use the software on only as many seats as you purchased. So in your example this would be three systems, either Windows or Mac – and each seat would be for one user. Each of those users would also have the ability to install the product on a secondary computer for non-simultaneous use.

      But yes, you will receive a single serial number for each operating system platform and can easily expand that incrementally to as many seats as you need in the future. And you will be able to mix and match between platforms as well as flexibly track and manage your licenses through Adobe’s password-protected Licensing Web Site (LWS), a web-based license tool.

      Hope that answers all your questions, if not then just post back!

    • Hey there Dennis, it’s up to you, but in our opinion… absolutely. Purchasing with TLP provides superior flexibility and room to grow in the future if needed, with no downside.

      The cross-platform capability, single serial number, and ease of license management make it worth it to most people just by themselves, and you’re not paying any extra to get them.

      There’s also the ability to get the previous release (like CS5.5 instead of CS6) for those who need it, which is another feature not found in the retail products.

      Adobe volume software is also instantly downloadable, plus upgradeable to/from just like normal. Bottom line in our view, there’s no reason not to go with it vs. the retail version.

  20. Hi,

    I just got 2 licenses for Photoshop in the business store, can I:

    1) Install on as many computers as I want?
    2) Just make sure only 2 users are using at a time.
    3) How do they track btw? Just curious.


    • Hello, congratulations on your new software. Each of your purchased licenses is for a single user and can be installed on one primary and one secondary computer for that person, provided they are not used at the same time. Any secondary copies of the software must be used solely for the benefit and business of the volume licensee. Adobe doesn’t disclose the means it employs for maintaining the EULA, but we strongly advise abiding by the terms.

  21. hello everyone… i just wanna ask… i bought a cs6 adobe… but as i installed everything, the one thing that doesn’t work is illustrator… i don’t know what to do… i can’t open it, it says “PARM” and then it says cannot find pdf… what about that?? help everyone…

    • Sorry you’re having trouble Ivan… Unfortunately, we haven’t heard of anything like that at all, and a quick Google search reveals nothing. What is the exact error message, word for word, letter for letter? Generally, your best bet for finding a solution on something like that is to check with Adobe Support.

  22. I am helping a government agency create a six station video training classroom. Please tell me how much they would pay to purchase CS6 Production Premium to be used on 6 separate workstations within the classroom?


    • Hi Connie, that depends on mostly on your geography and the desired CS6 products to determine the price it will be… It looks like you are in the US and you already know your selection plus how many – so your best bet is to just go to Adobe’s Business Store in your region and enter what you need.

      Or just check Adobe’s Instant Quote Calculator to get the price for exactly what you want… Then feel free to post back with any other questions you may have.

      With at CS6 volume licensing you will receive a single serial number and the ability to flexibly manage your licenses across different machines, including both Windows and Mac OS operating systems.

  23. I am incensed by Adobe’s clear future path of weeding out the reseller channel and milking it all for themselves. I created customers for them but now I can not sell them upgrades. Bad Adobe.

    Further, I was told I can not purchase TLP upgrades for past retail customers. Yet, the customer can do it online themselves?


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