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Home > Tips May 10th, 2012

How to Install or Run Adobe CS6 on Both Windows PC and Mac OS

With Adobe Creative Suite, if you’re just looking to set up and run CS6 on either a Windows PC or a Mac OS system, the instructions for that are easy. And in fact, as we discussed earlier, it’s relatively straightforward to install and activate the software on up to two machines of the same operating system type – in other words, either two Mac computers, or two Windows PC’s.

Install and run CS6 on both Windows and Mac

But in most cases, with the platform selection for Creative Suite and Acrobat products, it’s “either-or.” Either Apple or Microsoft. Either Mac or Windows. That’s the story for the retail and education versions of the software. And, if you want to change or swap platforms entirely, and move your tools from one o/s to the other, you can do that with an Adobe CS “crossgrade.”

However, there is another possibility if you want or need to have the applications available on both operating systems (Windows plus Mac OS) at the same time – and that is to get an Adobe volume license. Despite the name, anybody can buy them (not just businesses and even for just one copy), though they do offer discounts for larger purchases… and there are some additional advantages too. They’re easy to get – no signature contracts are necessary and you can pay online with a credit card, and download right away.

[UPDATE (February 2013) – Please see this comment below for an important change on how to buy multi-platform Adobe software… The company is no longer offering the older option described here, so now customers who would like to run their apps on multiple operating systems are using this solution instead.]

These volume products are offered “multiplatform” and are supplied with two license keys – one for each operating system – allowing you to install the software on both platforms… Just select “Multiple Platforms” on the simple online order page, it’s right there. You can even upgrade to these licenses from most older versions, including standard retail and education editions – with the same discounted upgrade pricing for all.  Here is the relevant section from Adobe’s volume licensing policies page:

Cross-platform licensing

Adobe Volume Licensing (AVL) customers receive product serial numbers for both Windows and Mac OS, as long as the product is available for both and the two platforms are the same version.

Program members can choose to use either platform, as long as the total number of licenses being used does not exceed the number purchased.

As we’ve covered previously, each license purchased from Adobe allows the user to install and activate the product on up to two computer systems, so long as they are not both used or run at the same time. These are the same terms as for all customers written in the Creative Suite licensing agreement.

As more Macs make their way into the world, and as more folks acquire and own or use both types of computers on their networks, the need for multi-platform usage will grow. Recently, Adobe has begun to offer some shrinkwrap retail software for universal use – most notably Photoshop Elements and Lightroom in their latest releases. Subscribers to the Creative Cloud can also install the tools on both a Mac and a PC.  But, if this is what you need to do now with your permanent software licenses, then you may want to check this out

If you happened to make a purchase recently and didn’t get what you needed, you may also know about Adobe’s 30-day Return & Exchange Policy.

[UPDATE (September 2012) – Good news: there is now also the availability of the same volume licensing solution for education purchases on both Windows and Mac, with up to 80% off the regular prices for students, teachers, and schools.]

See Also

Download New Adobe CC 2018 Free Trials (Direct Links)

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  1. khayrul hasan
  2. accessdata

    we lost our disk and replaced the computer the program was on. we have our serial number but just either need a new disk or direct link to cs6.

  3. William Hart

    I have had trouble with Mac’s latest High Sierra operating system not allowing me to re-install my Adobe Creative Suite 6, as well as my HP Officejet 8600 – and wondering if anyone can help me, because three trips to the Apple store and also many phone calls to their support have not.

    I just do not know what to do and do not at this stage in my life want to pay monthly fees for what I already own… HELP

    • Hello William, all Adobe Creative Suite software is over six years old and end-of-life. Meaning, it is no longer supported and there are no guarantees about running on modern hardware or operating systems. Most computer software has a limited lifetime of viability before this happens.

      Typically, the main issue is about the core operating system support for older runtimes and dated API’s in programs that were written in 2011-2012. To be clear, this has far more to do with Apple dropping that support as they move forward, than it does Adobe. Apple is notorious for doing this. Microsoft is a bit better at managing old interfaces and compatibility in later o/s releases.

      As with all static perpetual versions, they eventually grow obsolete and won’t run if you can’t preserve the original platform that they were built for. Upgrades and maintenance are an ongoing necessity in order to maintain virtually anything in life, especially something that moves as technologically fast as computer software.

      One of the important advantages of Creative Cloud is that all ongoing upgrades, compatibility updates and product additions are always included, including a steady stream of new features and performance improvements at no additional cost. So the tools will never become obsolete or stop working on a new operating system, and in fact they are written to take advantage of the speed and optimizations that the newer platforms bring.

      You may already be aware of some of these details, but just wanted to mention them as background regarding the situation, or if you’re having trouble running old programs on new systems… Best of luck!

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