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How to Join Adobe's Creative Cloud for Free

Get Adobe Creative Cloud Now, Free or Paid

Having initially launched nine years ago, by now you’ve heard about Adobe’s fast-growing Creative Cloud, you’ve dispelled the common myths about it, and perhaps are considering sub­scribing to CC now that over 22 million of your colleagues already have…

You may also know that since Adobe stopped development of the older “CS” releases back in 2012, there have been thousands of new product features, enhancements, and perform­ance improve­ments added to CC since Creative Suite ended, as well as integral new online services.

But did you know that no matter what you do, you can sign up right now for a zero-cost class of membership that never expires and provides free benefits for life?  Anyone can have this free level currently in 83 countries worldwide, even if you still use the older tools instead, or even if you use no other Adobe products or services at all.

Here is all of what you get completely free (on Windows or macOS), permanently:

  1. Two gigabytes of cloud space for storing, syncing, and sharing your files online (same as Dropbox).  The content of your Adobe project/data files (like PSD, AI, INDD, or PDF) can be intelligently viewed in any browser, in application-specific ways… Viewers (incl. clients and non-Cloud members) can easily turn layers on and off, display relevant metadata, make comments, optionally download the files, and more – all without needing any other tools.
  2. Completely free download and use of the full desktop version of Adobe XD for Windows or Mac. XD stands for “Experience Design,” and is Adobe’s popular all-in-one UX/UI solution to quickly design websites, mobile apps, and more. With the new Starter Plan, you absolutely get Adobe XD for free – and not a temporary trial version, but a permanently-working version.
  3. Similarly, you get the all-new Premiere Rush Starter Plan: Available for free, the Starter Plan gives customers access to all Premiere Rush features, use of desktop and mobile apps, and the ability to create an unlimited number of projects and export up to three projects.
  4. More free apps: You get access to the full version of Adobe Aero to build, view, and share immersive augmented reality (AR) projects, as well as a free Starter Plan for Adobe Fresco, which combines a variety of vector and raster brushes plus exclusive new live brushes to deliver a completely natural painting and drawing experience.
  5. A lifetime license for Adobe Bridge, their flagship desktop media browser and powerful digital asset manager that allows you to efficiently locate, organize, manage, preview, and batch process your content files – including most image, vector, audio and video files. Easily view and manage Photoshop PSD, Camera RAW, Illustrator AI, InDesign INDD, Adobe XD, Acrobat PDF, Flash SWF, and many other types of files and documents, all without paid programs. (Yes, it’s totally free!)
  6. Creative Cloud Is Growing Fast – How Many Millions of Paid Subscribers?
  7. Full integrated use of Adobe’s family of mobile apps (over a dozen strong!), enabling you to sketch, draw, paint, create layouts, edit photos and make videos on your tablet or smartphone. Powered by CreativeSync technology, your assets and apps are connected across your desktop computers and mobile devices, so you can do great work anywhere.
  8. Get ongoing access to Adobe Acrobat Online Services. Use these handy web tools to convert Microsoft Office files to PDF or vice versa, compress PDF documents, fill and sign forms and agreements, and share and store your documents.
  9. No charge get started with professional Adobe Fonts: choose unlimited online fonts from nearly 1,000 available to use on your websites. You can also sync 1,300+ great fonts to use in your favorite desktop programs – including CC trial apps, older versions of the Creative Suite, non-Adobe applications, or even on iOS/iPadOS.
  10. Full access to over 3,000 free design assets via Creative Cloud Public Libraries. From colors to graphics, and fonts and character styles to brushes, you can download, incorporate and use anything in this vast design toolkit in all of your work, across your favorite Adobe apps, or entirely separately.
  11. Free use of Adobe Spark, an integrated web and mobile solution that allows you to easily produce and share impactful visual content. You can create posts for social media, creative graphics, web pages, and animated videos in no time.
  12. Valuable access to a brand new curated collection of over 75,000 completely free Adobe Stock photos, vectors, illustrations, templates, 3D models, and videos from talented creators – plus the opportunity to receive 10 additional paid assets of your choice at no cost.
  13. Integration of Behance’s community and portfolio capabilities, allowing you to seam­lessly create content, seek feedback, showcase and distribute your work. Behance now has over 24 million members receiving 70+ million project views per month, and is a terrific way to get exposure from like-minded creatives. There’s even a job list for creatives and freelancers, with over 1,000 employment opportunities.
  14. Plus… access to the free trials of all the new Creative Cloud 2021 tools and services.  Even if you previously ran an Adobe trial in previous years, you still receive a fresh new 7-day tryout period with the latest CC release. And every time Adobe does a major upgrade to the software going forward (expected to be annually), you’ll get another new free trial.

How to get all this?  Well if you already have an Adobe ID, then all it takes is confirming the free signup. And if you don’t have an Adobe ID yet, then it’s just six fields to fill out:

Get it now

What do I get with my free Creative Cloud membership?

Creative Cloud: Compare Free vs. Paid Memberships

If you later decide to join the Creative Cloud as a full paying sub­scriber (All Apps), then you’ll keep all of the benefits of the Free level of member­ship above – plus add all of the following:

  • Full access to the complete Adobe CC 2021 toolset, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, InDesign, Acrobat DC Pro, Dreamweaver, Animate, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition, Character Animator, Dimension, and much more.
  • Use of the latest creative technology from Adobe with ongoing upgrades included as soon as they become available – you can always run the most recent product version.
  • 18,000+ Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit Portfolio) that you can search, browse, and use everywhere you need them. With Adobe Fonts, you don’t have to worry about installation, licensing, or limits. All personal and commercial use is covered.
  • New: Adobe Fresco with Premium Features, a unique iPad app that brings together the world’s largest brush collection with revolutionary new technology to deliver a natural “live” painting and drawing experience… See what you can do in Fresco.
  • Also included for all paid CC subscribers is Adobe Portfolio, which gives you a quick and intuitive way to create a beautiful portfolio website to show off your work, without having to write a single line of code.
  • Access to 100 GB of online storage and other services from Adobe, such as free Creative Cloud Training produced by industry-leading partners.
  • Full access to new and additional products that were never available through traditional perpetual licenses, including Dimension, Experience Design (XD), Character Animator, and Premiere Rush, as well as new iPad versions of Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • An upgrade to Adobe Spark with Premium Features, which lets you create and share branded stories using your own logo, fonts, colors, templates, themes, and more. This product alone is a US$9.99/month value.
  • You can install all the desktop programs on up to two of your computers, and easily move the software between different systems as needed.
  • Flexible and budget-friendly payments through monthly or yearly subscription options.

And if you ever stop or cancel your paid subscription, you will still retain all benefits of the Free membership for life.

Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!

What is Adobe Creative Cloud? (In Under Five Minutes:)

Do you have any further questions on what Creative Cloud is about, or how the free membership compares versus the paid/complete membership?  Check out our extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, or just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also

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123 thoughts on “How to Join Adobe's Creative Cloud for Free”

  1. 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?

    Reply
    • Yes Claudia, it’s absolutely true – although not that many people know about it because Adobe hasn’t really publicized it widely…

      You can install Bridge CC either standalone by itself, or together with other applications like Photoshop CC (and all the rest)… Either way, the license for Bridge is completely free and never expires, whether you’re running a free CC trial or a paid subscription. Regardless, Bridge will continue to work and be able to manage and view your media and Adobe files even if/when your Creative Cloud trial or subscription ends.

      To get your permanently free copy of Adobe Bridge CC (100% legal and genuine), you can download and install it here the traditional way (look for the big blue “Download” button at the upper right), or you can use the CC direct download links here.

      For more details and information, see this related post:

      Yes, It’s True: Adobe Bridge CC Is Completely Free for Everyone

      Hope you enjoy it, and it helps your workflow!

  2. Is Edge Animate 1.5 really available for free? Clicking on the link takes me to the Edge Animate CC page and I can only download a trial of that.

    Reply
    • Yes Gyanish, definitely! You need to download Edge Animate 1.5 here, and it comes with a permanently free lifetime license.

      (Please follow the instructions on that page carefully in order for the direct download links to work.)

      Edge Animate CC is a more current release and is available via subscription after the free trial.

  3. Hello there. I think your website is great! I’m surprised no one has yet asked this: with the current Black Friday CC subscription discounts going on, what will happen if I paid for the “All Apps” Creative Cloud subscription discount and skipped the free membership? Are there any benefits offered via the free 30-day trial of Creative Cloud that the “All Apps” paid subscription for the same thing (Creative Cloud) does not include?

    At http://creative.adobe.com/plans, the Black Friday discount for “All Apps” marked down to $39/mo is stated to include “the entire collection of 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps including Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC” but does not reveal what all the apps are. If you look at the list of Single Apps for the $15.99/mo offer, there are only 11 apps shown. So are the other apps the same ones from the free membership?

    The end of your article also mentions, “And if you ever stop or cancel your paid subscription, you will still retain all benefits of the free membership for life.”

    I’m a little confused. Does this mean that upon stopping or cancelling a paid subscrption, all the benefits of the free membership are retained only if I have signed up for a free membership PRIOR to a paid subscription?

    Sorry for all the questions. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Kyle, thanks for the props! Apologies if it wasn’t fully clear – the paid plan benefits are better than the free level of CC membership, and they definitely include everything the free level does (plus more).

      But the point is that if/when you stop your paid CC subscription, then you will still have all the free level benefits available to you. And most of those benefits (as described above) are not time-limited trials.

      However, no one needs to pay in order to get or take advantage of the free level of Creative Cloud – it’s free for everyone, no matter what.

      As far as what’s included in the paid membership, here’s a list of all Adobe tools you get in the Complete Creative Cloud.

      And yes, all the paid plans are currently discounted for Black Friday, and are the best prices Adobe has ever offered on these products.

  4. Hey ProDesignTools,

    Thanks for the clarification and the links! I’m still not sure whether I must sign up for the free membership PRIOR to a paid subscription, to keep all benefits of the free membership?

    Reply
    • Nope – if you sign up for a paid plan first, then you’ll get both the free plus paid benefits (everything).

      So what you get with paid is absolutely better, but you can always switch back to free later regardless.

  5. Well, I was certainly excited to see this free and permanent licensing for Bridge CC and for Edge Animate as well….until. Yep, a little research and a call to Adobe reveals there is no such free licensing for anything at all, except of course the famous Adobe Reader.

    Bottom line, Adobe answered my inquiry as though I were a new arrival from Mars. The guy on the other end even commented, “Really?!”

    So what give, Prodesigntools? Is this your OWN deal of some kind? A way to harvest emails? Come clean, please.

    Reply
    • Hey Phil, your comments are misguided and misplaced. The individual you spoke with is incorrect. Everything published in the article above is 100% true and absolutely accurate.

      Don’t be surprised, it happens sometimes… Some of the front line phone/chat reps are relatively new and not all of them know everything.

      Rest assured – we’ve been running this site for over 6 years, and as official Adobe Partners we talk directly and regularly to the product managers and software development teams, and we pride ourselves on our accuracy.

  6. My apologies – I can certainly understand how a tele-rep could be uninformed or mistaken. I am sorry I came across that way here. You guys at ProDesignTools do have a great reputation — no doubt well deserved.

    Apparently the free level is offered here, but doesn’t appear in Adobe’s web or ads, as you did indicate above. While an avid Adobe desktop user for many years, I’m not a CC member, and just wanted to try out the experience before committing to a paid plan — especially with this Black Friday special going on.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  7. @ProDesignTools
    My sincere apologies. It was pointed out above that deals like the free level are difficult to find on the Adobe web, and perhaps the rep was in the dark about this particular opportunity. You folks have a very good reputation, and I should not have questioned your motives at all. Sorry.

    As a longtime desktop user of Adobe’s photo and video products, I have zero experience “in the cloud,” so just wanted to see how it works before doing the Black Friday special paid route.

    Reply
    • Thanks Phil – appreciate your response, and no hard feelings. Our goal is exactly to surface little-known scoops, helpful tips, and insider resources for Adobe users like yourself… If you read everywhere else what you find here, then we wouldn’t be doing our jobs!

      So it’s no surprise that not everyone at Adobe knows about the kind of information we post here – we’d be more surprised if everyone did.

      But yes, it’s definitely true – both Bridge CC and Edge Animate 1.5 are completely free for everyone with licenses that never expire – and if you want to download them to use and prove it to yourself, feel free!

      Likewise all the other benefits listed above for the free level of Creative Cloud are gratis for life. What does expire without a paid subscription is all the free 30-day trials for the CC desktop applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and the rest.

  8. is Muse also free? I am already a subscriber to the photography bundle and pay $9.99/month, more with tax. How do I get it? I only see the free trials…thank you!

    Reply
  9. i need to reveal something that happened to me, which illustrates just how focused Adobe is on changing people over to CC:

    i (against my better judgement) installed the CC management tool so i could install the free Bridge CC, and the perpetual version of Edge as suggested here. when checking for updates on my standalone Lr6, it opened the CC management tool instead of the regular update dialog. i noticed that it said Lightroom CC 2015 was installed. since i didn’t install CC 2015, i uninstalled it from this tool. can you guess what happened? Yes, that’s right – it uninstalled my standalone version. i immediately uninstalled every trace of CC ANYTHING off my computer, and am in the process of re-installing Lr6 standalone. the best part is that i chose to not save my preferences when uninstalling Lightroom CC 2015, since, you know, i never actually installed it. so now all my standalone preferences have vanished too.

    please note that standalone versions of Lightroom are TOTALLY incompatible with installations of anything CC, because CC will take over management of updates and that is where the problem lies.

    the future of Adobe…. what a joke.

    Reply
    • Sorry you had difficulties MJ, but the future of Adobe (and the CC products) appear very bright indeed.

      Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 are in fact the same program – there is only a single download and a single installation. Just like with past Adobe software (e.g., Photoshop Standard vs. Extended), the version of Lightroom that you get depends on which one you purchased.

      Nevertheless, Lightroom CC would not have been active on your system unless you personally had chosen to install or purchase it. If you ever have any doubt about which products are actually installed on your computer, just check via your operating system.

      It sounds like you opted to delete Lightroom’s preferences, so they would not be saved across reinstallation. Normally they would be preserved, as that is the default behavior unless the user decides otherwise.

      Finally, if you want to quickly install Adobe Bridge CC or Edge Animate 1.5 (both completely free), then you can use the direct download links for Bridge CC here and for Edge Animate perpetual here.

  10. Hey, so I just downloaded Creative Cloud because I wanted to use After Effects. I don’t know much about it, but is it completely free? Can I, for example, install the Photoshop app in addition and use it “safely” without any costs? And if no, for how long will it be free? Thanks!

    Reply
  11. @ProDesignTools
    I have been a member of creative cloud and also had the pleasure of experiencing creative suite for years. My issue is that there are a certain range of customers adobe has/had who have been left in the dark. For people who need these programs to advance in their career or in between jobs. I don’t care about constant updates but I would like to be able to use the programs when I need them. Sometimes that may be every day this month or a couple days next month. Maybe a month I don’t use it at all. Before I could do so freely without worrying about a monthly payment. I had it available to me whenever I needed it and was able to pay for it in full and not resubscribe. I could upgrade whenever I felt the need to or the benefit of an upgrade or when I was able to pay for an upgrade. This Creative Cloud has been nice but it’s put me into a bind more than anything at this point. I am looking for a way I can still utilize the programs that I paid for but not continue with full membership. I know there is a month-to-month option but that doesn’t help me with using what I paid for when I need it. I fell like I wasted my money in this case and should just go back to working on CS5 until somehow those are locked up unable to use to push everyone to CC. A company should take care of all considerations for what they bring to the table, but it seems it is now ONLY about the money.

    Reply
    • Well before, it also cost up to $2,599 upfront just to get in the door. Now, it’s just a fraction of that cost in a month – and you get more & better tools and services.

      As you pointed out, there is a monthly plan that allows you to pay for only the months you use. Per your example, you could go a month between usage or a year – or more. You can always come back to it later, and would only pay when you needed it.

      And as the article above describes, in the meantime there is a permanently free level of Creative Cloud membership for all who sign up. Plus, Adobe will be resetting the CC free trial periods at least once every single year, granting everyone another free 30-44 days with the latest version.

      There are some users who wish it, but it seems clear that Adobe is not going back to the old model – and neither will they “lock up” the previous CS programs. Rather, the old Creative Suite software is unsupported and will continue to grow obsolete and not run properly on modern operating systems.

      The model changed. The pricing changed. For many it will be less expensive than before, and for others it will be more expensive. That’s bound to happen with such a big model change. But Adobe continues to lower their subscription pricing over time, so that is good.

      The pricing is so low in fact for the $9.99 Photoshop + Lightroom plan, that it’s pretty much a no-brainer for a lot of users (compared to the old model where that software cost over $1,100 upfront).

      The bottom line is that Creative Cloud has been growing fast with accelerating adoption, and has been an even greater success than the company anticipated… So, you probably shouldn’t expect the story to change from here on out.

    • Not sure which link you’re referring to – but if you simply sign in or sign up (free), then you will start your free trial of whichever CC products you want, as well as begin your free-for-life level of Creative Cloud membership (as described above).

      After downloading and installing the trials on your computer, the CC desktop tools will run for 30 days for free (or possibly up to 44 days). If you decide to buy a CC plan, then you can activate the software for ongoing use without needing to reinstall it.

      But either way, the other benefits of your free level of Creative Cloud membership don’t/won’t ever expire.

    • Ah, OK. It looks like Adobe changed part of their website structure since this article was published a few months ago… They modify their site from time to time, and then forward visitors to other pages. Thanks for the update, and we will make the adjustment in the article above.

      But what we said in the last reply still holds – if you’re interested in a downloadable trial of the CC software in addition to the other advantages offered by the free level of Creative Cloud membership, then just choose the applications you want to try out there.

  12. Also, Adobe Animate isn’t free (using the direct link your website gave.)
    If there are any solutions, that would be great. Thank you for your patience!

    Reply
    • Right, that’s because the page you mention goes to the latest/current release of Edge Animate CC 2015, which is only offered & available via paid subscription (after the trial is over).

      For the older, free standalone version of Edge Animate 1.5, see this page for a direct link.

      (Make sure to carefully follow the important instructions given there in order for that download to work.)

      Hope that helps!

  13. @ProDesignTools

    Thanks! But just one more thing, I’d like to know how all of this works. Like, have you partnered with Adobe and sponsoring them? This is the first time I’ve been on your website and everything seems kinda out of my way when it comes to understanding things.

    Reply
  14. I have had the free version of Creative Cloud for a while and I subscribe to the Photographer’s deal of getting Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99. I have some questions:

    The Edge Animate that shows up on my PC is 2014.1, and when I attempt to open it I am asked if I want to start my free trial now. I clicked no to close it, but what gives? Is this an older version that will not be free to keep? Does this mean that if I download the trial of the Photoshop cc 2016, and do not purchase the suite I get to keep Edge Animate for free after that? Do I need to delete my current cloud and download this version it?

    I don’t know if that is clear or not. I hope so. I appreciate you all!

    Reply
  15. @obz
    Demand ownership of these programs or a lifetime guarantee that it will always be $7 a month! Adobe is greedy and they are forcing people into new software against their will.

    Reply
  16. Hi, I have downloaded Bridge CC – and now I am a little confused. I don’t know if it is me or if it’s not actually that clear :) I am wanting Ps Ai Id and understand I am downloading free 30-day trials – what isn’t clear to me is this:

    after the 30 days, do I then have to pay to continue using them? can you explain in layman’s terms what this whole process is actually for, please.

    sorry for needing the extra clarification.

    Reply
  17. I tried to download creative cloud for free, and got the following message: ‘You are not eligible to use this product or service due to the Service Eligibility Requirements. Learn more’

    I went to the ‘Learn More’ page, read all the conditions and found nothing whatsoever which disallowed me from being eligible. Can anyone give me an idea what is going on?

    Reply
  18. When I go to that page you linked to for the free Abobe Cloud download, it says it’s a “trial” version. So it’s not really free. I had a free version before, but I can’t find it anywhere now.

    Reply

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