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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

Get the New Creative Cloud 2021 Direct Download Links

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

  1. I have the Creative Cloud Photography Plan for 9.99 per month. Does that include free fonts with typekit? I am particularly interested in bicham script pro, but when I try to download, it tells me I have to buy it. Can you please tell me what my membership includes? Thank you

    Reply
  2. Hey, great post! I hope it’s all right that I shared it on my Facebook.
    If not, no problem – just tell me and I’ll delete it.
    Regardless, keep up the good work.

    Reply
  3. I’m using OSX (10.9.5) along with CS4. Have been holding off on upgrades because of conflicts/compatibility with software. I was hoping to move to CS6, but feel now it may not even be available. I require Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Acrobat Pro and others. Will be starting video editing. I’m ready to make a change, got to keep up, and am wondering whether to upgrade the OS first, then sign up for CC, or get the cloud first and see if it will work with Mavericks. I cannot afford any hiccups in my schedule right now.

    With these app requirements, what will the charge be for CC?

    Reply
  4. é possível utilizar o adobe portfólio sem custo algum e sem a necessidade de comprar o domínio ou pagar mensalidades? utilizando como “username.myportfolio.com”?

    Reply
  5. Hello, I am curious about the following: When I was in school, we migrated from CS6 to CC. Once I graduated, my CC membership expired, and I had no access to my CC files anymore. The CC files that I tried to open after my CC membership expired seemed not to be backwards-compatible, and so I could no longer could open up those files, even in CS6. What a headache!!! Now, years later, I need to get back to using CC. How do I ensure that, if I stop paying for an Adobe CC membership, I don’t lose access to hours worth of hard work, and that I will still be able to open up my files? And if, say, all of those files were to be saved to the cloud, would I even have access to them anymore? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  6. I have been using Illustrator since version 88. I am now in my late 50s and will retire someday soon. If I go to CC, I’ll have to pay $50 a month just to dink around. That’s too much. There needs to be a senior plan for people over a certain age.

    Reply
  7. As of June 2019 the Creative Cloud app is not accessible – even for a seven-day trial – without submitting credit card details. My free subscription has since been terminated and, like anon above, find the £50 monthly (in the UK) far too much to pay (£600 a year subscription, you must be joking Adobe!).

    Reply
  8. I had a glorious graphic design career in my old life, but now as a stay-at-home mama of four, I don’t have the financial allowance to pay for a subscription service. I am running on CS5 (ancient, I know!) and love using InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to create things for my family and my kids. I love these programs and wish I could upgrade, but the cost and requirement to permanently continue in a subscription service will never be within reach for me. In the past, I could ask for birthday and Christmas money to pay for an upgraded software version and be able to make that purchase. But with the new CC annual subscription, I’m not guaranteed to be able to continue and am afraid to lose everything the next year when the time is up. I understand the benefits of the subscription for businesses and those needing the full range of products and constant updates, but what about those of us who just love to play for personal creative needs? I could scrimp and save to purchase a new software, but would need it to last 5-10 years before I would or should be able to upgrade again. What is available for those of us not working in a full-time design world?

    Reply
    • How to open your files at some point in the future if you no longer have a CC subscription? Well, as noted in the article above (in #1 and #5), Adobe Bridge and the Cloud storage itself – both of which are permanently free for life – can open, preview, display, and manipulate files for your Adobe projects (such as .PSD, .AI, .INDD, etc), if your subscription has ended.

      There also exist third-party tools & utilities (including open source) like XnView (free), which will read and write Photoshop .PSD files, and also opens Adobe Illustrator .AI files. ID Util (also free) will read and display any InDesign or InCopy file. Like Photoshop’s published .PSD format, Adobe PDF is another publicly-documented specification, and various programs can read and write those files. So those could be an alternative for you either with without a subscription.

      Adobe will also be resetting a new round of free CC trials at least once every year that will work fully and open your files for 7 days. So if your paid membership has expired, then short-term opening or editing your files down the road could be as simple as just grabbing the latest free trial and firing it up.

      And then there’s always a Creative Cloud month-to-month membership available if you want to do more intensive work, for as long or as short as that is. You would pay only for the months you needed to.

      Bottom line, there should never a case where you are denied access to open your work or files – it’s just that it may not necessarily be 100% free guaranteed, depending on what you want to do with them. But obviously the maintenance of all professional software in working order (to be supported and be able to run on modern operating systems, for example) has costs and tradeoffs, even for standalone perpetual tools.

  9. Hi,
    I have downloaded Illustrator for Mojave. It is requesting a subscription after the trial period. pls help me to sort out this matter. I cannot access the software.

    Thank you

    Reply

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