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Comments on “How to Move Adobe CC or CS6 Between Computers, or PC to Mac”, Page 1

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  1. bjc

    so does this mean if i have cs5 on my desktop at home and at a laptop at a second home and i often go to my daughters house…can i deactivate it on my laptop and then install it on a laptop at my daughters house while i stay there??? thanks for anyone who can let me know about this

    • Hi bjc – yes technically this could work, provided you are the user of the software on both of the activated computers, and the software isn’t run on both systems at the same time.

      You may not want to make a frequent habit of deactivating and reactivating though – we’ve seen occasional glitches reported in the activation system and wouldn’t want you to get locked out of the software because something got crossed up… Adobe used to have a deactivation limit in force that would stop their software from being reactivated too many times (to prevent abuse) and they said this limit was removed earlier this year, but the intention is still that the software pretty much reside stably on a system or two – so you may not want to be one to test that out too much.

      Hope this helps and thanks for your comment.

  2. bjc

    thanks so much for the info

  3. What if my macbook crashed and I have to install CS again on my mac, but I have already used my 2 downloads? Have I used my two downloads, or does CS magically become deactivated after a crash? If it’s not deactivated, is there anyway for me to deactivate the crashed download from an outside computer? Sorry if this doesn’t really make sense, I would appreciate it if anyone could help!

    • Hello Tiff, good questions. If you are reinstalling onto the same computer with the same version of operating system, you should be fine – it’s not really a new activation, but rather a reactivation of an existing setup, and wouldn’t count as an additional license.

      But if you have a completely crashed computer that you can’t reboot or start up, then it’s trickier… To deactivate an installation you must have the application running and have an Internet connection; you can’t deactivate remotely yourself.

      If you find yourself in one of these types of situations, your best bet is to contact Adobe Customer Service to see if they can help out… Be sure to have any purchase-related information ready.

      What they might do is deactivate all of the existing installations for your product key on their end, and then you’ll need to reactivate the two working computers you want by reentering your serial number on them. In the meantime you can run the products in free trial mode for thirty days.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Thank you so much, this helped a lot!!

  5. Nils-H

    Have you tried the “upgrade-then-crossgrade” path? Or is it “just in theory”?

    • Hi Nils, thanks for your question. The online upgrade-crossgrade method recommended above is absolutely the best and easiest way to go – Adobe’s systems will have all the fresh records and no phone calls are needed. It’s also well-practiced, so no worries on that either.

      If you do it any other way, you would typically need to get customer service reps involved, dig up and submit old purchase records, wait more time before it gets done, and possibly involve human error.

  6. Nils-H

    I see. So in the online crossgrade form, do you fill in the serial number for CS4, the CS5 upgrade, or both?

    • Good question Nils, thanks. You need the CS4 serial number for the upgrade, not the crossgrade. So first you purchase the CS4 to CS5 upgrade, and install and activate it on the same computer that you have CS4.

      Once this is going for you, then complete the online crossgrade form to change platforms using the new CS5 serial number that you just got, and that Adobe has fresh in its records. And while the crossgrade is going through for the new platform, you can already be using CS5 on the previous platform.

  7. David

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for the advice above – all worked perfectly! One question though – what about all the settings, snippets, site setups and histories etc – can these be moved across from PC to Mac in an easy, efficient manner too? I was rather hoping I wouldn’t have to manually do all the legwork in the config all over again?

    Thanks in advance,
    David

    • Hey, that’s great David – you’re very welcome and glad it worked out for you. As for transferring the settings and configurations, etc – CS5 comprises a lot of different applications, so it really depends on the product(s) you’re interested in for whether it’s possible and what can be moved over…

      Just scan through the different menu options available and/or the CS5 online documentation for Import/Export commands. For example, here’s the official help page for how to do it in Dreamweaver CS5.

  8. David

    Perfect, thanks again.. all migrated over nicely now.

    @ProDesignTools

  9. Jeff

    Here’s another question….I have CS5 on a laptop. I started with an old version of Photoshop, upgraded a few times and I just upgraded from CS2 to CS5. I now want to get a desktop system and put CS5 on that. It sounds like I can install it on a second PC as long as I’m not using both at the same time. However the question becomes how is the best way to do this? Do I install (old) Photoshop 5 and then each upgrade or can I download the current 30 day CS5 trial and use the serial number from my latest CS5 upgrade?

    For the CS5 upgrade it stated that you had to have a licensed version of CS2 or higher. So I’m not sure how all the serial numbers from all the different versions come into play. Any suggestions?

  10. Jeff

    Thanks, that’s great and helpful. By the sounds of it I wouldn’t have to do all the installs of all the old versions, I just need the serial number from the original full version……correct? So otherwise can I just download the CS5 trial and use my serial number from say Photoshop 5?

    • Happy the link helped, and actually you’d probably need and use the license key from last version you upgraded to prior to CS5 – because your original Photoshop is too old to qualify for the discounted upgrade version… Hope this gets it done for you Jeff.

  11. Gini

    OK, I got it, I can use 2 downloads and can even crossgrade online, but can I run one PC version on my laptop and one MAC version on my desktop?

    • Hi Gini, thanks for your question. The only major Adobe product that is licensed for multiplatform use is Lightroom 3 – for all others you are licensed for one platform or the other…

      So you can only run on both PC and Mac if you’ve purchased licenses for each platform, not after a crossgrade. Hope this helps.

  12. Jeff

    What if I have the CS4 serial and want to install on a new machine without upgrading to CS5?

    • Hey there Jeff, you could only install your CS4 onto a new machine if you hadn’t used it to upgrade from for CS5.

      If you upgraded and want to continue using the older version, it has to be installed on the same machine as the upgraded (newer) version.

  13. Barry

    ProDesignTools :
    Hi Gini, thanks for your question. The only major Adobe product that is licensed for multiplatform use is Lightroom 3 – for all others you are licensed for one platform or the other…
    So you can only run on both PC and Mac if you’ve purchased licenses for each platform, not after a crossgrade. Hope this helps.

    Hi Jeff. So can I run Lightroom cross platform – pc/mac and use the same registration key for both installs or do I have to purchase a second license? Wasn’t sure from the previous question quoted. Thanks.

  14. Lisa

    ProDesignTools :
    Good question Nils, thanks. You need the CS4 serial number for the upgrade, not the crossgrade. So first you purchase the CS4 to CS5 upgrade, and install and activate it on the same computer that you have CS4.
    Once this is going for you, then complete the online crossgrade form to change platforms using the new CS5 serial number that you just got, and that Adobe has fresh in its records. And while the crossgrade is going through for the new platform, you can already be using CS5 on the previous platform.

    Thanks for this excellent information. I have a 2nd install of CS3 on a PC that I want to upgrade to CS5 on a Mac. However the PC is dead. Am I correct in understanding your response above that I’d need to install the CS5 upgrade on the PC first before installing on the Mac? Even if the PC were alive and well, it wouldn’t be able to handle a CS5 install. Am I stuck with purchasing a new version and not the upgrade or is there a way around installing on the same PC as the previous version?

    • Greetings Lisa, you’re very welcome! And we have some more good news for you: you can indeed buy the discounted upgrade version because when you do an Adobe upgrade, you don’t actually have to have the old software running anywhere if you don’t want to – you just need to have the previous serial number available to enter when you install the new product…

      See this page for more information on how to do it and what is required. Hope this helps!

  15. Robin

    So I have CS2 on my work mac and we are upgrading to new computers and purchasing CS5. I’m going to buy my old mac from my company since it still runs great. I’m going to have to reload CS2 on the new one so we can upgrade it. Will I still be able to run CS2 on my old computer?

  16. Jim

    I have adobe Dreamweaver CS2 on my main machine and Dreamweaver CS4 on my laptop. I have now purchased Dreamweaver CS5 (full version) and want to replace the Dreamweaver CS2 version on my main computer. Do I need to deactivate, uninstall Dreamweaver CS2 before installing Dreamweaver CS5 or do I just install Dreamweaver CS5 on top of Dreamweaver CS2? Thanks.

  17. Jim

    Thanks for the quick feedback. In this case, I’ll keep the CS2 around for a while longer while working with CS5.

  18. I recently bought CS5 Master Collection for Windows. Since i can install it on two different machines, is it possible to have a copy on my desktop pc and a copy on my macbook? i ask you that because in my adobe licence certificate i have both serials for pc and mac.

    • Hello Chris, thanks for your question. Did you purchase CS5 Master Collection through the Adobe Business Store? (formerly known as the Volume Licensing Store)

      We’re guessing you must have, because regular off-the-shelf (retail box or download) copies of CS5 do not include serial numbers for each platform.

      If so, then things work a little differently – there’s good news and bad news…

      The good news is the Business/Volume program (also known as Adobe TLP or Transactional Licensing Program) offers pricing discounts for as little as one license, and also you can freely move or install your licenses on either Windows or Mac using the two provided serial numbers as you discovered.

      The bad news is that if you’ve purchased one license, then you can only install one instance of the software, on all machines. The licensing system is different and there is no activation as with the regular CS5, so if you want to install and run it on more computers, you’d need to purchase additional licenses. Then you continue using the same single serial number (and instal­lation media) for your entire group of systems.

      “Business orders provide a single serial number per product (per platform) across your entire organization, so IT staff can build a standard image for installation on each computer to get users up and running quickly. By ordering your software through TLP and using Adobe’s Licensing Web Site (LWS) to manage your licenses, you can eliminate the countless hours it often takes to monitor deployed retail software while ensuring your organization is in compliance with its Adobe software licenses.”

      [Source: Adobe TLP Volume Licensing]

      Hope this helps!

  19. Hi,
    Why are the books, like Classroom in a Book, or any other well know expert “CS” writers mostly using Mac computers for example while it’s only 10% of the market ?

    I use CS4 products so far, using a Microsoft System PC, and intend to go for CS5 Suite, but…

    We use Mac Pro for specific applications, but i would like to know why Adobe’s preferences go for Mac ?

    Is it a “Commercial” reason ?…

    Or is it “really” because of reliability, or performance ?

    Thanks for letting me know,
    Regards,
    Jean

    • Greetings Jean, historically Adobe and their software have had a strong connection to the artistic and creative community, which is fairly Mac-centric. Many customers used Macs and the proportion was much higher than it is throughout the world at large…

      In recent years Adobe has increased focus on the business side, and so it’s safe to say more Adobe customers are using Windows. But on an individual book basis, your mileage may vary – as it would depend on the particular author, and each book is separate and distinct.

      It also depends on the product. Some Adobe products aren’t currently offered in Mac versions (for example, the new Acrobat X Suite). But most are, and on the whole, the customer base is more balanced.

      It’s nothing to do with reliability or performance though, which are equivalent on both platforms (all other things being equal).

  20. Ben

    Hi,

    Great post. I have a new MacBook Pro coming. I want to install Photoshop CS5 on it but I only have the Windows version of PS CS5.

    How do I go about crossgrading if I’m not also upgrading?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Ben, thank you for your comment and kind words. Sorry that wasn’t clearer; if you’re already running the most recent version of the software, you’re set – you don’t need to upgrade, just “crossgrade” as outlined above…

      In other words, a customer only needs to upgrade if he/she is not currently running the latest release when requesting the crossgrade (Windows to Mac, or vice versa).

      Otherwise, for folks like you, just carefully follow the procedure above and submit the platform change to Adobe – and you should be taken care of.

      Thanks for visiting and good luck! Please post back if you have any further questions.

  21. @ProDesignTools
    Hi,
    My apologies, but i don’t remember if i already answered your reply.
    Thanks anyway.
    But i noticed the “Clean Script” seams to be only for CS5 ?
    Am i right, or is there a version for CS4 as well ?

    Regards,
    Jean

  22. Amy

    I’m trying to move Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 between computers. Will the same process work as the one for CS5? I’m worried that if I disable it I’ll never be able to get it back so I’m just double checking here.

    Thanks!

    • Yes Amy, thanks for asking – it should be the same process with Photoshop Elements and in fact most any Adobe product, so long as you see the “Deactivate” option on your Help menu…

      For more information including how to move your catalog for Photoshop Elements, check out this forum thread.

  23. Jim

    I have a desktop PC with the Student edition of CS5 Design Premium installed, and a MacBook. I’m planning to install CS5 on the MacBook Pro, as I intend to leave home for a few months and won’t have access to the PC while I’m gone. What I would like to know is whether it will be possible to crossgrade my account over to the Mac for the months while I am gone, then crossgrade back to the PC when I come back? Or will I only be able to crossgrade the one time and be out of luck after that?

    Thanks in advance.

  24. Jim

    Thank you for the quick answer.

    I have one more question. It seems my only options are to either buy another Adobe license for the Mac (which I imagine will be the equivalent of purchasing the Design Premium set again), or installing Windows on the MacBook and using the license there (which I assume still falls under the Adobe EULA).

    Assuming the latter will be far less costly, will it be possible to install a later version of Windows (such as Windows 7) on the laptop and still use the one license, or does CS5 on the laptop need to be run from the same version of Windows as is on the desktop PC (in this case XP)? I’d hate to be out hundreds of dollars and find out I’m trying to do something that won’t work, or that Adobe frowns upon.

    Thanks again for all the help!

    • Hello again Jim, you’re welcome and hope we can help you figure this one out!

      Those are definitely two of the possibilities – and to answer your questions:

      1. Running CS5 on something like Apple Boot Camp does actually work quite well, and is allowed under Adobe’s licensing agreement as one of your installed copies (see section 2.11 Dual Boot Platform of the EULA).

      2. It can be any version of Windows – so yes, you can run and switch between Windows 7 or Vista or whatever is supported by the system requirements for your product.

      There is actually a third possibility to solve it – you can try to get your CS5 converted to a business or volume license – which as it turns out, can easily switch between platforms with two serial numbers. It may not work for you because you have a student edition, but for others it could be worth a try to check it out.

  25. Little Chuck

    Well my computer with CS2 creative suite installed has gone to computer heaven. The screen is black and stays black. Creative suite is still installed on my laptop.

    How can I upgrade to my new computer as I can’t uninstall the program from a dead computer. How much would an Adobe subscription cost?

    Regards
    Little Chuck

    • Greetings Chuck, if you have a dead computer that you can’t reboot or start up, it’s a bit trickier… To deactivate an installation you must have the application running and have an Internet connection; you can’t deactivate remotely yourself.

      So in these types of situations, your best bet is to contact Adobe Customer Service to see if they can help out… What they might do is deactivate all of the existing installations for your license key on their end, and then you’ll need to reactivate the working computer(s) you want by reentering your serial number on them. In the meantime you can run your product in free trial mode for 30 days.

      If you’re considering upgrading to CS5.5, there’s a special grace period now that can get you upgraded for less. Adobe’s new CS5.5 subscriptions are also an option, as you mentioned.

      Good luck and hope this helps!

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