Download 1,000,000+ High-Quality Assets from the Adobe Stock Free Collection

How to Move Creative Cloud or CS6 from One Computer to Another

You are currently browsing this article's comments (below). If you would like to read the full story, then you can see the complete post here:
How to Move Adobe CC or CS6 Between Computers, or PC to Mac


Sign up for our popular newsletter and we’ll send you 30 great ebooks to learn all major Adobe tools at no cost!

Thank you for subscribing! We hope you enjoy the newsletter and your free Adobe books... Click here to see the books now, and start downloading and reading!

Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.

Share This

Download 1,000,000+ Royalty-Free Images from the Adobe Stock Free Collection

565 thoughts on “How to Move Creative Cloud or CS6 from One Computer to Another”

  1. @ProDesignTools

    So, I re-contacted Adobe this afternoon. The representative was able deactivate Photoshop. It seems to me that the rep was able to differentiate each installation. One on a desktop, the other on a laptop. Could that be?

    Thanks for your suggestion!

  2. Question… I contacted Adobe about doing a platform change (going from pc to mac) with the CS5 extended version and was told I can not do this. Any advice? I really don’t want to do a CC membership since I already have LR4 and they said that I can cross platforms with that program…

    • Hi Terra, what Adobe told you is correct, unfortunately you cannot switch platforms with an older version of the software – it has to be a release that Adobe is still selling…

      In which case, that means only CS6.

      The newer (latest) CC version does not need platform swaps because a single CC license can already run on up to two systems, either a PC or a Mac interchangeably.

      Sorry to say we don’t really have any suggestions for you, as there aren’t any other ways around this.

      But besides being multiplatform, other advantages of CC are getting to use Lightroom 5 instead of LR4, plus of course all of the latest new features and enhancements (performance & fixes) in CC vs. older releases.

  3. I have just downloaded and installed Photoshop cc and Lightroom cc to my windows PC, but I have a space issue. Both programs downloaded to and installed on my “C drive” which is full.

    So my question is,

    1. Can I move the entire installed program from my c drive to another partitioned drive on my PC (ie not to an external drive). So completely remove all trace of it (for both Photoshop cc and Lightroom cc) from my “C drive” in order to free up space permanently on my C drive?


    2. Can I do the above in point 1. WITHOUT having to download the installation files again? I live in a regional area and can only use the internet with my expensive mobile broadband account which was maxed out by the initial Photoshop cc and Lightroom cc that I just did (ie I don’t want to have to download it again)

    And 3. If I can do points 1. and 2. above, can someone please explain it to me step by step as I am an IT novice?

    I have tried calling adobe support for help and have waited hours on the phone only to have it drop out.

    I run my own business from home, and would really appreciate guidance / answers anyone can give me.

    Thanks :)

    • Hello Peter, here are the answers to your questions:

      1. Yes. Generally the most common and reliable way is to fully uninstall the software from C: and then reinstall it onto a different drive… However, we have heard of utilities like Application Mover and Steam Mover that say they can move already-installed programs between two disk drives, without uninstallation or reinstallation. SymMover is another possibility. We have not tested any of these utilities with Adobe products, so cannot vouch for their effectiveness – but they may work for you.

      2. If you download the CC software via the Creative Cloud direct links then you will have a local copy of the installer(s) that you can save, copy, burn to DVD, reuse, reinstall without downloading, etc.  Otherwise, normally, the CC installers are not made accessible to you.

      3. Hopefully, we’ve made it clear enough for you to take the next step to solve your problem!

      Finally, a note for future use – the best and fastest way to contact Adobe Support is generally via live online chat.

  4. Next question is in response to 2.

    How do you find the cc installation files on your PC?

    Where do you look for them? What would they be called?

    Thank you

    • Well, if you do things the standard way using Adobe’s Creative Cloud Desktop app, then you don’t have access to those files.

      But if instead you use the CC direct download links as mentioned, then the files will be wherever you told your browser to put them when you clicked on the links to download… Typically on Windows computers, that would be in your Downloads folder, or on your Desktop. You can then do whatever you want with the installation files.

  5. Hi! I just bought a new ‘rocket’ (solid state drive…. man I can’t wait!!!!) and will be reinstalling CS6 on my new machine. Any tips? or would love to see an article of tips, on how to best transfer preferences, workspaces, custom palettes, graphic styles, customized keyboard shortcuts etc etc etc. I don’t want to migrate everything as I want to do a clean install on my new baby. I shudder to think of setting up all of those things again with my current workload :( In fact, the new machine is sitting there taunting me as I’m afraid of the downtime in getting it up and running! so I’m still plugging away on the old dinosaur. Thanks so much for all the great info!

  6. Thank you :) Yes I found that feature in Photoshop other night! But unfortunately still missing in Illustrator and InDesign? I couldn’t see it anywhere.

  7. Hi. I have a quick question. Let’s say if my friend wanted to use a certain Adobe Software, and I decided to deactivate my license and give him the serial number. Would he be able to activate it on his computer?

  8. Hi

    Thanks for the article. I’m interested in learning about migrating application settings such as presets for PDF creation and other printing settings. A new installation is fine, but I wish to ensure that the person who uses this can deactivate CS6 on their Windows XP PC and start using it on their Windows 7 PC with a minimum of hassle.

    Does anyone know which folders or files need to be copied to the new installation, please?


  9. Hi all,

    I’m a victim of a SSD crash (!), which means I lost ALL activation keys !
    Including: Adobe Master Collection CS6 !

    I received a message from my vendor, my new drive will be delivered tomorrow.

    But what about the Adobe activation keys ?

    The product will be installed on the same master computer, under the same email address.

    Will it be recognized as a first installation, or ???


    • Welcome Jeanlou, sorry to hear about that, and hope you didn’t lose too much data.

      Generally Adobe programs will need reactivation after the change of a major system component like the disk drive, motherboard, etc. It probably won’t continue with the old activation and would believe it’s the first installation for that setup.

      In which case, if the system crashed unexpectedly then you probably did not have the opportunity to deactivate the software first (per the “Deactivating” section above).

      Typically up to two activations are allowed per Adobe product, so that you can run it on up to two machines.

      If you were running the new Adobe CC instead of CS6, then it would automatically sense when you are going over that two-computer limit, and remotely deactivate any other systems as necessary (including crashed or unavailable units).

      However, with all other Adobe programs – including CS6 – the only way to force a deactivation for a computer you can’t access is to contact Adobe directly, give them your serial number, and ask them to reset your license on their end.

      That would bring your official installs down to zero and then allow you to reinstall the software wherever you want, from scratch.

      Meaning, you could then put it back on to your restored or upgraded machine.

      Hope this helps! If that isn’t clear enough, or doesn’t fully answer your question, then just post back.

  10. Re: “Migrate…Import…Export Presets”


    Thanks a lot :) Are these tools available for the other parts of CS6? For example, Microsoft Office has a very handy ‘Save Your Settings Wizard’ that can export/import settings for all the programs included in MS Office. I was hoping that something similar might exist for CS6.

  11. Hello,

    Many thanks for your detailed and very positive answer.

    But, looking at the link you gave me, don’t find the appropriated [ Adobe Master Collection CS6 ] to select between the options !

    The list in proposing lots of choice, except my CS6 !

    So, I clicked at some product, but it stay without reaction ?

    Can you please (?) find the time to indicate the full address to the appropriated link for the CS6 Pro ?

    Take you time, I will start installation only coming Monday.

    Best regards, and have a nice W.E.

  12. Hello MarkD,

    My apologies for your time, but i don’t find the right link !
    Going to :
    Contact Customer Care > 1. What product or service do you need help with ? >
    – Select a product or service !

    But no Adobe Master Collection CS6 included into the proposed list ?
    So, i decided to test [ Creative Suite ] but nothing happened ?
    Do i need to click one of the options on the right side ?
    I did, but no reaction ?

    I’m a little bit puzzled and wonder if i will succeed one of those days ?

    Best regards,

    • When contacting Adobe, after selecting your product you need to answer the second question below there:

      “What topic do you need help with?”

      In your case, you’d select, “Activating my product, or serial number issues.”

      …and then, “Still need help? Contact us.”

      Alternatively, you can chat with them from this page:

      Help with Adobe Activation & Deactivation

      “Don’t have access to your previous computer? Did you upgrade your computer’s hardware, replace a hard drive, upgrade your operating system, or format your computer before deactivating your software? Ask Adobe Support to help you deactivate from a machine you cannot access.”

  13. I have a MacBook Pro at home. I purchased and installed CS5.5 on only one computer. I do not use the Creative Suite enough at home to justify spending the money for the Creative Cloud monthly subscription. I would like to order the CS6 download to use in the future. I have to order the CS6 download by the end of May, after that I will have to subscribe to the Creative Cloud.

    I called Adobe twice to find out if I can purchase the CS6 upgrade and still use CS5.5. They said NO, the CS5.5 license will be nullified once the CS6 download is sent to me.

    My computer at work has CS5.5 and the CS6 upgrade. I can use either version. The CS6 is the upgrade, not the full version.

    I would like to know if it is possible to have both versions available for use on my home computer just as they are on my work computer (Mac).

    Also, is the CS6 upgrade only available as a download or is it available on a CD?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Hello Jody, regrettably you received some incorrect information… When purchasing an upgrade version (like CS6 from CS5), you can (always) continue to install & use both versions on the same computer.

      Per the terms of the Adobe licensing agreement, your original version (CS5) and your upgrade version (CS6) are tied together because of the discounted pricing you received – they are one unit and therefore would need to be installed on the same two systems

      In other words, you couldn’t have your CS5 and CS6 installed on different computers if the number of total machines activated was greater than the two machine limit.

      So one license does not nullify the other; however, you couldn’t decide to later sell or transfer your older software version to another person, if you upgraded from it.

      Finally, Adobe no longer makes the DVD versions of CS6; they discontinued boxes about a year ago. The only release you can get disc media for is CC.

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

  14. Thank you very much for your reply! Your information is extremely helpful!!

    In response to your first comment: “regrettably you received some incorrect information” I am thrilled the information from Adobe was incorrect but wonder why Adobe customer service is giving out false information not once but twice?!!! I’ve been told Adobe’s customer service is horrible. Unfortunately that seems to hold true.

    • Hey Jody, glad to help. It’s not that Adobe customer support is horrible, it’s just that we’ve been doing this for nearly 8 years, and most of the reps there haven’t… There’s really a lot to know about Adobe software, and even good agents (or we) don’t know everything.

      But, happy that you got the answers you needed!

  15. Adobe is getting to big. They make it impossible to get a hold of anyone. Seriously, not every question can be answered by a forum. Combining this with not ever being able to have a physical copy of any products I am really disgusted with big business.

  16. We use the CS6 Master suite here at work. Recently the power supply died on the Mac I run CS6 on. Our IT guy pulled the hard drives out of the fried Mac and put them into another Mac and re-licensed the CS6 suite. The software was working as usual. But I tried to log into the DPS folio producer today using my Adobe ID and it won’t let me log in. Could this be caused by changing the hdd to a different mac?

    I’ve tried resetting the preferences for indesign without success.

    Need to publish some folios tomorrow and it not looking good.

    • Yes David, typically when swapping the hard drive in or out of a computer that changes the hardware profile “signature” of the machine, which the old licensing schemes (like CS6) were tied to…

      (With CC by contrast, your product activations can move together with your Adobe ID login, rather than being tied to specific systems.)

      So in your case, you’d probably have to contact Adobe directly and request that they reset your license activations to zero for that particular serial number. Hopefully that could get you going again.

  17. First, thanks for being a great resource! I have a number of old PC Pagemaker 7 files that I need to open and update. Was very happy to read that CS6 will be able to do that! However I will be getting a Macbook Pro this month. Please tell me if any parts of this plan won’t work:

    1) buy CS6 for PC platform,
    2) open all the Pagemaker files I need and save updated Indesign copies,
    3) Do a crossgrade “swap” to CS6 for mac,
    4) Open PC Indesign files with Mac Indesign.

    In your article I read: “But perhaps the most important is you can’t cross-grade from an older version to the same prior version — you can only move to the latest perpetual version (the last one being CS6), paying any appli­cable upgrade costs… If you have CS6 already, then there should be no additional cost.”

    Can I still lateral crossgrade with CS6? Or would I have to go up to CC which would not be good, since CC won’t open the PM files.

    Thanks for any help, Paula

    • Hi Paula, fortunately you don’t need to do a cross-platform swap, or go through all that… Anything that you need to do temporarily with CS6, you can do by simply downloading and running a free CS6 trial! (for either operating system) Take care of that migration work within 30 days, and move on.

      Alternatively – and this is a little-known fact – current CC subscribers get to download and use CS6 free whenever needed, as a bonus… So that’s another way to skin the cat.

      Then, once you get your files all in order and updated, you can simply buy what’s right for you… Either InDesign CC or CS6 will open your newly-saved CS6 files.

      Also note that generally speaking, Adobe project and data files are cross-platform in themselves – meaning that in most cases, if you have files that were saved on Windows then you can copy/transfer and open them on a Mac just the same (or vice versa).

      Finally, keep in mind that if you’d like to run the tools on both operating systems at once, then CC allows that whereas CS6 does not.

      Hope that helps solve your problem!

  18. That sounds great! However, when I clicked to download CS6 and then “view all available downloads” it isn’t there to select, only the cc versions.

    “We no longer offer trials of the CS6 versions of the applications. Trials of the latest, most recent versions are available through Creative Cloud. Learn more ›”

    Okay, I did find a trial of the InDesign version 8, I believe it was. Downloaded both files. Clicking either one does not open the program though, as it is asking for an association. Where did I go wrong?


  19. THANK YOU! That was the problem… Now I can open all those old files. Next I want to learn more about InDesign and master using it. Do you have a recommendation for an instructional book or video series?

    Thanks for all your help!


  20. I was using adobe cs5 licensed software on my desktop. Suddenly the system is dead and there is no display on it, due to some motherboard problem.

    Now if I upgrade my motherboard and CPU from dual-core to Intel i3 and the hard disk remains the same, will Adobe consider it as a new computer and not accept the old activation keys?

    There is also a possibility that the Windows 7 will get corrupt when we change the board CPU.

    What should I do to avoid losing my activation of CS5?

    • Hey Arif, from an Adobe perspective, there’s really nothing you can do except proceed with the steps required to restore or rebuild your computer system…

      It’s possible that the software activation – either for Adobe or Microsoft – will fail when you change out significant hardware… But if so, it would be unavoidable due to your circumstances – it sounds like you cannot ever bring back what is dead from your previous hardware setup.

      But don’t worry, all is not lost. If that happens, usually all you have to do is contact Adobe directly and request that they reset your license activations back to zero:

      (Going with the live online chat there usually works the best/fastest.)

      Good luck with it!

Leave a Comment or Question

Receive over 30 Adobe Books plus Our Newsletter, Free!

Download Free Adobe Books Sign up for our popular newsletter and we’ll send you 30 great ebooks to learn all major Adobe tools free!

Thanks for subscribing! We hope you enjoy the newsletter and your free Adobe books... Click here to see the books now, and start downloading and reading!

Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.

And don't miss: The New CC 2024 Direct Download Links
Boost your content creation with 1,000,000 free images from Adobe Stock

Don't miss: Download 1 million FREE Adobe Stock assets!

Start downloading instantly from the Adobe Stock Free Collection:


This message will close in:


Download Dozens of Free Adobe Books Sign up for our popular newsletter and we’ll send you 30 great ebooks to learn all major Adobe tools at no cost!

Thank you for subscribing! We hope you enjoy the newsletter and your free Adobe books... Click here to see the books now, and start downloading and reading!

Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.

Thanks for sharing!
Subscribe to ProDesignTools for Adobe updates:

Download Free Adobe Books Sign up for our popular newsletter and we’ll send you 30 great ebooks to learn all major Adobe tools free!

Thanks for subscribing! We hope you enjoy the newsletter and your free Adobe books... Click here to see the books now, and start downloading and reading!

Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.