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

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How to Move Adobe CC or CS6 Between Computers, or PC to Mac


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

  1. @ProDesignTools

    Thanks for your reply. Actually I have a 2 user paper volume license, the serial for both the software is same. If Adobe resets the license activation, then I have the reactivate both the machines?

    • Yes, definitely Arif – you wouldn’t have to actually reinstall the software, but you would have to reactivate all copies and systems that use the serial number that Adobe resets.

  2. My laptop fried and i have a new computer – how do i redownload the programs? Every time i try to do it, it says i have to either buy or do the trial version

  3. I purchased a refurbished Macbook mid-2010; I never even thought to how much VRAM I would need. Consequently, I am unable to run Creative Cloud on my macbook; I still have a copy of CS5 and have deactivated the serial on my windows laptop, but when I try to enter the serial number on my macbook, it says the serial number is not valid for that product.

    I do notice that when I log in to my Adobe account, I seem to have two serial numbers: CS5 and CS5.1 so I’ll try the other serial and see if works.

    But I do want to say that I could not find the “Get Support” option to apply for a crossgrade anywhere. I followed the instructions on the link given above, but there is not “get support” option from the page when I log in.

    • Hello Paula, sorry you’re having difficulties. With CS6 and earlier software, you cannot run a Windows license natively on a Mac, nor run a Mac license natively on Windows – you will get that “invalid serial number” message if you try.

      Instead, you have to do a crossgrade or platform swap as you mentioned. But importantly, you don’t need to get any special support to achieve that any longer! You just go ahead and buy the CS6 upgrade direct from Adobe for the changed operating system that you want… CS6 will then install and run on the new platform even if your older serial number (CS5 in your case) is coming from the other o/s.

      Note that crossgrades themselves are becoming obsolete because the newer Adobe releases (CC & Creative Cloud) will run flexibly on both Windows and Mac, for up to two computers and even at the same time. However, if you want to do a crossgrade for the older Creative Suite versions, then you must be talking about running or upgrading to the last one (CS6) as it is not possible for anything prior, like CS5, CS4, etc.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Hi,

    I intend to buy CS 6 Master Collection and have just found a Mac version (at a trustworthy, established shop) which is quite a bit cheaper than the Windows version I actually need.

    Is the crossgrade option still valid as of now? I would buy the CS6 MC for Mac at once in that case, but at the moment I am a bit worried that I will be either forced to upgrade to CC (“latest version”) or – even worse – to not be able to crossgrade at all and then having spent much money on a version unusable for me.

    Thanks in advance for your answer!

  5. Hello,

    I’m currently running CS6 on a PC – and will be switching to a Mac OS X soon. Is there no other option but to upgrade to Creative Cloud? I bought the entire CS6 suite less than a few years ago, and it does everything I need it to (therefore no real need to upgrade), besides switching platforms. I don’t need the software on both operating systems, as I will not be using Windows anymore.

    It seems a bit ridiculous to have to pay 360 for the first year of CC, and then 600/year for years to come (nearing almost 3K in payments after 5 years), for a slightly updated version of software I already own. I was told that Lightroom 5 can be used cross-platform, but I do not have that version (running LR 3.6), which means I will have to either again, subscribe to CC and pay monthly, or fork over 100 for a download (still available).

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated — thanks

    • Greetings JY, in fact Adobe’s latest CC 2014 release of creative software is significantly evolved from CS6 – it’s been 2½ years with over 1,000 new features and improvements since CS6 in early 2012…

      Nevertheless, you can’t miss what you haven’t been running, so we understand your perspective. Please see our previous replies to Mick and Paula above, just ahead of your comment… If you are on CS6, then you may be able to do an operating system swap to change platforms from Windows to Mac.

      As for Lightroom, it is indeed multi-platform already – yes, even Lightroom 3 from 2010. So you should be able to run that version on either Mac or Windows.

      Hope that addresses your questions in their entirety; if not then just post back!

  6. @ProDesignTools

    Thank you very much for your answer. I don’t worry much about my health :) as this indeed was a “real”, certified shop – and neither Craigslist, nor Marketplace, nor eBay or anything else which might be considered fishy. As a matter of fact, however, the price they offered has been caused by an error in their database as I was told, and now has returned to its normal (uncomfortable) amount.

    So I’ll have to go with the normal Windows version, directly from Adobe, after all. At least that way I don’t have to worry about crossgrades and the like.

    Thanks again!

  7. Hi.

    I need to do a reformat on this computer. After deactivation of Adobe PS CC and Lightroom do I need to uninstall them as well. I am running Windows 7.

    Thank you

    • Hi Vicki, good question. No, you don’t need to uninstall the software if you don’t want to… The key thing for moving/keeping the licenses is doing the product deactivation or sign-out (from the Help menu), as you did.

  8. Hello, I got a question that combines different types of issues. I have a MacBook Pro and a desktop PC @home. So it is not possible to use the license on both?

  9. I mainly work in illustrator and Photoshop. Many of my illustrator files have multiple placed .psd files within them. I just purchased a new 5k iMac.. What is the best way to transfer the files to my new machine so that they retain their linked image information? Illustrator is looking for the placed .psd files, even though I’ve placed them in the same spot on the new machine. This could mean hours of looking for and re-linking Photoshop files within my illustrator documents.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

  10. hello, i have CS4 design premium and i need install on 1 pc Dreamweaver, and on another PC photoshop – is that is legal ? I have only 1 license

    hola, yo tengo cs4 design premium, necesito instalar Dream weaver en un pc y en otro pc instalar photoshop, esto es legal ? yo solo tengo un numero de licencia

  11. respondo mi pregunta

    4.5 Prohibición de separación. El Software puede incluir diversas aplicaciones y componentes, puede permitir el acceso a distintos Servicios en línea de Adobe, puede utilizarse con varias plataformas e idiomas y puede entregarse al Cliente en varios soportes o copias. Sin embargo, el Software se ha diseñado y proporcionado al Cliente como un producto único para ser utilizado como tal en equipos, según se establece en este contrato. A menos que se indique lo contrario en la Documentación, el Cliente no necesita instalar todas las partes que componen el Software, pero el Cliente no puede separar las partes del Software para usarlas en distintos Equipos.

    • Right, that clause in the Adobe licensing agreement just means you couldn’t separate and run each individual application of the suite on several different computers…

      The maximum number of systems for an individual license is two – and so you should be able to install all or part of your Adobe suite on up to two machines. But you couldn’t try to subdivide the suite into many parts for different users.

      Hope that helps!

  12. I am upgrading my 2011 MacBook Pro with a new hard drive, and to Yosemite at the same time. I am choosing to do a clean install of Yosemite and want to port Adobe CC (along with EVERYTHING else) in the easiest manner possible (time being money and all)… Do I need to download ALL my Adobe apps again, or can they be ported with the Apple transfer app? (I plan to place my old hard drive into an externally mounted USB case for access to all my old stuff)


    • Hi Adam, do you mean using Apple’s Migration Assistant? No, you should definitely not use that… Generally, you cannot move Adobe software between different (or upgraded) system disks without reinstalling the programs from the original installers onto the new disk.

      If you like, you can download all the CC 2014 installers here, and then keep them available offline for copying/reuse on your hard disk or a flash drive or disc/DVD.

  13. please i need urgent support from you, because my computer crashed suddenly almost 3 weeks ago – so most of the time I went to the apple shop for getting support, but many times they are very busy, so i need such kind of software to install on my mac computer: Adobe Indesign, Adobe photoshop, Adobe illustrator, Adobe after effects, Adobe bridge….. how can you help me?

  14. Great to find your site. I’m thinking of buying the Adobe CS6 Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium and was worried if my computer dies, then I have to buy a new software on top of a new computer. Seems that if I have the license, then I can just re-enter the code after deactivating the one on the old computer.

    I’m a photographer, so I need find out what software works best for my raw files. Also, I’ll do book and web design, so I have to convert RGB to CMYK colors. Hope the software I buy covers that.

    Thanks, Jeff

    • Yes, exactly Jeff – you can just follow the instructions given in the article above and it’s easy to move any Adobe software between two different computers whenever you want or need to.

      Also, regarding Creative Suite 6 – it’s older software (from spring 2012), but it still should be able to do all those things you described with no problem. If you want to try it out first, then you can download a free CS6 trial here, and install & run it on your computers to see how it goes.

      Keep in mind that Adobe still sells CS6 direct to folks like yourself, and that’s definitely the best option as we don’t recommend trying to buy it from anywhere else.

      Hope that answers everything you wanted to know; if not then just post back!

  15. I just switched out my input hardware for my PC and now Audition CS6 keeps asking about continuing my trial – but I purchased the full version years ago, is there something I need to do?

    • Ah – yes Chip, that kind of thing can happen if you change or upgrade your hardware or system without deactivating your Adobe software first… The activation is keyed to a specific, unique signature based on its configuration (which has now changed).

      In such cases, if you have no way to go back to the previous configuration and deactivate your application(s), then you’ll probably have to contact Adobe support (via live online chat is the fastest/easiest) and ask that they do it remotely for you. Be sure to have your Adobe ID, serial number, and any purchase-related information ready.

  16. After swiching out my mixer hardware, I’m getting a message that indicated I’m using a trial version rather than the full version i purchased, are these things related?

  17. Hi, i found a good deal on a dvd-rom version of CS6 production premium. How many computers can i install this on? Is there some account confirmation that needs to take place in order for the software to run?

  18. Hello!
    Thank you very much for your very helpful information! I just had a quick question. I am looking into buying the CS6 Design & Web Premium student and teacher edition, which is electronic download only, but I might be getting a new macbook sometime soon.

    Will I still be able to transfer the software onto my new macbook even if it is a student edition? I am not sure if this makes a difference. Thank you!

    • Yes Carlie, definitely. While Adobe’s Student Editions are not transferable between people, they are still transferable between computers.

      In other words, the “how to move Adobe software” guide above works for all versions available – personal, professional, home, office, individual, student, teacher, business, etc. The type of license doesn’t make a difference, neither does whether the product came on disc/CD or download/ESD.

  19. I bought 1 license for CS6 Windows from TechSoup in 2012. We are a small non-profit. I loaded the program on our organization’s laptop as a backup (I never use it) and had the graphics person upload the copy to be used all the time. This person has left our organization and I don’t have access to their computer to deactivate it. I have the license key etc., but I need to have our new graphics hire have access to it.

    I understand I can download it on the new hire’s computer, but I don’t know what will happen when I activate it. I need to bump the other person, who is no longer authorized, off the account. How do I do that?

  20. Hi, I need to move Photoshop from my old laptop to a newer laptop but I don’t have any of the information I had from the purchase since it was a few years back.

    How can I transfer my license and upgrade at the same time, and how much will the upgrade cost?

    • Hi Trish, Photoshop CS6 is still sold direct by Adobe, and the perpetual licensed version costs US$199 to upgrade. To upgrade, you will need your older serial number, which you should be able to retrieve from your current system using the techniques described above.

      As an alternative, the latest-and-greatest release of Photoshop – which is called Photoshop CC 2014 – is now available together with Adobe Lightroom as part of the new CC Photography Plan for $9.99 a month. No previous license key or software ownership is required.

      Whichever path you choose, keep in mind that the CS6 version is 3 years old now and not being upgraded any further, nor being supported on future operating systems – whereas all subscribers to CC will receive ongoing new features and upgrades as soon as they’re available at no additional cost.

      Hope that helps!

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