Update: Adobe has announced a free web version of Photoshop
If you’re currently exploring the best photo editing software available, then it’s no surprise if industry-leading Adobe Photoshop CC (opens in new tab) has piqued your interest.
Photoshop CC is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud (opens in new tab) platform, and can be downloaded from the Adobe website. You can purchase Photoshop CC on its own, as part of Adobe’s Photography plan, or bundled with the comprehensive Creative Cloud All Apps package.
In this article, we explain how to download Photoshop CC, how to try it for free, and how much the paid plans cost, so you can decide which option suits you best.
Can I download Photoshop for free?
Photoshop CC doesn’t come with a free starter plan. However, you can try out its features and functions at no cost with a seven-day free trial (opens in new tab), which applies across all three of the paid plans that include Photoshop CC. Additionally, Adobe has started rolling out a "freemium" web browser-based version of Photoshop that will work in Edge and Chrome browsers.
To opt for this, you need to create a free Adobe ID account first, which you can easily set up using your email address—or through your Google, Facebook, or Apple account.
Before you can download Photoshop and begin your free trial, you also need to enter your credit card details on Adobe’s secure payment page (which you’re directed to after selecting "Try for free"). If you don’t opt out of the subscription within the free trial period, it will automatically become a paid plan.
Whether you’re buying Photoshop CC or testing it for free, be sure to only download it from the official Adobe website (opens in new tab). Other vendors might advertise alternative download methods, but these won’t be safe or legal links.
How do I buy Photoshop CC?
You can buy Photoshop CC by itself via a Single App plan (opens in new tab). This is available for use on desktop and iPad, and comes with 100GB of cloud storage, plus four other related Adobe apps: Spark (opens in new tab), Fresco (opens in new tab), Portfolio (opens in new tab), and Fonts (opens in new tab).
Photoshop CC is also available as part of a larger Photography CC plan, which includes the Lightroom CC (opens in new tab) (for desktop and mobile) and Lightroom Classic (for desktop) photo editing suites.
Alternatively, you can buy Photoshop CC as part of the comprehensive Creative Cloud All Apps package (opens in new tab), which includes over 20 Adobe creative apps, as well as 100GB of cloud storage.
All of these plans can be purchased on Adobe’s website. Simply select "Buy now" to go to Adobe’s secure payment page, then follow the instructions to purchase and download the subscription of your choice.
What’s the price of Photoshop CC?
Photoshop CC as a single app costs $20.99 a month, or $239.88 if prepaid for the whole year. You can also pay for it on a rolling monthly basis at $31.49 a month, although this isn’t as cost-effective.
The bigger Photography plan (opens in new tab) comes with 20GB of cloud storage and costs $9.99 a month, or $199.88 if prepaid for the whole year. You can upgrade the plan to include 1TB of cloud storage instead, which increases the price to $19.99 a month, or $239.88 if prepaid for the whole year.
If you want to use Photoshop CC via the All Apps subscription bundle, it’ll cost $52.99 a month, or $599.88 prepaid annually. You can also pay on a rolling monthly basis, which costs $79.49 a month and is, again, the least cost-effective option.
For businesses, the All Apps plan (opens in new tab) costs $79.99 a month for one license, while a Single App plan is $33.99 a month for one license. With this business edition, each user gets 24/7 technical support, 1TB of cloud storage, and can integrate Creative Cloud apps with other popular work apps like Slack (opens in new tab) and Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab).
Creative Cloud has seamless integration with Adobe apps (opens in new tab)
Adobe's Creative Cloud (opens in new tab) Photography Plan comes with 20GB storage as standard (as well as Photoshop and Lightroom of course). You can upgrade to 2TB, 5TB, or 10TB plans starting at $9.99 per TB, and there's also a seven-day free trial available, so you can test it out before you sign up.
Photoshop discount for teachers and students
Adobe doesn’t currently offer a Photoshop CC discount. However, teachers and students can still enjoy a saving of over 60% on the Creative Cloud All Apps subscription.
With this discount, the All Apps plan only costs $19.99 a month (increasing to $29.99 a month after the first year), or $239.88 a year if paid annually (increasing to $359.88 after the first year).
How can I get started with Photoshop?
If you’re new to Photoshop CC, there are several helpful tutorials (opens in new tab) to explore on Adobe’s website.
Whether you want to learn the basics or hone your skills, there are many video guides to choose from, including various Getting Started tutorials, editing tips, and How-to lessons—both for desktop and iPad users.
What’s more, you can filter the content by selecting either the Beginner or Experienced options at the top of the tutorials web page.
Photoshop: Key info you need to know
Adobe Photoshop CC 2021 is packed with an impressive array of cutting-edge features and functions—many of which are AI-enhanced by Adobe Sensei (opens in new tab). As a result, Photoshop CC remains one of the most popular photo editing suites among creative professionals.
However, due to the sheer number of tools available, Photoshop CC might also be a little overwhelming for photo editing novices. If you’re a beginner, you could purchase the Photography CC subscription plan and get to grips with the Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic apps first, then move onto Photoshop CC.
To find out what we thought about Photoshop, read our Adobe Photoshop CC 2021 review.
Photoshop: Android and iOS apps
Although you can’t use Photoshop CC on mobile devices, there’s Photoshop Express (opens in new tab), which is a free photo editing app available to use on mobiles.
With Express, you can edit and add various filters to your photos, then upload them to social media platforms. Express is also compatible with Photoshop CC, which means you can export mobile projects to Photoshop CC for further editing.
The Express app is available to download from the App Store (with a mobile running iOS 10 or above) and the Google Play Store (with a mobile running Android 4.1 or above). Find out how to download Adobe Photoshop Express in our guide.
There are lots of other free offshoot Adobe Photoshop apps for iOS and Android as well, such as Photoshop Fix (opens in new tab) and Photoshop Mix (opens in new tab).
Photoshop CC commands lots of justified attention, but there are several appealing alternatives that are also worthy of your time and consideration.
Take Affinity Photo (opens in new tab), for example, which offers a competitive range of tools and features that are well-suited to editing professionals. What’s more, it’s markedly less expensive than Photoshop and doesn’t involve a subscription.
You can read our full guide to the best alternatives to Photoshop (opens in new tab) to find out which platforms rank highly as other options; you can also read our guide to the best free photo editing software (opens in new tab) to see what options are available for free.