1. Technology

How Many Computers May I Legally Install Photoshop On?

Photoshop Installation Restrictions Explained


Girl and Illuminated Red Numbers
Photo by MissyH on Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence

Question: How Many Computers May I Legally Install Photoshop On?

Is it legal to install Adobe Photoshop on more than one computer? If so, how many computers may I install Photoshop on?

Answer: Photoshop's end-user license agreement (EULA) has always allowed for Photoshop to be installed on up to two computers (for instance, a home computer and a work computer, or a desktop and a laptop), as long as it's not being used on both computers at the same time.

Here is is a quote from the relevant section of the Photoshop CS2 license agreement:

2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use. The primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer.

In Photoshop CS for Windows and Photoshop CS2 for Macintosh and Windows, Adobe has introduced product activation, which makes the two-computer policy strictly enforceable by preventing you from activating Photoshop on more than two computers. You can still install Photoshop on as many computers as you like, but only two copies can be activated. It is very easy to transfer activations from one computer to another, as long as the computers have an Internet connection. Even without an Internet connection, you can still transfer activation over the phone.

This information also applies to Adobe's other Creative Suite products: Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive, and Acrobat Professional. This licensing was in effect for all "boxed" versions of Adobe software. With Adobe Creative Cloud versions, a single-user subscription allows you to install the software on unlimited computers, but you will not be permitted to use it on more than one computer at the same time.

Note: You can find the Photoshop EULA under the Legal folder in your Photoshop installation folder. There are several sub-folders for different language translations, with a "License.html" file under each one. For the US English translation for Photoshop CS2 on Windows, the file is located in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS2\Legal\en_us. If you purchased Photoshop as part of the Adobe Creative Suite, there will be a Legal folder under the Adobe Creative Suite installation folder.

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Graphics Software
  4. Adobe Photoshop
  5. How Many Computers May I Legally Install Photoshop On?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.