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How to Transfer Photoshop from One Computer to Another

Published: 08/06/2021

The need to transfer Adobe Photoshop from one device to another may arise due to many factors. You may be upgrading your systems, switching from Windows to a Mac, or buying a new computer. Whatever the reason behind it, learning how to transfer Photoshop from one computer to another is necessary to carry out the task properly.

How to Transfer Photoshop from One Computer to Another

Whenever you are required to move paid software like Adobe Photoshop to another computer, you may feel apprehensive about doing so. You may be fearing anything might go wrong during the process, and you will have to purchase a new subscription, wasting the money spent on an earlier one. 

The truth, however, is that transferring Photoshop to another device is a fairly simple process. All you need to do is go through Adobe’s terms and conditions regarding use on multiple devices and the license key. Doing so will clear your mind about the actual process.

First of all, remember that Adobe’s terms and conditions allow two activations per subscription. This means that while you are using Adobe Photoshop as a primary user on one device, you can also install it on one more device. However, you can not use the software on both simultaneously. 

Step 1: Deactivate Photoshop From Old Computer

The initial phase of transferring Photoshop is to deactivate it on the device that is no longer intended for use. A little breakdown on why Deactivation is needed tells us that it is essential to free up the activation of the license. Simply uninstalling will not deactivate Photoshop from a computer.

Unlike Uninstallation, Deactivation is achieved only after you sign out of your account. Failing to do so will not allow you to use Photoshop with the same license key on another computer. If you deactivate Photoshop and don’t uninstall, you will be prompted to input your serial number the next time you open Photoshop on that device and start a free trial period. 

Signing out of Photoshop

The question arises here that how can you sign out of a device that is no longer accessible? (disk drive crashed, the computer lost, or damaged beyond repair, etc.)

The solution to this problem is the Account Management page of Creative Cloud. You can carry on the deactivation process from there, or get in touch with Adobe Customer Service to use your serial number and do it on their end.

Once the software is Deactivated, it is highly recommended to run the system through the Adobe Cleaner Tool to entirely purge the software system.

Step 2: Install Photoshop on the New Computer

After deactivating the old system, it is now time to install and activate it on the new system. There are two things required for the process:

  1. Installation file or link.
  2. Serial number.

The serial number is assigned to you when you purchase Photoshop from Adobe. To view your serial number, log in to your online Adobe account. All your serial numbers will be viewable there. However, you may not see these numbers. If that happens, try registering your product and reload the page.

There is one more way to find the serial number. You can use Belarc Advisor (Windows) to retrieve your serial number. Or, if you are using a Mac OS, try using the Product Key Finder on Mac. These utilities will help recover activation keys for all the programs on a system.

Install Photoshop using the download file or link on the new computer. First, a free trial will be installed, which will turn into a permanent version once you enter the valid serial number. 

You can alternatively use a CD/DVD or USB to install Photoshop. 

Step 3: Use your Product Key to Activate Photoshop on New Computer

On the new computer, you need to enter the serial key (Product key) after installing Photoshop. This will run a copy of the software that was installed on the previous computer. 

  1. Ensure that your computer has an active internet connection.
  2. Open the app and sign in with your Creative Cloud ID. Alternatively, you can go to the Help option in Photoshop, where the option to Activate is present. 
Adobe Photoshop installed on a computer

Frequently Asked Questions

What if My Old Computer is Not Accessible?

If your old computer is no longer accessible due to the hard disk being crashed, the computer is stolen, lost, or damaged, you don’t need to worry. Just go to the Account Management page of Creative Cloud. Deactivate Photoshop from other devices from there.

  1. Log in to your Creative Cloud account. 
  2. Go to the Plans and Products tab.
  3. Click on Manage Plans.
  4. Now, see the Activated Devices. Deactivate Photoshop from the computer that you do not intend to use further.

Also, the customer service at Adobe is quite prompt and helpful. Therefore, explaining the situation to them will be beneficial as they will reset your activation count. 

On How Many Systems Can I Use Adobe Photoshop Simultaneously?

Adobe’s policy states that you can use Photoshop and other Creative Cloud software on two devices. However, the point of concern here is that you are not allowed to USE Photoshop on both devices simultaneously. This means that it is not possible to run Photoshop on two devices with the same license key simultaneously.

What Happens If I Install Adobe Photoshop CC On a Third Computer?

If you try to install Adobe Photoshop CC on a third computer using the same product key, you will be asked if you want to deactivate the software from the other two devices. Depending upon your choice, you can click on Continue in the Maximum Activations Exceeded box. 

The action will activate Photoshop on the third device and deactivate it from the previous two.

Later on, you can reactivate Photoshop on one of the two previous devices. 

What If I Run Into Any Problem Between the Deactivation and Activation Process of Photoshop?

Don’t get panicked if you run into any problem during the Deactivation and Activation process of Photoshop. The software would run in free trial mode for a brief time, which is enough for you to get in touch with Adobe Customer Support and find solutions.


If your workflow in Photoshop requires you to use the software on two devices, you don't need to pay for another subscription. Just follow the procedure of Deactivation, Installation, and Activation to transfer Photoshop onto another device effortlessly. We highly recommend you read the terms and conditions of Adobe Creative Cloud before continuing this process.