Adobe Creative Cloud's launch 2013 marked the company’s shift towards becoming a cloud-based software-as-service provider, which means you can no longer install standalone versions of the program like Photoshop CS5 or CS6.

There are a few ways you can get Photoshop running on your machine, however –  including a free trial. You can also get a discount if you’re a student or affiliated with an educational institution. Lastly, if you’re not fussed, you can also download a very old version of Photoshop for free.

We also have an entire dedicated guide to Creative Cloud CC, which you can read here.

Photoshop CC Photography Plan

To get the latest version of Photoshop, you would need Adobe Creative Cloud. A Creative Cloud subscription means you either pay an amount every month or a lump sum cost for a year. This promises ongoing access to updates at no additional cost.

You don’t have to buy all the Adobe CC programs at once though. If you only need Photoshop you can subscribe to the Photography Plan, which has a few options depending on how much cloud storage you need.

See all Creative Cloud packages and prices here.

Photography Plan (20GB storage)

The 20GB Photography Plan includes Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC and 20GB of cloud storage. There are a couple of pricing plans available:

You can either subscribe to an annual plan for £9.98/month (in the UK) or $9.99/month (in the US). Or, you can pay a lump sum of £119.21 (in the UK) or $119.88 (in the US) in for a year’s service.

Photography Plan (1TB storage)

If you need more storage, you can opt for the 1TB Photography Plan which costs £19.97/month for a year, or a prepaid lump sump of £238.42 for the year. In the US, that translates to $19.99/month or $239.88 for the year, respectively.

See all Adobe CC pricing plan details here.

Single App subscription

If you prefer just getting Photoshop CC on its own without Lightroom CC in the bundle, you can opt for the Single App plan from Adobe CC. The Single App includes the latest version of Photoshop, 100GB of cloud storage, access to premium fonts, as well as Adobe Spark (a social media graphics creation tool) and Adobe Portfolio accounts.

There are three payment plans to get Photoshop CC on its own.

  • Annual monthly: £19.97/$20.99 per month 
  • Annual, pre-paid: £238.42/$239.88 (lump sum)
  • On-going monthly: £30.34/$31.49 per month

See all these plans and details here.

Photoshop student and teacher discount

While Adobe doesn't offer a discount on Photoshop alone, students and teachers can get a 65 percent discount on the full Creative Cloud bundle. This not only gets you Photoshop CC, but an army of other powerful apps such as Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, Premier Pro, Acrobat pro, Spark and Adobe XD – all at a significantly reduced rate.

In fact, with the discount the price for the entire suite costs less than the 1TB Photography Plan and Single App Photoshop subscription. See all the app included with the full Creative Cloud bundle here.

Students and teachers can choose from two payment plans to get the discount. Both are annual plans:

  • Annual prepaid: £196.30 per year (VAT included) or US$239.88 per year
  • Annual, paid monthly: £16.24 per month (VAT included) or US$19.99 per month

You will have to show your student eligibility or institutional affiliation to get this discount however. You can find all the eligibility requirements here.

Get the Adobe student discount here.

Photoshop free trial

You can also download a free 7-day trial of Photoshop CC. The download provides you the entire version of the software.

PC users will need Windows 7 or later and at least 2GB RAM (though 8GB is recommended). Mac users will need macOS version 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.12 (Sierra), or Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan). For more details on both Mac and PC system requirements, go here.

You can read Adobe FAQs about the free trial here. Of course, if you've already made up your mind, you can just go ahead and download the free 7-day trial of Photoshop CC.

Get Photoshop CS2 for free

If you’re looking for a completely free version of Photoshop, you can install Photoshop CS2, a super early version of the program directly from Adobe

But note that Adobe no longer supports this version of Photoshop and the company advises against using unsupported versions of its software. Adobe also warns that existing operating systems may be too advanced to support CS2 as well.

However, if you would like to throw caution to the wind and download Photoshop CS 2 anyway, you will at least need Mac OS X (version 10.2.8 to 10.3.8) and a PowerPC G4 or G5 processor. PC users will need Windows 2000 or Windows XP with an Intel Pentium III or 4 processor.

Click here to download Photoshop CS 2 for free.