How to Know If Your Photoshop Software Is Activated

Setting up your Photoshop subscription or trial through Adobe is usually a straight-forward process, but once you’re done, you might want to check and make sure the Photoshop software is activated. Alternatively, maybe you haven’t used Photoshop in a while and want to confirm whether it is still active or if your subscription or trial period has ended. Regardless of the reason, finding the answer is simple.

The easiest way to determine if your Photoshop software is activated is by opening the application. Signing in should automatically activate it, but you can confirm this by following these steps:

  1. Open the “Help” menu
  2. The “Activate” option should be greyed out
  3. The “Deactivate” option should be clickable

In this article, we will answer other questions relating to your photoshop software regarding activation, deactivation, and common issues users experience with these settings.

How to Deactivate Your Photoshop Software

Once your Photoshop software has been properly downloaded and installed, activating it takes little more than signing in. But is the reverse applicable to deactivating it?

You can deactivate your Photoshop software simply by signing out of the application or by opening the “Help” menu and selecting the “Deactivate” option. However, there are additional deactivation settings you might want to be aware of.

Choosing the deactivation options listed above will simply deactivate your Photoshop software on your device when you don’t intend to use it. This is alternatively referred to as a suspension of activation, where you temporarily deactivate the app but still retain its licensing information on your computer.

If you want to remove this licensing information from your device completely, you’ll have to opt for a permanent deactivation. The only way to reactivate your Photoshop software after choosing this setting option would be to enter the serial number Adobe provides with this registered product.

Does Deleting the App Deactivate the Photoshop Software?

If you’re trying to free up space on your device or don’t know how to properly deactivate your Photoshop software permanently, you might assume that just deleting the Photoshop application will solve the issue. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Uninstalling or deleting your Photoshop application will not deactivate it or remove its licensing information. Anyone trying to switch to a new device or who has an alternative reason for deactivating their software will need to:

  1. Open the “Help” menu
  2. Select the “Deactivate Permanently option.”

How to Deactivate Photoshop If You No Longer Have the App

If you no longer have access to the device that your Photoshop application is on, you can still deactivate it.

Follow these steps:

  1. Sign into your Adobe account through this link
  2. Open the “Activated devices” menu
  3. Select the “Deactivate” option next to the correct device

Now, let’s see why your Photoshop says you need to activate it.

Why Does My Photoshop Say Activation Exceeded?

A common issue people experience when opening their Photoshop application and signing into their Adobe account is an error stating that the maximum number of activations has been exceeded.

This error occurs when a Creative Cloud application is being used on too many devices. Individuals holding a single license for Adobe CS5 or CS6 are only permitted to install an app on two devices and cannot use it at the same time.

You Are Logged into Photoshop On Multiple Devices

Therefore, if this error appears on your screen, the first step you’ll want to take to solving the issue is determining if your Photoshop software is already being used on a separate device or if you have already downloaded its application on two other devices.

If the latter is the issue, then you’ll want to refer to our previous section on deactivating your Photoshop software and permanently removing its license from one device so you can activate it on a new one.

You Own a Creative Suite Application Older than CS5

Anyone who owns a Creative Suite application older than CS5 is likely experiencing this issue for a different reason.

These would include:

  • Creative Suite 2, 3, and 4
  • Audition 3
  • Acrobat 7, 8, and 9 (Standard and Professional)
  • Acrobat X
  • Acrobat XI
  • Acrobat 3D Version 8

The activation servers for these applications have been retired by Adobe, so you might see this or the “failure to sign-in” error because a connection error is preventing the application from verifying your license. In this case, your best option would be to try signing out and back in again or to update your application.

Final Thoughts

The activation and deactivation of your Photoshop software is usually something that happens behind the scenes and people rarely have to worry about. However, every once in a while, you might have a question or issue regarding these settings and, hopefully, this article has the answers you need when those instances occur.