Apple’s Free Mac Apps: Photos and Preview can get the basics of editing an image or photograph done, but if you want to do something more advanced, you’ll need an image editing app. dedicated image. Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard, due to its wide range of features and capabilities.
Here’s how to get a copy of Photoshop on your Mac, or failing that, the next best thing. Plus, because you can’t beat free, we’ll also explain your options for getting free Photoshop on Mac.
If you want to get the same software on your tablet, read How to Get Photoshop on iPad.
How to Get Photoshop for Free on a Mac
Many people will wonder if there is a way to get Photoshop for free on a Mac. First a warning: if you find Photoshop on a file sharing site, don’t download it. This is because it is highly unlikely to be a legitimate version of the app and will almost certainly cause you problems – this is how viruses are spread.
There’s no completely free version of Adobe Photoshop, but there are a few options that might get you a free copy of Photoshop for a limited time or with a short-term subscription.
The first option is a Photoshop trial. There is a 7-day free trial that gives you access to the full program, without any restrictions.
Although Adobe advertises the 7-day free trial, you can actually get 14 days free because you can cancel within 14 days of your initial order and get a full refund. In fact, you could, theoretically, get 21 days free if you had the trial and then canceled your subscription after 13 days.
The second option is to subscribe to a monthly subscription on a monthly rather than an annual basis. It won’t get you Photoshop for free, but the option will allow you to temporarily subscribe to Adobe Photoshop and cancel when you no longer need it. We’ll go over the different subscription options in the sections below.
To explain how it works, we need to explain the difference between Adobe’s two monthly subscription plans:
There are two monthly subscription plans: one is cheaper ($20.99/£19.97 per month) because it’s part of an annual plan; the other is a more expensive option ($31.49 / £30.34 per month), but you can cancel without paying anything to Adobe.
|Annual, paid monthly, termination within 14 days||$20.99/month||£19.97/month|
|Annual, prepaid, termination within 14 days||$239.88/year||£238.42/year|
|Monthly, cancel anytime||$31.49/month||£30.34/month|
Adobe explains the legal terms of the various agreements here. Basically, if you subscribe to the cheaper “annual contract, paid monthly” and then choose to end your subscription, you will be able to do so, but if you terminate the contract after the first 14 days “you will be charged a fixed sum 50% of your remaining contractual obligation and your service will continue through the end of that month’s billing period.”
This is a slightly better case scenario than if you paid annually – in which case your contract will continue until the end of the term. You wouldn’t get any money back.
This is why the best option in this case is to subscribe to the monthly contract. In this case, the contract will automatically renew every month, but if you choose to cancel (we explain how to cancel below), you will be able to use Photoshop until the end of that month, when your contract will end. .
If you need Photoshop, but don’t want to be tied to a contract with Adobe, this might be the best option for you. However, you should note that you will lose access to anything you saved in Adobe’s cloud after 90 days.
Register on the Adobe website.
If these options aren’t for you, but you don’t want to pay for Photoshop, you’ll need to research Photoshop alternatives. We’ve got a roundup of the best free and cheap image and photo editors for Mac, which include free options like Seashore and Gimp.
How to Get Photoshop on a Mac Without a Subscription
If you were hoping to buy a copy of Photoshop to own, like not paying on a subscription basis, we have bad news for you: Adobe no longer sells what’s called a “perpetual license” for Photoshop and its other applications.
There is, however, an option: you can buy Photoshop Elements. Photoshop Elements is designed for amateur rather than professional photographers, but it offers a number of photo-editing features that might suffice for your needs.
You can buy a copy of Photoshop Elements directly from Adobe’s website for $99.99 / £86.56. Buy Photoshop Elements from Adobe. Check out our Photoshop Elements review for more information.
You can also buy Photoshop Elements or from the Mac App Store, but in the UK it costs more if you buy from Apple ($99/£99).
The advantage of Photoshop Elements is that you can buy it directly and install it on your Mac. You’ll get access to features like masks, layers, colorization, image manipulation, and other useful, mainstream effects with Elements.
If you’re a creative professional or are used to the full version of Photoshop, you might find too many tools missing from the box. If you want to take a look, there’s also a 7-day free trial so you can test out the software.
Understandably, many Mac users are disappointed that Adobe no longer sells a “perpetual license” for the full version of Photoshop. Many years ago, business Mac users might have owned a version of Adobe CS and used it for years, but the slow pace of enterprise updates likely led Adobe to move to a subscription.
If you don’t care about updating your software, you might be interested in buying a used copy of Photoshop or an older Mac with Photoshop installed. Just be aware that Adobe doesn’t support all older versions in terms of updates, so the ones you find may not be compatible with later versions of macOS, and newer Macs won’t run older versions of Photoshop.
You will also need to confirm that the software license has not already been used, as it is generally not transferable. And generally, we don’t recommend buying a used Mac (unless it’s certified refurbished).
For more information, read: Which version of macOS can my Mac run?
If a Photoshop subscription isn’t right for you and Photoshop Elements isn’t enough for you, we recommend looking into Photoshop alternatives, many of which have comparable functionality with the benefit of being available for purchase. The best options include PixelMator Pro, Affinity Photo, and others. See: Best Photoshop alternatives for Mac.
Is there an education discount for Photoshop?
There’s another way to save money while getting a copy of Photoshop for your Mac.
If you are studying, you can get a discount.
However, you can’t sign up for a discounted price on the Photoshop-only tier, you need to get the entire Creative Cloud collection, which obviously includes Photoshop, but you’ll get a pretty big discount.
At the time of writing, students and teachers pay $19.99/£16.24 per month, which is around 70% less than the normal subscription rate.
price of photoshop for mac
If you’ve agreed to pay for a Photoshop subscription, you’ll want to know how much it costs. There really isn’t a simple answer: it depends on how you want to buy it.
Whether you love or hate the subscription model, there are several options to choose from if you want to get a copy of Photoshop:
Photoshop: If you just want the single Photoshop app, you can have it for $20.99/£19.97 a month if you sign up for a year, or $31.49/£30.34 a month if you don’t. pay only on a monthly basis. Register on the Adobe website.
Photography plan: However, the photography package is actually the best deal. It includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC (for web and mobile), and Lightroom Classic CC (for desktop). This plan costs $9.99/£9.98 per month, but you’ll get a one-year contract. You get 20GB of storage included (there’s a 1TB storage option that costs around $10/£10 more per month). Register on the Adobe website.
Business: If you are a business user, you need to sign up for the Business option where you can get a single Photoshop license for $35.99 / £26.49 excluding VAT per month per license. It’s worth noting that all Adobe CC apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Acrobat, cost $84.99/£61.99 (excl. VAT) per license per month. Register on the Adobe website.
How to Cancel a Photoshop Subscription
The ease with which you can end your Photoshop contract is one of the benefits of Adobe’s decision to switch from selling copies of Photoshop outright to a subscription model.
It also means you only have to pay for Photoshop as long as you need it. So if it’s just for a short-term project, you can unsubscribe as soon as the job is done.
Here’s how to cancel your subscription:
- Log in to the Adobe webpage where blueprints are managed.
- Sign in to your Adobe account.
- Under the My Plans tab, find Manage Plan (or View Plan) and click it.
- Now click Cancel Plan.
- Give your reason for cancellation.
- Click Continue.
The best alternatives to Photoshop on Mac?
There are plenty of great photo and image manipulation software available on macOS, many of which come at lower prices than Adobe products. One of our favorites is Affinity Photo by Serif, which offers a wide range of powerful tools, a user-friendly interface and costs $69.99 / £69.99 as a one-time payment, and also offers a 30-day free trial.
Another popular choice is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), which is completely free and comes with an incredible array of tools and features. The interface can take a bit of getting used to, which isn’t uncommon with open source software, but once you learn your way around it, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. There’s also a large collection of tutorials for the software on YouTube, so if you’re willing to put in the time, this is a powerful suite that won’t cost you a penny.
We also recommend reading Best Mac for Photo Editing.
You might also be interested in: How to get Adobe Illustrator on a Mac and How to get InDesign on a Mac.
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