Apple’s free Mac apps: Photos and Preview can get the basics of editing an image or photo, but if you want to do something more advanced, you’ll need an 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 best thing to do.
How to get Photoshop for free on a Mac
A lot of people will wonder if there is a way to get Photoshop for free on a Mac. First of all a warning: if you find Photoshop on a file sharing site, don’t download it. First of all, it is very unlikely that this is a legitimate version of the app due to the way Adobe distributes it, and secondly, it will almost certainly give you trouble – this is it as viruses spread.
There isn’t a completely free version of Adobe Photoshop, but there are a few options that might allow you to get a copy of Photoshop for free for a limited time or on a short-term subscription.
The first option is a Photoshop try. 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 actually get 14 days free, as you can cancel within 14 days of your original order and get a full refund. So, in theory, you could get 21 days free if you had the trial and then cancel your subscription after 13 days.
The second option is to purchase a monthly subscription on a monthly basis rather than annually. We’ll go through the different subscription options in the sections below, but this option would allow you to subscribe to Adobe Photoshop on a temporary basis.
To explain how it works, we need to explain the difference between Adobe’s two monthly subscriptions:
There are two monthly subscription packages: one is cheaper (£ 19.97 / $ 20.99 / AU $ 29.99 per month) because it is part of an annual plan; the other is a more expensive option (£ 30.34 / $ 31.49 / AU $ 45.99 per month), but you can cancel without paying anything to Adobe.
Adobe explains the legal terms of the various contracts here. Basically, if you sign up for the cheaper “annual contract, paid monthly” and then decide to end your subscription, you will be able to do so, but if you end the contract after the first 14 days, “an amount You will be billed at a flat rate of 50% of your remaining contractual obligation and your service will continue until the end of that month’s billing period. “
This is a slightly better 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.
That 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 decide to cancel it, 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 bind 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 have saved in the Adobe cloud after 90 days.
Register on the Adobe website.
How to cancel a Photoshop plan:
- Log in to the Adobe webpage where the plans are managed.
- Sign in to your Adobe account.
- Under the My Plans tab, find Manage Plan (or View Plan) and click on it.
- Now click on Cancel plan.
- Give your reason for cancellation.
- Click on Continue.
Photoshop prices for Mac
The ease with which you can terminate your Photoshop contract is an advantage of Adobe’s decision to switch from selling copies of Photoshop to a subscription model.
However, many Mac users are disappointed that Adobe does not sell a “ perpetual license ” for Photoshop and its other applications. Many years ago, business Mac users might have had a version of Adobe CS, but the slowness of corporate updates likely led Adobe to switch to a subscription model. The subscription model requires companies to continue paying Adobe, rather than paying Adobe once every three to five years. Adobe would argue that businesses are better off with up-to-date software.
Whether you love or hate the subscription model, there are several options to choose from if you want to get a copy of Photoshop:
As we saw above, if you just want the only Photoshop app, you can have it for £ 19.97 / $ 20.99 / AU $ 29.99 per month if you sign up for a year, or £ 30.34 / $ 31.49 / AU $ 45.99 per month if you just pay on a monthly basis. Register on the Adobe website.
However, the photography plan is actually the best deal. It includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC (for web and mobile), and Lightroom Classic CC (for desktop). This plan costs £ 9.98 / $ 9.99 / AU $ 14.29 per month, but you’ll be under contract for a year. You get 20GB of storage included (there’s a 1TB storage option which costs around £ 10 / $ 10 / AU $ 14 more per month). Register on the Adobe website.
If you are a business user, you need to sign up for the Business option where you can get a one-time Photoshop license for £ 25.28 (excluding VAT) / $ 33.99 / AU $ 48.99 per month (including GST) . It’s worth noting that all Adobe CC apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Acrobat cost £ 59 (excluding VAT) / $ 79.99 / AU $ 116 per month. Register on the Adobe website.
Is there an education discount for Photoshop?
Yes there is. While you can’t sign up for a discounted price on the Photoshop level only, you can get the entire Creative Cloud collection, which obviously includes Photoshop, for a massive discount.
At the time of writing, students and teachers are paying £ 16.24 / US $ 19.99 / AU $ 21.99 per month, which is about 70% less than the regular subscription rate.
Can you buy a copy of Photoshop?
This is bad news for those wondering if there is a way to buy Photoshop without a subscription. Adobe no longer offers the full version of Photoshop as a standalone program because it wants users to use the subscription model. While there are benefits to this, in that you will always be on the latest version of the software, it does mean that you are tied to a subscription if you want to use the program.
However, there is one version of Photoshop that you can purchase without a subscription: Photoshop Elements.
Photoshop Elements is designed for amateur photographers rather than professional photographers, but it offers a number of photo editing features that might be sufficient for your needs.
You can purchase a copy of Photoshop Elements directly from the Adobe website for £ 86.56 / US $ 99.99 / AU $ 145.19: Buy Photoshop Elements 2021 from Adobe.
You can also buy Photoshop Elements or from the Mac App Store, but it actually costs more if you buy from Apple (£ 99 / $ 99 / AU $ 159.99).
The great thing about Photoshop Elements is that you can buy it directly and install it on your Mac. You will have access to features like masks, layers, coloring, image manipulation and other useful and more consumer-oriented effects with Elements.
If you are a creative pro or are used to the full version of Photoshop, you may find too many tools missing in the box.
If you want to take a look, there is also a 7-day free trial so you can test the software.
What about old copies of Photoshop?
If you really don’t want to go the subscription route and Elements isn’t enough, you might be tempted to find older versions of the full package on eBay or other second-hand marketplaces. While these can be good options, you’ll want to do your homework before hitting the Buy button.
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. Be sure to Google whether or not this will work before you make a purchase. You will also need to confirm that the software license has not already been used, as they are generally not transferable.
Another issue with older versions of Photoshop is that they may not work on newer versions of macOS. And newer Macs may not be running the version of macOS you need.
For help, read: What version of macOS can my Mac run?
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 Serif’s Affinity Photo, which has a wide range of powerful tools, a user-friendly interface, and costs around £ 50 / US $ 50. We have seen several promotions on the Serif site which offers the program for half the price, which is a good deal.
At the time of writing, you can buy Affinity Photo for £ 23.99 / $ 32.99 in any of these deals, and we at least recommend you take a look if you want an editor of superior image quality.
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 is not uncommon with open-source software, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve. . There is also a large collection of tutorials for the software on YouTube, so if you’re willing to spend the time, this is a powerful suite that won’t cost you anything at all.
To see what other programs we recommend, read our roundup of the best photo editing software for Mac, the best free (or cheap) photo editing software for Mac, as well as the best Mac for photo editing.