How to Buy Adobe Photoshop for Cheap

If you need Adobe’s industry-standard graphics editing program but are turned off by the steep price tag, fear not: there are ways to legally purchase Adobe Photoshop for cheap if you know where to look.

  • Option 1: Buy Student & Teacher Edition

    75% Discount

    If you’re a primary/secondary school student, a homeschooled student, a college student, or an educator, you qualify to purchase Adobe Photoshop Extended for only $249 instead of the normal $999 price. (Yes, Photoshop Extended — the high-end version.)

    It’s the exact same software as the full-priced Photoshop Extended; the only “catch” is that once you make the purchase, you have to send Adobe some proof that you’re a student, such as a copy of a report card or a student ID, for example.

    Windows icon Windows: Buy & Download
    Buy a Disc
    Mac OS X icon Mac OS X: Buy & Download
    Buy a Disc
  • Option 2: Buy a subscription

    $49 Per Month

    If you can’t afford Photoshop’s hefty upfront price tag, try Adobe’s new subscription pricing. For only $79/month (or $49/month if you buy a whole year), Creative Cloud gives you access to not only Photoshop CS6 Extended, but all of Adobe’s Creative Suite 6 software.

    Creative Cloud gives you the same desktop version of Photoshop that you’d get if you bought it as a download or a disc (it’s real Photoshop, not an online version). Just subscribe to Creative Cloud, download and install Photoshop (and whatever other Adobe CS6 programs you want), and you’re good to go. You can keep using Photoshop for as long as you’re subscribed to Creative Cloud.

    Extra Discount: If you’re a student or educator, you get Creative Cloud for even less: only $29 per month when you purchase one year of access.


  • Option 3: Buy the basic version

    Under $100

    Photoshop Elements 10 boxIf you’re an enthusiast who’s dabbling in photography or digital image editing and who doesn’t need the industry-level features of the full version of Photoshop, the basic version known as Photoshop Elements may provide all the functionality you require.

    Photoshop Elements is the consumer-oriented, low-end version of Photoshop that lets you edit photos and create digital images with a selection of tools that should be more than enough for the typical home user.

    I personally find that Photoshop Elements is enough for my needs. For instance, I used Photoshop Elements to do all the graphic editing work for this blog post (making the buttons, resizing the product pictures, etc.)


  • Bonus Tip: Use the free online version

    Free but basic

    If you’re a home user who just wants to tweak photos, the full-fledged version of Photoshop is definitely way more than you need. In fact, you can probably just get by with the Adobe’s free, online photo editing tool, known as the Express Editor.

  • Bonus Tip: Use a free alternative

    Photoshop isn’t the only graphic editing program out there. If you just need a graphic editing program and don’t need Photoshop in particular, you might want to check out two free alternatives called GIMP and Paint.NET.

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  1. I tried Gimp, but Photoshop is just soooo much better. I wish that Adobe had better student pricing …

  2. James P. Malone Sr Express Editor won’t work in Windows 8.1 using IE11. There is a known and documented problem (Feature)that Microsoft knows about and only offers “Compatibility Mode” for but this solution won’t work for Photoshop Express Editor even though it does work for other sites, even one of Adobes. The problem has to do with Adobe Flash.

  3. Jordan

    if you buy the student/teacher package, do you still have to pay every year? or can you just use your downloaded version and be done?

    • If you buy Photoshop CS6 Student & Teacher Edition, you pay once and get to keep it indefinitely. If you buy Photoshop via Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription service, then you’re signing up for a renewing payment.

  4. Leanne King

    Whats the best and cheapest way to be able to create letterheads logos and general stationary n advertising for a buisness i can use indesign and photoshop but thats all ik.

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