Adobe Photoshop Torrent | Pros, Cons & Risks (Explained)

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(Last updated on November 1st, 2022)

Are you looking to find older versions of Photoshops? Or are you simply seeking not to pay for the program? If torrents are the option you’re considering for acquiring the application; you’ll want to read this informative piece on aspects of torrenting Photoshop.

Torrenting via the P2P service of BitTorrent is considered one of the more common protocols for transferring large files. It is responsible for a hefty junk of internet usage, and this is because plenty of pirated content is sent via BitTorrent.

For this reason, torrenting is often associated with pirating software, movies, television, video games, and any media that can be sent through a file-sharing program. There’s a collective of websites offering links to torrenting such materials.

With these aspects to consider, you may have quite a few questions regarding torrenting Photoshop. There’s the obvious question of whether it’s legal (spoilers: it’s not), but there are also other areas where you might wonder why Photoshop is even torrented at all.

There are so many ethical and legal concerns that can swirl around this topic.

Pros To Torrenting Photoshop

The primary reason why most folks choose to torrent Photoshop is for the price. This was a lot more common in the 2000s during the days of all Adobe software having a one-time cost that was quite steep. This made torrenting especially optimal for students on a budget who use this type of software in school.


The reasoning for torrenting also remains based on the pricing, given Adobe’s favoring a monthly subscription fee. While the month-to-month subscription is not incredibly expensive for Photoshop (priced at $20.99/monthly), some users simply don’t feel comfortable with this model.

The exciting thing about torrenting Photoshop is that it’s now more of a retro desire of going back to the days before Creative Cloud. Photoshop CC doesn’t have a physical release and can only be accessed via the subscription fee and the Creative Cloud downloading software.

Older versions of Photoshop can often be found on torrenting sites for those who don’t mind working with an older version. The last version of Photoshop to favor a physical release with a one-time fee was Photoshop CS6.

File-sharing sites were very helpful in the pre-CC days if you found that you had lost your purchased Adobe product. Here’s a perfect example: I once worked at a company that needed to install Photoshop on a different computer, but an ex-employee had stolen the disc but left the packaging.

The packaging did contain the license key, and I figured if I just called up Adobe and requested the download files, that would be the end of my problem. Unfortunately, Adobe didn’t offer older copies of their software, unlike the Creative Cloud today.

To get around this issue of buying a completely new version of Photoshop, I sought out a torrent of the performance I was looking for without a key generator. I downloaded it, used the license key I already had, and, boom, Photoshop was up and running!


Of course, most torrent Photoshop’s prime desire is not about losing the discs of their old version. Given that there is no longer a Creative Suite and the online subscription model of Creative Cloud has replaced it, the only reason to torrent Photoshop CC is precise, so you don’t have to pay for it.

Another plus outside of price is that torrented versions of Photoshop are closed off. This means the software cannot be updated. For those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of constantly downloading updates and the latest versions, having a closed Photoshop application can be less headache-inducing for those who don’t like updates.

As far as benefits go for Photoshop, there’s not much else to consider. It mostly just comes down to being free. As for the cons, however, there’s a lot of problems to torrenting the program that spans well beyond just not being legal, even though that would seem like a significant deterrent.

Cons To Torrenting Photoshop

The apparent difference between downloading Photoshop via BitTorrent and pursuing the purchased version via Adobe is the updates. Photoshop CC comes under the Creative Cloud package and is constantly updated with the latest version so long as you have a subscription.


Given that the torrented versions of Photoshop are closed off from Adobe’s eye, you won’t get any updates. This means you won’t be able to get the latest version when it comes about, unlike under the subscription.

Even more crucial to not receiving updates is that you won’t receive bug fixes and patches to keep the program running smoothly. So if you download the program and it’s an older version that requires a critical update to avoid crashing, you’re stuck with a buggy program.

Another feature you won’t get from pirating covering paying is customer support. This may sound like a calculated risk for those willing to work their way around the program, but it’s simply not worth the hassle that novices will face in finding their way around the program.

Say if you find that a brush or filter isn’t working correctly. Who do you turn to? Sure, a forum might hold the answer, but chances are high the solution may lie in a bug with the current version or a critical function updated in the newest version of the program.


Going through the legal channels to buy Photoshop will give you access to their support line and ticket system for solving such issues. You’re more likely to get a key question answered quickly from the developers rather than relying on others trying to find their way through torrented versions.

The solution that most torrents discover about Photoshop issues often means installing a new version of the program. Since this can’t be accomplished automatically if you’re pirating the software, it means you’ll have to torrent a different version of the program.


While simply downloading another version off of BitTorrent may not sound like such a monumental task, you’ll that you have to keep torrenting to keep Photoshop updated. This activity can lead you down a dangerous path if you continue pirating the software for years.

Risks to Torrenting Photoshop

This next part should be given torrenting for pirated digital goods, but there’s quite a bit of risk involved with torrenting Photoshop. Depending on the torrent website you used, you could be exposing yourself to some dangers.


Various torrent websites are known for being unsafe, often containing viruses. Downloading from these websites can place your computer at risk and expose it to potential hackers. There’s also the genuine possibility that the version of Photoshop you download may come with a secret bug in the program that could infect your computer.

The biggest technical problem with these pirated versions is that they are often built to be open-sourced. This means that the torrented version of Photoshop can be prone to be packed with ads and unwanted materials.

Even if all of these aspects don’t seem like deterrents, the worst-case scenario to consider is that you could end up in hot legal water for torrenting Photoshop. As if it weren’t that obvious, it is illegal to download Photoshop CC without paying for it.


Piracy is still a big deal that companies are taking note of and actively seeking to curb in any way possible. A new system has been introduced and headed by various companies to combat illegal downloading better.

So what will happen if you download Photoshop illegally and Adobe discovers your actions? First, you’ll receive messages about how you are violating copyright law and that there will be consequences. This information generally comes in two messages.

If you keep on downloading torrented content, you will receive messages about the penalties you will face. If you still don’t get the message, your ISP can disconnect you from their network. And if all that doesn’t scare you off, Adobe will take you to court for your piracy.

It’s unclear just how much Adobe could sue you for but should that answer matter? Is it worth getting around paying $20.99/monthly? If you’ve got enough cash to spare for a legal defense, chances are you have enough to buy a Photoshop subscription.

So torrenting Photoshop puts both your computer and your life. Between the dangers of your computer becoming infected and the possibility of being sued by Adobe, it’s just not worth running the risk of a torrent to save on some money.

Solutions to Torrenting Photoshop

Even after listing all the cons and risks, you may find yourself asking just what choice do you have when you need Photoshop for your work. Thankfully, you don’t just have to choose between paying the price for Photoshop CC or torrenting it, as there are several alternatives and solutions.


Many have cited the apparent workaround for using Photoshop for free to take advantage of the trial period. Adobe gives you access to Photoshop for free during a specific timeframe to try before you buy.

Of course, the trial period is temporary, and you’ll end up paying the subscription fee if you want to use the program for longer. I recall I told my college teacher about this problem when it came to finishing graphic design homework. His response: “Finish your project before that 7-day trial ends.”

There are other free solutions as well. Adobe Photoshop Express Editor is a Photoshop editor that works right inside your internet browser. It can be installed via the Adobe website and has most of the same features as the desktop version of Photoshop.

If you don’t mind working on mobile devices, you should also consider Photoshop Mobile Version. The free mobile version of Photoshop works quite well, especially if you’re an artist and have a tablet with a stylus pen. For certain artists, using this version of Photoshop is an improvement.

While Adobe Photoshop Elements is not free, it should also be considered an alternative as well. Yes, you do need to pay to use it professionally, but the application only comes with a one-time fee that is priced at under $100.

Photoshop Elements is a bit limited, considering that it is more of a consumer-grade product. The good news is that the one-time fee means you legally own the program forever. You don’t have to pay monthly, there’s some support from Adobe, and upgrading to another version comes at a reduced price.

If price is still an issue and none of the other versions of Photoshop sound appealing, you should consider the many free alternatives available online. Depending on what type of work you want to use Photoshop for, there’s an application to match it.

GIMP has been considered one of the oldest competitors as an open-sourced graphics application. It works similar to Photoshop in that it can utilize layers and masks and is a lot simpler to use than Photoshop, and can be used on Linux systems. is another open-sourced graphics program exclusive to Windows operating systems. Despite not working on Mac or Linux environments, the application has plenty of options for brushes and is sufficient for some aspects of color correction.

PhotoScape is a solid choice for both photographers and designers. The program can handle photo editing, creating GIF and video files, developing RAW files, and hosting other functions. However, it should be noted that the free access version limits just how much you can do compared to Photoshop.

There are plenty of other alternatives that range from open-sourced free programs to applications that require a smaller price. It’d be worth looking around to figure out which one works best before even attempting to torrent Photoshop for all the problems that come along with it.


Adobe Photoshop is a powerful program worth seeking out for your graphic design projects. For all the reasons mentioned in this article, it’s simply not worth the risks to consider torrenting the program.

Torrents have remained a controversial topic for how many websites using BitTorrent have been suppliers of pirated media of all sorts. It should come as no surprise that one of the most significant websites for these torrent links has accurately been titled The Pirate Bay.

The reasoning that some may have for favoring torrents of Photoshop CC may be less about just being too cheap and more of ethical motivation. They may just want to stick it to Adobe by acting on the principle that such a crucial tool shouldn’t come with such a hefty price tag.

Adobe’s current Photoshop pricing model of month-to-month is relatively cheaper than a one-time fee that ranged well over $400 a long time ago. Discussions of price aside, Photoshop just isn’t the only choice for doing Photoshop-style projects.

There are many solutions to choose from, and various artists have taken it upon themselves to assemble lists of open-sourced programs for those who want an alternative. Adobe does stand tall in the market, but they’re not the only software developer of graphic designer applications.

There are even open-sourced alternatives for just about every application in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Whether it’s video editing, web development, or animation, there is a free alternative to all of them.

The alternatives I’ve listed are only a handful of the programs out there. If you narrow your scope even more, you can find programs for the simplest of tasks. Crello, for example, is a design program built for non-designers and is entirely free to use right within your browser.

The bottom line is that Photoshop is illegal to torrent and shouldn’t be considered when there are many better options to pursue. Skip the court case scenario and find a better choice for your current financial situation to continue producing great works, whether through Photoshop or a similar program.

Frequently asked questions

Is it bad to use pirated Photoshop?

Pirating Photoshop ultimately comes down to an ethical question of how much you place value in software and supporting it. If price is the main issue you’re pirating, it’s not as though Photoshop has cornered the graphic design market as there’s a host of robust alternatives to consider. Some of those applications are also free, as with the likes of the long-running program GIMP.

Can Photoshop be Torrented?

Photoshop is a piece of software that, like most software, can be torrented. The program has been torrented for many years in different versions. To get around the security aspects, some of these torrents come with key generators built to generate security keys that will activate the product. Most of the current versions of Photoshop CC, however, are built to be more open-sourced. Be warned that these open-sourced versions can often carry unwanted programs and possibly even viruses for your system.

What are the disadvantages of Photoshop?

Photoshop has been considered one of the ultimate graphic design programs, but it’s not as adept at specific tasks. For example, when making precise edits to photographs, Adobe Lightroom can do a better job. Photoshop is capable of creating animation but is not as intuitive to use as Adobe Animate. Consider all the features of Photoshop before pursuing in case you need a graphic design program for a particular task.

Is downloading Photoshop for free illegal?

Using a piece of software that charges without paying for it, you are using that software illegally. In doing this, you risk being caught for pirating software, resulting in legal action being taken against you. Illegally downloading Photoshop can start with warning messages that later result in you being kicked off your ISP and being sued by Adobe. It’s best to consider just paying for Photoshop or consider seeking out one of the many free alternatives on the market for graphic design and photo editing.

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