Is Adobe Photoshop Express Free? (A Useful Guide)

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(Last updated on January 9th, 2023)

Do you need to use Photoshop on your phone? Then you’ll want to use Photoshop Express. We’ll cover this mobile version of Photoshop and let you know how to use it for free.

phone taking photo of sheep in background

What Is Photoshop Express?

Photoshop Express could be thought of as the simpler version of Photoshop for your phone. It can be downloaded onto your Android or iPhone for making edits to the photos you take. The tools are easy enough to use for everything from changing the colors to removing the backgrounds.

The app has been built with mobile photographers in mind. Rather than save your photos to the cloud or a drive to edit later, Photoshop Express allows you to make similar Photoshop edits right on your phone. This makes the app rather handy at removing the middle-man from post-production work.



  • Limited tools and features when compared to Photoshop.
  • Requires a monthly subscription for premium features.
  • Can only use on mobile unless you pay an extra fee.

How Does Photoshop Compare to Photoshop Express?

Photoshop Express adding purple to city rain photo

Photoshop Express differs from Photoshop in a few ways. The most obvious drawback is that it only works on mobile devices for the free version. This is generally because it’s better suited for use on phones than a desktop.

Photoshop Express is strictly for photography. What this means is that you won’t be able to draw or illustrate graphics as you would in Photoshop CC. If you’re seeking a mobile Photoshop application for drawing, use Adobe Fresco.

Take a look at the table below to see how Photoshop and Photoshop Express compare when it comes to features and tools.

 Photoshop ExpressPhotoshop
Background RemovalYesYes
Color AdjustmentsYesYes
Theme TemplatesYesNo
Facial EditsYesYes
Animation TimelineNoYes
3D EffectsNoYes

Can Photoshop Express Be Used for Free?

Photoshop Express changing vibrance on photo of a woman with red cloth in city

Photoshop Express can be downloaded for free onto your phone. There’s no purchase or account required and you only need to set up a free Adobe account to get it working. Just download it from the app store and start editing your photos.

The free version, however, does have some limitations. There are a handful of features that require the paid version of the program to work. These features include selection, layers, noise reduction, HSL editing, and access to more themes.

There is no cloud storage option for the free version. While this isn’t a big deal for those who only need to edit a handful of photos on their phones, it’s less ideal for those working professionally on many photos. Consider this option if you take a lot of pictures.

The other limitation for the free version is platforms. While Photoshop Express can be used on mobile for free, you’ll have to pay for the Premium version to use it on desktop and laptop computers. For those who find themselves working on multiple devices, the premium version is an easy choice.

Photoshop Express cropping photo of Statue of Liberty

How Much Does Photoshop Express Cost?

The premium version of Photoshop Express costs $4.99/monthly which is still cheaper than Photoshop CC being priced at $20.99/monthly. The cost will cover all the features that were previously locked such as selection, layers, noise reduction, HSL editing, and various theme options. You’ll also get cloud storage space to store your photos to use in other Adobe apps and devices if you wish.

For $9.99/monthly, you can get Photoshop Express in the Adobe Express bundle. This plan includes Photoshop Express, Premiere Rush (mobile and streamlined video editing app), and Adobe Express (social media sharing app). The plan also gives you access to 100GB of cloud storage space.

While the monthly subscription plan does seem a bit spendy, it’s still better value than the other options. While Photoshop Express does come bundled with the standard version of Photoshop, the cost for Photoshop CC is $20.99/month. The Adobe Express bundle costs less than half that and Photoshop Express alone is 75% less.

Photoshop can be purchased at a lower price under the Photography Plan, which costs the same as Adobe Express. That being said, the plan doesn’t give you access to Photoshop Express and only gives you 20GB of cloud storage space. The mobile alternative is Lightroom which works well for most edits but cannot make facial changes or remove backgrounds.

Here’s a breakdown of how payment for the premium version of Photoshop Express compares to Photoshop and the Photography Plan.

 Photoshop ExpressAdobe ExpressPhotoshop CCPhotography Plan
PlatformsAndroid, iPhone.Android, iPhone, PC, Mac.Android, iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac.Android, iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac.
IncludesPhotoshop ExpressAdobe Express, Photoshop Express, Premiere Rush.Photoshop CC, Photoshop Express, Adobe Fresco.Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic.
Cloud Storage SpaceNone100GB100GB20GB, 1TB (upgraded)
Price$4.99/monthly$9.99/monthly$20.99/monthly$9.99/monthly, $19.99/montly (upgraded)

How to Download Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express on Adobe website

Here’s a rundown of how to go about installing Photoshop Express on your mobile device.

  1. Find the Photoshop Express application on your mobile platform’s store.
Google Play page for Photoshop Express
  1. If you’re on an Android Phone, find the app in the Google Play store (
Apple Store page for Photoshop Express
  1. If you’re on an iPhone, find the app in the Apple App Store (
  2. You can also be taken directly to the app page if you use your phone to scan the QR code on the Adobe Photoshop Express website, located here:
  3. Tap the install button and the app should start downloading and installing.
  4. The application should now be accessible on your mobile device in the apps library.

If you want to download the program onto your desktop computer, we’ll cover that topic next in the section on purchasing the premium edition through the Adobe Express bundle.

How to Buy Photoshop Express Premium

Adobe website page for Adobe Express

There are two ways to purchase the premium version of Photoshop Express. You can choose to either buy just Photoshop Express through your phone or the Adobe Express bundle through the Adobe website. Both versions require you to make the purchase through your Adobe account.

If you’re using the program on your phone, you will find options within the app to purchase the premium version. This is usually noted with a blue star being next to restricted features. Follow the prompts in the application as it will walk you through the process of paying $4.99/monthly for the premium edition of Photoshop Express.

To buy Photoshop Express through the Adobe Express bundle, you’ll have to go through the Adobe website. Here’s a rundown of how to go about buying it:

  1. Go to the Adobe Express page on the Adobe website, located here.
  2. Click “Compare Plans” to choose the premium version that is $9.99/monthly and includes Photoshop Express. The only button for purchasing is in the form of a 30-day free trial so you can look forward to not having any payments for the first month.
Adobe Express comparing plans
  1. Once you click the free trial button, you’ll be taken to the page to sign in to your Adobe account. Once you’re signed in, you’ll select a payment method through either Paypal or a credit card.
Adobe Express purchase page
  1. Once you’ve completed checkout, the Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop application should start downloading. Once you’ve downloaded it, start installing the app.
  2. When the Creative Cloud Desktop has installed and been opened, it should start automatically downloading all the Adobe Express bundle apps (Adobe Express, Photoshop Express, Premiere Rush). If it doesn’t, you can find the applications you’ve purchased in the All Apps part of the window. Find Photoshop Express and click the install button next to it.
  3. Once it finishes downloading, you’re ready to start using Photoshop Express on your desktop or laptop computer.

To get the most out of the app, be sure to use it on both your computer and mobile device. Don’t forget to use the large cloud storage space to keep all your photos together. Once you’ve got your organization settings in place, you’ll find Photoshop Express stays true to its title as the faster version of the program.

If you want a discount on Adobe Creative Cloud and related apps, click on the links below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Photoshop Express free?

Photoshop Express is free to download if you have an Adobe account. The Adobe account is free to create.

How much does Photoshop Express cost?

Photoshop Express can be downloaded for free but you can pay for an upgraded version priced at $4.99 a month.

What is the difference between Photoshop and Photoshop Express?

Photoshop is more of an all-purpose tool for photography, graphic design, illustration, and animation. Photoshop Express is a different program as it only focuses on photography, only containing tools for fast and easy photo edits. While it does work on desktop computers, Photoshop Express is primarily built for use on mobile devices.

What is Photoshop Express used for?

Photoshop Express is used for making simple photography edits on your mobile device. It can be used for tweaking the colors, changing contrast, and creating collages.

Which is better Photoshop Express or Lightroom?

Photoshop Express is a cheap and quick way to edit photos on your phone. That being said, Lightroom can also accomplish this in a faster manner with more tools and a speedy workflow.

Can I use Photoshop Express on a PC?

Although Photoshop Express is best suited for mobile devices, it can be installed on desktop PCs as well. However, you will have to pay for this version.

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