Adobe releases Creative Suite 2 for free [Update]

Got an older computer and want to do some photo editing but lack the right software? You may be in luck, as Adobe has released the full version of Creative Suite 2 – including Photoshop CS2, InDesign 2 and other software – for free!

While Adobe is releasing the software package for free, newer computers may have trouble running it because of a lack of updates (the current, updated version of the software is Creative Suite 6). The only requirement to download the software is a free Adobe account. Besides the suite itself, individual copies of the bundled software can be downloaded as well.

The software is available in both Windows and Mac versions.

Adobe CS2 was originally released in April 2005 and is no longer supported by the company. On Dec. 13, the company disabled the activation servers for CS2 products and Acrobat 7 signifying the end of the suite's support life.

UPDATE: It looks like the download links are no longer functioning, but we're not sure if this is a permanent or temporary issue.

UPDATE 2: An Adobe representative has issued the following statement on the company's support forums:

Effective December 13, Adobe disabled the activation server for CS2 products and Acrobat 7 because of a technical glitch. These products were released over 7 years ago and do not run on many modern operating systems. But to ensure that any customers activating those old versions can continue to use their software, we issued a serial number directly to those customers.  While this might be interpreted as Adobe giving away software for free, we did it to help our customers.

Source: Adobe | Image via Adobe

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Well, what's the deal? Adobe's site has it publicly available to everyone with serial numbers and all (see link below). They can't possibly expect people not to "take advantage" of that. The statement about it being "for existing customers only" is nonsense since there is no restriction whatsoever on who can access the download page with the links and serial numbers.

http://www.adobe.com/downloads/cs2_downloads/index.html

I was about to ask that: for me only in IE9 the original link redirected to that one above - and damn right: what's stopping people (not running or working in design companies) to download, install and use?
Existing customers? What if you bought these products electronically and since that time, you lost your e-mail data or account, changed credit card or accidentally lost all traces of your purchase??!! Who's to say that not many downloaders are actually "customers"? good luck with proving that!

Also - the product is still being sold on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Cr...ords=adobe+creative+suite+2

hnawar said,
It aint free guys http://www.forbes.com/sites/ad...-cs2-applications-for-free/
Users with valid license can download copies that don't require activation, so just wait a bit and you'll find it on torrents with an offline activation key but still wont be legal ;-)

I thought something smelled fishy about this. They wouldn't want so many people to start using an EOL product all of a sudden, especially since so many people would consider it to do "just enough" for them rather than buy the latest product.

I think Adobe have always been quite good at getting their software out there, the free trials are always very good and I purchased a few products because of it. Doing something like this is really great. If you want the latest and greatest then you will still want to purchase their products however the older stuff will suit most people that never would consider anything from at the prices they charge. Good on Adobe, hopefully there will be some poor students who use this and then purchase products in the future.

I have no real way to back this up yet, as i am not an adobe user, but if they do stuff like microsoft, you might not open your files created in cs6 unless they are created to be compatible with older version (like the doc vs docx for Word).

That's useless. Unless you have access to the newer software to open the files and save them into a compatible format. But then you would have access to the newer software and you won't need the old stuff. Sounds like a vicious circle a bit. Unles you download a trial and open the new files and convert them, but that is a time limited option and not good in the long run.

Same thing for microsoft. I'm not sure MS provided converters for people transitioning back and forth (from docx to doc). They probably didi and it would have been a free download, maybe.

I was just pointing out what would be required, not saying it's a solution for everyone. Also as it points out in that article you would still lose any new features, so if you need to open and work with files made in CS6 you really need to have CS6.

As for Microsoft they did release an addon for Office XP and 2003 to open docx files.

"It looks like the link is currently not functioning, but we're not sure if this is a permanent or temporary issue"

Give that the website states "Site Area Temporarily Unavailable"... I would say this is temporary!

Thanks man. I have been on my last activation of Studio MX 2004 for some time, after a few rebuilds back in the mists of time.

This at least means I can continue open those pesky old freehand and flash files.

Meh, went and talked to the IT guy so I could install at work (we use Corel) and the site went unavailable in the 3 minutes it took me to walk across the building and back.

Wow! Can't believe this.

Also, CS2 is the one I disliked simply for the change of one feature. If you edit one layer, click on another layer, make a change, then click Undo, it takes you back to the previous layer as well.

So. Annoying. And it's been like that ever since, as I recall CS1 never did that. (maybe there's a setting, but man does that rustle my jimmies)

Money Sunset doesn't require serial numbers, Money has reached end-of-life, and Microsoft has kept that link up for several years now.

Adobe CS2 requires serial numbers, CS continues to be updated, and Adobe took down that link within minutes of discovering that it was getting spread far-and-wide.

The site's down now, but I'm curious - when it was up, did it say that it's legitimately free for anyone to download at will, regardless of if they owned CS2 before or not?

The article links a knowledge base section about the CS2 activation servers being shut down, and that KB article has a link to download an activation-less copy of CS2. I can't help but wonder if CS2 is meant to be free for anyone to download, or if it was only meant to be for people who already owned a copy and could no longer activate.

Joey H said,
The site's down now, but I'm curious - when it was up, did it say that it's legitimately free for anyone to download at will, regardless of if they owned CS2 before or not?

The article links a knowledge base section about the CS2 activation servers being shut down, and that KB article has a link to download an activation-less copy of CS2. I can't help but wonder if CS2 is meant to be free for anyone to download, or if it was only meant to be for people who already owned a copy and could no longer activate.


Its ment for people that typically need to re install if they don't have ability to activate

It is meant only for people who owned a copy and can no longer activate.

I downloaded a copy using pinTero's link, just to see what'll happen. The files downloads fine from adobe.com, but won't install without a valid serial number.

So this article is *highly* misleading. Yes, CS2 is free to download to anyone with an adobe.com account. So is CS6! However, CS6 won't run for more than 30 days without a serial number, and CS2 won't install at all without a serial number.

You are not right. I've registered and downloaded a copy of CS2 from Adobe, with valid serial numer. I've never owned a copy of any version of software.

TomJones said,
It is meant only for people who owned a copy and can no longer activate.

I downloaded a copy using pinTero's link, just to see what'll happen. The files downloads fine from adobe.com, but won't install without a valid serial number.

So this article is *highly* misleading. Yes, CS2 is free to download to anyone with an adobe.com account. So is CS6! However, CS6 won't run for more than 30 days without a serial number, and CS2 won't install at all without a serial number.

The site apparently will generate a valid serial number for you when you download it. Though my point still stands - I'm not really sure that this article is correctly worded. My thinking is that this is meant for people who can't activate, not just anyone who wants a copy.

TomJones said,
It is meant only for people who owned a copy and can no longer activate.

I downloaded a copy using pinTero's link, just to see what'll happen. The files downloads fine from adobe.com, but won't install without a valid serial number.


But this chinese site also incuded serial numbers which i'm pretty sure, were same to everyone from adobe site..
Why would Adobe also post serial numbers, when it's ment for people who own the legit copy with legit sn!? Does not make sense..
But all this stuff is still weird - no official word from Adobe, just the links, and now the whole thing is down.

Just too add - i downloaded and installed this from the chinese blogs links and serial number. Everything is working fine in Win8 x64. Activation menu is all grayed out..

pinTero said,

But this chinese site also incuded serial numbers which i'm pretty sure, were same to everyone from adobe site..
Why would Adobe also post serial numbers, when it's ment for people who own the legit copy with legit sn!? Does not make sense..
But all this stuff is still weird - no official word from Adobe, just the links, and now the whole thing is down.

Because the activation servers have been shut down, therefore people with retail product keys wouldn't be able to activate their software. The key(s) that Adobe's giving out is one that doesn't require product activation, allowing customers to successfully install the product despite the servers being offline.

Joey H said,

Because the activation servers have been shut down, therefore people with retail product keys wouldn't be able to activate their software. The key(s) that Adobe's giving out is one that doesn't require product activation, allowing customers to successfully install the product despite the servers being offline.

Indeed.

That suggests that the serial numbers were posted publicly by mistake. Adobe probably intended to post them in an access-controlled manner, only to people who have registered a copy of CS2. Someone made a mistake when pushing it onto their CMS, and marked the document as public. And so they took the page down.

Of course, we know that nothing really goes away on the Internet. That Chinese site copied off the serial numbers before they got taken down. The fact that you can find them doesn't mean you have a license to use them -- any more than you have a right to use random serial numbers that you find on a warez site.

Well, I just bought myself a new iMac, and couldn't afford myself a genuine copy of CS6 on top of that... so downloading a free copy of CS2 for the time being is comes as the perfect alternative!!
For me, this is the perfect new years present.

It's funny how they do this after Microsoft discontinued support for Expression and made it Free as well

I don't mind Expression since it's more recent, but with this CS2 being free I don't really like how Adobe is kinda bringing attention to this much older version meaning some of us who work at design or printing companies will have deal with much older file formats from CS2.

I'm guessing it doesn't include Dreamweaver or Fireworks? Never mind. But this is a great move by Adobe that will reduce piracy.

Photoshop CS2 was the fist version I used. I only use like 2 or 3 features that were added in the recent releases, so this is a great legal alternative.

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Tyler R. said,
Lion doesn't have Rosetta. No CS2 for me.

Ive read somewhere that you can try with Virtualbox with Snow Leopard inside, which is the last OSX with Rosetta support.

Wow, that's great news, kudos to Adobe!

I hope this means that a compact Portable Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign pack can be prepared legitimately.

Ah, that's a good point.

However, it should be possible for portable 'loaders' to be written, for use with previously installed program files.

Creative Cloud is going to be their only option in a few years so I don't see them doing this anytime soon. But I think it's more of a pirated software reason to give away CS2 but lets face it if you're not making a lot of money off the software or a company then most people will just steal it.

Adobe doesn't make anymore money off the CS2 version anyway. Maybe CS4 but their bread and butter is 5.5 and 6 now.

Adobe doesn't make money from CS4 either because it's old and not for sale, it's in support-patches only mode.

Sweet can't wait for them to do this for CS3 since it was the first that really worked well/fixed bugs with Vista and newer.

Seahorsepip said,
why? because it's has way more useless panels and plugins? for simple image editing gimp is just way better.

Depends on the user. For my image editing, paint.net is more than sufficient.

I just downloaded and installed the GIMP for a simple little image editing job, I have never really used the GIMP or Photoshop before. It did the job and I got the exact result I was after, I'm sure that Photoshop is much better, but for certain tasks it does the job just fine.

Seahorsepip said,
why? because it's has way more useless panels and plugins? for simple image editing gimp is just way better.

I've been using gimp for years and I'm not being funny or anything but it was only at the weekend I FINALLY found out how to draw exact shapes like circles and squares. What person had the idea of doing it via: Drawing an outline using the lasoo, then going to edit -> stroke shape!? The only reason I even found it was because I saw a video on youtube that did it.

Seahorsepip said,
why? because it's has way more useless panels and plugins? for simple image editing gimp is just way better.

So... all the features that PhotoShop has that Gimp doesn't are "useless". Got it.

TCLN Ryster said,

So... all the features that PhotoShop has that Gimp doesn't are "useless". Got it.


I wouldnt call gimp totally useless but it is missing some very important things like 16bit colour support and cmyk. the last time i checked at least

CS2 will Run on any version of Windows still around..

Not gonna be able to take advantage of all the advancements, but still, it'll work..

I've installed Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 on Windows 8 Enterprise (32bit version) ... it doesn't work.
Even with Compatibility set to mimic earlier versions of Windows ... it doesn't work.