Apple’s free apps for Mac, Photos and Preview, allow you to use basic photo editing features, but if you want to do something more advanced, you’ll need an app designed for editing.
Adobe’s Photoshop is the standard program in the sector, precisely because of its wide range of functions and capabilities that will allow you to edit your photos with great precision.
Here’s how to get Photoshop on your Mac, or at least something close to it. Also, since we all like free things, we also explain what options you have to get Photoshop on Mac for free.
If you want to download this software in you tabletsdo not miss our article How to download Photoshop on iPad?.
How to Download Photoshop for Free on a Mac
Many people may be wondering if there is any way to get Photoshop for Mac for free.
First of all, remember that if you find Photoshop on a file sharing site, you shouldn’t download it. This is very unlikely to be a legitimate version of the app and will almost certainly cause you problems. After all, this is how viruses spread.
There is no completely free version of Adobe Photoshop, but there are a couple of options that will allow you to get the software free for a limited time, or with a short-term subscription.
The first option is to use the Photoshop trial period. Adobe offers a 7-day free trial that gives you access to the full program, without restrictions.
Although Adobe says that the free trial lasts for 7 days, in reality, you can get up to 14 days free, since you can cancel your subscription before 14 days from purchase and they will refund all your money.
In fact, you can theoretically get up to 21 days free if you use the trial first and then cancel your subscription after 13 days.
The second option is to hire a monthly subscription instead of an annual one. This won’t get you Photoshop for free, but it will allow you to subscribe to Adobe Photoshop on a temporary basis and cancel it when you no longer need it.
Later, we will delve into the different subscription options. But to explain how it works, we must first explain the difference between Adobe’s two monthly subscription packages.
There are two monthly subscription packages: one is cheaper (€24.19 / MXN$449 per month) because it is part of an annual plan; the other is more expensive (€36.29 / MXN$649 per month), but can be canceled at any time and without commission.
You can consult the legal conditions of both subscriptions on the Adobe website. Basically, if you subscribe to the “Annual contract, pay monthly” plan and then decide to cancel your subscription, you will be able to do it without problems, but if you cancel it after the first 14 days, “you will be charged in one time the amount of 50% of your remaining contractual obligation and service will continue through the end of that month’s billing period.
This works out somewhat better than if you decide to pay annually. In that case, your contract will continue to the end, but you won’t get your money back.
That is why, in this case, the best option is to subscribe to the month-to-month plan. Your contract will automatically renew each month, but if you decide to cancel (we’ll explain how to do this later) you’ll be able to use Photoshop until the end of the month, at which point your contract will end.
If you need Photoshop but don’t want to be tied into a contract with Adobe, this might be your best option. However, you should be aware that you will lose access to anything you have saved in the Adobe cloud after 90 days.
Once you have decided on one of these options, you can easily register from the Adobe website.
Alternatively, you can check out our article on the best photo editors for Mac, which includes some free options like Gimp.
How to download Photoshop on Mac without a subscription
If you were hoping to be able to buy a copy of Photoshop for life, that is, without regularly paying for a subscription, we have bad news for you: Adobe no longer sells Photoshop and its other applications as a “full license”.
However, you have a similar option: you can buy Photoshop Elements. This app is designed for amateur photographers and not professionals, but it offers a number of photo editing features that may be enough for your needs.
You can buy a copy of Photoshop Elements directly from the Adobe website for €100.43. You can also buy Photoshop Elements from the Mac App Store for €79.99.
The great thing about Photoshop Elements is that you can buy it right out of the box and install it on your Mac. With Elements, you’ll have access to features like masks, layers, colorization, image manipulation, and other useful effects more suited to the average user.
However, if you’re a creative professional or used to the full version of Photoshop, you may be missing too many tools. If you want to take a look first, there’s also a 7-day free trial so you can test the software.
Many Mac users are understandably disappointed that Adobe no longer sells a “lifetime license” for the full version of Photoshop. Years ago, professional Mac users could own a version of Adobe CS and use it for years, but the slow pace of business upgrades probably led Adobe to switch to a subscription model.
If you don’t mind that, you might be interested in buying a second-hand copy of Photoshop, or an old Mac with Photoshop installed on it. Just keep in mind that Adobe doesn’t update all old versions, so the ones you find might not be compatible with later iterations of macOS, plus newer Macs won’t run older versions of Photoshop.
You will also need to confirm that the license software has not been used already, as they are normally non-transferable. And we generally advise against buying a used Mac (unless it’s Certified Refurbished).
You may be interested in our article What version of macOS is compatible with your Mac?.
Are there Photoshop discounts for students?
Before going on to talk about the different subscription models, there is another way to save money when downloading Photoshop on your Mac. Whether you are a student or if you work in an educational center, you can get an interesting discount.
Unfortunately, you can’t just subscribe to Photoshop at a cheaper price, you’ll have to sign up for the entire Creative Cloud collection (which obviously includes Photoshop). However, the discount is still considerable.
At the time of writing, students and teachers pay €19.66 / MXN$399 per month, which is 60-65% less than the usual subscription fee.
How much does Adobe Photoshop for Mac cost?
If you’ve accepted that you’ll have to pay for a Photoshop subscription, you’ll want to know how much it’s going to cost you. Actually, there is no single answer: it depends on how you want to buy it.
Whether or not you like the subscription model, there are several options to choose from if you want to get Photoshop on your Mac or MacBook:
If you only want Photoshop, you can get it with the single app plan for €24.19 / MXN$449 (plus VAT) per month if you subscribe for one year, or €29.99 / MXN$649 (plus VAT) per month if you subscribe. You use the month-to-month plan.
You can subscribe on the Adobe website.
However, the Photography Plan is really the best option. Includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC (for web and mobile), and Lightroom Classic CC (for desktop).
This package costs €9.99 / MXN$199 per month, but in this case it is an annual subscription. It includes 20 GB of storage (there is an option of 1 TB of storage that costs about €12 / MXN$200 more per month).
You can hire this plan on the Adobe website.
If you are a business user, you should purchase the business option, with which you can get a single Photoshop license for €29.99 / MXN$699 (plus VAT).
Notably, all Adobe CC applications (including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Acrobat) cost €69.99 / MXN$1,699 per month.
You can also subscribe from the Adobe website.
How to cancel your Photoshop subscription
The ease with which you can terminate your Photoshop subscription is one of the advantages of Adobe deciding to go with the subscription model (and leaving the full licenses).
It also means you only have to pay for Photoshop for as long as you need it. Thus, if it is a short-term project, you can cancel the subscription as soon as you finish it.
Here’s how to cancel your subscription:
1. Go to the Adobe website to manage your plan.
two. Sign in to your Adobe account.
3. In the ‘Plans’ section, select ‘Manage plan’.
Four. Now click the ‘Cancel plan’ option.
5. Indicate the reason for the cancellation.
6. Click ‘Continue’.
What are the best Photoshop alternatives for Mac?
There are many photo editing programs available for macOS. Many of them are even priced lower than Adobe products.
One of our favorites is Serif’s Affinity Photo, which has a wide range of powerful tools, an easy-to-use interface, and costs around €50. In the past, we have seen discounts on the same Serif website where you could get it for half price, a real bargain.
Another very popular option is GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), which is completely free and includes an incredible range of tools and features. The interface may take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.