Adobe Photoshop Student Version Download (Mac/PC) & Free Alternatives

Photoshop has become the industry standard for graphic designing and image manipulation. Being a graphic designer implies that you know how to use the program inside out. This tutorial will show you how to download and install the student version of the latest Photoshop edition.

What is Photoshop?

It is Adobe’s most popular program for graphic design and digital imaging used by experts across many industries, from designers, filmmakers, and professional photographers, to digital marketers.

The software was initially released in 1990., and its list of features has been growing ever since. Whether you need to make a few simple changes to an image such as cropping and resizing, or to design a new scene for your next gaming project, Photoshop has your back.

Is there are FREE version of Photoshop?

Unfortunately, no. There is a free 7-day trial but other than that no matter if you are a teacher or a student, you’ll have to pay for the software, but not at the full price. Photoshop can be purchased as a standalone program or as part of a Creative Cloud subscription which includes access to 20+ other apps from Adobe. Luckily there is a 60% discount for eligible students and teachers on the Creative Cloud for Students plan.

The advantage of this subscription plan is that you’ll get access to other amazing programs such as Illustrator for vector imaging, Acrobat Pro, Premier Pro for professional video editing, InDesign for flyer and magazine editing, Lightroom for advanced image processing, and much more. All that for $19.99 a month ($239.88 annually), discounted from $54.99/mo. The student offer is available only for the first year and first-time memberships. After the 12 months, you will be billed at a standard rate for the next billing period. Also, if you already had a subscription, you won’t be able to take advantage of this discount.

To be eligible for a student teacher discount, you must be enrolled in an accredited University or college, or primary or secondary school, and be at least 13 years of age. Proof of eligibility is your school email address. During the registration process, use your school address (with .edu , .k12, or other email domains sponsored by educational institutions) to be instantly approved. Additional proof may be requested, such as a school ID card, report card, transcript, tuition bill or statement. Documents can’t be older than six months and must contain your name, institution name, and current date.

The upside is that you can use any of the software included in the package for commercial projects, as no watermarks indicate that a file was created on the educational version of a program.

Below, you’ll discover a couple of great cheap and free alternatives that are almost as good as Photoshop.

System requirements

We will cover the recommended hardware and software configurations for Photoshop. Other apps within the Creative Cloud package may require less or more computing power, so please check the full list here.

Windows users

Processor – 64-bit supported Intel® or AMD 2 GHz or faster with SSE 4.2 or later
Operating system – 64-bit Windows 10
RAM – 16 GB or more
Graphic card – 4 GB of GPU memory with DirectX 12 support
Display resolution – 1920px x 1080px
Disk space – 16 GB of SSD hard disk space and a separate internal drive for scratch disks

Apple Mac users

Processor – Intel with 64-bit support 2 GHz or faster with SSE 4.2 or later
Operating system – macOS Big Sur (version 11) or macOS Catalina (version 10.15)
RAM – 16 GB or more
Graphic card – 4 GB of GPU memory with DirectX 12 support
Display resolution – 1920 x 1080 display or greater at 100% UI scaling
Disk space – 16 GB of SSD hard disk space and a separate internal drive for scratch disks

Download and install Photoshop student version

  1. Go to the Creative Cloud for Students page and click on the “Buy now” button
  2. Select billing cycle. The monthly plan requires you to agree to a 12-month contract.
  3. Enter an email address associated with your school
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new account which you will later use to access the apps
  5. Add credit or debit card for billing
  6. Once the provided payment information is verified, you may be asked to sign in again using your Adobe ID and password
  7. To download Photoshop to your device, click on the Download or Install button next to the version you want to access. All apps are available for Windows and Mac devices
  8. Once downloaded, open the .exe file and follow the on-screen installation steps
  9. Repeat the same process for any app included in the subscription, just keep in mind that every program has different hardware requirements. Installing to many programs might slow down the performance of your device

Photoshop alternatives

Depending on what you want to accomplish with the software, there are a few cheap and free alternatives that you can use as a student or even as a professional.

Canva – The most popular graphic editing software with thousands of ready-made templates and stock photos. With a free account, you can access the app in a web browser or through a native app on Android or iPhone. The premium account which costs $119.99 a year, gives you access to millions of high-quality stock photos and videos, and professionally made templates that you can customize and export in a couple of clicks. There are templates for literally every need, from YouTube, Facebook. Twitter cover photos, CV’s to business presentations.

Photopea – 100% free cloud-based replica of Photoshop. No need to download or install anything on your computer, not even to register an account, as the software runs purely on a web browser. Functions are almost as same as in Photoshop. It can open and export almost any popular file format, including .psd. The premium account, which costs only $3.33 a month, removes ads however, all features are included in the free version. This is the perfect solution for those who need to quickly do some basic graphic editing, although the app is

Pixlr – Another cloud-based web app that is almost identical to Photoshop. It does require an account to access the editor. The free version comes with all the features and it is ad supported. The premium version, which starts from $4.90 includes thousands of ready-made graphic assets and templates, as well as AI capabilities. They have a desktop version for Windows and Android users.

Another way to get Photoshop for cheap is to buy an older version on a marketplace such as eBay. Many companies liquidate old software after moving to a new version. Usually, older versions are almost identical to newer ones. This is a great solution for small businesses or students looking to learn core functions without investing a lot of money.

Ratna Sushila
Content writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in the publishing industry with an emphasis on information technology. When she's not working, she's writing.