How to Uninstall Photoshop

Say it ain’t so! We’ll be sad to see you go, but there are always a few good reasons why you might need to uninstall Photoshop. 

Maybe you’re wiping an old computer for recycling, or you just need to free up some storage space temporarily, or maybe you’re totally done with Adobe and you’re jumping ship to one of their competitors – I considered it at one point too!

No matter why you need to uninstall Photoshop from your desktop computer, there are two ways to do it. 

1. Uninstalling Photoshop Using the Creative Cloud App

Ever since the launch of the Creative Cloud platform, the simplest way to uninstall Photoshop is to use the Creative Cloud app. Because the app works the same way on Windows machines and macOS, you only need to learn one process no matter where you’ve been using Photoshop.

To get started, open the Creative Cloud app. It may already be running in the Windows system tray or macOS menu bar, so be sure to check there first, although it won’t hurt to launch it again even if it’s already running. 

Once you’ve got the Creative Cloud app open, navigate to the Apps section in the menu bar, and then click All apps in the left pane to show all your currently installed Creative Cloud apps. 

Find Photoshop in the list, and click the three-dot icon at the end of the appropriate row (see below). 

From the popup menu, click the Uninstall entry, which is labeled in red to make sure you don’t uninstall Photoshop by accident. 

Before the uninstall process starts, you’ll be asked what to do with your Photoshop settings, plugins, and other preferences. 

If you’re only temporarily uninstalling Photoshop, then be sure to click the Keep button, but if you’re not going to be using Photoshop again on the same computer, click the Remove button. 

Of course, you can always click the Cancel button if you’ve changed your mind about uninstalling Photoshop! 

Once you’ve made your selection, the Creative Cloud app will display a progress bar showing the uninstall process, although in my experience it’s usually over before you have time to start missing your favorite Clone Stamp tool. 

2. Uninstalling Photoshop Manually 

You can also uninstall Photoshop manually if for some reason you don’t want to use the Creative Cloud to do so. Depending on the Operating System you’re using, how you uninstall it can be different. 

On Windows

It used to be possible to uninstall Photoshop manually using your operating system’s uninstall process, but if you try to uninstall Photoshop using the Apps settings panel in Windows 10, it will simply launch the Creative Cloud app and start the installation process there, just the way I described in the first section of the post. 

This probably saves Adobe some time, but it can be a bit confusing to users who are more familiar with the older, standardized method used to uninstall Photoshop. 

On macOS

As of this writing, it should still be possible to manually uninstall Photoshop if you’re using a Mac, but be sure to think twice before you do it. You won’t get a chance to save your preferences, plugins, or settings, and the Creative Cloud app will still think that you’ve got Photoshop installed.

If you just want to uninstall it and you don’t care about the consequences, you can open a Finder window, and then navigate to the Applications folder. Right-click on the Adobe Photoshop folder, and click Move to trash

You’ll have to enter your admin password, but that’s all there is to it. As I mentioned earlier, the Creative Cloud app will still think that Photoshop is installed, but you won’t be able to launch it, so you’ll probably want to avoid this method of uninstalling. 

There is also an alias in the Adobe Photoshop folder labeled Uninstall Adobe Photoshop, but all it does is open the Creative Cloud app and launch the uninstall process there. 

Troubleshooting Uninstall Issues

The Creative Cloud app is pretty good nowadays, although it still runs into the occasional issue. If you’re having problems installing and uninstalling the individual CC apps like Photoshop, you might need to uninstall the entire Creative Cloud parent app and reinstall it in order to repair it.

Because Adobe uses some pretty serious tech to verify and authenticate their software, it can be a bit tricky to uninstall the Creative Cloud app. 

This is especially true if you’re having issues uninstalling Photoshop because you can’t uninstall the Creative Cloud app until all of its dependent apps like Photoshop and Lightroom are removed first. 

This is a bit of design oversight because it means that it’s possible to get stuck in a situation where you can’t uninstall anything! If only Adobe could package a customized uninstaller for each of their apps the way they used to… *cough*

As a result, Adobe has created a specialized tool for uninstalling the Creative Cloud app, which is available on a dedicated page that outlines how and when it should be used. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the page carefully to repair your Creative Cloud installation! 

If the Creative Cloud uninstaller method doesn’t work for you, you may need to really channel your inner tech guru and follow the process outlined to completely scrub your system of all Creative Cloud files. 

I know I said earlier that this was a ‘bit’ of design oversight, but it’s actually a pretty major one. I’ve never had a similar error occur, but the more I learn about this situation the more idiotic it seems. 

At least Adobe has created a few guides for users, although I suspect they might be a bit too complex for most people. 

A Final Word

You’ve now managed to uninstall Photoshop without any of the unexpected issues that apparently exist with the Creative Cloud. 

I sure feel lucky that I’ve never run into anything similar because after finding myself in tech support hell, I might be too frustrated to follow the complex instructions required to run the Creative Cloud cleaner process.

Hopefully, in the future, Adobe will iron out all these issues so that the Creative Cloud app works as it’s supposed to without any hiccups. 

May all your uninstallations be quick and painless!

About Thomas Boldt
Thomas started his Photoshop career way back in 2000. After exploring Photoshop 5.5 in a high school computer lab, he developed an enduring passion for photography, design, and technology that carried him through a Bachelor of Design degree and into the wild world of tech startups.

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