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CS3 Versions that don't require activation [LOCKED CS3 is dead]

Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2019

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Hello,

 

Last week, a user on another forum told informed me that I could swap my CS3 licenses/serial numbers for CS3 versions that don't require the activation servers which are long gone.  Being busy with work at the time, I bookmarked the page so I could come back to it later.  I have a number of CS3 apps so I needed time to look up all the serial numbers as well.  Finally got the time today and now I cannot find the page.  The bookmarked link just redirects to a generic help page.

 

Cannot seem to find a way to contact customer service either--all the links just redirect me to help pages that don't actually provide much in the way of help for anything other than Creative Cloud.  Even the web chat options appear to be gone.  No eMail contact addresses either.  So, I guess my only option is to ask here.

 

Thanks!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Nancy OShea | Adobe Community Professional

Sorry to say you missed your chance to get it and now it's gone forever.  CS3 and Acrobat 8 are officially dead.  Customer Care cannot help you with 13 year old software.  It's too old and way beyond its support date.

 

You can replace CS3 with a month-to-month or annual subscription to Creative Cloud.  The good news is, CC software installs on  modern Win or Mac operating systems and includes free upgrades for as long as you remain a subscriber. 

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html

 

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CS3 Versions that don't require activation [LOCKED CS3 is dead]

Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2019

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Hello,

 

Last week, a user on another forum told informed me that I could swap my CS3 licenses/serial numbers for CS3 versions that don't require the activation servers which are long gone.  Being busy with work at the time, I bookmarked the page so I could come back to it later.  I have a number of CS3 apps so I needed time to look up all the serial numbers as well.  Finally got the time today and now I cannot find the page.  The bookmarked link just redirects to a generic help page.

 

Cannot seem to find a way to contact customer service either--all the links just redirect me to help pages that don't actually provide much in the way of help for anything other than Creative Cloud.  Even the web chat options appear to be gone.  No eMail contact addresses either.  So, I guess my only option is to ask here.

 

Thanks!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Nancy OShea | Adobe Community Professional

Sorry to say you missed your chance to get it and now it's gone forever.  CS3 and Acrobat 8 are officially dead.  Customer Care cannot help you with 13 year old software.  It's too old and way beyond its support date.

 

You can replace CS3 with a month-to-month or annual subscription to Creative Cloud.  The good news is, CC software installs on  modern Win or Mac operating systems and includes free upgrades for as long as you remain a subscriber. 

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html

 

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Dec 20, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2019

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i don't think you can do that anymore.

 

you could check with adobe support for confirmation.

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Dec 20, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2019

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Sorry to say you missed your chance to get it and now it's gone forever.  CS3 and Acrobat 8 are officially dead.  Customer Care cannot help you with 13 year old software.  It's too old and way beyond its support date.

 

You can replace CS3 with a month-to-month or annual subscription to Creative Cloud.  The good news is, CC software installs on  modern Win or Mac operating systems and includes free upgrades for as long as you remain a subscriber. 

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Dec 20, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2019

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Mine is not a modern Mac so CC will not work on it.

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Dec 20, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2019

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Whether you use Adobe or competing products, at some point you have to modernize.  Mac Sierra or higher is required. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/system-requirements.html

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Dec 20, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Dec 20, 2019

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I cannot run Sierra on this Mac and, even if I could, I cannot say I am too enamored with Adobe at the moment.  I've been an Adobe user since 1992, possibly 1991.

 

CS3 was sold as a perpetual license with the assurance I could run it as long as my hardware supported it.  Perpetual does not mean five years or ten or even fifteen; perpetual is never-ending.  When they came out with Creative Cloud, Adobe continued to assure people that perpetual license meant perpetual and even if you didn't subscribe to CC, you would be able to continue using your perpetual licenses as long as your hardware and operating system supported it.  When I visited the page last week, there was no notice that the license swapping option was going to be ending any time soon.  Had Adobe posted a notice that it was ending, I would have endeavored to get my licenses together sooner so I could do the swap.  I only learned about the option through a user on another forum.  I recall receiving no notice from Adobe that this was even an option else I would have done this a long time ago.  And mid-month is an odd time to end something.  End of the year might have made more sense.  Regardless, it was sold as a perpetual license and it is not my fault they decided to shut down their CS3 activation servers, nor end the license swap option without any kind of notice.

 

I would address these concerns directly with Adobe, but they appear to offer no clear means of contacting them directly.  The help pages, such as they are now, just steer me to these forums or to an apparently non-existent web chat.

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Dec 20, 2019 4
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2019

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Unfortunately, nobody ever took time to read the EULAs. English starts on page 419.

https://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/legal/licenses-terms/pdf/CS3.pdf

 

Bottom line is that Adobe owns the software.  That means they decide when to discontinue  access.   In tech terms, 12 years is a very long time.

https://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/discontinued-products.html

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Dec 20, 2019 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 23, 2019

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I am also angry about this. I am in the middle of planning my wedding and using both Photoshop and Illustrator to design the invitations and other items (my PC decided it too was rather old and needed replacing - hard drive crash). CS3 was perfectly functional for this useVectors are vectors; colors are colors. This has not changed in the past year or two or twelve, or indeed since I was a child. I do not care that the software is over a decade old; it is familiar and simple and mine. When it was purchased, it was as a perpetual product that I could use for as long as I had a machine to run it, even if I had to emulate an old version of Windows some day (old games still run in DOSbox!). The "never register" version was an acceptable substitute, and one that I'm sure didn't cut into Adobe's precious servers too hard. Now, the CD sitting in my desk is good for nothing more than a coaster, because Adobe is a bunch of greedy, money-grubbing pigs who want customers to pay to subscribe to the latest and "greatest" teeny-tiny updates, rather than paying for a functional piece of software once and being content with it for the rest of their lives, or until they decide for themselves that the software is no longer up to snuff and they want something with a new whizbang doodle.

 

I suppose I am now to go hunting for a proper substitute, relearning how to do things that I knew by heart in the Adobe ecosystem, because I refuse to be strung along by subscriptions. Dropping hundreds of dollars once for a functional suite of software makes sense; dropping that same amount year after year does not. This is a terrible Christmas present for your customers, Adobe. Whatever "genius" came up with this plan should be fired and blacklisted for terrible ideas.

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Dec 23, 2019 4
Explorer ,
Dec 22, 2019

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CS3 is not too old to use if you only use it occasionally at home and you are not professional.

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Dec 22, 2019 5
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2019

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CS3 is too outdated for web development. It cannot understand HTML5 or CSS code much less modern PHP or JavaScript.  Believe it or not, there is better freeware available now. CS3 really is a dinosaur. 

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Dec 22, 2019 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2020

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Would yu please indicate which better freeware are you saying?

Very dissapointed with ADOBE and do not want to give them my money again; yet, they may come later and indicate whatever I have bought is no longer usable.

Thanks,

 

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Jan 15, 2020 3
Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2020

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Kritia is a freeware, but iam learning Clip Studio Pro now. it came free
with a $50 wacome table and pen at Bestbuy. I want to get the Affinity for
$20 for iPad version. Some artists said this program is like 5 steps less
to achieve what you want. The mean time I still use Adobe CS3 on my old Mac
for last touch up.

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Jan 15, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2020

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"Would yu please indicate which better freeware are you saying?"

Web Freeware

Not Free

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Jan 16, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 17, 2020

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Thanks for the provided information! Going back to CS3, shall I understand I will not be able to make it work in my new laptop? I have the original package with corresponding Serial # and a new one given to me when I updated my old laptop from Windows 8 to 10, neithe rone is working, last rry the ADOBE system indicates those are unvalid serial numbers.

Thanks!

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Jan 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2020

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Adobe discontinued the replacement program.  If you didn't previously obtain the  activation-free replacement installer and serial number, it's not possible to re-install CS3.   And customer care cannot help you. 

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Jan 17, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 17, 2020

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Hi Nancy, thanks again for your replies. Regading alternative software, I mean to replace Photoshop, this one and Acrobat Professional were the software I was using from CS3. Linked software web pages are for painting and tex editors.

Regards,

NelsonDad 

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Jan 17, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2020

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Acrobat Reader DC is free.   If you need more than Reader can provide, get Acrobat Pro DC ($14.99/month) or Acrobat Standard ($12.99/month) for a 1 year subscription.   I have no experience with other PDF viewers, so no comments.  

 

I've never found anything that comes remotely close to Photoshop except Photoshop.  But if you want alternatives, look at Photoshop Elements 2020.  It's a major improvement over CS3 and no subscription needed.  PaintShop Pro or Gimp are other options.

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Jan 17, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Dec 22, 2019

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I apologize if my response the other day was too harsh or angry in tone.  I was very upset at the time.  Still am, actually.  The cost of CS3 was no small amount of money for me.  Even these many years later, it still remains a considerable investment.  So losing permanent access to a tool I use regularly is not a pleasant prospect.

 

I recognize that Adobe must know the importance of these older products to people, else they would not have given the option of getting replacement serial numbers and downloading newer versions that did not require online activation.  Where I am disappointed is in not being made aware of this.  I am sure I am not alone in not coming by the forums regularly when I don't have a problem.  Many of us I'm sure have no idea there are potential problems until we have a problem.  As I mentioned before, I only learned about the option recently.  Had some kind of deadline been indicated, I would have made sure to get my licenses together and swapped out in order to meet that deadline.  Instead, the pages were there one day and gone less than two weeks later.

 

I disagree that CS3 is too outdated for use.  There is more to CS3 than Dreamweaver.  I get productive use out of the CS3 apps on an almost daily basis.  And the software has been running flawlessly on my machine for years.  I only wish I could continue to be assured of that.

 

I was optimistic yesterday when I got a private message from someone claiming to be from Adobe Support with an offer to help.  Upon reading the message, I quickly suspected it to be a scam.  Upon searching the forums, I found that this was a common occurrence and there was even a link to report the user ID so they could be banned.  Unfortunately, even that link didn't work so I was unable to report them.

 

Anyway, I am sorry if I came off too harsh.

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Dec 22, 2019 3
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2019

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I completely understand.  It was a shock to all of us when Adobe took down the CS3 & Acrobat 8 installers.  The ACPs were not warned of this either. 

 

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Dec 22, 2019 0
New Here ,
Dec 29, 2019

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retiring support of a product is one thing, but disallowing use is completely different.  Adobe is allowing the use of the product to some users and not others.  This is a discriminitory practice and the users who are being denied use of their product should be offered a refund if adobe doesn't plan to offer an installation path.

I'm also dealing with a forced clean install of windows.  CS3 is more than adequate for my uses. I should be able to install the product. Providing a loophole on page 419 of a user agreement is an abusive practice similar to the old use of binding arbitration which was found to be illegal.  I was told repeatedly my customer service just now that there was a compatability issue that required that the product not be activated over the internet.  This was clearly false. It is a practice on the part of adobe to drive sales.

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Dec 29, 2019 4
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2019

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no one's disallowing its use.

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Dec 29, 2019 0
New Here ,
Dec 29, 2019

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I have installed my copy of CS3 on my clean Windows installation. When I try to run the applications, I'm asked to register and activate the product or quit. Adobe has removed any way for me to sucessfully activate the product and thereby use the product. I'm pretty sure that this means that Adobe is not allowing me a way to use the product...hence Adobe *is* disallowing use of my purchased product.

 

 

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Dec 29, 2019 3
Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2020

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All, I agree with the comments that ADOBE does not have the right to deactivate a sold product, like CS3. I do have it for several years and was working fine, even when I updated my laptop to Windows 10; however, now that I bought a newer Laptop and try to reinstall the software on this new machine, I have not been able to do so. I understand if ADOBE customer service does not provide further support on this software; but, we, the people who paid for this software shall be able to keep using it with no restriction from ADOBE.

If someone can help me make it usabe in my new PC, thanks in advance.

 

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Jan 15, 2020 2
Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2020

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Stop whining and move on! The alternative for you is Affinity or
procreate, they are cheaper, faster, and many established artists and
educators are using it. I’m learning clip studio pro. I got it for free
from buying a &50 Wacom table at Bestbuy.

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Jan 15, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Dec 30, 2019

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IF ANYONE STAFFED BY ADOBE IS LISTENING:

Many of your faithful customers invested over $2,000 to buy CS3 expecting they'd be able to use the product, even if no longer supported.  Microsoft products are still usable even after end-of-life support.  Why are we not allowed to use the products that we invest so much money in?  The availability of CS CLOUD should NOT take away our option of using our purchased product - as in if we have to reinstall due to uncontrollable reasons.  This is a poor decision on Adobe's part; not to allow us to use that which we purchased.

 

It hurts immensely; financially, pyschologically, sentimentally!  Please don't shut us out, Adobe!!!

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Dec 30, 2019 5
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 30, 2019

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I don't work for Adobe.  I'm a forum volunteer and product user like you. Adobe staff are on holiday until after the new year.  I understand how you feel but I don't think you should expect a reply to this because it's not up for debate.  The EULA says it all. The English version begins on page 419.

https://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/legal/licenses-terms/pdf/CS3.pdf

 

Adobe owns the software.  Your limited and non-exclusive license to use Creative Suite was entirely at Adobe's discretion.  You got 12+ years of usage from it.  Assuming you don't need to re-install,  you could potentially get another 12 years of usage from it.  Just don't ever upgrade your computer or OS again as re-installation is no longer possible.

 

Good luck and have a happy 2020!

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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