Photoshop CS3 Activation [CS3 is dead]

New Here ,
Sep 02, 2016 Sep 02, 2016

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I purchased Photoshop CS3 several years ago, but have lost the installation disc along with the activation key.  I never registered the product on adobe's website.  I do have 2 machines that I have activated the software on previously.  In addition, I have a backed up copy of my photoshop folder from "Program Files" in Windows.  Is there any way to retrieve the activation key from my backed up folder?  Or can Adobe check based on my MAC address and find the key based on the 2 computers that have successfully activated previously?

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jan 01, 2020 Jan 01, 2020
It's now 2020.  As an update, CS3 activation servers are gone.  And Adobe ended access to activation-free installers and replacement serial numbers.  Customer Care agents cannot help with this matter.  CS3 is officially dead. If you never upgrade your computer or OS, you could potentially keep using CS3 for another 12+ years.  But I'm sorry to say that re-installation is no longer an option.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2016 Sep 02, 2016

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You really need to keep a paper copy of all serial numbers in a desk drawer

Lost information - reply #1 in https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2008767

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LEGEND ,
Sep 03, 2016 Sep 03, 2016

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If you have the machines the software was activated on and they are working you should be able to extract the Product ID which is different to activation. Your post is slightly confusing as you talk about a MAC address by which I'm guessing you mean the unique ID of the network card in your computer rather than a Mac computer? So I'll assume your on Windows as you have a Windows backup.

Download a copy of Belarc Advisor which is free

Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit, for software, hardware and security configuration informati...

It will produce a list of serial numbers for most of the software on your PC. If you have a Mac you need the commercial version which is not free. If your CS3 was bought as an update to CS2 then this will not work as you'll also require the serial for CS2 -the upgrade qualifying product.

You can download the installation media from here:

Download Adobe Creative Suite 3 products

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 03, 2016 Sep 03, 2016

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And just to rub it in: You don't pay for the software. That's free. You pay for the serial number.

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2017 Aug 24, 2017

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Honestly, I think Adobe is running a scam on all us. We had older versions that worked perfectly fine. They disabled those versions to force us to subscribe. I've "chatted" with help numerous times to solve the problem,,and nothing. My latest error after downloading their install folder "Photoshop CS3 can't be installed because of a conflict with Photoshop CS3".

I run Windows 10 and had no issue. Been running my Photoshop for about a 1 1/2 years, no problem. I use Photoshop infrequently, so paying $20 a month to make them richer is useless to me.

Goodluck to others. We're being held hostage through cyber terrorism.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2017 Aug 24, 2017

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No, they just closed the activation servers so your old disc and serial number will not work.

You can get a new serial number and non-activation installer here:

Activation or connection error when starting CS3 or Acrobat 8

Of course be very sure your old CS3 is uninstalled and check the "Remove Serial number" option when you do.

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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I have CS3 and i still have my serial number. My problem is my hard disc crash and i do not have the chance to uninstall my CS3, now i just want to start my CS3 with my new hard disk. Could you answer me what i have to do at coeurdepomme@cgocable.ca

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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There are no longer Adobe Activation Servers to Activate CS3. If you missed Adobe download  offer for old CS3 user for an CS3 installer that does not require Activation.  You miss the boat the download is no longer available.  You may want to consider buying a Photoshop Elements version.  It will have RAW support for new camera models and most of the features found in CS3. 

JJMack

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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You write i miss the boat but i do not understand why i have to pay for something working weel for me before my hard disc crash. I receive an answer,

Pour gérer vos notifications, cliquez ici.

Si ce lien ne fonctionne pas :

  1. Connectez-vous à Adobe Support Community.
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to solve my problem but i do not find the element write in the instruction no. 3

 

Could you help me

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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LATEST

The problem is the CS3 is no longer supported and can no longer be activated. You did pay for it and it broke and can not be fixed there is no support for CS3 its dead. You lost your activation credentials in the crash.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Jun 20, 2019 Jun 20, 2019

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Good evening,

I want to thank Gener7 with this answer and his shortcut.

I bought an old camera (canon 1D mIII) and could not open the RAW files with my CS version.

I found via  http://www.imagemaven.com/camera-raw/ the right plug-in but had also to find an old CS3 version.

To day i Bought it in Holland for $ 30,00 and had ofcourse an problem with the activation.

With the link from Gener7 i get an new activationcode and an program from Adobe to install CS3.

After putting in de new code everything is working fine.

Thanks

Greetings

Dirk Rotterdam Netherlands

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2019 Jun 20, 2019

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I'm glad it worked for you. A reminder that CS3 was designed for the OS that was current when it was released years ago. It's a 32 bit program and the new MacOS 10.15 will not allow 32 bit programs to run. Windows is usually more generous, but they may follow suit.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 01, 2020 Jan 01, 2020

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It's now 2020.  As an update, CS3 activation servers are gone.  And Adobe ended access to activation-free installers and replacement serial numbers.  Customer Care agents cannot help with this matter.  CS3 is officially dead.

 

If you never upgrade your computer or OS, you could potentially keep using CS3 for another 12+ years.  But I'm sorry to say that re-installation is no longer an option.

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2020 Jan 13, 2020

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Hello, If you purchase a copy of 2020 Elements it is inexpensive and a pretty good substitute. There is no subscrition fee as well. My old CS3 cost a fotrune when it came out, compared to Elements 2020 which is under $100. There are some new elements on 2020 that I like better than my CS3. I was angry when I could not transfer CS3 to my new computer, but my anger was diminished when I began playing with the new program. Give it a try. Once you do, you will begrudgingly agree that it is better. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 30, 2020 Jan 30, 2020

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will I still be able to open all of the files I created and saved in CS3?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 30, 2020 Jan 30, 2020

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micheller28009829
Most likely, yes.  

See Photoshop Elements 2020 Supported File Types

https://fileinfo.com/software/adobe/photoshop_elements

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 03, 2020 Mar 03, 2020

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Glad to hear someone give 2020 Elements a thumbs up.  I am babying every computer I have that has my PS on it lol  

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 04, 2020 Mar 04, 2020

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Elements is pretty nice. It has many upgrades from CS3. Once you get the hang of it, you will probably like it better. I do. I hate (HATE) change, but sometimes change is good. Elements 2020 (if you use the "Professional" settings) works and feels the same as CS3. Good luck, hold on to what you have for as long as you can! Also know that there is a good substitute for under $100. No subscription fee. You can buy the subscription plan and have all the bells and whistles. I didn't. 

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2020 Mar 02, 2020

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Dear, trying to move the license from Win7 to Win10, but getting issue

 

please confirm if can do the above.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 03, 2020 Mar 03, 2020

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Hi Maryama, If you are trying to move your cs3 license to a windows 10 you cannot. It has been killed. We all thought we owned our copies of CS3, however Adobe disagreed. They have made it impossible to renew or even use your copy of CS3. If you can leave it on your computer and not upgrade or update it you can still use it. Any change or try to move and it will not be able to be used. It just runs a loop that states you have to license your copy. There is no recovery for that. I bought a copy of Photoshop [Elements] 2020, it is nice. I would recommend it. It is a stupid situation, I'm sorry for our loss. I loved my CS3 and would not have changed anything. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2020 Mar 03, 2020

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Dead.

JJMack

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2020 Mar 07, 2020

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Nothing was disabled in existing installations. Just new installs can no longer be activated.

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2020 Mar 07, 2020

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Intellectual property (software) is completely different from tangible property like cars and cameras.  As such, different rules apply.  Adobe owns the software.  Read the EULA below.

https://labs.adobe.com/technologies/eula/photoshopcs3.html

 

Every product has an End of Life date and CS1, CS2 and CS3 [EDIT and CS4] were no exception.  All are officially dead now. 

 

Photoshop Elements 2020 is a one-time purchase. And PSE 2020 is a major step up from CS3.  But it pales in comparison to Photoshop CC 2020 which you can only get by subscription.

 

Photoshop Elements 2020 (approx $100, no subscription needed)

https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-elements.html

 

Creative Cloud Photography Plan (approx $10/month for 1 year subscription)

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

 

Creative Cloud All Apps Plan (50 + apps & services)

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

 

Nancy O'Shea, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2020 Mar 08, 2020

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I agree!  It is very stupid and regardless if they "own" the software or not we should not have to buy something new if what we have works fine for us!  I don't need updates/upgrades( I never did them anyway).  I spent a lot of money on it when I bought it and never even used all the bells and whistles for my photography business.   Makes me crazy to even have to spend $100 for elements when what I have works for me just fine!  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2020 Mar 08, 2020

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That is the point. If it is working "just fine" on a PC now it will continue to work. It is only when you change something e.g. upgrade your hardware, operating system etc that you require a new install and at that point CS3 will not activate.

There are three parts to a system. Hardware (PC/Cameras etc), operating system, applications. If you choose to freeze any in time then freeze all three and make sure your system is fully backed up so you don't need to re-install. Upgrading any of those three runs the risk of incompatibity or the inability to re-install. None of that is new, it's just the nature of a system.

 

Dave

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