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?
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
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:
And just to rub it in: You don't pay for the software. That's free. You pay for the serial number.
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.
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:
Of course be very sure your old CS3 is uninstalled and check the "Remove Serial number" option when you do.
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 email@example.com
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.
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,
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Si ce lien ne fonctionne pas :
to solve my problem but i do not find the element write in the instruction no. 3
Could you help me
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.
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.
Dirk Rotterdam Netherlands
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.
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.
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.
will I still be able to open all of the files I created and saved in CS3?
See Photoshop Elements 2020 Supported File Types
Glad to hear someone give 2020 Elements a thumbs up. I am babying every computer I have that has my PS on it lol
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.
Dear, trying to move the license from Win7 to Win10, but getting issue
please confirm if can do the above.
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.
Nothing was disabled in existing installations. Just new installs can no longer be activated.
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.
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)
Creative Cloud Photography Plan (approx $10/month for 1 year subscription)
Creative Cloud All Apps Plan (50 + apps & services)
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!
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.