A few years ago, I bought and installed Photoshop CS6 Extended. I do not believe I supplied an e-mail address at point of purchase. The software worked just fine for years.
Then, the motherboard of the computer it was installed on fried. The hard disk and everything else was OK, but the motherboard had to be replaced to un-brick the machine.

After the fix, starting up Photoshop produced a dialog requiring the creation of a new Adobe ID and put Photoshop into a 30-day trial mode. Apparently, it does not recognize the machine as being the same, though it's running off the same hard drive as before with the same software configuration, and the same screen, machine, etc.. I still have the fried motherboard, if that helps.

In this dialog, there's a "Buy Now" button that does not actually provide the opportunity to buy that product - I could buy a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud at $240/year and not be able to work offline, but I can't seem to get back the same product I had. I also don't have the original documentation any more; the software had been working for years before this happened.

Is there a way to get the software to recognize the same license it previously recognized?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The Adobe cloud thing actually works offline, but you have to keep paying a monthly fee. Anyway, how did you purchase cs6? \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Jul 31, 2016 at 0:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ It'll work offline until ninety-someodd days and then it won't until you reconnect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:18
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ note that you can get Photoshop and LightRoom for 9.90 per month. The full CC is more expensive, but you don't need it if you care for PS only. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Jul 31, 2016 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have an old Adobe ID? If you purchased directly from the Adobe website, your license code might be accessible by logging in. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Jul 31, 2016 at 4:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @null back when boxed software was a thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – WBT
    Jul 31, 2016 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


You will need the original installation media, or at least the code that came with it. Maybe it is in an email you got, or it is on the (paper) receipt, or a sticker on the box or on the CD. If you don't have that anymore, you basically threw the license in the trash.

You may be able to work with their Helpdesk, as your Windows registry should still contain the original registration data, which they could verify (knowing where exactly to look).

Be aware that over the years the product has grown a lot, and it might be worth the money to get to the new version. Note also that Adobe no longer sells stand-alone version, only subscriptions. You can hate it or like it, but that's the way they went.


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