Restart Adobe CS5 Trial 1 Day Remaining

Restart Your 30 Day CS5 Trial

Adobe CS5 (Adobe Creative Suite 5) is some pretty expensive software. Lucky for us, they have a trial option available. The Adobe CS5 Trial lasts for 30 days, after which the program will automatically close itself after launch. During this 30 day trial period, you also have the option to enter a license key to unlock the program.

Now you might be wondering how to restart the Adobe CS5 trial so that you can keep using the program. Good question. Most people try uninstalling and then re-installing the software, and guess what, adobe hides files on your computer that don’t get deleted during the uninstall. Because of this, when you re-install the Adobe CS5 trial, your trial period will still be expired!

But there is a way around this little problem. By following the easy steps in this how to tutorial, I will show you the process of how to restart your Adobe CS5 Trial so that you can continue using the Adobe Creative Suite tools for another 30 days. This works for Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, and any other CS5 packages offered as well.


1.) Navigate to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe PCD

restart adobe cs5 trial delete PCD file

Adobe Common Files PCD Location

2.) Delete the file named “pcd

3.) Open the “cache” folder

4.) Delete the file named “cache

5.) Edit your “Hosts” file to prevent your Adobe CS5 programs from communicating with Adobe.

Editing your hosts file is a relatively easy task (See image below). Navigate to Computer -> Local Disk (C:) -> Windows -> System32 -> Drivers -> etc -> hosts. Or you can simply type “hosts” into the search bar when you are inside the folder “System32″.

You will need to change the security of the hosts file in order to edit it. Right click it, select properties and then select the security tab. You will need to grant regular users “Full Control” in order to edit this file.

WARNING: You should remove these full control privileges from the regular users group after editing the file for system security purposes.

Add the following lines to the bottom of the file:

This essentially tells your computer that when you attempt to navigate to either or, rather than being directed to those addresses, your computer will loop that navigation back to itself, and your Adobe programs will fail to reach the adobe activation destination. “″ is your computers own loopback IP address.

edit windows hosts file for adobe activation

Click for full size

I’m actually not sure if that whole hosts file editing part is absolutely necessary, but it doesn’t seem like it could hurt. I’m not sure if Adobe attempts to keep track of trial users on their end.

Now the next time you open an Adobe CS5 program, you will be prompted to accept the license agreement and start a new trial.

Adobe CS5 Start Trial Screen

Adobe CS5 Start Trial Screen

Drawbacks to using an Adobe CS5 Trial

There are some drawbacks to using an Adobe CS5 Trial. Adobe has hidden limits and disabled features in many of their trial version programs. For example, Adobe Premiere Pro will not include audio in many popular video formats because they want people to actually buy the software to get all of the features. This workaround will not work for those situations. But in the event that you absolutely need to use your Adobe CS5 trial for a few more days while you wait for your full copy to arrive, this is a solution which can help you.

This solutions is probably against Adobe’s Software License Agreement. If you use this software and profit from it in any way, you should really purchase it. Student’s can get some great prices with Adobe’s student discount program.

The Link to the right is the cost of the Student / Teacher edition of Adobe CS5 Design Standard which includes Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Illustrator CS5 and Adobe InDesign CS5. An extremely reasonable price if you ask me.


131 Responses to How To Restart Adobe CS5 Trial – Photoshop, Illustrator, etc…

  • Sim says:

    The pcd and cache folder….are protected against deletion or any update !!!

    • Cindy says:

      That’s why you have to edit the security settings in the properties. Also, you might have an antivirus or firewall program blocking any changes to the file. If that’s the case then you’ll also need to change the security settings in that programs configuration settings.

      The hosts file can definitely be modified. Just remember that whatever security settings you change in order to edit the file, be sure to go change them back when your done.

      • Cindy says:

        and yes that applies to the pcd and cache folder as well. They can be modified you just need to adjust your security settings in order to do so. :)

  • doodles says:

    i get a notice saying error.3 .hasn,t worked for me an i,m using cs5

  • Talon says:

    you forgot a very important step, deleting the adobe photoshop app data
    go to C:\Users\{your user name}\AppData\Roaming\Adobe
    and delete the adobe photoshop folder

  • away says:

    thanks, its working.. very good.

  • oeirjt says:

    Yeah… this really doesnt work!

  • emily says:

    I edited the file using notepad and them two lines were already there.. Did I do something wrong?

  • chris says:

    Worked for me….I did not need to do this “you forgot a very important step, deleting the adobe photoshop app data
    go to C:\Users\{your user name}\AppData\Roaming\Adobe
    and delete the adobe photoshop folder”

    Be sure to open notepad as Administrator

  • bob says:

    It doesn’t work anyways, so don’t worry about it.

  • james says:

    Thanks! It worked though I didn’t have to add the last two localhost addresses.

  • korhan says:

    thanks ! it works for cs5 64bit.

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