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How to Uninstall Photoshop

Filed under: Uninstall 

Photoshop CS4 - License
If you use Photoshop to edit photographs and other graphics, you may eventually need to uninstall it. This may be because you no longer use it, because a trial version has expired or because you want to transfer the license to another PC.

Uninstall Photoshop Using the Control Panel

The recommended way to remove Photoshop is to either use the uninstall routine from the application CD or to use the Windows uninstaller function. In the Control Panel, select Add or Remove Programs or Programs and Functions (depending on the version of Windows you use) to view a list of currently installed programs. If you have installed Photoshop from the Photoshop CD, select Adobe Photoshop, choose to uninstall it and follow the prompts. If, however, you have installed Photoshop as part of the Creative Suite or Production Studio, select that application, choose to uninstall and then follow the prompts to remove only the Photoshop component.

You will be prompted to remove, keep or transfer the activation. Choose keep if you plan to re-install Photoshop on the same machine, transfer if it is to be installed on a different PC, otherwise remove. The process should remove the entry in the Start menu, any desktop shortcut and all program files and folders.

Manually Remove Photoshop

Sometimes you may not be able to uninstall Photoshop using the Control Panel or may fail to complete the process. This may be due to Photoshop not appearing in the program list, uninstall not being available there or because damaged files or an incomplete installation prevent the process completing. In this case, you need to uninstall Photoshop manually to ensure all folders and files are removed.

Parts of the procedure access hidden files and folders. To ensure they are available, select Tools then Folder Options in Windows Explorer. At the View tab, select Show Hidden Files and Folders and deselect Hide Extensions for Known File Types, then click OK.

Before going further, back up the registry and create a restore point. This ensures you can get back to a working version if you encounter any problems. Also, take a copy of any folders and files processed by Photoshop that you wish to retain.

Ensure you are logged in as an administrator. Delete the application files and folders. These will vary, depending on the version you are removing, but will typically be:

  • C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Launch\Photoshop\version
  • plus any within Documents and Settings, either for a specific user or all users, that reference Photoshop.

Replace the C: with your system drive letter if it is not C:

The last step is to remove all the registry entries for Photoshop. To run the registry editor, select Run at the Start menu, type ‘regedit’ and click OK. You then need to find the relevant keys, select them, choose Edit, then Delete and confirm the deletion.

The actual keys you need to delete vary, depending on the version of Photoshop you are removing. For this reason, they are not listed here but can be found at the Adobe knowledgebase by searching for uninstall and selecting the appropriate article.

If you are reluctant to edit the registry, as many people understandably are, you can instead remove the non-required keys automatically using a registry cleaner. However, only use one that is recommended because all don’t work correctly.

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