Adobe's Creative Cloud includes over a dozen applications, emphasizing graphics tools and including the much-lauded (and often-pirated) Photoshop. However, there are freeware equivalents for most tasks, and users who would like to get rid of Creative Cloud should use a thorough and safe uninstall procedure. Some users also may need to remove it as part of troubleshooting, such as fixing file corruption problems or failed updates. Experts recommend slightly non-traditional options due to Creative Cloud's status as an actively-maintained, subscription-based service.
Remember that deleting the Creative Cloud software isn't the same as deleting an account and will not cancel any subscription charges.
Users usually should always follow the official recommendations from a software product's company for the uninstalling procedures. This advice applies to Creative Cloud, too, and Adobe provides custom removal tools specific to it. First, uninstall all applications associated with Creative Cloud, such as Photoshop or Illustrator, through your operating system's traditional methods. Then, navigate to Adobe's official website (adobe.com). Depending on the operating system, download either the macOS or the Windows version of Adobe's 'Creative Cloud desktop application uninstaller' tool. Users also should note that Creative Cloud 5.0 and older requires a separate removal tool from the newer versions, which Adobe hosts on the same page. Windows users should extract the EXE file from the ZIP archive and run it. For macOS users, the procedure is identical, but with an application instead of an executable – they also may receive an additional warning message.
Only download the removal tools from Adobe's official website, and verify the URL for the absence of typos and other errors. Readers may also note that Enterprise users have a 'silent,' optional uninstall feature.
While atypical for most software, the above practice is the recommendation for removing Creative Cloud as a first option. Users who try these removal steps and encounter problems may resort to other measures. As always, remove any Creative Cloud-dependent programs before proceeding.
Windows users should enter 'Add or remove programs' in their taskbars and click the result. Scroll down the installed programs' list to the Creative Cloud entry. Click it and choose the Uninstall option.
For macOS, click the Applications link in the Finder sidebar. Click the Creative Cloud icon and hold it and drag it to the trash at the bottom.
Users also can use utilities that specialize in uninstalling software and removing all of their components, AKA 'cleaning.' These services have their fans but usually are overkill for programs like Creative Cloud and aren't substitutes for Trojan or virus-removing security solutions.
The bottom line for most users is that Adobe provides removal utilities for good reasons. Instead of doing all the hard work of program management oneself, it's not always bad to lean on company-provided tools and solutions that save time and cut down on problems.