Serial Key For Photoshop Cs4

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If you've installed a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS4 on one of your company's Mac computers, the program may display an error message when you try to launch it, stating that its licensing or serial number has expired or that you're using an invalid serial number. You're not alone in your predicament -- or your frustration -- especially if you see this error message the first time you try to start up the program after you install it. How you handle this problem depends on whether your serial number actually has expired, or if you're seeing interference from a pre-release trial or pre-purchase demo version of the software.

Expired Serial Number


Open the Apple menu and choose 'System Preferences.' Select the 'Date and Time' preference pane and change your computer's clock date to January 1, 2006. This workaround overcomes the Catch 22 that arises because you must launch the software to remove the old serial number, but the expired serial number prevents you from launching the software. You can leave the time set to the correct value.


Start Adobe Photoshop CS4. Open the 'Help' menu and choose 'Deactivate.' On the deactivation screen, activate the check box for 'Erase This Serial Number' and click on the 'Deactivate' button. Retail serial numbers for standalone copies of Adobe Photoshop or the Adobe Creative Suite don't expire, but demonstration copies and public beta-test or pre-release versions use licensing with short-term serial numbers.


Reopen System Preferences and select the 'Date and Time' preference pane. Reset your computer clock to the correct date.


Photoshop Cs4 Free Download Full Version

Start Adobe Photoshop. When the program requests a valid serial number partway through the startup process, enter the serial number for a retail version of the software with no expiration date on its license. If you own a license for Photoshop CS, CS2 or CS3, you can use an upgrade serial number. Because Photoshop CS4 no longer represents the shipping version of the product, you can't obtain it from Adobe Systems. If you didn't purchase a Photoshop CS4 license during the shipping lifespan of the product, you may be able to find a sealed or transferable copy on an online auction site.

Interference from Pre-Release or Demo Software


Open your Application folder and navigate to the Adobe Photoshop CS4 folder. Inside it, locate the Uninstall Adobe Photoshop CS4 item and double-click on it to remove Photoshop from your system.

Activate Windows now.” link at the bottom of the Settings app. This is the only form of nag you’ll see–there are no pop-up windows, for example. Key You’ll also see a “Windows isn’t activated.


Open a Finder window and navigate to the Library folder at its main level. Within that folder, locate the Application Support folder and open the Adobe folder inside it. 'Shift'-click on the 'Adobe PCD,' 'Caps' and 'Backup' folders and press 'Cmd-Delete' to move them to the Trash.


Insert your Adobe Photoshop CS4 installation disc and double-click on its installer file, or locate and double-click on your downloaded installer file for the program. Follow the installation instructions. When you're prompted for a serial number, enter the number on your disc box or from the purchase-confirmation email message you received from Adobe Systems.


  • In some cases, customers who participated in beta testing or who evaluated pre-release versions of Adobe CS4 software have trouble installing the retail product and activating it with a valid serial number. In these cases, traces of the test or evaluation software versions remain on the customers' computers, forcing them to use workarounds to get their products properly licensed and running. Most commonly, these customers must uninstall the retail version of the software and remove specific folders created by the installer, then reinstall the application. See Section 2 for this procedure.
  • You can't reinstall a demonstration version of Adobe Photoshop CS4 after the 30-day evaluation period ends. To turn a demo into a working, licensed copy, enter a valid purchased serial number.
  • If neither resetting your system clock and entering a valid serial number nor reinstalling Photoshop CS4 resolves the 'expired-license' problem with your copy of the program, contact Adobe Systems (see Resources).


  • Don't reset your computer clock to try to extend Adobe's 30-day demonstration software periods. If you do, Adobe's licensing provisions will deactivate the demo regardless of how much time remains before it expires.

References (3)


Resources (3)

About the Author

Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.

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When you try to start a CS5 or CS4 application, you receive one of the following errors:

  • 'Licensing for this product has expired'
  • 'The serial number you used to activate this product has expired'
  • 'Invalid serial number. The serial number appears to be invalid'

These errors can occur after the application has been running successfully for some time, or when you start it for the first time.

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Solution 1 (CS5): Enter a new serial number when prompted.

If licensing has expired for a CS5 application, the application prompts you to enter a new serial number. When prompted for the serial number, enter the number from your purchased product.

Solution 2: Turn back the system clock, start your application, and erase the stored expiring serial number.

  1. Launch the affected application, or any application within the affected Creative Suite package.
  2. Choose Help > Deactivate, and select the option Erase This Serial Number (CS4) or Deactivate Permanently (CS5).
  3. When prompted for the serial number, enter the number from your purchased product.

Solution 3: Delete the PCD and caps database files, and reinstall.

  1. Uninstall the application or entire Creative Suite package. To uninstall on Windows, use the Add Or Remove Programs feature in Windows. To uninstall on Mac OS, navigate to an application folder (for example, /Application/Adobe Photoshop CS4). Then double-click the Uninstall shortcut (for example Uninstall Adobe Photoshop CS4).
    Important: Before you uninstall the software, make sure that you have the installation media to reinstall it. Replacement media isn’t available for previous versions of Adobe software.
  2. Delete the following folders:
    /Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/Adobe PCD
    /Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/caps
    /Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/backup
    Mac OS:
    [startup drive]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD
    [startup drive]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/caps
    [startup drive]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/backup
    Note: These folders are located in the Library folder at the root of your startup drive, not in the Library folder in your user home folder!
  3. Reinstall your application or Creative Suite package, and enter the serial number from your purchased product.

There are three situations that can cause this error:

  • You participated in a prerelease program, and the prerelease serial number is still stored on your computer. Serial numbers for prerelease programs expire when the prerelease program ends.
  • You installed a trial version of the application on the computer, which has expired.
  • Adobe Customer Service deactivated your serial number. This issue can occur when you request a new serial number from Adobe Customer Service.

The error 'The license for this product has expired' is unrelated to the error 'Licensing for this product has stopped working.' An expired license means that a serial number, which is no longer valid, is still stored in the pcd.db database file. The valid serial number you received with your purchased product didn't overwrite the expired serial number during the installation process. Removing the expired serial number allows you to enter your valid serial number.

Serial Key Photoshop Cs4 Mac

The error 'Licensing for this product has stopped working' is related to the activation component of Creative Suite 4 software. It is related to a problem with the FlexNet Service. (Creative Suite 5 software uses a different activation component.) See these documents for solutions on how to resolve this particular error:

  • Launching Adobe products on Mac OS X 10.6 results in error 'Licensing for this product has stopped working.'
  • Error 'Licensing for this product has stopped working' when you launch Acrobat 9 or Adobe Creative Suite 4 products.

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