How Leaving Adobe Creative Cloud is Like Getting Rid of a Clingy Ex

Leaving Adobe Creative Cloud was a painful process; and not because I’ll miss it.

In 2013, I walked away from a proposed $10,000 Adobe ad spend with the Phoblographer. There was a previous spend of this much with the Phoblographer, which came to us as soon as the Creative Cloud service was announced. To be honest, it felt (in my opinion) like just a tactic used to satisfy all the photo websites so that nothing negative would be said about Creative Cloud. Indeed, Creative Cloud was pretty fantastic at the start. But after some time after Adobe had our money, Lightroom started to just not be practical anymore. So a few years ago, I moved the website’s staff from Lightroom to Capture One for editing photos. And most recently, I decided to cut ties with the Creative Cloud. But what I didn’t know is that it would leave my life kicking and screaming while causing some really awful headaches.

I first began by canceling my account on the Adobe website. But that statement is far easier said that was done. I went to the Adobe website, logged in, and tried to cancel my plan. Adobe’s website pretty much triple checked to ensure that I wanted to cancel my account. It was telling me that I would stop using a number of their apps, which I understand from their standpoint. But I think that once someone is committed to going to their website and canceling their plan, I’m sure that they want to go through. When I looked at the pricing though, I honestly found it to be really affordable and almost negligible. But as with anyone else, why would I pay for something that I’m not using? Once it was canceled, Adobe told me that my plan will continue until next year. This part I completely understand too as my next billing cycle is next year.

But then it started to get more complicated. I had Creative Cloud installed on three devices: my PC, my iMac, and my MacBook Pro. So I decided that since my PC has the least apps on it, that I’d start there. When I went about uninstalling Lightroom and Photoshop, it was pretty easy. But then when it came to uninstalling Adobe Creative Cloud itself, it got more complicated. Adobe said that I needed to log out of it from my other devices. So I proceeded to go to my Macbook and my iMac to log out. After this, I went to my PC and uninstalled the Creative Cloud. That was pretty quick, but to be fair I also don’t have a lot of programs on my PC. It’s when it got to my Apple computers that it became difficult.

On my iMac, I needed to log back into the Creative Cloud account and then start uninstalling all the programs. But I did this first via the actual Creative Cloud app. However, that wasn’t the end of all this. I needed to go into my Applications folder and then uninstall all the programs individually from there. That meant Lightroom, Bridge, Photoshop, Camera RAW, etc. It took a ridiculously long amount of time. In addition to that, I also had Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements installed. Uninstalling those was slow as molasses. Finally after all of this was done, I was able to uninstall the Adobe Creative Cloud app from my iMac. What this means is that I had to go through pretty much three layers of uninstalls. That’s superfluous if you ask me, but it sort of makes sense with the way that Apple’s architecture works.

The entire, same process needed to be done on my MacBook Pro. Again, it just turned out to be annoying and tedious. Why do you have to go through three layers of uninstallations to get rid of the programs? Considering that this is the case, I could easily see how someone would just give up and choose to stay with Adobe Creative Cloud.

Finally, I went to my phone and uninstalled Lightroom Mobile from it. When this was all done, it felt like a giant accomplishment. The process took well over an hour because of the type of environment that I work in. My PC is designed for testing though I initially got it for gaming as a gift. That was simple to do but I’ll be the first to admit that Adobe’s apps don’t work as well on a PC as they do on the Mac. For some crazy reason, the Mac does some insane magic where apps just work. As things simply work with Adobe, they do too with Capture One.

So how then, Chris, did this seem like getting rid of a clingy ex? When you’re in a relationship with someone, they penetrate layers of your life. You need to go about removing them layer by layer. That’s what I had to do with the Creative Cloud. It went program by program, cutting everything off, and then getting rid of the program. Finally, there are all the supporting pieces like plugins, presets, etc. It seriously felt like it didn’t want to exit my life but at the same time, it was only doing the least effort possible to keep me around.

And I’m so glad I’m over this now.


Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.