Sunday, December 11, 2011

How To Reset/Restart Adobe 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


  1. Thank you so much for this! I was going to take a college course and the software is only available free on campus so this will give me an easy way to work at home.

  2. I don't have a 'hosts' file in the 'etc' folder. There is only 'lmhosts.sam', 'networks', 'protocol', and 'services'.

  3. Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating

    same way.
    Regards,Siddu Online Training

  4. Hello,

    When I tried to delete "cached" and "pcd" the software stop working, and it says I need to uninstall AND reinstall.. Help???

    Thank you


  5. We at Spark square measure committed to impact the productivity of our shoppers through our distinct coaching methodologies, tailored content and delivery systems. We interact with our shoppers to supply finish to finish Learning and Development solutions and thereby supply support to boost their sales productivity, distribution network, method and compliance, ways that of operating, client expertise and supply pre-hire solutions.Visit: HR Training in India

  6. Awesome content about Adobe CS5 Trial............. Please contact us for Oracle Fusion Financials Training details in our Erptree Training Institute