How do I keep previous versions of an Adobe CC application as I install the new one?

What is the trick? On install, uncheck “Remove old versions”. That’s it! And you’ll keep your older versions of InDesign (or Photoshop, or whatever).

Install updates without removing old versions of Adobe CC apps

You can also enable auto-update and tell it to keep your old versions.

Change Preferences for Adobe CC apps to auto-update but not remove old versions

How do I get back a previous version of an Adobe CC application that was unintentionally removed?

This option is a little less hidden than it has been in the past. It really is quite simple:

Install previous Adobe app versions with the Other Versions option


With the recent release of Adobe CC 2021, we’ve fielded the same questions that we received with previous Creative Cloud updates. Three main questions arise:

  1. Why would I want to keep a previous version of Adobe CC apps (such as InDesign) around?
  2. How do I keep previous versions of an Adobe CC application as I install the new one?
  3. How do I install a previous version of an Adobe CC application when I find it was unintentionally removed?

Why might I want to keep previous versions of Adobe CC applications (such as InDesign) around?

Out with the old, in with the new, right? In this age of phones and app stores, software moves at a much faster pace than traditional PC applications, especially those in the world of print and serious graphics. The average App Store application has a lifespan of one month, and “auto-update” is all the rage among web browsers, phone apps, even PC applications. Plus, with the modern subscription paradigm, as embraced by Adobe these days, upgrading is FREE! It is also free to keep older versions.

Sure, you can take the plunge, easily, but there may be reasons to pause and consider, “should I kill the old version while moving to the new?” I think the reality is that users should install the new CC 20XX version when available. Yet, in most cases, it is a best practice to keep the older version as well.

Why might I want to keep the previous version of CC around?

There are at least two reasons you may wish to keep CC 2020 on your computer while you install CC 2021:

  1. You have validated production workflows in CC 2020 and haven’t yet tested these in CC 2021.
  2. Your workflow includes third-party plugins that don’t yet work with CC 2021. In most cases, it takes anywhere from a few days to a few months for third-party developers to update their plugins to the new CC version.

You don’t need to choose between CC 2020 and CC 2021!

As far as Adobe software goes, the upgrade decision doesn’t need to be either/or between the new and previous version. This seems to be a very common mis-conception. Versions of InDesign and other CC apps co-exist quite nicely. This has been the case from time immemorial. It has always been an option to add the new version without removing the older version.

You might think this is a Boolean decision – just one version or the other – because CC apps by default will remove old versions on install. But no, it is easy to choose to keep the previous version (though this would be the default, in an ideal world) if you know how to do it.

Please email us if you can’t figure out how to put back a previous version, or if you have questions about maintaining multiple versions of Creative Cloud applications.

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