How to Download Adobe Illustrator

No, the App Store is not where you want to download Adobe Illustrator. In fact, you won’t even find it. 

I asked the same question years ago when I first started my graphic design journey, in my freshman year. “How to install Adobe Illustrator? Can I get Adobe Illustrator for free?” 

Well, at that time I could still get the Adobe Illustrator CS version without a subscription. But today, it seems to be the only way to download Adobe Illustrator, legally. 

In this article, I’m going to show you how to download Adobe Illustrator, what’s the cost, and some of its alternatives.

The Only Way to Download Adobe Illustrator 

The only way to get Adobe Illustrator is from Adobe Creative Cloud, and yes you do need to create an account. 

The only way, I mean the only legal way. Sure, there are tons of random sites where you can get Adobe Illustrator, even for free, however, I DO NOT recommend that because you don’t want to get into trouble for downloading a cracked program. 

So how to download/install Adobe Illustrator? Follow the quick instructions below.

Step 1: Go to Adobe Illustrator’s product page and choose Free Trial or Buy Now. If you’re not 100% sure about getting the software, go ahead and click Free Trial and you’ll be able to use Adobe Illustrator for a week without any cost. 

If you already have an Adobe CC account, you can directly click the Download button on the page and your program will automatically start installing. 

Step 2: Choose for whom is it for. if it’s for yourself, choose For individuals, and if you’re a student, choose For students and teachers

Click Continue.

Step 3: Choose a membership plan and it’ll ask you to create an account for Adobe Creative Cloud. It will ask you to input your billing information in the signup process but it won’t charge you anything until the free trial ends and you can cancel the subscription at any time

Once you’ve set up the account, you should also have a desktop version of Adobe CC. 

Step 4: Choose Adobe Illustrator and click Install

Since I’ve already installed Adobe Illustrator, it doesn’t show in this screenshot, but that’s where you’ll find Adobe Illustrator if you choose the All Apps plan. 

Once it’s installed, it’ll show under the Installed section on Creative Cloud. 

How Much is Adobe Illustrator

So apparently Adobe Illustrator is a subscription program. But how much does it cost? There are different pricing options depending on who it is for and how you want to pay for it. The standard cost is $22.99/month with an annual subscription or $59.99/month with All Apps (which I super recommend if you use more than three programs).

Students and teachers get the benefits of a 60% discount for the Creative Cloud All Apps plan, so they only need to pay $19.99 USD/month and get to use all apps. 

A lot of people asked about how to get Adobe Illustrator for free. The answer is: yes, you can get Adobe Illustrator for free, but for a limited time. There isn’t a legal way to get Adobe Illustrator for free besides getting the one-week free trial. 

What Can You Do with Adobe Illustrator

Before pulling out your wallet to buy the subscription plan, I bet you want to know what Adobe Illustrator can do. Besides knowing Adobe Illustrator is a popular vector-based editing software, what else? 

Graphic designers generally use Illustrator for creating logos, illustrations, typefaces, infographics, advertisements, and even packaging designs. Many UI/UX or web designers use Adobe Illustrator for making icons. Fashion designers also use Adobe Illustrator for fashion illustrations. 

Adobe Illustrator Alternatives (Free & Paid)

As stunning as the software is, the cost isn’t worth it for everyone. For example, if you’re a hobbyist, you probably don’t want to spend more than 200 bucks a year on design software. Or if you don’t need advanced tools for your simple daily design, there are other design software that can do the job. 

Depending on your workflow, here are some popular Adobe Illustrator alternatives that I’ve tested and would like to recommend to you. No, CorelDraw is not the only good alternative. 

If your work requires a lot of drawing and illustrations, Inkscape is the best free alternative that you can find. I know you’re probably thinking about Procreate too, it’s great, but it doesn’t have other vector editing tools that Inkscape has, and Procreate only has iOS and iPad versions.

Affinity Designer is another good option for graphic designers because it has pixel and vector personas which allows you to switch between image manipulation and vector creation. 

If you only need to create feature images for social media, or some simple poster ads, Canva can be a good option too. Plus, you don’t need much design experience to learn how to use Canva. 


The only legit way to download Adobe Illustrator is to get an Adobe ID and get a subscription plan. You do have a 7-day free trial if you’re still indecisive about getting it and you can always try out the alternatives. 

Again, I do not recommend trying to get a free cracked version from random sites. 

About June Escalada
Graduated from Creative Advertising major, worked more than eight years as a graphic designer focusing in branding and Illustration. Yes, Adobe Illustrator is my best friend and I’m passionate about art and design.

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