So you’ve decided to purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Depending on the plan you purchased, you now have access to multiple Adobe applications and other subscription benefits.

But the real question is: How do you get to all of the apps and other benefits to start using them?

Fortunately, it’s not too complicated. Your first step to working with your new Adobe subscription is to use the Creative Cloud Desktop app.

What is the Creative Cloud Desktop App & Why Do You Need It?

Simply put, the Creative Cloud Desktop app is a way to “easily manage your Creative Cloud apps and services” in one place.

When you install this application, it allows you to install and use the desktop programs, like Photoshop, as well as connect your cloud applications such as Libraries.

The desktop app is important to the Adobe programs and perks because it’s the way you install and manage them as a group. It works with both Mac and PC computers.

How Do You Use the Creative Cloud Desktop App?

To use the Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop app there are 8 simple steps.

  1. Download the application from the Adobe website.
  2. Access the program. For Mac, the shortcut icon will appear on the menu bar on the top right-hand side of the screen. On PC, the icon will appear in the bottom right corner menu tray. You can also access it through the Applications folder on your Mac or through the Start menu in Windows.
  3. Log in to the program. The first time you use the app, you must sign into your Adobe account so it knows what you’re supposed to have access to.
  4. Get familiar with the navigation. When you open the Creative Cloud desktop app, there will be an Apps menu down the left side of the window. You can look at all of the apps, which ones need updates, apps in certain categories, your fonts, and other resources like tutorials, Behance, and Portfolio.
  5. Choose which apps to install. Under the Apps category on the left side menu, there’s an option to view All Apps—it’s also the default choice when you log in for the first time. On the All Apps screen, you’ll see an Available in your subscription heading, which shows what apps you can install based on your subscription package.
  6. Click Install on the apps you want to download. The programs will install on your computer, and “live” there. Although many of the desktop programs have cloud capabilities, most of them are desktop apps which means they function locally on your computer rather than through an internet connection.
  7. When you’ve installed the apps, you’ll see an Installed apps section appear on the top of the All Apps page with the list of what’s installed and the ability to open them. This section will also tell you whether the app is up-to-date.
  8. Select Open to start each program. When you’ve installed the program, you can use the Creative Cloud desktop app to open and use the program. Unless you’re using the cloud functions, the desktop apps don’t require an internet connection to function. You do have to connect to the web about once every 30 days, though, so the program can remain synced across programs and devices. Connecting to the web periodically also ensures correct payment has been made.

Application Updates

When your Adobe apps need updates, they’re included in your subscription. You don’t have to purchase upgrades separately, and it’s easy to do the updates right from the Creative Cloud Desktop app.

About once per year, Adobe puts out a major update during Adobe Max, their big annual conference. These updates are also included as part of your subscription.

Other Useful Creative Cloud Desktop App Features

The Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app is helpful for installing the programs and keeping them updated, but it can do other handy tasks, too.

Here are 7 great features of the Creative Cloud desktop app you should know about.

Manage Fonts

Within the desktop app, you can manage your Adobe fonts. You have the ability to activate and deactivate fonts, which syncs across your Adobe programs and devices. You can also upload your own fonts to use in the Creative Cloud apps.

Set Preferences

Want to change your Adobe notifications or language settings? Or maybe update how the program launches and performs auto-updates? Simply access the Creative Cloud desktop app to set these preferences, and others you may want to adjust.

Learn New Skills

Creative Cloud desktop app offers plenty of tutorials for you to learn more about the Adobe applications. You’ll find them in the Resource Links section. You’ll be able to take classes, see what you’ve already completed (and review, if you want), as well as track the progress you’re making.

Organize & Sync Files

The desktop app program offers a convenient place to sync Creative Cloud files to your cloud storage, as well as share your cloud documents and Libraries. All you have to do is access the Files tab.

Access Adobe Stock & Explore Plugins

If you’re a designer, or just want to explore Adobe Stock, you can browse images and other creative assets (like soundbites and illustrations) right from the desktop app. You can also look for plugins to make your workflow between the programs more efficient.

Test Beta Apps

When new applications come out, you can sign up to test them through the desktop app—while they’re still in beta mode. When you join the Creative Cloud beta program, you’ll be able to give your feedback and help shape new apps and features.

Discover & Utilize Behance

Behance is a social media platform for designers all over the world. It’s a place where you can get inspired and share projects from your portfolio to get feedback. You can get started in the desktop app.