This is in contrast to older versions of Photoshop where you bought a box containing a disk, installed it and called it done. If a new version was released, you had to purchase it or upgrade to the new version.
That has been superseded; your computer now maintains an online link with Adobe so each program you have downloaded and installed can be incrementally updated. Photoshop is a good example, since you can have an update appear that adds new features and fixes bugs in the current version.
To make sure you are keeping your versions up to date, there are a couple of things you can do.
1 – When you purchase a particular subscription plan through Adobe, you download the Creative Cloud app which lets you manage your subscription, your apps, resources and much more besides. The app itself has been updated, but its basic functions remain the same.
2 – When you open the Creative Cloud app, down the left side you are now presented with a menu containing Apps, Categories and Resource Links. If you click on All Apps, you can view everything installed as part of your subscription plan.
3 – In the case of Photoshop, if you click on its icon, you can view and overview any key features page. There is an introductory video you can watch, along with links to courses and examples. There is also a hyperlink to more help pages available on the Adobe website.
4 – Below All Apps, in the top left of the page, is the Updates button where you can access any update info. This opens a page where you can view what can be updated, has recently been updated and a listing of what’s new with each updated application.
5 – Staying on this page, if you look up to the top right corner, you will see an Update All button. This can globally update all apps marked as having an update available. Next to that is a small icon comprised of three dots which contains a drop down list.
6 – If you click on the Three dots icon, it brings up a small window called Check For Updates. If you click this, you can force it to rescan all applications and advise if there are any new updates currently available. This can be automated and we’ll look at that next.
7 – At the top of the page on the right are a series of icons. If you click on the gear-shaped Preferences button, you’ll see the various preferences that you can alter to suit your requirements. The General pane has a link to your Adobe account and Cloud Storage status.
8 – What interests us is the Apps button. Clicking on this calls up the Auto-Update window. Here, you can, not only turn on Auto Update but also choose which of your installed apps will actually be updated. You can also make sure previous settings are applied to the update.
9 – Now your apps will automatically be kept up to date as and when Adobe release new updates for them. Further down the page, you will see options for changing the default installation location and what the default language will be.