How to Cancel Shutterstock: A Step-by-Step Guide

Stop Paying for What You Don’t Need

Are you looking to cancel your Shutterstock subscription? We’ve got you covered! In this article, we will provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to cancel your Shutterstock account and stop paying for the service. Whether you found a better alternative or simply no longer require stock photos, we’ll show you how to cancel Shutterstock hassle-free.


Shutterstock is a renowned platform that offers a vast library of stock photos, vector graphics, illustrations, and videos. While it provides a valuable service for many users, there are circumstances where cancellation becomes necessary. Whether you’re looking to save on costs or exploring other options, cancelling your Shutterstock subscription should be a straightforward process.

Before we dive into the details, it’s important to note that cancelling your Shutterstock subscription does not mean deleting your account. It simply stops the automatic renewal of your subscription and ensures you won’t be charged in the future.

Why Cancel Your Shutterstock Subscription?

There can be various reasons why you might be considering cancelling your Shutterstock subscription. Let’s explore some common scenarios:

You Found a Better Alternative

With the growing number of stock photo platforms available, you may have discovered a platform that better suits your needs. This could be due to a more extensive collection of specific types of images or a more affordable pricing structure.

You No Longer Need Stock Photos

Perhaps your project or business has evolved, and you no longer require the use of stock photos. This could be because you’ve shifted your focus, established an in-house design team, or started creating your original visual content.

The Cost Doesn’t Justify the Usage

Shutterstock offers various subscription plans with different pricing tiers. If you find that you’re not utilizing the service enough to justify the cost, cancelling your subscription can help you save money.

How do I cancel my Shutterstock subscription?

The process of cancelling your Shutterstock subscription can vary depending on whether you are subscribed directly through the website or through a third-party partnership. Let’s explore both scenarios:

Cancelling Directly through the Shutterstock Website

Step 1: Log in to Your Account

To begin the cancellation process, log in to your Shutterstock account using your registered email address and password. This will grant you access to the necessary settings and subscription management options.

Step 2: Go to Account Settings

Once you’re logged in, navigate to the Account Settings page. You can find this page by clicking on your profile icon in the top right corner of the Shutterstock website, then selecting “Account Settings” from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Manage Your Subscription

Within the Account Settings menu, locate and click on the “Subscriptions” tab. This tab will provide you with an overview of your active subscriptions and related settings.

Step 4: Cancel Subscription

On the Subscriptions page, locate the subscription you wish to cancel. Next to it, you should see a “Cancel Subscription” button or a similar option. Click on this button to proceed with the cancellation process.

Step 5: Confirm Cancellation

A confirmation prompt will appear after clicking on the “Cancel Subscription” button. Read the information presented and confirm your decision to cancel by selecting the appropriate option. This step ensures that you are intentionally cancelling your subscription.

Step 6: Provide Feedback (Optional)

After confirming the cancellation, you may be given the opportunity to provide feedback on your experience or reasons for cancelling. This step is optional but can help Shutterstock improve its services based on user feedback.

Protip: Consider Downgrading Instead

If you’re cancelling your subscription due to cost concerns, Shutterstock offers the option to downgrade to a less expensive plan. This allows you to continue accessing the platform’s vast library of assets while potentially saving money.

Cancelling through a Third-Party Partnership

Step 1: Identify the Third-Party Provider

If you subscribed to Shutterstock through a third-party partnership, such as an app or website, you will need to cancel your subscription directly with that provider. Identify the third-party provider through which you signed up for Shutterstock.

Step 2: Contact the Third-Party Provider

Reach out to the customer support of the third-party provider or visit their website to find instructions on cancelling your Shutterstock subscription. Each provider may have a different process, so it’s important to follow their specific guidelines.

Step 3: Follow the Provider’s Instructions

Once you’ve connected with the third-party provider, carefully follow their instructions for cancelling your Shutterstock subscription. They may require you to provide certain account details or follow specific steps for the cancellation to be processed successfully.

Step 4: Confirm the Cancellation

After completing the cancellation process with the third-party provider, make sure to receive confirmation that your Shutterstock subscription has been successfully cancelled. Keep a record of this confirmation for your records.

Tips for After Cancelling your Shutterstock Subscription

1. Explore Alternative Stock Photo Platforms

Now that you’ve decided to cancel your Shutterstock subscription, it’s an excellent opportunity to explore different stock photo platforms that may better suit your needs. The stock photo industry offers a wide range of alternatives, each with its unique features, pricing structures, and image collections.

Consider platforms like Adobe Stock, Unsplash, iStock, or Pixabay, which offer extensive libraries of high-quality visuals. Take advantage of any free trial periods they may offer to evaluate their offerings before committing to a new subscription.

2. Utilize Free Stock Photo Resources

Even after cancelling your Shutterstock subscription, you can still access high-quality visuals without spending any money. Many websites provide free stock photos with Creative Commons licenses, allowing you to use and modify the images for personal or commercial projects.

Popular free stock photo resources include Pexels, Pixabay, and Freepik. These platforms offer a wide variety of images contributed by talented photographers and graphic designers worldwide.

3. Optimize Image Usage

As you transition away from Shutterstock, it’s essential to optimize the usage of the images you have previously downloaded or plan to download from other sources. By optimizing your image usage, you can make the most of your visual assets while avoiding unnecessary expenses or slow website loading times.

Here are some tips for optimizing image usage:

Resize Images

Depending on where you plan to use the images, consider resizing them to fit the specific dimensions required. This helps reduce file sizes and ensures efficient website performance.

Compress Images

To further decrease file sizes without compromising image quality significantly, utilize image compression techniques. Numerous online tools and software applications allow you to compress images while maintaining an acceptable level of visual quality.

Use Appropriate File Formats

Choosing the right file format for each image can have a significant impact on the file size and website performance. Use JPEG for photos and images with complex gradients, and consider using PNG for images with transparency or simple graphics.

Implement Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique that defers the loading of images until they are about to enter the user’s viewport. This can help reduce initial page load times and improve overall user experience, especially on image-heavy websites.

By implementing these optimization strategies, you can ensure efficient use of your visual assets and provide a seamless experience to your website visitors.

4. Consider Self-Created Visuals

As an alternative to using stock photos, consider creating your visual content. This approach allows you to have complete control over the aesthetics and uniqueness of your visuals, making them stand out from generic stock images.

If you have access to design tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Canva, you can create custom graphics, infographics, or illustrations that perfectly align with your brand identity. By utilizing self-created visuals, you can establish a consistent visual style across your marketing materials.

5. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created by your customers or users that showcases their experiences with your brand. Incorporating UGC into your marketing efforts can add authenticity, build trust, and engage your audience.

Encourage your customers to share their photos, videos, testimonials, or social media posts featuring your products or services. You can then leverage this content across your website, social media channels, and other marketing materials.

When using UGC, make sure to obtain proper permissions from the content creators and give credit where due. This helps foster a positive relationship with your customers and encourages more UGC contributions in the future.

6. Join Creative Communities

Engaging with creative communities and forums can be a valuable source of inspiration, knowledge, and collaboration. By joining these communities, you can connect with like-minded individuals, learn from their experiences, and enhance your visual marketing strategy.

Participating in discussions, sharing your knowledge, and seeking feedback on your work can help you grow as a creator and gain fresh perspectives. Creative communities also provide opportunities for collaboration, allowing you to work on joint projects or network with professionals in your industry.

Platforms such as Behance, Dribbble, and Reddit’s design-related subreddits are popular destinations for creative individuals seeking valuable interactions with peers.

7. Consider Custom Photography or Illustrations

If your visual content needs go beyond what stock photos can offer, investing in custom photography or illustrations may be worth considering. While this option typically involves additional costs, it allows you to create visuals that are tailor-made for your brand and align precisely with your creative vision.

If you have the budget and resources, hiring a professional photographer or illustrator can result in unique visuals that stand out in your industry. Working with a creative professional also gives you the opportunity to provide specific instructions and capture the essence of your brand through custom visual elements.

how do i cancel shutterstock – FAQ

1. How long does it take for the cancellation to take effect?

The cancellation of your Shutterstock subscription takes effect immediately. However, keep in mind that you’ll still have access to the platform until the end of your current billing cycle. Make sure to download any remaining images you need before the subscription ends.

2. Can I get a refund for the unused portion of my subscription?

According to Shutterstock’s refund policy, they do not provide refunds for unused portions of subscriptions. To avoid being charged for the next billing cycle, it’s advisable to cancel your subscription before the renewal date.

3. Can I reactivate my subscription after canceling it?

Yes, you can reactivate your subscription at any time after cancelling it. Simply follow the same steps mentioned earlier to manage your subscriptions within your Shutterstock account settings.

4. Will my downloaded images still be usable after cancellation?

Yes, any images you have downloaded and used during your subscription period are still usable even after you cancel your subscription. However, it’s important to comply with Shutterstock’s licensing terms for each image by checking the usage rights associated with the specific asset.

5. What happens to my unused downloads if I cancel my subscription?

Once you cancel your subscription, any unused downloads will expire, and you will not be able to access them. It’s recommended to use up all your available downloads before cancelling to maximize the benefits of your subscription.

6. Can I download Shutterstock images without a subscription?

No, a subscription or licensing agreement is required to download images from Shutterstock. However, Shutterstock provides a limited selection of free images as part of their weekly free download program. Keep in mind that the choice of free images is limited and may not always meet your specific needs.

7. Can I cancel my Shutterstock subscription on a mobile device?

Absolutely! You can cancel your Shutterstock subscription using your mobile device by logging into your account through the Shutterstock mobile app or accessing the mobile version of the website. The process remains the same, regardless of the device you use.


In summary, cancelling your Shutterstock subscription is a simple process that involves logging into your account, accessing the account settings, and canceling the subscription. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you can confidently terminate your subscription and stop paying for a service you no longer need.

After canceling your subscription, it’s important to explore alternative stock photo platforms, utilize free resources, and optimize your image usage to make the most out of your cancellation. Consider creating your own visuals, leveraging user-generated content, and joining creative communities to enhance your visual marketing strategy.

Remember, cancelling your Shutterstock subscription doesn’t mean the end of your visual content journey. It opens up new opportunities for creativity, cost savings, and customization. Embrace this change and watch your brand flourish with visually captivating content!

Closing Words

Cancelling your Shutterstock subscription empowers you to take control of your visual content strategy. It’s a chance to explore new avenues, foster creativity, and make informed choices based on your unique needs.

As you embark on this new chapter, don’t forget that you’re not alone. Seek inspiration from others, share your experiences, and continue learning to continuously evolve your visual marketing efforts.

This guide has provided you with the knowledge and steps necessary to cancel your Shutterstock subscription smoothly. However, always refer to official sources and reach out to Shutterstock’s customer support for any specific inquiries or concerns regarding your subscription cancellation.

Remember, the world of visual content is full of possibilities – take the leap, embrace change, and let your visuals shine!

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