Envato Elements review 2023: Unlimited downloads are ideal for creatives on a budget

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Is it worth it?

I use Envato Elements for all my creative projects, and it’s 100% worth it for me. The variety and amount of content available with the single $16.50 per month subscription is unmatched. It’s ideal for designers, video editors, developers, and DIY users. Here’s everything you need to know.


  • Unlimited downloads with no daily limits.
  • 12 free assets each month.
  • Assets can be used commercially.
  • Simple licensing.
  • Plans for individuals, teams, and enterprises.


  • One of the lowest indemnities in the industry.
  • After unsubscribing, you cannot use assets for new projects.
  • A small collection of photos and videos compared to specialized stock agencies.
  • No refunds.
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Is Envato Elements worth it? Yes, Envato Elements is worth it. With unlimited downloads of over 8.1 million images, 4.2 million videos, and other creative assets, you get incredible value for your money at $16.50 per month. Plus, with a subscription, you get access to new assets as they are added to the platform, so you can always stay up-to-date with the latest designs and trends. In addition to the assets themselves, Envato Elements also offers a range of other features and benefits that can be useful for designers, developers, and other creative professionals. These include access to a community of creatives, tutorials and tips on how to use the assets, and support from Envato’s team of experts.

However, every platform, no matter how expansive, has its Achilles heel, and Envato Elements is no exception. For merchandisers eager to feature designs prominently on products like t-shirts, Envato’s licensing might feel a tad limiting. Platforms like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Depositphotos, with their extended royalty-free licenses, might be more in line with such needs. Meanwhile, those diving into major corporate projects might find Envato’s insurance on creative assets a bit on the lean side. In these instances, the heftier indemnity provided by Shutterstock, iStock, and Pond5 via their extended licenses could offer a more reassuring safety net.

But what is Envato Elements, exactly? Envato Elements is a subscription-based service offering unlimited access to a wide range of digital assets. It’s specially designed for agencies, designers, marketers, and other professionals requiring frequent or high-volume assets. Users benefit from a vast collection tailored to their professional needs, making it a top choice for many in the industry. Keep reading this Envato Elements review if you want to find out everything you need to know before making an educated purchase. I will share my experience after using Envato Elements for several years.

Envato Elements subscription options:

Who should get Envato Elements?

At its core, Envato Elements caters to creative types, especially if you’re on a tighter budget. It’s a great all-in-one solution that has allowed me to cancel several other services and, this way, even save some money. Envato Elements is best for:

  • Graphic designers: Over 8.1 million stock photos, top-tier Photoshop actions, and add-ons put Envato squarely in the favorites for designers and creatives. If you need mockups, tap into Placeit, the colossal mockup library, at just $7.47/month for limitless downloads.
  • Developers & coders: Envato doesn’t skimp on WordPress themes (a robust collection of 1,600+), plugins (760), and template kits (2,500). Both design and code aficionados will appreciate the expansive font collection (20,000) suitable for both web and design. Need icons for apps? They’ve got you covered.
  • Film & video gurus: Unlimited downloads are a filmmaker’s dream, especially with an arsenal of After Effects, sound effects, Premiere Pro templates, and stock footage at your fingertips.
  • The DIY squad: For the freelancers, the entrepreneurs, and everyone in between, Envato Elements is a goldmine. From crafting logos and social media visuals to whipping up promo videos and designing product packaging, it’s a comprehensive toolkit.

How much does Envato Elements cost?

Envato Elements structures its pricing under two main categories: Individual and Teams. Individual subscribers can opt for annual or monthly plans at $16.50 and $39.00 per month, respectively (excluding local taxes). Team subscriptions start at $10.75 per member per month, with subsequent discounts scaling up for each additional member, boasting up to 35% savings. Students have a sweeter deal with an added 30% off, bringing their monthly costs down to $11.50.

Envato Elements subscription tiers:

  • Individual: $39.00/month or $16.50/month (annual)
  • Students: $33.00/month or $11.50/month (annual)
  • Teams (2–5 members): $58.00–$107.50/month or $29.00–$53.75/month (annual)
Envato Elements pricing

Opting for the paid plan grants you unlimited access to all Envato Elements’ assets; nothing is held back. An active plan also guarantees legal coverage equivalent to your last half-year of subscription payments. The license covers commercial usage, making it ideal for design and video professionals.

When pitted against competitors, similar platforms with matching prices fall short in content breadth. Take Artlist, for instance: while they offer a range of packages, from Max Social ($30/month) to Enterprise (custom pricing), they don’t quite match up to Envato’s expansive collection, even if they provide up to 8K video resolutions not present in Envato.

Cancellation: Envato Elements allows for subscription cancellation at any time. However, refunds aren’t part of the deal. For instance, if you revoke a monthly subscription with more than 24 days left, you retain access for those days. But once this period lapses, your access to Envato’s library will be cut off. It’s critical to note that no refunds are given for any remaining part of the subscription after cancellation.

Upgrading: Upgrading from a monthly to an annual subscription? Your costs will be adjusted considering the days left on your current plan. Let’s break it down: Suppose you’re 10 days into a monthly subscription priced at $39.00. Wanting to upgrade to the annual plan costing $198 per year (or $16.50/month), you’d be charged for the remaining 20 days of your monthly fee, translating to a prorated cost of $171.67 for the annual upgrade.

Free trial (canceled)

Envato Elements once tempted new users with a generous 7-day free trial, giving full access to their entire collection. This allowed users to download, explore, and even commercially utilize any asset within that week-long window. But times change. As of March 2023, this free trial option has been sunsetted.

Envato Elements free trial
Envato Elements free trial

However, if you’re one to love a good digital freebie, there’s still a silver lining. Envato Elements curates a monthly selection of 12 assets, spanning from images and videos to versatile fonts and presentations. And the price tag? A whopping $0. Here’s the catch: you’ll need a free Envato Elements account. And while these complimentary files come under the Envato Elements License, they do have a couple of stipulations differing from the paid version: First, you’re limited to using each file just once. Second, in terms of liability, Envato stands clear with no commitments.

For those looking to snag these monthly freebies, here’s a concise five-step guide:

  1. Navigate to the ‘This Month’s Free Files‘ section on their site.
  2. Spot and hit the “Create account now” prompt.
  3. Set up your new account.
  4. Dive in and download the chosen free assets for the month.
  5. Mark your calendar and loop back the next month for a fresh batch of freebies.


Envato Elements has streamlined the often-complex world of licensing into one straightforward proposition: the Envato Elements License. With just one royalty-free license in play, users never have to scratch their heads over which license they should pick, a relief especially when compared to stock agencies like Dreamstime, which complicates matters with nine additional extended licenses beyond the standard.

Here’s the golden rule: each downloaded asset needs to be tethered to a particular project or what they term an “end product”. I found this incredibly efficient. Say, you’re working on a client’s brochure and download a swanky illustration for it; that illustration is now earmarked exclusively for that brochure. But what if I want to use that same illustration for another client’s project? No worries. I simply head back to Envato Elements and re-register the asset. It’s that easy. And while the idea of re-registering may seem redundant, it’s a conscious decision by Envato to ensure creators are compensated fairly. Every asset registration essentially tells Envato which of their talented creators should be credited and paid.

This concept becomes even clearer when you look at the licensing screen (screenshot below). It’s essentially a dashboard of all your past projects. Every time I wish to use a new asset, it gives me the choice of assigning it to an existing project or registering it to a new one. This system ensures that every creator gets their fair share, aligning both my interests as a user and Envato’s commitment to fair compensation.

Envato Elements adding a file to a project
You must assign each asset to the specific project you intend to use it for. If you plan to use it for another project, you’ll need to register it again.

A practical upshot of this project-centric licensing is the ability to download individual licenses. If you’re embedding assets into a client’s project, you can confidently hand over a bespoke license to their specific end product. It’s neat, professional, and offers peace of mind to everyone involved. Now, as with all rules, there are some exceptions. Fonts and add-ons, for instance, don’t require the constant rigmarole of re-registration. Once you’ve downloaded and attached them to a project, they’re yours to use throughout your subscription period.

A particular bonus for content creators who dabble in video production is Envato’s policy on YouTube intros and outros. If you decide to use a specific asset for either your video intros or outros and this doesn’t change from video to video, Envato views this as one “End Product”. This means a single license suffices, even if that intro graces a hundred videos.

A point of contention for some might be the relatively low indemnity offered by Envato Elements License, something that, for us at Photutorial, raises a few eyebrows in terms of trustworthiness. But considering the sweet deal of unlimited downloads at a mere $11 a month, it’s a trade-off that makes sense. To give you some perspective, the most you’d be liable for is equivalent to the last six months of your subscription. That’s a cap of $246 for individual users, while team subscribers are looking at a maximum of $645.

Questions & answers on Envato Elements licensing

Licensing has always been the topic that eluded most customers. And to be fair, it’s actually quite complicated, as it would require you to read the entire licensing agreement. Above, I’ve already explained the basis of the Envato Elements license. Here are the most common questions I get from Photutorial readers about the licensing at Envato Elements.

Q: What is Envato Elements’ main objective with their assets?
A: Envato Elements aims to allow subscribers to utilize their assets extensively, but they want to ensure these assets aren’t easily accessible for non-subscribers. The assets are meant to be used as elements in unique final products, not to be resold or redistributed.

Q: Can I use Envato Elements assets directly for resale?
A: No. The intention is not for you to take an asset and sell it directly without adding any unique value to it.

Q: How does Envato Elements treat assets used on YouTube?
A: While you cannot use the assets for livestreaming (e.g., YouTube, Twitch) due to broadcasting restrictions, you can use them in videos uploaded to YouTube.

Q: Is it advisable to use Envato Elements assets in logos?
A: While it might be permitted, it’s not recommended. Any item, including logos, made with an Envato Element asset cannot be trademarked. So, if you aim to trademark a logo, avoid using their assets.

Q: Can I use Envato Elements assets for on-demand content or behind paywalls?
A: No, the assets cannot be used for content on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Patreon, or similar sites where access is limited to members.

Q: How does Envato Elements approach the use of their assets in Indie Films?
A: Envato permits the use of their assets in Indie Films. However, they don’t allow assets in “Theatrically Released” films and on-demand content. If you plan for your Indie Film to be on an on-demand platform, it’s better to avoid using their assets.

Q: Can I use Envato Elements assets on physical products?
A: Yes, but with conditions. You can’t simply take a design from Envato Elements and place it directly on a product. However, if you incorporate the asset into a larger design which adds significant value, then it’s permissible. The key is to ensure you are not just reselling someone else’s design as your own.

an illustration printed onto a t shirt
You cannot use Envato Elements to print on T-shirts, mugs, and merchandise in general.

Content quantity & quality

With a staggering collection of over 6.2 million photos, 4.8 million stock videos, 250,000 graphic templates, and many more assets, Envato Elements appears to be the treasure trove for digital creatives. The platform offers over 89,000 video templates, 100,000 presentation templates, 780,000 audio clips, 40,000 fonts, and 150,000 graphics. And for those looking to elevate their 3D design work? Envato has an impressive 190,000 3D templates. Web developers aren’t left out either, with 6,300 WordPress themes available. Beyond these numbers, users can dive into product mockups, sound effects, print templates, infographics, and more, ensuring a vast and diverse digital toolkit for every need.

Now, when stacked against heavyweights like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock, one might observe that Envato Elements’ collection, especially regarding photos and videos, is a tad slimmer. However, where Envato truly stands out is its unrivaled offer of unlimited downloads. Other platforms with similar payment models can’t match up to the breadth and depth of Envato’s catalog.

Envato Elements content collection

Envato’s commitment to quality and diversity shines through my experience and user testimonials. I’ve grown to appreciate the platform’s variety, emphasizing its unique offering of assets like Final Cut Pro templates. Some users note it as a one-stop shop for all their creative project needs, from music to intro templates. However, no platform is without its quirks. Some users voiced a desire for more DaVinci Resolve content, given the platform’s substantial Adobe-centric offerings. And, while the sheer volume of content is a standout feature, navigation can sometimes be a maze, with searches occasionally leading to less relevant results.

In the realm of audio, especially for professional videographers, while there’s an abundance of ‘good’ content, the ‘great’ might sometimes be elusive. A suggestion echoed by users is a nudge for more out-of-the-box artists to enrich the music library.

Yet, the consensus is clear: Envato Elements delivers immense value for its price point. The occasional hiccup in search functionality is a small trade-off for an otherwise expansive and quality content collection. For many, a lifetime subscription to Envato is a creative dream, a testament to its position in the market.

Best Envato Elements alternatives

Envato Elements vs Envato Market

Envato Elements and Envato Market are two different Envato products for creative assets with varying pricing models, license terms, and assets. The biggest difference is that you can download all Envato Elements assets with the unified unlimited subscription starting at $16.50/month. In contrast, Envato Market assets are available on demand for $1 to $70+, depending on the asset.

While some assets are unique to one of the other marketplaces, most of them can be found at both. Therefore, you should pick the one that’s better for your needs. Pick Envato Elements for consistent downloads (at least 5/month) or Envato Market for occasional downloads.

Envato Elements vs Shutterstock

Envato Elements and Shutterstock are two very different marketplaces. Most notably, Shutterstock has vastly more photos (400+ million vs 6.6 million), videos (25 million vs 3 million), and audio than Envato Elements. But Envato Elements licenses content that Shutterstock doesn’t, including fonts, web templates, themes, plugins, and more.

Another key difference is the pricing models. Envato Elements licenses all of its content with one unlimited download subscription, while Shutterstock offers on-demand credits and subscriptions of various sizes.

As a result, Shutterstock is generally more expensive than Envato Elements and offers more comprehensive licensing terms (higher indemnity, extended license). Thus, we think Shutterstock is better for professionals who need images or videos, while Envato Elements is better for creatives and those on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Envato Elements free?

Yes, Envato Elements is also free of charge. While most assets require an active subscription to download, you can get a 7-day free trial that gives you full access to the entire collection. You can also get 12 free assets from Envato’s free collection every month.

How much does Envato Elements cost per month?

Envato Elements cost between $16.50 and $39.00 per month for individuals, between $29.00 and $107.50 per month for teams, and between $11.50 and $33.00 per month for students.

Is Envato Elements safe?

Envato Elements is a safe and reputable service. They take security and user privacy seriously and have implemented appropriate measures to protect the information and assets of their users. However, as with any online service, it’s wise to exercise caution and use good judgment when using Envato Elements or any other online service. You should use strong, unique passwords to protect your account and stay alert for phishing scams and internet fraud.

What’s next?

For the price, Envato Elements is by far the best deal if you need lots of assets every month for design and video work. The unlimited downloads model has been a game-changer for my workflow. Definitely recommended for creatives on a budget!


  1. Envato Elements Pricing. Envato Elements. Access August 14, 2022.
  2. License Terms. Envato Elements. Access August 14, 2022.


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