Purchasing on iStock

To download a file on iStock, you need to purchase a royalty-free license. There are two ways to purchase these licenses:

  • Credits let you download files as you need them. Credits are available in preset packs that let you save on downloads when you buy larger quantities.
  • Subscriptions give you access to a set limit of downloads each month. You can subscribe for a single month, or a full year.

View plans and pricing

Purchasing a single image or video

If you've got a one-off need for an image or video clip, we make it easy to pay as you go.

Once you find an image or video clip you like, simply click on it to open its detailed information page. From there, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose your image or video size/resolution.
  2. Click "Download this image" or "Download this video clip".
    Note: If you're not signed in to your account, choose the single file option and click "Continue with purchase".
  3. You'll be redirected to the checkout page (or prompted to sign in if you haven't already done so.)
  4. Once you complete your purchase, simply return to the file and click "Download this image/video clip" once more.

Note: You can also buy preset packs to use at any time. Pack sizes range from one individual credit to 300 credits.

Pay per download with credits

All about credits

Credits are like iStock's very own currency and can be used to download any file on iStock – including photos, illustrations and video files. Credits are sold in preset packs – the larger the credit pack, the less you'll pay per credit.

You can combine multiple packs by using the Edit/Add option on the checkout page. Credits never expire, as long as you sign in at least once a year.

View credit pack pricing

Credit pack refunds

Unused credit packs can be returned for a full refund within 14 days of purchase. If any credits from a credit pack have been used, no refunds will be offered.


All about subscriptions

Subscriptions let you enjoy our lowest prices on image and videos by paying a flat rate to access a set limit of downloads every month. You can subscribe for a single month, or a full year.

iStock has three subscriptions to choose from:

Basic subscriptions give you the industry standard photos, vectors, and illustrations in our budget Essentials collection.

Tip: Look for the collection toggle below the search bar on a search results page and select "Essentials" to search only for images available with a Basic subscription.

Premium subscriptions include everything from our Basic subscription, as well as any of the handpicked Signature collection images that you can only get from us.

Premium + Video subscriptions give you access to every image and video that iStock has to offer—no exceptions.

View plans and pricing

There is no expiration date on your rights to use files downloaded during your subscription period.

View subscription details

Looking for information about your subscription? Sign in to your account and check out your overview page to view your subscription type, start and end date, and number of downloads remaining for the month.

Update payment information

If you have a subscription on auto-renew or periodic billing, you will have the ability to update your payment information.

To update your subscription's payment information, sign in to your account and go to the payment information page.

Unused downloads

Your subscription gives you access to a set number of downloads each month. You can rollover up to 250 unused downloads month to month if you've got an annual subscription or a subscription with auto-renew enabled. If auto-renew is disabled when your subscription term ends, you will lose all rollover downloads that you've accrued.

Sharing subscriptions

Our standard subscriptions are built for a single user, which means the same person has to sign in, download and use the files licensed with their subscription.

If you're interested in adding more than one user to your subscription, contact us. We can help customize a plan that's right for you.


Auto-renew automatically renews your subscription before it expires so you can continue to download files without worrying about service disruptions. Subscriptions that start with a Free Trial will automatically enroll in auto-renew after the Free Trial period ends, which is one month after the invoiced purchase date.

With auto-renew on, your subscription will automatically renew at the end of your term. Renewal rates are subject to change, but we will always notify you of any rate change beforehand. If you use a promotional code to purchase a subscription, the discounted price will only apply to the initial subscription period. Subsequent periods will renew at the standard subscription rate, at the time of renewal. If you make any changes to your subscription such as upgrade, downgrade, or change the number of downloads per month, your auto-renewal price will be updated to reflect these changes.

You can turn off auto-renew any time prior to your renewal date by going to your account.

Upgrade your Subscription

If you have an existing Basic or Premium annual plan, you can upgrade to our Premium + Video subscription online. Sign in to your account and go to your profile page, then simply click or tap the "Upgrade to Premium + Video" button. Pricing will be determined by how much time is remaining on your current subscription.

To switch to any other plan, you can contact us anytime—we'd be happy to help you!

Billing with terms

To pay for your credits or subscription on terms, you'll need to apply for a credit term account, or to be associated with an existing company account set up with terms. To get the process started, please contact us.


Credit pack refunds

We'll gladly refund credit pack purchases made within 14 days of your invoice date, provided you haven't used any credits from the credit pack.

Subscription refunds

You can request a refund for a subscription within 14 days from your initial purchase, as long as you haven't downloaded more than 5 files and haven't made use of any downloaded content. Submit a request in writing using our contact us email form. This does not apply to any of our Free Trial programs. See below for details on the Free Trial.

Free Trial subscription refunds

There are no refunds with Free Trial subscriptions. If you want to cancel a Free Trial before it converts to a paid subscription, you must do so before the Free Trial period ends. After your one-month Free Trial converts to a paid subscription, you are obligated to an annual subscription (billed monthly). See our Free Trial cancellation policy. To cancel your Free Trial before it converts to a paid subscription, go to your Account Overview and click "Cancel Free Trial."

File download refunds

iStock does not offer refunds or re-credits for downloaded files. File returns will only be considered based on technical issues with the file at the sole discretion of iStock.


Subscription cancellations - For subscriptions that are not part of the free trial, all requests for cancellations must be made in writing through our contact us email form. If the request is approved, iStock will issue a credit to your account or credit card. In the event of cancellation, your rights to use the content terminate, and you must delete or destroy any copies of the content.

Free Trial subscription cancellations - You can cancel at any time during the first month of your free trial in your account. To cancel, go to the Overview page of your account, and click on "Cancel free trial." Any images you download during the first month of your Free Trial period are yours to keep, even if you cancel.

A note on canceling Free Trial subscriptions. After the first month of your Free Trial ends, you'll be billed monthly at the applied rate of an annual subscription until the end of your contracted term and you will not be eligible for a refund. If you don't wish to continue your subscription, you must cancel before the first month of your Free Trial ends. Turning off auto-renew doesn't cancel your Free Trial subscription. See our cancellation policy for more details.

Still have questions?

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