Cancelled Premium - didn't know I'd lose everything!

It seems I may have misunderstood the ramifications of cancelling my premium account which I’ve had for two years.

I was under the impression that I would lose any of the files I had uploaded myself, that I’d not used for the past 30 days - I didn’t realise I would lose all of the “free with premium” designs I’d saved over the past two years that I’d not used for the past 30 days as well!

It makes me wonder what I was actually paying for (aside from the editing tools of course) - as to me, what this means, is that any “free with premium” file that I’ve not yet used, or downloaded for future use, has now gone due to the limited storage - so technically I’d need to re-subscribe to premium to reaccess them, meaning that I’m sort of ‘paying’ for them again - even though they’re “free”! - It’s like they’re only free while you keep paying to store them. And that is something I clearly did not comprehend.

As you can’t download any of the catalogue designs to your own storage devices, you have no choice but to keep paying for premium to access them and if I had known this or been fully aware of it, I would not have been paying hundreds of pounds all this time! It’s obviously my own fault, I’m autistic so perhaps I just didn’t understand the T’s & C’s - this kind of thing has happened to me before, perhaps I should hire a bloody lawyer to read through anything I sign up for from now on.

But regardless, I’m absolutely gutted about this - I’ve lost every so-called ‘free file’ now.

What a waste of my time and money. I hate my brain sometimes.

If anyone has any advice, aside from ‘You’ll have to sign up to Premium again’ - I’d be grateful!

Sorry to hear that. I am too cheap to pay extras for pretty much any service so I design and store my files on my computer. There are still lots of free files out there if you search around. Many on here as well. Using software like InkScape allows you to create whatever you want with a little trial and error and it’s a free program.


I’m so sorry that happened to you and I understand your own feelings of frustration and disappointment. Everyone, at some point in their life does something that makes them feel like they did something really stupid, so I get that…for sure. I wish I could help, but alas I cannot.


Early on those files would be what I considered the greatest value in having premium but now with the AI Magic Canvas as a tool I think that is the best thing in premium. And you can download that design and modify it!

In general, I do not think even being a lawyer would help so much as every time you hit “I agree” on anything on the internet they have had very smart lawyers spend much time on each of many paragraphs making it good for their client and little concern for you, while you have only moments, no lawyer, and cannot negotiate even a word. That very “take it or leave it” situation is at the least unfair.

In short, if you want to work out all the designs yourself, with such assistance as that is one universe, and a reasonable one. For most of what is in the catalog, you could work out for yourself to create the design and while the concept sparks the finished work, the work itself will be different. And the design will be all yours. If you buy a half dozen pieces a year you will save money and by choosing the “many” option never lose those designs from your dashboard.

I had not realized it myself, that you would lose them off your dashboard, but “free with premium” apparently means one at a time for free if you have premium. Otherwise, you pay in full for each one unless you paid extra for an unlimited supply of that design. In that case, you will not lose the design off your dashboard. I have seen that some stuff that was free with premium years ago no longer is.

As you noted the other universe is paying a fee for access where you have no control over what you access. Corel used to have a decent 3d system and then in one update it no longer did. Netflix changes what you get nearly every day, one day it is there and the next it may not be. I find the whole attitude enraging, but just like those long legal documents that are fair to only one side you can take it or leave it, and neither choice is so great.

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Oh don’t get me wrong, I have been learning to design my own files - I use a combination of procreate and Silhouette among other tools such as cuttle and boxes to make and edit things - I have been learning whilst having Gf Premium - I thought I could build up a collection of free files that I thought I’d have access to for life (like I can with Creative Fabrica who I now subscribe to instead) - for any requests I may get and also to help inspire me but they’re all gone now! What a waste of money Premium turned out to be! I appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice and encouragement.

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That’s ok, I appreciate the sentiment and encouragement.


I cancelled Premium and switched to Creative Fabrica - lots of free files I can DEFINITELY download and keep forever and they offer their own Ai tools as well (I paid less than £4 p/m) - the only difference is the lack of editing tools in the interface but I can do all those things within Silhouette Studio Business Edition anyway.

Since having Premium, I’ve been teaching myself to use Silhouette and procreate to design my own files and I do subscribe to cuttle and have used boxes at times as well, though I appreciate the recommendations.

I do regret signing up to premium now that I know that you cannot keep the “free files” unless you stay signed up but It’s a massively important lesson to have learnt!

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Glowforge no longer lays out the details so that you can see you will lose created designs if you cancel. It used to be quite clearly presented but they hide that fact now.

I love my machine but the company has very poor customer relations, including misleading marketing of both the machine and services.


It does elude me as to how I misunderstood these terms so much!
I looked it up and found a post/thread about Premium in this forum which lays it out but maybe you’re correct in that it’s not exactly clear from the get-go when signing up.
I just assume it was my brain misinterpreting things as that can happen a lot with autism.

I do agree that in my recent experience ie. over the past year, I have seen a dramatic decline in customer service overall - particularly being based in the UK - I feel, as do many in my gf UK Facebook support group, that we’ve been pushed to one side, left with a poor retailer to purchase the machine from and completely left out of any gf promotions and now have little to no access or possibility to earn from referrals as they’re shut down here too! It’s been a massive let down though I still advocate for the actual machines - I love my glowforge and I continue to volunteer my time to help others with theirs in my group.


The service has always been poor, especially support. In MY OPINION, that’s why they stopped participating here shortly before the latest round of investor funding - because it publicly displayed how bad their support was, which might turn off prospective buyers.


Not to argue but FWIW.

Explaining this not to you but for future finders via the search button: I think there’s also a subtlety here that there are two kinds of free files: “Free with Premium” and “Design of the Month”. The latter you get to keep even if you cancel, but you have to explicitly “buy” those designs (for £0) during the limited time they’re available. Free with Premium is just open-ended access to (a subset of) the catalog as a subscription benefit, but you can’t subscribe, grab all 2000 files, and keep them after you cancel.

The economics of Premium are pretty painful for us handful of pure hobbyist users, but probably make sense for the “buy a Glowforge, open an Etsy shop, and sell all the catalog designs” model. On the other hand, the prices for purchasing access to individual files are usually not too bad, so there’s always that option versus the subscription.


~50 years ago living in Miami I could make stuff much like we make now, but in welded copper, take it into any of a dozen local shops and get about half the retail value for it up front. I more or less had that idea when I purchased my Glowforge, but there is not such a shop in all of the Tampa area. Perhaps there still are such shops in other cities in the US or UK, and if there are then one could do very well with that idea, or if you had a shop of your own.

At your local observatory or museum there is always a gift shop that many years ago were also good customers for my stuff. Now when I looked around every such place had a contract with some international corporation and were forbidden to buy anything locally.


Absolutely, I see that now - which is why I’m baffled as to why I was under the impression that as long as you’re still an account holder and Gf owner, you’d still be able to access all the files you’d previously saved whether you are a subscriber or former subscriber - I’m certain I’d read things that way and for over two years believed that to be the case, even advising others to the affirmative in my gfuk support group on Facebook! - this is also why I’m so gutted that I made such a ridiculous error! I was interested to discover if it was me and my weird brain or if others had also read things as I did!

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Sorry you lost your files. I extended my premium subscription for a year just to keep the files I had already saved, but after reviewing how many I really used and would use again, I will not renew this year. It really is just renting the files and space.
There are so many people selling vector files online that you can own, download and improve that I just don’t think premium is worth it any longer. I have also found that the vector files are really cheap, and when I compared what I spent on vector files to the cost of premium, I spent a lot less and have dozens more files that I can keep forever.
Lastly, with only one exception, I have found files on the internet that are exactly or close enough to all of the ones I had saved in premium. Many sellers will also work with you to help make the changes you want in their files – try getting that customer service in premium.


There is a lot of fraud on the internet.

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Agree, you can find fraud and copyright infringement everywhere, such as the new premium option. However, there are a LOT of good honest people with original ideas sharing/selling on the internet who deserve the business.

The point was that there are folk who get other folks’ work and publish it themselves. You point out that exact copies are available, I was pointing out that they are frequently gathered dishonestly and that is why they are the same.

Ownership of ideas is a very slippery thing with more gray area than not but there are folk with attitudes more criminal than not, and there, only your concerns are any accountability.

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