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A facile method of using optical trapping to measure cell adhesion forces is presented and applied to the adhesion of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on glass, in contact with solutions of different compositions. Trapping yeast cells with optical tweezers (OT) is not perturbed by cell wall deformation or cell deviation from a spherical shape. The trapping force calibration requires correction not only for the hydrodynamic effect of the neighboring wall but also for spherical aberrations affecting the focal volume and the trap stiffness. Yeast cells trapped for up to 5 h were still able to undergo budding but showed an increase of doubling time. The proportion of adhering cells showed the expected variation according to the solution composition. The detachment force varied in the same way. This observation and the fact that the detachment stress was exerted parallel to the substrate surface point to the role of interactions involving solvated macromolecules. Both the proportion of adhering cells and the removal force showed a distribution which, in our experimental conditions, must be attributed to a heterogeneity of surface properties at the cell level or at the subcellular scale. As compared with magnetic tweezers, atomic force microscopy, and more conventional ways of studying cell adhesion (shear-flow cells), OT present several advantages that are emphasized in this paper.