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Shared Device Licensing | Deployment guide

  1. Adobe Enterprise & Teams: Administration guide
  2. Plan your deployment
    1. Basic concepts
      1. Licensing
      2. Identity
      3. User management
      4. App deployment
      5. Admin Console overview
      6. Admin roles
    2. Deployment Guides
      1. Named User deployment guide
      2. SDL deployment guide
      3. Deploy Adobe Acrobat 
    3. Deploy Creative Cloud for education
      1. Deployment guide
      2. Approve Adobe apps in Google Admin Console
      3. Enable Adobe Express in Google Classroom
      4. Integration with Canvas LMS
      5. Integration with Blackboard Learn
      6. Configuring SSO for District Portals and LMSs
      7. Deploy Adobe Express through Google App Licensing
      8. Add users through Roster Sync
      9. Kivuto FAQ
      10. Primary and Secondary institution eligibility guidelines
  3. Set up your organization
    1. Identity types | Overview
    2. Set up identity | Overview
    3. Set up organization with Enterprise ID
    4. Setup Azure AD federation and sync
      1. Set up SSO with Microsoft via Azure OIDC
      2. Add Azure Sync to your directory
      3. Role sync for Education
      4. Azure Connector FAQ
    5. Set up Google Federation and sync
      1. Set up SSO with Google Federation
      2. Add Google Sync to your directory
      3. Google federation FAQ
    6. Set up organization with Microsoft ADFS
    7. Set up organization for District Portals and LMS
    8. Set up organization with other Identity providers
      1. Create a directory
      2. Verify ownership of a domain
      3. Add domains to directories
    9. SSO common questions and troubleshooting
      1. SSO Common questions
      2. SSO Troubleshooting
      3. Education common questions
  4. Manage your organization setup
    1. Manage existing domains and directories
    2. Enable automatic account creation
    3. Set up organization via directory trust
    4. Migrate to a new authentication provider 
    5. Asset settings
    6. Authentication settings
    7. Privacy and security contacts
    8. Console settings
    9. Manage encryption  
  5. Manage users
    1. Overview
    2. Administrative roles
    3. User management techniques
      1. Manage users individually   
      2. Manage multiple users (Bulk CSV)
      3. User Sync tool (UST)
      4. Microsoft Azure Sync
      5. Google Federation Sync
    4. Change user's identity type
    5. Manage user groups
    6. Manage directory users
    7. Manage developers
    8. Migrate existing users to the Adobe Admin Console
    9. Migrate user management to the Adobe Admin Console
  6. Manage products and entitlements
    1. Manage products and product profiles
      1. Manage products
      2. Manage product profiles for enterprise users
      3. Manage automatic assignment rules
      4. Review product requests
      5. Manage self-service policies
      6. Manage app integrations
      7. Manage product permissions in the Admin Console  
      8. Enable/disable services for a product profile
      9. Single App | Creative Cloud for enterprise
      10. Optional services
    2. Manage Shared Device licenses
      1. What's new
      2. Deployment guide
      3. Create packages
      4. Recover licenses
      5. Manage profiles
      6. Licensing toolkit
      7. Shared Device Licensing FAQ
  7. Get started with Global Admin Console
    1. Adopt global administration
    2. Select your organization
    3. Manage organization hierarchy
    4. Manage product profiles
    5. Manage administrators
    6. Manage user groups
    7. Update organization policies
    8. Manage policy templates
    9. Allocate products to child organizations
    10. Execute pending jobs
    11. Explore insights
    12. Export or import organization structure
  8. Manage storage and assets
    1. Storage
      1. Manage enterprise storage
      2. Adobe Creative Cloud: Update to storage
      3. Manage Adobe storage
    2. Asset migration
      1. Automated Asset Migration
      2. Automated Asset Migration FAQ  
      3. Manage transferred assets
    3. Reclaim assets from a user
    4. Student asset migration | EDU only
      1. Automatic student asset migration
      2. Migrate your assets
  9. Manage services
    1. Adobe Stock
      1. Adobe Stock credit packs for teams
      2. Adobe Stock for enterprise
      3. Use Adobe Stock for enterprise
      4. Adobe Stock License Approval
    2. Custom fonts
    3. Adobe Asset Link
      1. Overview
      2. Create user group
      3. Configure Adobe Experience Manager Assets
      4. Configure and install Adobe Asset Link
      5. Manage assets
      6. Adobe Asset Link for XD
    4. Adobe Acrobat Sign
      1. Set up Adobe Acrobat Sign for enterprise or teams
      2. Adobe Acrobat Sign - Team feature Administrator
      3. Manage Adobe Acrobat Sign on the Admin Console
    5. Creative Cloud for enterprise - free membership
      1. Overview
  10. Deploy apps and updates
    1. Overview
      1. Deploy and deliver apps and updates
      2. Plan to deploy
      3. Prepare to deploy
    2. Create packages
      1. Package apps via the Admin Console
      2. Create Named User Licensing Packages
      3. Adobe templates for packages
      4. Manage packages
      5. Manage device licenses
      6. Serial number licensing
    3. Customize packages
      1. Customize the Creative Cloud desktop app
      2. Include extensions in your package
    4. Deploy Packages 
      1. Deploy packages
      2. Deploy Adobe packages using Microsoft Intune
      3. Deploy Adobe packages with SCCM
      4. Deploy Adobe packages with ARD
      5. Install products in the Exceptions folder
      6. Uninstall Creative Cloud products
      7. Use Adobe provisioning toolkit enterprise edition
      8. Adobe Creative Cloud licensing identifiers
    5. Manage updates
      1. Change management for Adobe enterprise and teams customers
      2. Deploy updates
    6. Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST)
      1. AUSST Overview
      2. Set up the internal update server
      3. Maintain the internal update server
      4. Common use cases of AUSST   
      5. Troubleshoot the internal update server
    7. Adobe Remote Update Manager (RUM)
      1. Use Adobe Remote Update Manager
      2. Resolve RUM errors
    8. Troubleshoot
      1. Troubleshoot Creative Cloud apps installation and uninstallation errors
      2. Query client machines to check if a package is deployed
      3. Creative Cloud package "Installation Failed" error message
    9. Create packages using Creative Cloud Packager (CC 2018 or earlier apps)
      1. About Creative Cloud Packager
      2. Creative Cloud Packager release notes
      3. Application packaging
      4. Create packages using Creative Cloud Packager
      5. Create named license packages
      6. Create packages with device licenses
      7. Create a license package
      8. Create packages with serial number licenses
      9. Packager automation
      10. Package non-Creative Cloud products
      11. Edit and save configurations
      12. Set locale at system level
  11. Manage your account
    1. Manage your Teams account
      1. Overview
      2. Update payment details
      3. Manage invoices
      4. Change contract owner
      5. Change reseller
    2. Assign licenses to a Teams user
    3. Add products and licenses
    4. Manage your team in Adobe Express
    5. Renewals
      1. Teams membership: Renewals
      2. Enterprise in VIP: Renewals and compliance
    6. Automated expiration stages for ETLA contracts
    7. Switching contract types within an existing Adobe Admin Console
    8. Purchase Request compliance
    9. Value Incentive Plan (VIP) in China
    10. VIP Select help
  12. Reports & logs
    1. Audit Log
    2. Assignment reports
    3. Content Logs
  13. Get help
    1. Contact Adobe Customer Care
    2. Support options for teams accounts
    3. Support options for enterprise accounts
    4. Support options for Experience Cloud

What is Shared Device Licensing

Shared Device Licensing is a licensing model to deploy and manage Adobe applications in labs and shared device setups, where multiple users use the devices and applications. The software license is assigned to a device or computer instead of an individual. Shared Device Licensing is ideal for computers in your labs or classrooms. Shared Device Licensing is not designed for use on machines used by dedicated users. For dedicated users, we recommend you deploy named-user licenses.

Shared Device Licensing versus Named User Licensing

While Named User Licensing associates the license with the user, Shared Device Licensing associates the machine. So, when you launch a named user licensed app, the license is validated against the user name and password. When you launch a shared device licensed app, the license is validated against the machine on which the app is license is installed. This implies that a named user licensed app can be activated on any machine as long as the user name and password are validated. While shared device licensed apps will only activate on a machine on which the license is installed.

Read more about Adobe's licensing methods

End-user experience

When users launch an app on a shared device, they’re prompted to sign in with their credentials. Apps only launch after a successful sign-in. The required credentials depend on how you have set up identity in your institution.

The sign-in screen warns users to sign out of Creative Cloud after they're done. Also, users should not store any assets on this shared device.

Shared device banner

A shared device license does not directly entitle a user to access any services such as storage, libraries, fonts, or Adobe Stock, among others. However, if the user account has these entitlements, these services are available.


While shared device licenses do not have specific system requirements, ensure that your end-user machines meet the system requirements of the installed Creative Cloud applications. See the Creative Cloud system requirements. Also, for details on any installation errors, see Product Installation Error/Exit Codes.

Granular access to apps

IT admins can create packages and deploy the apps to computers. Shared Device Licensing provides several tools that allow you to control user access to apps: IdentityAccess PolicyEgress IP addresses, and Associated Machines. You can use a combination of these options to prevent unauthorized usage of the apps and protect your student accounts and the assets created by them.


  • Enterprise ID or Federated IDs are owned by the organization or school and the organization legally owns all data. K-12 schools are required to use Enterprise or Federated IDs. You can also use these IDs if you want to exercise tighter control on who can access the apps. To use Enterprise or Federated IDs, if you haven’t already done so, you must set up identity.

  • Adobe IDs are owned by the users, and the user or the organization legally owns any data depending on the account profile. K-12 schools are required to use Enterprise ID or Federated ID. However, higher-education institutes may use Adobe ID, Enterprise ID, or Federated ID.

For more information, see the identity Types supported on the Admin Console.

Access policy

  • You can choose Open Access to enable anyone to access the apps on a shared device. All users need is a valid account of any of the types described above, a personal account (Adobe ID) or an enterprise account. Users can even sign up for a free Adobe ID and access the apps. Use Open Access for open labs where the general public, visiting students and staff, and our students access the labs and the apps. For example, shared machines in your public, on-campus library or if you use the lab to provide continued education after hours.

  • Choose Organization user only to limit access to users you have added to the Admin Console. These users could be of any type of ID which is supported on the admin console. This option is useful if you want to provide limited access to approved students and staff only. For example, a lab at a higher education institution, where users may have any supported identity type.

  • Choose Enterprise/Federated users only, to restrict access to Enterprise users only. Signing in with personal Adobe IDs does not enable access to the apps. This option is useful to restrict access to Enterprise users only. For example, in a K-12 lab use this option to authorize minor students to access the apps and services.

Egress IPs

  • Egress IP addresses or ranges prevent access to apps if users connect from outside your approved computer networks. This is especially useful, if you use portable computers and can restrict the apps to run only when they’re connected to a lab or school network. Using the apps from outside your labs or school network is not allowed.

    Use this option to specify external IP address ranges. This is the Internet-facing IP address behind which the workstations are connected. You can use this to prevent access to applications if these workstations are used from a different network. You may have to modify the setting periodically if your Internet connection does not have a static IP address.

Associated Machines

You can use the Associated Machines section to define how to segment groups of machines into different product profiles.

  • Choose By Microsoft Active Directory organizational units to ensure all machines that belong to a listed organizational unit are associated with a product profile. If for example, your institution has created organizational units based on department, you can create product profiles for each department. Machines that belong to a department will be associated to a specific product profile.

  • Choose By LAN IP address range to ensure that all machines within the listed LAN IP address ranges are associated with a product profile. For example, choose this option if your computer labs or shared computers in a library are organized by defined LAN IP ranges.

  • Choose By installed package to ensure that all machines with the selected packages are associated with a product profile.


The associated machine options are applied in the listed order of priority.

Say profile A is configured with Active Directory OU = Library and profile B is configured with Package = Video apps. A machine in the Library OU and with the Video apps package, will be associated with profile A and not with profile B.

Migrate to Shared Device Licensing


If you're a new customer, you can skip this section.

Migrate from device licenses

If you’re an existing Device Licensing customer, Adobe provides you a complimentary upgrade to Shared Device Licensing. The older Device Licensing program does not provide access to the latest version of Creative Cloud apps. For access to the latest version of Creative Cloud apps, you can migrate your older device licenses to the new shared device licenses. Post migration, your older apps will continue to work for 30 days, within which you can set up and deploy the latest apps using shared device licenses.

Migrate from serial number licenses

If you’re using the legacy Serial Number Licensing to manage your lab computers, you can continue to use the older apps until the serial numbers become invalid. If you deploy a shared device license package alongside a serial number package, both will continue to work. You can continue to use the older apps until the serial number licenses expire, or you can uninstall the serial number licensed apps and deploy a new shared device license package.


The above migrations are one way. So, once you complete the migration process from device or serial licenses to shared device licenses, you cannot then go back to either device or serial licenses.

Begin your Deployment

Once you’ve determined the machines to deploy the Creative Cloud apps, you can start your deployment. Depending on your access requirements and current setup, you may perform some of the following actions. We recommend that you read this document completely before starting the deployment to have all the required information ahead of time.

1. Set up Identity

  • If you haven’t already done so, you’ll start with setting up identity to enable Enterprise or Federated IDs.
  • You’ll need to demonstrate ownership of the domain (for example: to complete this step.
  • You may need to contact the person who manages your institution’s website or emails to complete this activity.

Adobe recommends that you use Enterprise or Federated IDs to provide access to regular students or lab users. These identity types provide your organization better control and monitoring.

For step-by-step instructions, see Set Up Identity.

Before you proceed, we recommend that you see the following videos on setting up identity for Shared Device Licensing:

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

2. Manage admins

The primary admin for your institution on the Admin Console is a System admin. The system admin has the rights to perform all tasks on the Admin Console. However, it's always a good idea to delegate tasks to other admins. This decentralizes the admin tasks and specialized tasks are then performed by the roles that most fit those tasks.

  • Create Product admins to create product profiles and add users to the organization.
  • Create Product profile admins to manage product profiles and add users to the organization.

See how to manage admin roles on the Admin Console.

3. Add users to the Admin Console

If you plan to configure your shared devices to be accessible by Organization users only, you must add these users to the Admin Console.

You can manually add users, bulk upload users using a CSV file, or set up the User Sync Tool (for large organizations).

For more details, see Manage users.

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

4. Create packages

Create packages

In the Admin Console, navigate to the Packages tab to create shared device license packages.

For step-by-step instructions, see Create shared device license packages.


As a user in a Named User Licensing education lab, you may encounter the error: Unable to verify subscription/Trial error after updating your Adobe XD application to version 50 or above. You will need to create and install a new Shared Device Licensing package from the Admin Console to resolve this issue. This is applicable on both Windows and macOS.

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

5. Create product profiles

If you plan to deploy shared device licenses in multiple labs to your institution, you can map each lab to a different product profile on the Admin Console.

For example, you can create a product profile for labs to be unrestricted, so that anyone can use Adobe apps, even users without a school account. Also, you can create product profiles for other labs where access to the installed applications must be restricted to users with a school account. And, you can restrict access to the applications installed in these labs based on the access policies defined on the corresponding product profiles.

For details, see how to manage shared device license profiles.

Note: The content and voice-over for this video is currently available in English only.

6. Define access policy

Shared device configurations provide three options to control user access to apps: Access PolicyEgress IP addresses, Associated Machines. You can use a combination of these options to prevent unauthorized usage of the apps and protect your student accounts and the assets created by them.

For more details, see Shared device configuration.

7. Deploy packages

After you create the shared device license package, set up the devices in your lab with the license.

Choose from the following methods to deploy the package:

For details on troubleshoot Creative Cloud apps installation and uninstallation errors, see this document.

What's next

Add products and licenses

If you are a VIP (Value Incentive Plan) customer, you can purchase products or additional shared device licenses from the Admin console directly.

In the upper-right corner of the Overview page of the Admin Console, click Buy More.

In the Add Products screen, add products or add licenses to your existing products.

Recover unused licenses

If you deploy shared device licenses to machines and those machines are no longer in use, the licenses are still consumed and you can't use them on other machines. The machines used status is displayed on the product card in the Products tab.

License count

To recover licenses on unused machines, go to the Admin Console and reset the product profile that is mapped to the unused machines. See this document for details on how to recover shared device licenses.

Frequently asked questions

To recover a license from an inoperable machine, you'll need to reset the licenses of all machines of that product profile.

However, to recover the license from machine to which you have access, you can deactivate the license on that machine itself.

No. Shared device license packages cannot be installed on virtual machines.

No. Currently, Adobe's SSO setup doesn't support passthrough authentication. Even if you have set up Federated identity, students have to sign in to the machine and then reenter their credentials when signing in to Creative Cloud.

Your IT department determines if the users are allowed to do so on the lab machines, by setting the appropriate user access policy.

If the user access policy is set to Open Access, the users can use any Adobe ID to sign in. If they have more than one account, each account's storage is unique.

If your question is not answered here, see the complete Shared Device Licensing FAQ.

And if you have more questions, ask them on our community.


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Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online