I get the error "The serial number is not valid for this product" when installing Creative Suite

Complete the following steps if you enter the serial number for your Creative Suite or stand-alone Adobe product and get the error message “This serial number is not valid for this product."

Solution 1: Check your installer and reenter the serial number

Correct installer

Make sure you are using the correct installer for your product and platform.

  • Always use the suite installer, not an installer for a single product, unless you have Acrobat 9, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 (32 bit), or After Effects CS4 (32 bit). These products require a separate serial number and media. You cannot install these products with the Creative Suite serial number and media.
  • The Creative Suite serial number does not work with an individual product installer. To install only some Creative Suite products, choose Custom Install in the Creative Suite installer, and then select the products you want to install.
  • The installer is platform-specific. The serial number for Windows does not work for Mac OS.

Correct serial number

Make sure that the number you enter is the serial number.

  • Serial numbers are 24-character numeric strings. Do not enter alphabetic characters. For help, see Find your serial number.
  • Ignore the hyphens when you enter the serial number.

Correct language

If your serial number is for a different language than the installation language you select (for example, you purchased a German Creative Suite, but attempt to install it in English), you will get an invalid serial number error. Reinstall the product, choose the correct language, and enter the serial number when prompted.

Note:

The following language-specific software installs two language packs. You can install in one language and enter the serial number from the other without getting an invalid serial number error.

  • en_US (Universal English)\en_GB (International English)
  • fr_FR (French)\fr_CA (French Canadian)
  • es_ES (Spanish)\es_MX (Latin American Spanish)

Solution 2: Delete the activation database files

Activation database files that are corrupted or have incorrect file permissions can prevent your product from installing correctly.

  1. Delete the Adobe PCD folder and caps.db file from the following locations:

    Windows:

    • \Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe PCD
    • \Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\caps\caps.db

    Mac OS:

    • /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PCD
    • /Library/Application Support/Adobe/caps/caps.db
  2. Restart your Adobe application. Enter the serial number when prompted.

    If you are not prompted to enter a serial number or the application won't open, uninstall and reinstall the application.

  3. Uninstall the application, if necessary. For Creative Suite applications, uninstall the entire Creative Suite, not just a single application.

    Note:

    If you are having problems with a stand-alone version of Lightroom, you must uninstall several files manually, after running the uninstaller. For instructions, see Uninstall Lightroom manually.

  4. Reinstall the applications, using the Creative Suite installer and serial number.

    Note:

    You can download the product directly from the Other downloads page on adobe.com, and then reinstall.

  5. Start your application.

Solution 3: Run the CC Cleaner Tool and reinstall

The Creative Cloud (CC) Cleaner Tool can remove installation files for Creative Suite applications that are corrupted or that are causing problems with a new installation.

Note:

The Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool is designed to run after you uninstall your Adobe application.  Run the  appropriate uninstaller to remove the application producing the invalid serial number error first, and then run the CC Cleaner Tool.

  1. Uninstall the application. For Creative Suite apps, uninstall the entire Creative Suite, not just a single application.

    Note:

    If you are having problems with a stand-alone version of Lightroom, you must uninstall several files manually, after running the uninstaller. For instructions, see Uninstall Lightroom manually.

  2. Download the CC Cleaner Tool.

    Windows: AdobeCreativeCloudCleanerTool.exe

    Mac OS: AdobeCreativeCloudCleanerTool.dmg

  3. Run the CC Cleaner Tool, following the onscreen instructions to remove the desired application.

    For detailed instructions on how to run the CC Cleaner Tool, see Use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems.

  4. Download the product from the Other downloads page and reinstall.

    Note:

    Check the system requirements before downloading and installing the product.

Solution 4: Install the product in trial mode

  1. In the serial number dialog box, delete the serial number and select I Want To Try. Then click Next.

  2. Finish the installation and launch the product.

  3. In the Software Setup dialog box, select I have a serial number and want to license this product.

  4. Enter the serial number.

  5. Click Next and finish starting the application.

Solution 5. Create a new user account and reinstall the product

Occasionally, a user account can become corrupted and prevent the Adobe installer from accessing or creating the necessary files and folders. Create a different account, log in to the new account, and then try to reinstall the Adobe application.

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