This document details a list of frequently asked questions regarding Shared Device Licensing

Identity and sign-in

What is the best identity type for authentication of end users (K-12 and faculty)?

Higher educational institutions can use any of the identity types depending on their preference. However, Federated and Enterprise IDs are the recommended identity types for institutions. For more details, see Adobe-supported identity types.

With shared device licenses, do students still require Adobe IDs to use applications in a lab environment?

Yes. Students can have one of three ID types: Adobe ID, Enterprise ID, or Federated ID. K-12 users must sign in with Enterprise or Federated IDs. For information on the Adobe supported identity types, see this document.

Can students be signed in to an unlimited number of lab machines?

Students can sign in and out of unlimited lab machines. The Shared Device Licensing machines do not have an activation limit. However, if an account is used to sign in to multiple machines at the same time, a security mechanism triggers, asking to set up multi-factor authentication. So, it is important that all users have their own account and one account is not shared with multiple users.

Shared Device Licensing only works on lab machines, so users cannot use shared device licenses outside the institution's lab. Users can use their Adobe IDs or Federated IDs for their home devices and lab devices.

How can our students use Adobe products during exams when Internet access is not allowed?

The machine must be online for the user to sign in and to use the Cloud services. They only have to sign in once per session. Currently, we check for the license every 90 minutes after sign-in. So, if the machine goes offline, it can only stay offline for 90 minutes before we check the license. It's something we are working on to fix.

Can I use a single email address to activate 300 machine units?

No, it is not possible. Email addresses do not activate a machine. A device is registered and activated at the time of the Shared Device Licensing package installation.

You can use the same account on multiple devices. However, if an account is used to sign in to multiple machines at the same time, a security alert triggers for that account, asking to set up multi-factor authentication.

What if students do not have their own unique sign-in?

They can either create their own free Adobe IDs from the sign-in page. Or, the school can assign Free Spark Product offer to them from the Admin Console. On assigning the product, the students receive a welcome email and they can sign in to Creative Cloud.

Does Shared Device Licensing offer passthrough authentication?

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 re-enter their credentials when signing in to Creative Cloud.

Can we force a user to only sign in with a Federated ID?

Yes. You can set access policies to allow only Federated ID sign in. Read more about access policies here.

Can our faculty sign in with their personal Adobe IDs to access files they have stored in their Adobe storage?

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.

Do students have to sign in to an application every time they open one?

Just one sign-in to Creative Cloud unlocks access to all applications.

Why am I prompted with a confirmation dialog box while my session is still active?

Often, users forget to sign out after the class or lab session is complete. To protect users and their assets, periodically, users are prompted with the following account confirmation dialog box:

Account confirmation dialog

This ensures that a new user is made aware in case the previous user is still signed in to Creative Cloud. Adobe highly recommends, that devices are protected with automatic OS logout to protect users accounts.


You are not required to sign out. To continue with your session, click Continue.

What happens if a user walks away from an authenticated lab machine?

The user is asked to confirm the account when the user opens a Creative Cloud app after whichever of the following activities happens first—90 minutes, shutdown of the machine by the user, or logout from the machine's OS.

What happens if our users attempt to access Adobe applications on iOS with their Federated ID?

For Federated IDs, access to mobile apps on shared devices is limited to Spark Premium applications, only if the user has been provided a Spark premium entitlement. If they are given a complete Creative Cloud license through the console, they will have access to all Creative Cloud Mobile Apps.


Can students or staff access Adobe apps and services at home via Shared Device Licensing?

No. Access to Apps on the user's home device depends on the user's entitlement. For example, if users have the Adobe free entitlement, they only have access to the trial versions of Adobe applications. If users use the same account on a device with Shared Device Licensing, they have access to all the applications. Shared Device Licensing unlocks access to all applications.

Shared Device Licensing can only be installed on a device used by multiple users and is not intended for single user access.

For laptops that use dynamic IP addressing, can we limit licenses by MAC address?

In Shared Device Licensing v1.5, Dynamic IP machines can be set to By LAN IP address range or By installed package under Associated Machines in the Shared Device Licensing profile. For details, see Manage permissions.

Can Shared Device Licensing be applied to staff machines as well?

Shared Device Licensing is not intended to be used on a single owner/user device. It can be used on any institutionally owned machine accessed by multiple users.

Why do users need the Spark entitlement?

Spark Premium is used when your users are using Enterprise or Federated IDs. This gives those users 2 GB of storage.

Any entitlement assigned to a user can be used on any device to access Creative Cloud apps or services. Access to the apps and services depends on the entitlement. For example, Adobe free ID allows only for 2 GB of storage and trial access to our apps at home. On a Shared Device Licensing device, users would have 2 GB of storage but access to all the apps installed on the device.

Do we have to import every student into the admin portal, so that we can license them with Spark?

Yes, to assign the Spark entitlement, students must be added to the Admin console.

What if we have more than 1000 students, should we create an ID for each student?

Shared Device Licensing works with either a free Adobe ID (which the students can create) or a Federated ID (which supports directory automation). Any student with a free Adobe ID can immediately access a Shared Device Licensing machine if you have an Open Access policy.

In an open access lab, you don't have to add the users to the console for basic lab access. Federated ID users need at least a Spark entitlement from the Admin Console before accessing the Shared Device Licensing machines.

What do we do with our current shared devices?

Shared devices are currently enabled with serial numbers. Unfortunately, that means students do not have access to many of our latest apps, and Creative Cloud services such as Fonts, collaboration and mobile access. Migrate these licenses to shared devices licenses and then deploy the new shared device licenses on these devices. For details, see this document.

Wouldn't Egress IPs limit the licensed users ability to install on home machines?

Yes, shared device license packages only work within specific IP ranges within the institution. They are not available for home use. At home, students and staff must use a Named User license.

Does the Egress IP entry field allow for CIDR notation?

The Egress IP notation only supports single IPs or dash-separated IP ranges. It does not support CIDR notation.

If you are using Dynamic IP addressing, while managing permissions, you can choose by installed package under Associated Machines, to allow for LAN IP ranges.

Can I prevent updates to Creative Cloud applications by end users on the shared lab machines?

Shared device license packages are designed to prevent app updates by end users. It can be controlled when creating a package in the Admin console. There is an option to allow a non-admin to update and install apps.

What services do not work with file sync disabled?

All Cloud services such as font access and in-app libraries are disabled. However, users can access the web versions such as to manually access, upload, and download cloud files.

Can you only specify AD organizational unit by leaf node?

To associate an Active Directory organizational unit to a Product Profile, it has to be a leaf directory. This implies that it has to be the bottom-most directory, with no other directories below it.

Does assignment by organizational unit support AD-joined MACs?

Yes, assignment By Microsoft Active Directory organizational units supports AD-joined MACs.


Since we cannot use serialized installs anymore, what licensing options do we have for our staff?

Staff and faculty can use Named User Licensing.

What happens to BYOD? Are students entitled to install apps on their devices, as members of an organization?

No. Only lab machines are available for shared device license deployment. All other home and BYOD devices require a Named User License assignment. See this document for the Adobe-supported licensing methods.

I don't plan to give students licenses, so how do I activate lab machines with shared device licenses?

Share Device Licensing does not require you to assign licenses to students. When a shared device license package is installed on a lab machine, it is automatically registered and activated.
Students only need an Adobe ID, not a Share Device Licensing entitlement. See this article on how to create an Adobe ID.

How is the number of device licenses being determined for users currently using FTE with free lab licenses?

The terms of your licensing agreement with Adobe remain the same. So, if you have full coverage of your lab devices, that continues with shared device licenses.

How is the number of device licenses in my contract determined?

The number of device licenses in your contract are determined during the contract process. It depends on the contract of your institution with Adobe.

How do we determine the number of shared device licenses our institution needs?

If you have been able to use serialized deployment for your lab machines, then those same lab machines can use shared device licenses.

If a machine needs a mid-semester re-image, will that machine require a new shared device license?

Once deployed, the shared device license is tied to a machine. If the machine is re-imaged, re-deploy a shared device license package to that machine or run the Shared Device Licensing toolkit, Activate command.

If the hardware on a lab machine fails or we replace it, do we lose the license on that machine?

No, you can deactivate and relicense it with the licensing toolkit.

Can I have device licenses and shared device licenses deployed simultaneously on the same device?

When you run the device license to shared device license migration workflow, all your device licenses are migrated to shared device licenses. For teams subscriptions, after you create and deploy the shared device license packages on the devices in your labs, the legacy device licenses stop working in 30 days after migration.

Do we need to uninstall the license or is it okay to wipe a drive and re-image?

You can use either of the methods. If you are working from a cloned image, use the licensing toolkit to re-register the clone.

Will older packages still work if we do not redeploy Shared Device Licensing v1.5 to existing devices?

Shared Device Licensing v1.0 must be updated to the latest environment (currently Shared Device Licensing v1.5) to provide new features, such as independent access policies and association by Package affiliation.

To redeploy the latest environment, apply a shared device license only package to the machines with the older environment. You do not need to reinstall the applications.

Can we deploy a Named User Licensing package to an existing Shared Device Licensing environment?

Yes, there is no difference between the Shared Device Licensing and Named User Licensing versions of applications. So, deploying a Shared Device Licensing package and then using Named User Licensing install techniques for applications works. Installing some CC 2019 applications in the Shared Device Licensing package and others using Named User Licensing also works.

How can we differentiate a Shared Device Licensing install from a Named User Licensing install on a machine?

Look for the OperatingConfigs folder on your machine, it exists only for Shared Device Licensing installs.

Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\OperatingConfigs 

MacOS: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/OperatingConfigs

Other questions

Will Creative Cloud Packager still work?

No, the stand-alone Creative Cloud Packager does not work for shared device license packages. You must use the web-based Creative Cloud Packager located in the Admin Console. Read this document for the details on how to create shared device license packages.

Can a student having a named user license with Spark use all Creative Cloud 2019 apps?

Yes. To enable access to Shared Device Licensing CC applications that are loaded on lab computers, a student must be added to the Spark for Higher-Ed or Spark for K-12 products in the Admin Console. Currently, Lightroom CC and Dimension are unavailable, but should be added soon.

Does a shared device license provision a user with entitlement to Adobe services?

No, Shared Device Licensing only grants the ability to launch desktop applications. It does not provide a user’s Adobe account with licensing for cloud-based services. 

Some services are available for free with an Adobe ID account. However, some require a product purchase. The same Creative Cloud services, which your user account is already entitled to, can be used with the installed shared device license.

For Enterprise IDs and Federated IDs, the Admin Console will soon have a basic font and Creative Cloud service access, similar to the free services entitlement through the Spark for Higher Ed Product.

See this document for what you get free with your Creative Cloud membership.

Can I install shared device license packages on a virtual machine?

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

What happens to the data in a student's Spark account when they graduate and their account is terminated?

Spark Premium and Spark for Higher Ed/K-12 allow users to share their projects. If the users want to continue working with their Spark content, they can subscribe to their own Spark Premium account and share their existing projects with their new account, prior to being removed from your institution's Admin Console.


If you have any questions or observations around the topics, concepts, or procedures described in this article, join the discussion.

Join Now

See töö on litsentseeritud Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported litsentsiga  Süsteemi Creative Commons tingimused ei kehti Twitter™-i ja Facebooki postitustele.

Juriidilised märkused   |   Privaatsuspõhimõtted veebis