Feature Restricted Licensing - Online | Deployment guide

What is Feature Restricted Licensing - Online?

Feature Restricted Licensing - Online is a secure license activation method for users who require access to desktop software but are unable to use Named User Licensing due to the secure nature of their environments. Feature Restricted Licensing – Online requires a connection to the Internet to validate the license upon installation. However, it does not require that users log in to use the software.

How Feature Restricted Licensing - Online works

Admin workflow

As an admin, create a Feature Restricted Licensing - Online package from the Packages tab in the Admin Console, and deploy it on a user machine.


The Feature Restricted Licensing - Online option appears in your Admin Console only when Adobe entitles your organization to use this type of licensing. The option does not appear by default.

User workflow

Launch the application on your computer. The license activates automatically. 

When the application launches, it generates a license request that includes:

  • An Adobe-generated package ID that identifies the installed licensing information.
  • An Adobe-generated device ID, which is an SHA-256 (secure hash algorithm) hash of various computer attributes.

None of the information shared in the license request is device-identifiable.

The app sends the request, using the HTTP protocol, to an Adobe licensing server over the Internet. For extra security, your organization can control the Internet access by a firewall that intercepts and unpacks all Adobe network traffic to verify the content.

Admin tasks


For Feature Restricted Licensing - Online licenses to activate successfully, the client computer must be able to reach the Adobe licensing server lcs-cops.adobe.io via HTTPS. Some administrators may require to open an endpoint on their firewall, and allow the endpoint lcs-cops.adobe.io. The client machine will attempt to reach the designated endpoint at random intervals to validate the license. However, if the endpoint cannot be reached, it will rely on the cached license on the client machine. After the initial activation, the client machine can be moved to a secure location. The license continues to work without further contact with the Adobe server until the license expiration date.

There are two options for license activation (in Step 8 of the following procedure):

  • Via https://lcs-cops.adobe.io.
  • Via https://lcs-cops-proxy.adobe.com (fixed IP addresses).

The license expiration date is the customer's contract end date.

Create packages

  1. Log in to the Admin Console, and navigate to Packages > Packages.

    The history of all packages created by all admins in your organization is displayed.

  2. Click Create a Package.
  3. Choose Feature Restricted Licensing, and then click Next.

  4. When you are prompted for the activation method, ensure Online is selected. Then click Next.

    Choose Online activation

  5. On the Entitlements screen, choose the required entitlement and click Next.

  6. On the Configure screen, select the required options and then click Next.

    • Choose a Platform: Choose the operating system and the processor support from the following:
      • macOS (Universal)
      • macOS (Intel)
      • macOS (Apple Silicon)
      • Windows (64-bit)
      • Windows (32-bit)
      • Windows (ARM)

    A package made for one operating system and architecture type, cannot be deployed on another.

    • It's necessary to create separate packages for Windows 64-bit, Windows 32-bit, and Windows ARM devices.
    • It's necessary to create separate packages for macOS (Intel) and macOS (Apple Silicon) devices. Alternatively, you can create a macOS (Universal) package, and use this to install apps on both macOS (Intel) and macOS (Apple Silicon) machines.
    • Language: Select the language in which you want to create the package.
    • Use OS Locale: Enables you to create a package that deploys in the OS language of client machine. In which case, the OS language is the default fallback language in which the package is deployed.
  7. On the Choose Apps screen, you can choose to create one of the following types of packages:


    How to...

    Create this package if the client machines already have Creative Cloud apps installed. Later, you can simply license the installed apps. For example, apps were previously installed using another licensing method. And you want to now license those apps with a Feature Restricted Licensing - Isolated license.

    From Available Applications, add only the License File to Selected Applications.


    How to...

    Create this package if the client machine is already licensed with a Feature Restricted Licensing - Isolated license. Then, install apps on the machine.

    From Available Applications, add only the License File to Selected Applications.


    How to...

    Create a package containing apps and license.

    From Available Applications, add applications and the License File to Selected Applications.

    Click the plus icons next to the corresponding applications to include them in the package.

    Choose applications


    If you add a product that has dependent products, the dependent products are added automatically. For example, if you add Photoshop, the dependent products Camera Raw and Adobe Preview are added automatically.

    Optionally, you can filter down the list of Available Applications to choose from.

    Latest versions: Display the latest version of all available applications.

    Long-term supported versions: Display Adobe's long-term supported versions. To know what versions are supported for your Creative Cloud plan, review the Creative Cloud Support policy

    Beta apps: Display available beta apps. Learn more.

    Older versions: Display a list of previous versions of the apps. View versions that don't receive security or feature updates.

    Filter available applications

    App Add-ons: Certain Adobe apps come with Add-ons. So, when you add an app that includes one or more Add-ons, you have the option to include the add-ons in the package you're creating. By default, Add-ons are not included in the package.

    App Add-ons

    After you're done with your selections, click Next.

  8. (Not currently available for Windows ARM devices) On the Choose Plugins screen, search and select plug-ins to include in the package, and click Next.

    You can select the Show Compatible Plugins Only check box to display the plug-ins that are compatible with the apps in the package. This filter doesn't appear if you only have the Creative Cloud desktop app in your package.

    To view the list of selected plug-ins, click Selected Plugins.


    The plug-ins that you include in the package do not necessarily need the supporting application to be part of the same package. You can include plug-ins and extensions for apps that are previously installed on your users' computers. Also, if a computer does not have the targeted application for a plug-in, the plug-in is not installed on the computer.

    Choose plugins

  9. On the Options screen, select the required options and then click Next.

    Device identification options

    Choose this option to allow Adobe to gather information about devices on which this package is installed. By enabling devices to send this information to Adobe, you can then manage and edit access based to these devices. For details, learn how to Manage devices.

    Device identification options


    This option is not available for selection by Education customers. This means that for Education customers, Adobe will collect this information, by default. So, as the Admin of an Educational institution, you can manage and edit access of your devices.

    Choose how clients will send information to Adobe’s licensing servers

    Authorize Adobe License server by DNS name(default): Allow traffic to pass through your firewall to https://lcs-cops.adobe.io.

    Authorize Adobe License server by fixed IP address: Allow traffic to pass through your firewall to https://lcs-cops-proxy.adobe.com and the fixed IPs listed in the License activation options screen.

    The default domain has a non-static IP behind it, while the new domain will point to one among the list of static IPs in the License activation options screen. The second option provides more control to the customer in managing outgoing network traffic. 

    License activation options

    • Contact Adobe through a reverse proxy: This option enables license activation via a reverse proxy. The client machines will look to the entered endpoint to activate their licenses. You must ensure that you have pointed your reverse proxy to the correct endpoint for license activation to complete successfully.
      • If you've chosen to Authorize Adobe License server by DNS name, point your reverse proxy to lcs-cops.adobe.io.
      • However, if you've chosen to Authorize Adobe License server by fixed IP address, point your reverse proxy to lcs-cops-proxy.adobe.com.

    For detailed instructions on how to set up and configure a reverse proxy, see the Feature Restricted Online reverse proxy user guide

    • Enable Remote Update Manager: Run the updater remotely on the client machine as an administrator. For more information, see Remote Update Manager.
    • Redirect to internal Adobe update server: Redirect all updates for this package to an internal update server. The details of the internal server are specified in an override XML under Packages > Preferences in the Admin Console. For more information, see Preferences.
    • (Not currently available for Windows ARM devicesCreate a folder for extensions and include the UPIA command-line tool: Create a subfolder in your package folder. In this folder, include extensions that you want to install with the package. For more information, see Manage Extensions in packages.
    • Install package to custom install directory: Install the apps in this package to a custom installation directory. The directory is defined under Packages > Preferences in the Admin Console. For more information, see the Preferences.
    Management options

  10. On the Finalize screen, in the Name box, enter the name of the package.

    You can also review the included applications and configuration for this package before building the package.

    Finalize your package

  11. To download and distribute the package, click Download.

  12. Click Create package.

    The build status of the package is displayed in the Status column on the Packages page.

    If the package is built successfully, it displays the Download link in the Availability column.

    A package is available in the Admin Console for up to three days. To check the time remaining to download the package, click the row item for the package to display the package details.


    If you are creating macOS packages, the Adobe Package Downloader is downloaded to your computer. Open and run to complete the download process. For further details, see Adobe Package Downloader.


If the package that you've created, contains one or more apps that have been rolled back owing to a bug or issue which needs to be fixed, this package displays as Revoked. You will be unable to download this package.

Also, if you have previously downloaded a package that contains a revoked app, you should not deploy it. You should create and deploy a new package with a non-revoked version of the app. 

Revoked package


The package that you download, contains a Packageinfo.txt file. This file has the information such as the following about that package:

  • Package Name
  • Package Type - FRL Online Package
  • Platform
  • Locale
  • Creative Cloud Desktop application version
  • Package Configurations
    • Remote update manager - Enabled or Disabled 
    • App Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Beta App Download - Enabled or Disabled
    • Browser Based Auth - Enabled or Disabled
    • Files Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Market Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Use OS Locale - Enabled or Disabled

The PackageInfo.txt file is for informational purposes only.

Deploy packages

After you create the feature restricted license package, set up the end-user machines with the license:

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

Update licenses

If your organization has renewed their contract, you need not deploy a new package or license-only package to relicense your users. The user computer just requires to reach the Adobe Licensing Server through the Internet to get the updated license.

To update the apps on a user machine at any stage, create a package containing the latest apps, and deploy to the user machine. You can either create a package, or update a previous package, by performing the following steps:

Remove licenses


You can remove a license from a computer in the following scenarios:

  • The package is a license-only package.
  • The package includes the license and apps, and the apps are uninstalled using the OS-specific procedures (for example, Add-Remove Programs on Windows).

Use Adobe's Licensing Toolkit to remove a license. Adobe Licensing Toolkit is a command-line utility that is used to activate or uninstall licenses. It is available in the licensing package that you download from the Admin Console. Alternatively, you can download it directly from the Admin Console under Packages > Tools.

To remove a license, run the following commands with admin privileges:


adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --uninstall --filePath <absolute path of the .json file>


sudo ./adobe-licensing-toolkit --precondition --uninstall --filePath <absolute path of the .json file>

For more information, see these steps.


The .json file can be found within the package that was downloaded from the Admin Console and deployed to the user machine. The file contains the licensing information.


In the scenario where multiple licenses have been installed on a single machine, run the following commands with admin privileges to remove the licenses:


adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --uninstall --all


sudo ./adobe-licensing-toolkit --precondition --uninstall --all

For more information, see these steps.

Uninstall products and licenses

Instead of removing licenses from a user's computer, you can uninstall the license and the products. By using the Feature Restricted Licensing packages, themselves.

Read the details on how to uninstall packages from a user's computer.

Frequently asked questions

Every package is bundled with a license file. To create a license-only package, skip adding any applications to the package.

Create license-only packages to deploy on client computers where applications are already deployed but without licenses or with trial licenses.

To deploy a package using Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), you need to create an install / uninstall program from the SCCM console. The steps to create the install / uninstall program are given in this section of the Deploy Adobe packages with SCCM article.

Use the above procedure to create and deploy the package using SCCM, with the following exception:

In Step 2 of the procedure:

  1. Instead of browsing to and selecting the package .exe file, browse to and select the Adobe licensing toolkit (adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe) file.
  2. When you return to the New Program wizard, append the following flags to the command line:
    --precondition --install --filePath ngl-preconditioning-data.json
    adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --install --filePath ngl-preconditioning-data.json

If required, to download the Adobe licensing toolkit (adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe) file for Windows:

  1. In the Admin Console, navigate to PackagesTools.
  2. Use the download links on the Licensing Toolkit card.

Only the following information is shared with Adobe through the license request from the user computer:

  • Machine ID (Sha-256 hash)
  • First and last user check-in
  • NPDID of products
  • The NPDID (NGL Preconditioning Data ID) is the unique entitlement identifier. 
  • The machine ID is not the same as the machine name. It is an irreversible SHA-256 hash of various computer attributes, such as a motherboard serial number and boot disk serial number.

Here is a sample licensing request, including the information transmitted:

“npdId”: “ID of NGL Preconditioning Data”,
“npdPrecedence”: “Precedence of NGL preconditioning data”,
“asnpTemplateId”: “ASNP Template ID”,
“deviceDetails”: {
    “deviceId”: “Device ID”,
    “osName”: “OS Name”,
    “osVersion”: “OS Version”,
    “currentDate”: 1510649774873
“appDetails”: {
    “nglAppId”: “NGL App ID”,
    “nglAppVersion”: “NGL App version”,
    “nglLibVersion”: “NGL Lib version”,
    “currentAsnpId”: “Current ASNP Id”,
    “locale”: “en_US”

In response, the Adobe licensing server transmits the signed license specific to device ID.

For Feature Restricted Licensing - Online licenses to activate, the client computer must be able to reach the Adobe licensing server over the Internet. Some administrators may require to open an endpoint on their firewall and allow the endpoint https://lcs-cops.adobe.io or https://lcs-cops-proxy.adobe.com.


The services included in various Adobe apps may attempt to connect to Adobe servers. However, if a connection is not possible, the calls will fail in the background. For licensing, either of the two endpoints, https://lcs-cops.adobe.io or https://lcs-cops-proxy.adobe.com are required.

The computer attempts to reach the designated endpoint at random intervals to validate the license. However, if the endpoint cannot be reached, it will rely on the cached license. In other words, after the initial activation, if the computer is moved to a remote or secure location, the license continues to work until the license expiration date.

When the admin deactivates a feature restricted license for online activation package, the license count displayed on the Admin Console is decremented. However, the client computer must be able to connect with the Adobe licensing service at https://lcs-cops.adobe.io or https://lcs-cops-proxy.adobe.com.

Following a contract renewal, the user machine simply requires to be online to receive the updated license. There is no requirement to deploy a license-only package or update package.

Users will retain access to available Adobe apps for 99-days beginning with the Post-Grace Period, but no new packages can be created during that time. Learn more about contract expiration phases.


Adobe provides this 99-day grace at its sole discretion to facilitate the deployment of renewed licenses, and it is liable to change.

Adobe does not support the use of Creative Cloud applications in virtualized environments.

Acrobat versions that support activation via Feature Restricted Licensing - Online will work in supported virtualized environments (Citrix XenApp, WTS, App-V, VMWare Horizon) across both persistent and non-persistent environments.

If a machine is out of service and the Adobe Licensing Toolkit cannot run to remove the license, the Admin Console license count will not update. Notify your account manager or declare this fact to Adobe at the time of their contract renewal.

Currently, TechComm products support three methods of licensing - NUD (Named User Deployment); FRL - Online; and in exceptional scenarios, an offline deployment for which you should reach out to your Adobe Account Manager.

Captivate and Presenter are using older licensing technology, so for the time being, you would need to deploy them using the serial number approach. Contact your Adobe Account Manager for deploying Captivate and Presenter. In the near future, these products would also be available along with other three products and then a separate serial number deployment for Captivate and Presenter would not be required.

For the two server products – FrameMaker Publishing Server and RoboHelp Server, we highly recommend using Admin Console only to create the licensing package for Feature Restricted Licensing. You should not select the option of using both – deployment and licensing package. 

For both these server products, there are many pre-requisites that need to be fulfilled alongside the scaling requirements, which makes it hard to deploy them out-of-the-box. In such as case, do review the system requirements for these server products:

Additionally, you can also watch this YouTube video demonstrating the FrameMaker Publishing Server installation process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2deelyM5VA8   

To download the server products, use the following links (instead of downloading from Admin Console):

In the Create packages procedure described above, choose Contact Adobe through a reverse proxy.

This option enables license activation via a reverse proxy. The client machines will look to the entered endpoint to activate their licenses. You must ensure that you have pointed your reverse proxy to the correct endpoint for license activation to complete successfully.

For detailed instructions on how to set up and configure a reverse proxy, see the Feature Restricted Online reverse proxy user guide.

Management options

The Adobe License Decoder is a command-line tool that tells you about all the feature restricted licenses on a computer. This tool examines globally-installed license files and provides the following information:

  • The apps associated with each license file.
  • The packages the apps have been installed from.
  • When the apps were installed and their corresponding license expiry dates.

Use the Github repository to download the tool and for detailed documentation.

To identify the activated packages on a client computer, follow these steps.

1. Use the Adobe Licensing Toolkit and run following command on the client computer.

  • macOSadobe-licensing-toolkit --licenseInformation
    Short form: adobe-licensing-toolkit -l
  • Windowsadobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --licenseInformation
    Short form: adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe -l

This command displays the licensing information for all the apps installed on a computer.

Adobe Licensing Toolkit (
License Details
NpdId          : MWVjZGNlMzMtZGU2Yi00ZmNlLTkzZTktY2MxMjBhZmFiZjg1
AppId          : Photoshop1
DeploymentMode : FRL_ONLINE, FRL
CacheExpiry    : 03/06/19 20:01:56 India Standard Time
LicenseId      : 511F26523959D15EBD9B
LicenseExpiry  : 03/06/21 20:01:56 India Standard Time
NpdId          : YjZiOGU0ZTItYTkxNy00NTFlLWFkOTItZTljNTc2M2U2OTgx
AppId          : Animate1
DeploymentMode : FRL_CONNECTED
Operation Successfully Completed

2. Find the package on the Admin console

  1. Sign into the Admin Console and go to the Packages tab.

  2. In the Search box, enter the NpdId of the package that you got from running the Licensing Toolkit command, above.


    The search is case-insensitive. Also, you can make a partial search. Which means that you don't need to enter the entire NpdId when searching.


    In the filtered list of packages, click the package. The details of that package are displayed on the right.

    The Package License ID on the Admin Console corresponds to the NpdId on the Licensing Toolkit command, above.

    Use this to identity the packages installed on a client computer.

    Package details


    The Package License ID is only available for packages created on or after 7/24/2021.

Yes. Adobe XD is available as part of the Creative Cloud All Apps Feature Restricted Licensing plan purchased through an ETLA contract. However, there are differences in the XD interface, features and workflows compared to XD in a Named User Licensing environment.

For details on the differences, see Adobe XD with Feature Restricted Licensing.

Other Feature Restricted Licensing activation methods

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