When you purchase a product from Adobe, a license represents your right to use Adobe software and services. Licenses are used to authenticate and activate the products on the end user's computers.


If the license type of your organization changes, to continue working your end users will need to sign out of any Adobe product or service and then sign back in with the same credentials.

For desktop products such as Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, use the Sign out and Sign in options in the Help menu. On Adobe.com, use the icon in the upper-right corner to sign out and then sign back.

Named license

Named License deployment ties the usage of Adobe apps and services to an individual user. Named licensing works well if the product and service requirements are closely associated with a user or a role. Named licensing provides IT admins complete control to add and remove product licenses for a user at any time. It also facilitates better compliance tracking as IT admins don't need to track machines, and can manage licenses centrally. Named licenses require periodic Internet connectivity. Computers must connect to Adobe servers for initial activation, and then at least once every 99 days. End users cannot use mobile apps unless the company deploys named licenses. For example, if the IT Admin uses serialized licenses, end users will be unable to use mobile apps.

Named licensing is useful in the following scenarios:

  • If you want to provide access to Adobe-hosted services.
  • If you want to use Adobe Admin Console for centralized license and compliance management.
  • If you require flexible licensing over time, for example, a designer moving from a video product profile to a web product profile.
  • If you want to enable self-service workflows for users to acquire apps and updates.

End-user sign-in workflow

Authentication means verifying the user’s identity and connecting that identity with the user’s Creative Cloud membership. Authorization includes checking a user’s membership to determine its overall status, determining which applications and services the user’s membership allows the user to access, and discovering any restrictions or special permissions granted to the user. Most of the licensing services run on Adobe servers. A few of them, however, run locally. For example, Creative Cloud desktop app, is considered by Adobe a licensing service that runs locally. (It is also a deployment service, because you can download and install apps.) The local licensing services depend on Adobe-hosted licensing services for all their functions. The licensing services are visible to users in activities such as logging in, accepting terms of use, and accepting end-user license agreements.

Apps can be downloaded and installed on client machines using various methods. For information, see App delivery strategies. Users need to sign in to license the apps. To license the apps, users can use one of the following:

Creative Cloud app for desktop

The Creative Cloud app for desktop facilitates self-service workflows for users to download and install applications and updates. For users with the cloud services, signing in also enables access to Creative Cloud services, such as sync fonts from Typekit, personal storage, and share and gather feedback on Behance.

If you've included the Creative Cloud desktop app in your deployment packages, users can launch the Creative Cloud desktop app. Once users have signed in with their credentials, all eligible apps installed on the computer are activated. Users also need to accept the Terms of Use to activate the apps.

Directly from apps

On launching an app, a sign-in screen displays. End users can sign in with their credentials to license the app. If a user is not entitled to that particular app it will run as a trial, but will stop working once the trial period expires.

Proxy and firewall settings

To ensure that users are able to sign in, you'll need to configure your firewall and proxy servers to enable connections to the web service endpoints on the Adobe website.

For a detailed list of licensing and other service endpoints, see Creative Cloud for enterprise  - Network Endpoints file.

Serial number license

Serial Number licensing is a historical method of licensing that is not tied to an individual user but to a particular computer. This licensing method is suitable for a very small number of customers and, as with named licensing, can be used to create pre-licensed packages that are deployed remotely. However, when using serial number licensing, customers do not receive the complete value from their Adobe Cloud subscription.

If you are still using this method of deployment, see Serial number licensing for more details.

Migrate from serial number licensing to named licenses

Named licensing provides several advantages as compared to anonymous or Serial number licensing. Administrators can closely track and monitor the usage of licenses. They can also centrally manage licenses assigned to a user and revoke access to apps and services, without a need to redeploy packages. Named license can also enable self-service workflows to let customers download and install products and updates. Named licenses also enable end users to use cloud services, such as add fonts from Typekit, choose file sync locations, and share and gather feedback on Behance.

If you have an existing CS6 or Creative Cloud ELA/ETLA or VIP deployment, you can consider migrating users to the Named licensing mode.


To prevent disrupting end-user workflows, invite users to your organization, and add them to groups to assign licenses. This will give users some time to accept the invitations and set up their IDs. You can also inform users that they'll need to sign in to use the apps.

You can add users and groups using the Admin Console. For more information, see Manage groups and Manage users.

To remove serial number licenses, follow the below steps:

  1. Create and deploy a package that includes the Creative Cloud app. This package can contain only the Creative Cloud app or be bundled along with other Creative Cloud applications. Deploying the latest version of Creative Cloud app updates the necessary files for using named licenses.

    To download this package directly from the Admin Console, navigate to Packages > Adobe Templates. You can also create it using the Creative Cloud Packager.

  2. Create a License Package using the Creative Cloud Packager.

    The package is created at the specified location, and contains four files:

    • AdobeSerialization
    • RemoveVolumeSerial
    • helper.bin
    • prov.xml
  3. To remove enterprise license of previously licensed apps, run the RemoveVolumeSerial executable with admin privileges.


    RemoveVolumeSerial file deactivates all Creative Cloud for enterprise products running on a client's machine, irrespective of the serial number specified when creating the RemoveVolumeSerial file.

    For example, if you create a RemoveVolumeSerial file using the serial number 1234-1234-1234-1235, and deploy it on a machine which is using the serial number 1234-1234-1234-1236, all Creative Cloud for enterprise products running on the machine are deactivated.

  4. Package and deploy latest versions of apps and updates. Use Admin Console or the Creative Cloud Packager to create a package with a Named License. For more information, see Creative Cloud Packager. Skip this step if you don’t want to update to the latest versions of apps.

    If you want to uninstall the older versions of apps, do it before you deploy the latest versions. Uninstalling later may break file associations.

  5. The users will see a Sign-in screen when they launch the apps next time. Signing in with their Adobe ID or Enterprise ID will license and activate the apps. Users can also launch, and sign in using the Creative Cloud app.

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