Learn to activate or deactivate Adobe applications.

What is activation?

Activation validates your software license by contacting Adobe servers periodically. The frequency depends on the app and your plan.

What is deactivation?

Deactivation disconnects your app from your computer. Once deactivated, you can activate the app on another computer, or reactivate the app at any time.

How to activate or deactivate an app

  1. Make sure your computer is connected to the internet.
  2. Open the application you want to activate or deactivate. 
  3. Find the app or suite in the table below, and then use the Help menu command provided to activate or deactivate your app.


You can also deactivate your account from Adobe.com.


Help menu command to activate

Help menu command to deactivate

Creative Cloud

Acrobat DC




Photoshop Elements

Premiere Elements

Help Sign In

Help Sign Out 

Acrobat XI, X

Creative Suite 6

Help Activate

Help Deactivate*

* Choose one of the following options to deactivate Acrobat XI, X, or Creative Suite 6

Deactivate or Suspend Activation: These options deactivate the software but retain licensing information on your computer. Choose one of these options if you want to deactivate the software temporarily, and you are planning to activate it on this computer again.

Deactivate permanently: This option deactivates the software and removes the licensing information from your computer. If you want to use the software on this computer again, reenter the serial number.

Activate an app on a new computer

You can install and activate your individual app on up to two computers or devices, but you can use it on only one at a time. See On how many computers can I use my subscription or app?

Computer no longer available?

If the computer on which you installed the product is no longer available, you can sign out from your account

Running into a problem? See Troubleshoot Creative Cloud activation errors.


Activation stores information about your license in encoded form on the system hard drive of your computer. Application versions prior to Creative Cloud 2019 store this information in a shared Adobe directory. Applications version Creative Cloud 2019 or later store this information in per-user OS secure storage using credential entries whose names start with Adobe at the following locations:

·       macOS: Login keychain

·       Windows: Credential Manager

The following types of information may be sent to Adobe during activation:

Identifiers (IDs)

  • Unique IDs (generated by Adobe) specific to your machine and to the license you have purchased for the software. These IDs cannot be used to locate your machine or identify you personally.
  • Your Adobe ID, if you have logged in to Adobe as part of the installation, update, or use of the Adobe software. The Adobe ID personally identifies you, and links to all information that you have provided to Adobe while creating or using your Adobe account. If you or your company uses an administrator or other authorized party for the foregoing, Adobe may also receive the Adobe ID of that party.

Installed Adobe product information

  • Serial numbers associated with the installed product licenses
  • Product name and version number; license type purchased
  • Version of End-User License Agreement associated with the software
  • The number of times you have launched an Adobe application since the last activation, for each application that is associated with the product license

Operating system information

  • Operating system type and version
  • Locale (language dialect and writing system) in use
  • Local machine time (including time zone)
  • Machine name
  • MAC address

IP address

The IP address assigned to you by your Internet service provider is received by Adobe as part of the process of sending the activation data to Adobe.