Adobe Genuine software FAQ

Only genuine Adobe apps and services provide the latest features and functionality, including ongoing access to support and the latest security updates.

General questions

Genuine Adobe software or apps are legally licensed software purchased directly from Adobe or an authorized reseller. Only genuine Adobe software and apps give you the latest features and functionality, ongoing access to support, and the latest security updates.

The supply and usage of non-genuine software is not authorized by Adobe and is not “OK.” In addition, non-genuine software can be a common source of malware and viruses. IDC estimates organizations that obtain or install an unlicensed software package or buy a computer with unlicensed software, face a one-in-three chance (29 percent) of encountering malware.

Downloading or buying software directly from or an authorized reseller will help ensure you get genuine Adobe software. Adobe strives to protect you from fraudulent sellers and works to ensure that only genuine Adobe software is available for purchase. 

  • If you’ve received a notification from Adobe indicating your software is not genuine, click the notification to learn more and discover options to purchase genuine Adobe software or contact Adobe customer support for more information.
  • If someone else in your organization is responsible for software purchase (for example, your IT Administrator), you may want to check with them first.
  • If you’ve received a notification when trying to install the software, Adobe may have blocked a serial number due to misuse. Click the notification for options to resolve.

How does Adobe help reduce the availability of non-genuine (also known as pirated) software and apps? 

Adobe works proactively to prevent fraud at the source by monitoring fraud trends, blocking known issues, closing potential gaps, and prosecuting offending suppliers. We also continuously work to improve our fraud detection capabilities to help prevent Adobe apps from being modified and resold without permission. We want our customers to fully enjoy the benefits of genuine Adobe apps and services. For more information on our fraud prevention efforts, visit

Software piracy occurs when:

  • software has been modified or hacked, and/or
  • keys or accounts that are known to have been stolen are used, and/or
  • usage is not in line with the licensing terms of use (including the end-user license agreement).

Software piracy can create inefficiencies for consumers and businesses while increasing potential exposure to security threats including malware and viruses.*

Adobe cares and wants our customers to have the best experiences with Adobe software and apps. That’s why we work to develop programs to help ensure customers are educated, informed, and protected. Programs include:

  • investigating and bringing action against resellers of non-genuine software
  • blocking serial numbers that have been obtained or generated illegally
  • informing customers if Adobe detects that they have non-genuine software, both at installation and during product use, and offering options to resolve the issue.

Using non-genuine software poses a risk for individuals and organizations. Non-genuine software has frequently been modified, leading to issues such as:

  • increased risk of exposure to viruses and malware that can compromise your machine and/or data
  • increased chances of the software not functioning correctly or failing completely

About the Adobe Genuine Service (AGS)

The Adobe Genuine Service periodically verifies whether installed Adobe apps are genuine or not, helping protect customers from security vulnerabilities and harmful malware that may be present in non-genuine apps.* When Adobe apps are found to be not genuine, the AGS can inform the user through notifications. The notifications provide detailed information on how to resolve the issue. In an effort to block fraudulent activity and help safeguard the user's machine, Adobe may disable the non-genuine Adobe app. 

For more information on the AGS, visit:

The AGS checks across different versions of Adobe software with the goal of verifying the integrity of the software and validity of the licenses by checking data such as: Adobe software serial number, license type, and Adobe code.

The AGS comes with several Adobe apps. If you have Adobe apps installed, you may see the AGS validation process running in your Activity monitor (macOS) or Task manager (Windows).

The AGS includes an automatic uninstall feature. When a user uninstalls all Adobe apps from their machine, whether they are genuine or not, the AGS will automatically uninstall itself.

We find that many customers are unaware they have installed or purchased Adobe apps and services that are not genuine and may need additional information to address the situation. Therefore, we recommend that you continue to run AGS on your machine. However, if you decide to manually uninstall AGS, please follow the instructions provided here:

Please be aware that while AGS may be uninstalled, Adobe reserves the right to use other methods to protect Adobe software from fraudulent activity that cannot be uninstalled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

About Adobe software notifications – notifications at installation

Invalid serial numbers are serial numbers that have been blocked by Adobe due to misuse. When Adobe discovers this fraudulent behavior, the invalid serial numbers are deactivated. Users may only realize that a serial number has been deactivated when they attempt to install or reinstall the software and should follow the instructions provided to address this issue.

About Adobe software notifications – notifications during product use

The Adobe Genuine Service (AGS) runs validation tests and notifies individuals and organizations that are using non-genuine Adobe apps. The AGS checks for software modifications and invalid licenses. If you or someone in your organization has received a notification from Adobe, this means that non-genuine software has been identified. 

Learn more at

The Adobe Genuine Service (AGS) runs validation checks that identify if installed Adobe software or apps are genuine or non-genuine. When non-genuine software or apps are found, the AGS can inform users through notifications, providing options to resolve the issue. In addition to notifications, customers may also see the AGS validation process running in their Activity monitor (macOS) or Task manager (Windows).

If you or someone in your organization has received a notification, it is because the Adobe Genuine Service (AGS) has found Adobe software or apps on your system that are not genuine. In order to remedy the issue, you should follow the instructions provided in the notification. 

If you choose to ignore notices and warnings generated by the AGS, Adobe may disable the Adobe apps that are not genuine in an effort to block fraudulent activity and help safeguard your machine.

Adobe Genuine - Volume Mitigation

This section applies to business users. 

You may have received an email notifying you that our fraud prevention specialists have detected fraudulent behavior concerning Adobe serial number(s) associated with the software your company may be using. A fraud impacted serial number is one that may have been copied, stolen, sold, or misused. Please respond to the email for further information.

In an effort to minimize disruption, Adobe will provide you with a new serial number to replace each impacted serial number. Each impacted serial number will then be deactivated to prevent continued misuse. Existing installations using impacted serial number(s) must be uninstalled and the new serial number(s) should be used for reinstallation and new installation.

No, the replacement serial number(s) will be provided at no additional cost. However, to avoid future misuse, please ensure that the new serial number(s) is secured and is used only by authorized personnel.

You may have received emails notifying you that our fraud prevention specialists have detected fraudulent behavior concerning the Adobe serial number(s) associated with the software your company may be using. The impacted serial number(s) will be deactivated to prevent continued misuse. Existing installations using the impacted serial number(s) must be uninstalled. New serial number(s) will be provided and should be used for reinstallation and new installation. 

* Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity, BSA Global Software Survey, June 2018 


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