Prompted for serial number or Adobe ID

Are you prompted to enter a serial number or sign in with your Adobe ID when you start Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Standard? There are several reasons why you may be getting this prompt:

  • You may have installed the wrong version of Acrobat. 
  • There could be incorrect or missing information in your Acrobat subscription account. 
  • Your computer may be unable to reach Adobe's activation servers.

The method used to purchase your product determines your launch experience:

  • Classic customers should be prompted for a serial number at the time of installation or launch of the product.  Previously referred to as perpetual.
  • Continuous customers should be prompted to Sign In during the launch process.  Previously referred to as subscription.

The Acrobat continuous and classic versions each use a different installer. If you have installed the wrong version, it's necessary to uninstall the incorrect version before installing the correct version of Acrobat. If you receive a serial number prompt or sign in unexpectedly on launch, you must follow this process to install the correct version of the software.

Important: The trial version uses the classic installer. Continuous customers must uninstall the trial version and reinstall using the subscription installer.

Retail customers

To install the Acrobat as part of the Creative Cloud, refer to the Creative Cloud download, install, and update page.

  1. Log in to using the Adobe ID that you used to purchase Acrobat.
  2. Click Download Acrobat under Download Apps.

  1. Sign in with your Adobe ID.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the download and installation of Acrobat.

Volume license customers

Volume license software is provided to the IT or packaging department. Contact your IT or packaging department for information on accessing the Acrobat installation. The information below is for the IT or packaging department. 

Classic version

The classic version is referred to as the perpetual version in previous releases. Access this installer on the Licensing Website.  

Continuous version

Access the installer for the subscription installer on the Admin Console.

The serial number prompt may be occurring because your computer is having trouble connecting to Adobe's activation servers. Try working through the solutions in the "Troubleshoot connectivity issues" section in Sign in, activation, or connection errors | CC, CS6, CS5.5.

Managing a network? See the licensing information in Adobe Creative Cloud Service Access Documentation for IT.

To verify your payment information with Acrobat as part of the Creative Cloud, refer to the Creative Cloud manage your membership page.

  1. Log in to
  2. Click your name in the upper-right corner and select My Plan.
  3. Verify that your payment information is valid.

Logging out and logging back in to Acrobat resets your account information.

  1. Launch Acrobat.
    • Mac OS:  Go to Applications > Adobe Acrobat > Adobe Acrobat.
    • Windows:  Go to Start > All Programs > Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Choose Help > Sign Out.
  3. Click Sign Out.
  4. When prompted, sign in with your Adobe ID (usually your email address) and password.


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