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Manage self-service policies

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Create policies that control the applications your users can install and update.

For IT admins

Self-service policies allow IT Admins to apply customization options for end users to install and update Creative Cloud apps via the Creative Cloud desktop app.

For end users

Based on the policies set by the IT Admin, the end-user experience will change within the Creative Cloud desktop app.

This article covers the steps for both IT admins and end users to make use of self-service policies.

For IT admins

As an admin, on the Admin Console, you will need to apply the required customization settings on a product profile. What this means, is that you apply self-service policies at the product profile level. This then ensures that the policy applies to all end users included in that product profile.  

Apply self-service policies

  1. Log in to the Admin Console and navigate to Products and click a product profile.

  2. Go to the Permissions tab and click Edit on the Self-service policies line item.

  3. By default, the self-service policy of a product profile is turned off. You will need to explicitly turn on the self-service policy for each product profile, as required.

    Self-service policies

And, specify the policies as follows:

User Managed

User Managed policies define the level of control that users have on how and when they install and update applications on their machines.

User managed

1. Automatically update all applications

The Auto-update toggle on the Creative Cloud desktop app on client machines, is visible and available to end users under Preferences. When enabled, it will update end user apps automatically as soon as new versions are released. However, note that end users will also need to turn on automatic updates in the Creative Cloud desktop app.


If this checkbox is not selected, end users will not see the Auto-update toggle in their Creative Cloud desktop app.

Details of end-user experience.

2. Make updates available 30 days after release

Updates are made available to your end users 30 days after Adobe has released them.

This means that, if Adobe releases a new version of an application today, it will not be visible for 30 days in your end users Creative Cloud desktop app.

Details of end-user experience.

3. Enable "show older apps" option in Creative Cloud desktop app

The Show older apps toggle will be visible under preferences in your end users Creative Cloud Desktop app if this option is selected. End users have the access to (can update and install) End of life apps such as Adobe Muse. If this option is not selected, end users will not see this toggle in their Creative Cloud Desktop app. 

Details of end-user experience.

Checking multiple User Managed options

The User Managed options described above are not mutually exclusive. This means that you can check multiple options.

Some example scenarios:

To turn on the auto-update feature for end users and make updates available after 30 days.

Pick options one and two

Pick options one and two

To ensure users need to manually update applications.

But they'll only see updates 30 days after release and to turn on the show older apps feature.

Pick options one and two

To turn on both the auto-update and show older app features:


Disable the Apps panel on the Creative Cloud desktop app. This prevents end users from installing or updating applications. And since the Apps panel is not available, users are not even able to view the applications in the Apps panel.

Restricted self-service policy

Details of end-user experience.

Common questions (for IT admins)

A policy will be applied for users within 24 hours of the admin assigning the policy to the product profile.

To apply a policy immediately, ask your users to do one of the following:

  • Sign out and sign back into their Adobe account.
  • Quit and relaunch Creative Cloud desktop app.
  • Click Check for updates in Creative Cloud desktop app.

No. The policy is applied at the Creative Cloud desktop level and will be valid for all Creative Cloud apps.

For instance, if an Automatically update all applications policy is applied to a Photoshop offer, then in the Creative Cloud desktop app, all Creative Cloud apps will be made available for automatic updates.

By default, self-service policies are turned off. So, this does not impact existing product profiles. However, you can use this feature to apply policies on profiles that you've previously created. Or even on default product profiles available on the Admin Console.

The policy is applied at the Creative Cloud desktop level and will be valid for all Creative Cloud apps.

For instance, if the Make updates available 30 days after release policy is applied to a Photoshop offer, then in the Creative Cloud desktop app, all Creative Cloud apps will be made available 30 days after their release.

Self-service policies always take precedence over Managed package settings.

So, say you create a managed package and choose the Enable Self-service option and deploy that package to a user machine. Now, you apply the Restricted policy setting to a product profile and add that user to the product profile. The Restricted policy setting will apply to the user.

Currently self-service policies can be applied to product profiles that are based on Creative Cloud products. Policies are not available for product profiles that are based on Document Cloud or non-Creative Cloud products.

No. Policies are only available for Named User Licensing.

We recommend not applying conflicting policies to users in multiple product profiles. If users are in multiple product profiles with multiple User Managed policies selected, all user managed policies are set. If a user is in multiple product profiles with a User Managed and Restricted policy set, the User Managed policy will take precedence.

No. Currently policies are valid only for Creative Cloud apps.

Yes. Self-service policies are applied to a product profile. You can add users to the product profile by any means: individually, by CSV bulk upload, by using the User Sync tool.

For end users

If your Creative Cloud apps are licensed by an organization, how you install and update apps via the Creative Cloud desktop app, will depend on how the admin in your organization has set up the Creative Cloud desktop environment on your computer.

Apps panel disabled error

If you see the following error on the Apps tab of your Creative Cloud desktop app, your admin has disabled the option to install or updates apps on your computer.

You don't have access to manage apps

Note for admins:

The Apps panel is disabled if:


If your admin has enabled automatic updates, ensure that the Auto-update option on your Creative Cloud desktop app is turned on. If it is turned on, you are not required to explicitly install or update Adobe applications on your machine. These will be kept up to date automatically.

To stop the automatic install and update of apps on your machine:

  1. Open the Creative Cloud desktop app on your computer.
  2. Click the Preferences icon in the upper-right corner of the Creative Cloud desktop app.
  3. Navigate to the Apps tab.
  4. Turn off Auto-update.
Auto-update applications

When the Auto-update option is applied, your apps will be automatically updated as soon as new versions are released.

Auto-update first time use


 This option is available only if your admin has enabled automatic updates for you. Which means that, if you don't see this option in the Apps tab, your admin has disabled automatic updates. You will need manually update the apps on your computer.

Show older apps


To see (and installEnd of life apps such as Adobe Muse. 

Note: This option is available only if your admin has enabled Show older apps for you. Which means that, if you don't see this option in the Apps tab, your admin has disabled Show older apps. You will need not have the option to see or install End of life apps.


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