Unable to sign in to Adobe products, services, or mobile apps with Federated ID (SSO): Troubleshooting errors


This article does not apply to SSO setups using Google federation or Microsoft Azure Sync.

If your organization has set up SSO via any of these connectors, please refer to the following articles:


After successfully configuring SSO within the Adobe Admin Console, ensure that you clicked Download Adobe Metadata file and have saved the SAML XML Metadata file to your computer. Your identity provider requires this file to enable single sign-on. You must import the XML configuration details properly into your identity provider (IdP). This is required for SAML integration with your IdP and will make sure that the data is configured properly.

The following are some common configuration issues:

  • Certificate is in a format besides PEM.
  • Certificate has an extension besides .cer. .pem and .cert does not work.
  • Certificate is encrypted.
  • The certificate is in a single-line format. Multi-line is required.
  • Certificate Revocation Verification is turned on (not supported currently).
  • IdP issuer in the SAML is not the same as was specified in the Admin Console (for example, spelling error, missing characters, https vs http).

If you have questions as to how to use the SAML XML Metadata file to configure your IdP, reach out to your IdP directly for instructions, which vary per IdP.

Some examples for specific IdPs (not a comprehensive list—any SAML 2 compliant IdP works):

Okta: Manually take the required information within the XML file and input it into the proper UI fields to configure the data properly.

Ping Federate: Upload the XML file or input the data into the proper UI fields.

Microsoft ADFS: Your certificate must be in PEM format, but the default for ADFS is DER format. You can convert the certificate using the openssl command, available on OS X, Windows, or Linux as follows:

openssl x509 -in certificate.cer -out certificate.pem -outform PEM

After performing the above step, rename the certificate .cer.

Also ensure that the correct certificate is used if you have more than one; it must be the same one that is going to be signing the requests. (For example, if the "token signing" certificate is signing the requests, that is the certificate to use.) Certificate Revocation Verification must be off.

If you have configured your IdP to the best of your knowledge, try one or more of the following depending on the error received.

Download Adobe Metadata file

Basic troubleshooting

Issues with single sign-on are often caused by very basic errors that are easy to overlook. In particular, check the following:

  • The user is assigned to a product profile with an entitlement.
  • The user's first name, last name, and email address are being sent in SAML exactly as they appear in the enterprise dashboard and are present in the SAML with the correct labeling.
  • Check all entries in Admin Console and your identity provider for spelling or syntax errors.
  • The Creative Cloud desktop application has been updated to the latest version.
  • The user is logging in to the correct place (Creative Cloud desktop app, Creative Cloud application, or Adobe.com)

Error "An error occurred" with button labeled "Try Again"

This error typically occurs after user authentication has succeeded and Okta has successfully forwarded the authentication response to Adobe.

In the Adobe Admin Console, validate the following:

On the Identity tab:

  • Ensure that the associated domain has been activated.

On the Products tab:

  • Ensure that the user is associated to the correct product nickname and in the domain you claimed to be configured as Federated ID.
  • Ensure that the product nickname has the correct entitlement(s) assigned to it.

On the Users tab:

  • Ensure that the user name of the user is in the form of a complete email address.

Error "Access Denied" logging in

Possible causes for this error:

  • The first name, last name, or email address being sent in the SAML assertion does not match the information entered in the Admin Console.
  • The user isn't associated to the right product, or the product is not associated with the correct entitlement.
  • The SAML user name is coming across as something other than an email address. All users must be in the domain you claimed as part of the setup process.
  • Your SSO client utilizes JavaScript as part of the login process, and you're attempting to log in to a client that doesn't support JavaScript (such as Creative Cloud Packager).

How to resolve:

  • Verify the dashboard configuration for the user: user information and product profile.
  • Run a SAML trace and validate that the information being sent matches the dashboard, and then correct any inconsistencies.

Error "Another user is currently logged in"

The error "another user is currently logged in" occurs when the attributes sent in the SAML assertion do not match the email address that was used to start the login process.

Check and ensure that the user's email address to log in matches the following:

  • User's email address listed in the Admin Console
  • User's username passed back in the NameID field of the SAML Assertion

Error "Failed to make a call as the system principal" or "User creation failed"

The error "failed to make a call as the system principal" (followed by a random code) or "user creation failed" indicates a problem with the SAML attributes: FIrstName, LastName, and Email. Make sure that the attribute names are correct (case sensitive, naming, etc.). For example, ending the attribute as email instead of Email can cause these errors.

These errors can also occur if the SAML Assertion does not contain the user’s email in the Subject > NameId element (when using SAML Tracer, it should have the format emailAddress and the actual email as text as value).​ 

If you need assistance from Adobe support, please include a SAML trace.


Error "The Issuer in the SAML response did not match the issuer configured for the identity provider"

IDP Issuer in the SAML Assertion is different from what has been configured in the Inbound SAML. Look for typos (such as http vs https). When checking the IDP Issuer string with the customer SAML system, you're looking for an EXACT match to the string they provided. This issue comes up sometimes because a slash was missing at the end.​​

If you need assistance with this error, provide a SAML trace and values you entered in the Adobe dashboard.

Error "The digital signature in the SAML response did not validate with the identity provider's certificate"

This issue occurs when your directory's certificate has expired. To update the certificate, you need to download the certificate or metadata from Identity provider and upload it in the Adobe Admin Console.

For example, follow the steps below if your IdP is Microsoft AD FS:

  1. Open the AD FS Management application on your server, and within the folder AD FS > Service > Endpoints, select the Federation Metadata.

    Metadata location

  2. Use a browser to navigate to the URL provided against Federation Metadata and download the file. For example, https://<your AD FS hostname>/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml.


    Accept any warnings if prompted.

  3. Sign in to your Adobe Admin Console and navigate to Settings Identity > Directories. Select the directory to update and click  Configure on the SAML provider card.

    Then, upload the IdP metadata file and Save.


As of October 31, 2020, Adobe will discontinue support of deprecated SHA-1 and SHA-256 Pilot certificates for federated directories within Adobe Admin Console. Any directory with a warning icon requires migration.

To move to the new SHA-2 certificate directory, simply select the directory, click Edit, and follow the migration procedure to migrate.

If you still want to update your certificate file that has expired or is incorrect. Follow the given steps to re-upload an updated certificate for your SSO with Microsoft AD FS directory:

  1. Open the Microsoft AD FS Management application on your server, and within the folder AD FS -> Service -> Certificates, select the Token Signing certificate.


    The Token Signing certificate expires on the given Expiration Date. After it expires, renew the certificate, download it, and upload to the Adobe Admin Console again.

  2. To open the certificate properties window, Click View Certificate

  3. From the Details tab, click Copy to File and use the wizard to save the certificate as Base-64 encoded X. 509 (.CER). This format is equivalent to a PEM format certificate.

  4. Sign in to your Adobe Admin Console and navigate to Settings > Identity > Directories > Select the directory you want to update.

  5. Click/tap Edit on the SAML provider card. Update the new certificate details in the Edit SAML Configuration window.

The certificate file is most likely incorrect and needs to be re-uploaded. This issue generally happens after a change has been made and the admin references the incorrect cert file. ​Also check format type (needs to be PEM format for ADFS).

Error "The current time is before the time-range specified in the assertion conditions"

Windows-based IdP Server:

1. Ensure the system clock is synchronized with an accurate time server

Check the accuracy system clock against your time server with this command; the "Phase Offset" value should be a small fraction of a second:

w32tm /query /status /verbose

You can cause an immediate resynchronization the system clock with the Time Server with the following command:

w32tm /resync

If the system clock is set correctly and you are still seeing the above error, you may need to adjust the time-skew setting to increase the tolerance of the difference between clocks between the server and client.

2. Increase the allowed difference in system clock between servers

From a Powershell window with administrative rights, set the allowed skew value to 2 minutes. Check whether you are able to log in, and then either increase or decrease the value depending on the result.

Determine the current time-skew setting for the relevant Relying Party Trust with the following command:

Get-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust | Format-List -property Identifier,Name,NotBeforeSkew

The Relying Party Trust is identified by the URL shown in the "Identifier" field of the output of the previous command for that particular configuration. This URL is also shown in the ADFS Management utility in the properties window for the relevant Relying Party Trust on the "Identifiers" tab in the field "Relying Party Trusts", as shown in the screenshot below.

Set the time skew to 2 minutes with the following command, substituting the Identifier address accordingly:

Set-ADFSRelyingPartyTrust –TargetIdentifier 'https://www.okta.com/saml2/service-provider/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' –NotBeforeSkew 2  

UNIX-based IdP Server

Ensure that the system clock is set correctly either using the ntpd service, or manually with the ntpdate command from a root shell or with sudo as shown below (note that if the time is offset by more than 0.5 seconds, the change will not happen immediately, but it will slowly correct the system clock). Ensure that the timezone is also set correctly.

# ntpdate -u pool.ntp.org


This works with identity providers such as Shibboleth.

The recipient specified in the SubjectConfirmation did not match our service provider entity id

Check the attributes because they need to match the following case exactly: FirstName, LastName, Email. This error message can mean that one of the attributes has the wrong case, such as "email" instead of "Email."  Also check the recipient value—it should reference the ACS string.

ACS String

Error 401 unauthorized credentials

This error occurs when the application does not support Federated login and must be logged into as an Adobe ID. FrameMaker, RoboHelp, and Captivate are examples of applications with this requirement.

Error "Inbound SAML login failed with message: The SAML response contained no assertions"

​Check the login workflow.  If you're able to access the sign-in page on another machine or network but not internally, the problem could be a block agent string.  Also, run a SAML trace and confirm that ​​First Name, Last Name, and Username as a properly formatted email address​​​​ are in the SAML subject.

Error 400 bad request / Error "The status of the SAML request was not successful" / SAML certification validation failed

Validate that the proper SAML assertion is being sent:

  • Validate that the identity provider passes the following attributes (case-sensitive) in the SAML assertion: FirstName, LastName, Email. If these attributes are not configured in the IdP to be sent over as part of the SAML 2.0 Connector configuration, the authentication will not work.
  • Not having a NameID element in the subject. Validate that the Subject element contains a NameId element. It must be equal to the Email attribute, which should be the email address of the user that you want to authenticate.
  • Spelling errors, especially easily overlooked ones like https vs http.
  • Validate that the correct certificate was provided. IDPs must be configured to use uncompressed SAML request/responses.

A utility such as SAML Tracer for Firefox can help unpack the assertion and display it for inspection. If you need assistance from Adobe support, you will be asked for this file. For details, see how to perform a SAML trace.

The following working example may help in properly formatting your SAML assertion:


With Microsoft ADFS:

  1. Every Active Directory account must have an email address listed in Active Directory to successfully log in (event log: The SAML response does not have NameId in the assertion). Check this first.
  2. Access the dashboard
  3. Click the Identity tab and the domain.
  4. Click Edit Configuration.
  5. Locate IDP Binding. Switch to HTTP-POST and then save. 
  6. Retest the login experience.
  7. If it works but you prefer the prior setting, simply switch back to HTTP-REDIRECT and re-upload the metadata into ADFS.

With other IdPs:

  1. Encountering error 400 means that a successful login was rejected by your IdP.
  2. Check your IdP logs for the source of the error.
  3. Correct the issue and try again.
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