Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline | Deployment guide


Packaging and deploying Adobe apps to Windows ARM desktop devices is not supported yet.

What is Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline?

Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline is a secure, scalable license activation method offered by Adobe to users who work on machines that are not connected to the Internet. In Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline, the licenses are directly installed on user machines along with the application package.

How Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline works

Admin workflow

As an admin, create a Feature Restricted Licensing-Offline package in the Admin Console and deploy it on a user machine. The licensing package is not bound to any machine. You can reimage it onto other machines.


The Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline option appears in your Admin Console only when Adobe entitles your organization to use this type of licensing. The option does not appear by default.

User workflow

Launch an application on your computer. The license activates automatically.


Due to being deployed in offline environments, Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline applications are unable to check in with Adobe servers during the license activation process. Therefore, apps licensed using Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline do not report anything to the Admin Console. In summary, Adobe receives no data or information from client machines using this license activation method.

The license expiration date is the organization's contract end date.

Admin tasks

Create packages

  1. Log in to the Admin Console and navigate to Packages > Packages.

    The history of all packages created by all admins in your organization is displayed. If no packages have been created, you are presented with a different screen to help you get started.

  2. Click Create a Package.

  3. Choose Feature Restricted Licensing, and then click Next.

    Choose FRL

  4. On the Activation Method screen, choose Offline and click Next.

  5. On the Entitlements screen, choose the Adobe product or app that you are entitled for, and then click Next.

  6. On the System screen, select the required options and then click Next.

    • Choose a Platform: Choose the operating system and the processor support.
    • It's necessary to create separate packages for macOS (Intel) and macOS (Apple Silicon) devices.
    • It's necessary to create separate packages for Windows 64-bit, Windows 32-bit, and Windows ARM devices.

    A package made for one operating system and architecture type, cannot be deployed on another.

    • Language: Select the language in which you want to create the package.
    • Use OS Locale: Create a package that deploys in the OS language of client machine. In this case, the OS language is the default fallback language in which the package is deployed.
  7. On the Choose Apps screen, you can choose to create one of the following types of packages:

    Type of package


    How to...

    License-only package

    Create this package if the client machines already have Creative Cloud apps installed. Later, you can simply license the installed apps. For example, apps were previously installed using another licensing method. And you want to now license those apps with a Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline license.

    From Available Applications, add only the License File to Selected Applications.

    Apps-only package

    Create this package if the client machine is already licensed with a Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline license. Then, install apps on the machine.

    From Available Applications, add applications to Selected Applications. Don't add the License File.

    Package containing apps and license

    Create this package to install and license Creative Cloud apps on a client machine. For example, if you have not previously installed Creative Cloud apps on a machine.

    From Available Applications, add applications and the License File to Selected Applications.

    Choose apps

    Select Show older versions to display a list of previous versions of the apps. Enterprise admins can view more versions that don't receive security or feature updates by selecting Available application versions in package preferences (Admin Console > Packages > Preferences). For more information, see Packaging apps using Admin Console.

    To know what versions are supported for your Creative Cloud plan, review the Creative Cloud Support policy


    If you add a product that has dependent products, the dependent products are added automatically. For example, if you add Photoshop, the dependent products Camera Raw and Adobe Preview are added automatically.

    After you're done with your selections, click Next.

  8. On the Options screen, select the required options and then click Next.

    • Enable Remote Update Manager: Run the updater remotely on the client machine as an administrator. For more information, see Remote Update Manager.
    • Redirect to internal Adobe update server: Redirect all updates for this package to an internal update server. The details of the internal server are specified in an override XML under Packages > Preferences in the Admin Console. For more information, see Preferences.
    • (Not currently available for Windows ARM devices) Create a folder for extensions and include the Adobe Extension Manager command-line tool: Create a subfolder in your package folder. In this folder, include extensions that you want to install with the package. For more information, see Manage Extensions in packages.
    • Install package to custom install directory: Install the apps in this package to a custom installation directory. The directory is defined under Packages > Preferences in the Admin Console. For more information, see the Preferences.
  9. On the Finalize screen, in the Name box, enter the name of the package.

    You can also review the included applications and configuration for this package before building the package.

    Build package

  10. Click Build Package.

    The build status of the package is displayed in the Status column on the Packages page.

    If the package is built successfully, it displays the Download link in the Availability column.

    A package is available in the Admin Console for up to three days. To check the time remaining to download the package, click the row item for the package. It displays the package details.

  11. To download and distribute the package, click Download.


    If you are creating macOS packages, the Adobe Package Downloader is downloaded to your computer. Open and run to complete download process. For further details, see Adobe Package Downloader.


The package that you download, contains a Packageinfo.txt file. This file has the information such as the following about that package:

  • Package Name
  • Package Type - FRL Offline Package
  • Platform
  • Locale
  • Creative Cloud Desktop application version
  • Package Configurations
    • Remote update manager - Enabled or Disabled 
    • App Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Beta App Download - Enabled or Disabled
    • Browser Based Auth - Enabled or Disabled
    • Files Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Market Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Use OS Locale - Enabled or Disabled

The PackageInfo.txt file is for informational purposes only.

Deploy packages

After you create the Feature Restricted License - Offline package, set up the user machines with the license. 

  • Load the package on a hard drive and image to new hard drives.
  • Install by double-clicking the package file. For details, see this document.
  • Use third-party tools.
  • Deploy using command line on Windows computers. For details, see this document.

For details about troubleshooting installation and uninstallation errors for Creative Cloud apps, see this document.

Update licenses

If your organization renews the contract, and you require to relicense your users. Deploy a license-only package that contains the updated license expiration date once the contract renewal process has completed. 

To get the latest apps, deploy a new package that includes the apps. Also deploy a new package to update the apps following a contract renewal. You can either create a package or update a previous package, by performing the following steps:

  1. Log in to the Admin Console and navigate to Packages > Packages.

    The history of all packages created by all admins in your organization is displayed.

  2. Click the expired package you want to update.

  3. In the package details pane, click Update Package.

  4. Download the updated package and deploy to user machines.

Remove licenses

Remove single license from a computer

You can remove a license from a computer in the following scenarios:

  • The package is a license-only package.
  • The package includes the license and apps, and the apps are uninstalled using the OS-specific procedures (for example, Add-Remove Programs on Windows).

Use Adobe's Licensing Toolkit to remove a license. Adobe Licensing Toolkit is a command-line utility that is used to activate or uninstall licenses. It is available in the licensing package that you download from the Admin Console. Alternatively, you can download it directly from the Admin Console under Packages > Tools.

To remove a license, run the following commands with admin privileges:


adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --uninstall --filePath <absolute path of the .json file>


sudo ./adobe-licensing-toolkit --precondition --uninstall --filePath <absolute path of the .json file>

For more information, see these steps.


The .json file can be found within the Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline package that was downloaded from the Admin Console and deployed to the user machine. The file contains the licensing information.

Remove all licenses from a computer

In the scenario where multiple licenses have been installed on a single machine, run the following commands with admin privileges to remove the licenses:

For Windows:

adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --uninstall --all

For macOS:

sudo ./adobe-licensing-toolkit --precondition --uninstall --all

 For more information, see these steps.

Uninstall products and licenses

Besides removing licenses from a user's computer, you can uninstall the license and the products. By using the Feature Restricted Licensing packages, themselves.

Read the details on how to uninstall packages from a user's computer.

Frequently asked questions

Every package is bundled with a license file. To create a license-only package, simply click Next, without adding any applications to the package.

Create license-only packages to deploy on client computers where applications are already deployed but without licenses or with trial licenses.

Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline licenses expire on the date the contract ends.

Following a contract renewal, the admin can choose to relicense their users by:

  • Creating and deploying a license-only package.
  • Creating and deploying a package containing both the apps and license, if they want to update the apps to the latest versions in addition to relicensing.

The use of Creative Cloud applications in virtualized environments is not supported.

Acrobat DC versions that support activation via Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline will work in supported virtualized environments (Citrix XenApp, WTS, App-V, VMWare Horizon) across persistent and non-persistent environments.

Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline is deployed in offline environments. Therefore, applications are unable to access any Adobe servers during the license activation process. As Adobe does not receive any data or information from end-user machines, the license count is not updated in the Admin Console.

Adobe receives no data or information from client machines using Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline applications. However, if an app is used in an online environment (Internet-connected), the following DNS request is logged with the adobe.io DNS server:

<NPDID>-<timestamp>.frl.adobe.io(where NPDID stands for NGL Preconditioning Data ID).

The request does not include any information. The DNS lookup only contains the NPDID and timestamps. The application will continue to work. However, Adobe will be informed that the corresponding package was used in an online environment.

NPDID is a unique entitlement identifier corresponding to an Adobe license that is unique to Adobe. It is not a device ID, IP Address, domain, host name, or machine name.

Here's a sample NPDID:


Base 64 decode value = b000f7a5-07e5-400a-9aa9-328c40804f93

To update, simply deploy a Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline package that includes both the apps and licenses.

To update, simply deploy a Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline package that includes both the apps and licenses. If you deploy only a license file, you must ensure the apps on the end-user machine are versions that support Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline.

To update, you must ensure the version of Acrobat DC you are running supports Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline (Version 20.009.20063.381938 or later). If you are running a supported version, it is sufficient to deploy out a license-only package. If you are running an unsupported version, deploy a Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline package that includes both the latest version of Acrobat DC and the license.


Deploying a Feature Restricted Licensing - Offline license-only package on a machine running an unsupported version of Acrobat DC will prevent the application from working correctly.

To update, simply deploy a Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline package that includes both the apps and licenses. If you deploy just a license file, you must ensure that the apps on the user machine are versions that support Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline.

  1. On the client machine, go to the following folder (based on the client machine OS):

    • Windows: %temp%  
    • macOS: ~/Library/Logs

    And open the log file with the following format:

    • NGLClient_<AppId><version>*.log
  2. In the first lines of the document you will see the below:

    SessionID=5c2ed1ea-93f6-4fdd-82c7-5d3e285d4ba4.1586152387727 Timestamp=2020-04-06T05:53:07:729-0000 ThreadID=10424 Component=ngl-lib_NglAppLib Description="SetConfig: NGLLibVersion=, Environment=2, Runtimemode=NAMED_USER_ONLINE, NpdID="

  3. If the NGLLibVersion is 1.14 or a number greater than 1.14, you are running a supported version of the app for Feature Restricted Licensing – Offline. If it is lower (for example, NGLLibVersion= deploy a package which includes both the applications and license file.

Currently, TechComm products support three methods of licensing - NUD (Named User Deployment); FRL - Online; and in exceptional scenarios, an offline deployment for which you should reach out to your Adobe Account Manager.

Captivate and Presenter are using older licensing technology, so for the time being, you would need to deploy them using the serial number approach. Contact your Adobe Account Manager for deploying Captivate and Presenter. In the near future, these products would also be available along with other three products and then a separate serial number deployment for Captivate and Presenter would not be required.

For the two server products – FrameMaker Publishing Server and RoboHelp Server, we highly recommend using Admin Console only to create the licensing package for FRL. You should not select the option of using both – deployment and licensing package. 

For both these server products, there are many pre-requisites that need to be fulfilled alongside the scaling requirements, which makes it hard to deploy them out-of-the-box. In such as case, do review the system requirements for these server products:

Additionally, you can also watch this YouTube video demonstrating the FrameMaker Publishing Server installation process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2deelyM5VA8   

To download the server products, use the following links (instead of downloading from Admin Console):

The Adobe License Decoder is a command-line tool that tells you about all the feature restricted licenses on a computer. This tool examines globally-installed license files and provides the following information:

  • The apps associated with each license file
  • The packages the apps have been installed from
  • When the apps were installed and their corresponding license expiry dates.

Use the Github repository to download the tool and for detailed documentation.

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