Resolve an error that asks for a serial number when you launch a Creative Cloud app.


When you launch a Creative Cloud application, you are prompted to enter a serial number. The message is an error.  Creative Cloud apps do not require serial numbers.


There are several reasons why you may receive this message:

  •  You have not activated your Creative Cloud membership. See Redemption Code Help.
  • You have not accepted the email invitation to join your Creative Cloud for teams or enterprise     membership, or your IT administrator has not assigned you a license. See Accept an invitation to Creative Cloud team or enterprise membership.
  •  Your Creative Cloud account profile has incorrect or missing information.
  •  You could have a language conflict.
  •  Your computer may be unable to reach Adobe’s activation servers.

To resolve this issue, try the following solutions (1–6) in order.

1. Sign out and sign back in to your Creative Cloud membership

Signing out and signing back in to Creative Cloud resets your account information.

When you sign out, you temporarily deactivate the Creative Cloud membership on that computer, and you won't be able to use your apps. Sign in to activate the membership again. You can then use your apps and services normally.

  1. Refresh your account information and check for updates by clicking the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the Creative Cloud desktop app, and choosing Check for App Updates. Or, you can use the following keyboard commands to check for updates:

    • Windows: Ctrl+Alt+R
    • Mac OS: Cmd+Option+R
    The Creative Cloud desktop app should restart automatically. If it doesn't, launch it manually. By default, the Creative Cloud desktop app is located in the Program Files folder (Windows) or the Applications folder (Mac OS).
  2. Click Sign out from your Profile menu. A warning appears. Confirm your sign out.

    Sign out
  3. When prompted, sign in with your Adobe ID and password, or with your social (Facebook or Google) account. Your Creative Cloud membership is reactivated.

    Having trouble? See detailed instructions here: Sign in and sign out to activate Creative Cloud apps.

2. Verify your billing address

Make sure that your billing address is correct, and that it is the same address associated with your account payment credit card.

  1. Go to Click Sign In on the top menu bar, and sign in with your Adobe ID and password, or with your social (Facebook or Google) account. If you’re already signed in, click your name.

    Sign in
  2. In the navigation pane, click Manage Account. You may be asked to confirm your password.

    Your Adobe ID Account page appears.

  3. To edit your address, click Communication in the top tab bar.

    Communications page
  4. Click Edit just below the address. Make necessary changes in the pop-up window and then click Save.

3. Verify your payment information

Valid payment information is required for your membership. An invalid or expired credit card could cause Creative Cloud to prompt you for a serial number.

To change the credit card associated with your account, or to update your payment information, do the following: 

  1. If you are not signed in, sign in to your Adobe ID account with your Adobe ID and password, or with your social (Facebook or Google) account.

  2. In your Adobe Account window, choose Plans & Products > Edit payment details.

For detailed instructions, see Manage your Creative Cloud membership.

4. Verify your birth date

A missing or invalid birth date may affect your eligibility to use Creative Cloud.

  1. If you are not signed in, sign in to your Adobe ID account with your Adobe ID and password, or with your social (Facebook or Google) account.

  2. If prompted, enter your birth date and click Update.

    If your birth date is not accepted, your entered age does not meet CC’s eligibility requirements. See: Error: You are not eligible to use Creative Cloud.

  3. To change your birth date, clear your browser cache (see your browser's documentation for instructions) and try again. Alternatively, try another browser. You may need to wait 24 hours before you can enter a new birth date.

5. Set your language to International English

If you purchased an English-only subscription option, make sure that the default language setting in the Creative Cloud desktop app is English (International).

  1. Click the Creative Cloud icon in your taskbar (Windows) or the Apple menu bar (Mac OS) to launch the Creative Cloud desktop app.

    Creative Cloud desktop app icon
    If you don’t see the Creative Cloud icon, you may have quit the application. You can relaunch it:
    • Windows: Choose Start > Programs > Adobe Creative Cloud.
    • Mac OS: Choose Go > Applications > Adobe Creative Cloud > Adobe Creative Cloud.

    To download the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app manually, see Creative Cloud desktop app.

  2. Click the gear icon and select Preferences.

    Preferences panel
  3. Select Creative Cloud and then click the Apps tab.

    Select Creative Cloud and then apps tab
  4. Under App Language, select English (International).

6. Troubleshoot connectivity issues.

Your computer may be having trouble connecting to Adobe’s activation servers.

To resolve this issue, work through the solutions in Creative Cloud activation and sign-in troubleshooting.

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