Errors when signing in, activating, or starting?

  • "We are unable to activate [product name]. Product activation is required to use this product..."
  • "Please connect to the Internet and retry."
  • "Either your computer is offline or the clock on your computer is set incorrectly, causing a connection error. An Internet connection is required. Please connect to the Internet or adjust your clock and try again."
  • "You may have limited access to Adobe apps or services."

Your computer could have trouble connecting to Adobe's activation servers. Follow the steps below to resolve these issues.

For more general help with common activation and sign-in issues, see Creative Cloud activation and sign-in troubleshooting or Activation and deactivation troubleshooting.

Troubleshoot connectivity issues

Follow these steps in the order presented to troubleshoot connectivity issues.

1. Test your connection to Adobe activation servers.

  1. To determine if you have access to the Adobe activation servers, click this link.

    If you see two Adobe logos, then you have access to the activation servers. Try activating or signing in to your software.

    Adobe icon

    Still have problems? Go to the next step.

  2. Start an Internet browser and open one of the following links, depending on the version of your product:

    If you see a test successful message (see screenshots below), then you have access to the activation servers. Try activating or starting your software.

    Test successful
    Creative Cloud and CS6: Test successful

    Test successful
    CS5 and CS5.5: Test successful

    Note:

    You may get an "Access Denied" message when you click the CS5/CS5.5 link. This is still a confirmation that you can access the activation servers. Try activating or starting your software.

    Still have problems? Proceed to "Reset your hosts file."

2. Reset your hosts file.

Operating system hosts files map host names to IP addresses. An incorrectly configured hosts file can affect your computer's ability to connect to Adobe's activation servers.

Note:

Creative Cloud users: Resetting the hosts file can also resolve errors such as "The Creative Cloud applications are available in trial mode" or "Trial expiration."

  1. Download the Limited Access Repair tool:

  2. Extract the downloaded file, and then run the Limited Access Repair tool in Admin mode.

    • Windows: Right-click on the tool and choose Run as Administrator.
    • Mac OS: Double-click the tool and enter the admin credentials to continue.

    For more information on how to use the Limited Access tool, see Limited access error in Creative Cloud for desktop app.

    Note:

    If the issue is not fixed even after you run the Limited Access Repair tool, reset the hosts file manually.

Reset the hosts file manually

If the issue is not fixed even after you run the Limited Access Repair tool, reset the hosts file manually:

Reset the hosts file on Windows

To reset the hosts file on Windows, do the following:

  1. Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc

  2. Open the hosts file with a text editor such as Notepad.

  3. Check for any Adobe-related entries in the hosts file.

    Reset host file - Windows

    If there are no Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, no further troubleshooting is required. 

    However, if there are  Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, proceed to the next step.

  4. If there are Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, move the file to the desktop, for example by dragging. 

  5. Delete the Adobe-related entries from the hosts file.

    Make sure that you do not delete any other entries. 

  6. Save the hosts file that you edited in the previous step.

  7. Move the file from desktop to the original location: 

    C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc

    When moving the file, select the "Replace" option.

    The updates hosts file should not have any Adobe-related entries.

Reset the hosts file on macOS

To reset the hosts file on macOS, do the following:

  1. To find the hosts file, open Finder and then select Go > Go to Folder. In the box, type the following location and then press Return.

    /private/etc/hosts

    If you are unable to locate the file, it means that the hosts file is hidden. Type the following command in terminal to unhide the file, and then repeat step 1 again.

    chflags nohidden /etc/hosts

  2. Open the hosts file using a text editor such as "Text Edit”. 

  3. Check for any Adobe-related entries in the hosts file.

    If there are no Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, no further troubleshooting is required. 

    However, if there are  Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, proceed to the next step.

  4. If there are Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, move the file to the desktop, for example by dragging. 

  5. Delete the Adobe-related entries from the hosts file.

    Make sure that you do not delete any other entries. 

  6. Save the hosts file that you edited in the previous step.

  7. Move the file from desktop to the original location: 

    /private/etc/hosts

    When moving the file, select the "Replace" option.

    The updates hosts file should not have any Adobe-related entries.

3. Make sure that you can access secure sites.

Adobe’s activation servers are on secure (HTTPS) sites, so your computer must be able to access these types of sites.

https://www.adobe.com

Follow these steps to make sure that you can access secure sites:

  1. Start an Internet browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

  2. Type https://www.adobe.com in the address bar, and then press Enter.

Can't access secure sites?

Check your computer's clock.

Make sure that your computer's clock shows the correct time and is set to the correct time zone.

Disable authentication proxy servers.

If your computer is behind an authorization proxy server, disable it. For instructions, consult your network administrator or your proxy server documentation.

Check firewall settings.

If your computer is behind a firewall, make sure that the firewall is not blocking the activation server through ports 80 and 443.

For instructions on allowing access to the activation server, consult your network administrator or your home network’s firewall documentation.

Note:

If your firewall requires an executable, specify PDApp.exe, located here:

  • Windows: Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\OOBE\PDApp\core
  • Mac OS: Applications > Utilities > Adobe Application Manager > core > PDApp

4. Check the GlobalSign Root CA certificate.

The Adobe sign-in (CC) and activation (CS) processes require the GlobalSign Root CA certificate.

Follow these steps to make sure that the GlobalSign Root CA certificate is installed and enabled.

Windows

  1. Click Start and type certmgr.msc in the search box.

  2. Navigate to Current User >Trusted Root Certificate Authorities > Certificates.

  3. Right-click GlobalSign Root CA and select Properties

    GlobalSign Root CA certificate in Windows
    GlobalSign Root CA certificate in Windows

    Note:

    If the certificate is not available, see Alert "The certificate issuer for this site is untrusted for steps to install the certificate.

  4. Verify that the certificate is enabled for server authentication.

    Certificate properties (Windows)
    Certificate properties (Windows)

Mac OS

  1. Go to Applications/Utililies/Keychain Access.

  2. Locate the GlobalSign Root CA certificate. You may need to select the All Items category, and then search for Global to locate the certificate.

    GlobalSign Root CA certificate in Mac OS
    GlobalSign Root CA certificate in Mac OS

    Note:

    If the certificate is not available, see Alert "The certificate issuer for this site is untrusted for steps to install the certificate.

  3. Right-click the certificate and choose Get Info.

  4. Verify that the certificate is enabled.

    Certificate properties (Mac OS)
    Certificate properties (Mac OS)

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