Adobe Installation and Licensing

Blog to post all Installer and Licensing related info to users of Adobe products

Mar 21, 2012

Adobe ID Required for Photoshop CS6 Beta and Upcoming CS 6 Products

*** Guest Blogger Annick Mohageg- Baudot, Product Marketing for Adobe***

When you install the new Photoshop CS6 beta you’ll notice that you’re asked to provide an Adobe ID. Using an Adobe ID to register software was optional in the past, so you may wonder why it’s being required now.

Starting with Creative Suite 6, all Adobe product licenses will be associated with an Adobe ID. We’ve changed our installation process to make it easier for our customers to use a single Adobe ID to access all things Adobe, including Adobe Creative Cloud memberships, “perpetual” product and Suite serial numbers, subscriptions, Adobe Touch Apps, and protected areas of

From now on, you’ll need to complete a one-time login and online product activation, either at installation or within seven days of installing a beta or Creative Suite 6 perpetual product; otherwise, the product will stop working. For our customers who work in secure environments where some computers can’t connect to the Internet, an offline activation process will be in place. Offline activation involves using an Internet-enabled device to log in to and activate the offline computer. (Note that there is no offline activation process for the Photoshop CS6 beta.) For our volume licensing customers, only the IT administrator will be required to do a one-time log in and activate a license during software packaging and deployment — end users will not be required to log in and activate individually.

Why only a seven-day window for login and online activation? We’ve found that seven days covers the needs of most customers who are experiencing temporary Internet issues (e.g., due to travel or connectivity problems). At the same time, a seven-day window helps protect customers from being duped into purchasing high-quality counterfeit software.

How? Up until now, high-quality counterfeit has been difficult to detect. Customers often only find out about it months after a purchase, usually when troubleshooting software or serial number issues. (Read Photoshop’s Jeff Tranberry’s blog about high-quality counterfeit By then, any opportunity to get money back has been lost. Adobe’s new seven-day login and activation requirement enables customers to find out at installation if they’ve purchased counterfeit software, giving them enough time to block payment on a credit card and/or apply for the money-back guarantee that some Marketplaces offer.

In the next few weeks, we’ll provide more information about the new installation requirements. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to post them below.




  • By John C. Welch - 8:51 PM on March 22, 2012   Reply

    um…yeah. This is going to completely blow chunks if you have to install a few hundred or few thousand copies of CS.

  • By John C. Welch - 8:57 PM on March 22, 2012   Reply

    Even with the “do it once” option. How is this tied to the license? For example, our site license comes to us via a rather long process involving 2-3 “parent” companies. Do i use MY adobe ID? Do we have to get one handed to us?

    How is the ID verified in a fully automated install? This is really starting to sound like the debacle that was the Quark Licensing Server, something that really pushed us off of Quark, it was that painful?

    If the ID isn’t verified, why bother?

    How do you know the ID is even legitimate? If it’s not tied to anything, I can just make one up, forget it exists and make up a new one the next time I have to package something. (This happens more than you think. Verizon’s business login procedure is so bad, that it’s actually easier to create new passwords every time I log in than deal with their idiocy.)

    If the login isn’t the user’s how do they get support if they’re off site? Since they had, literally, nothing to do with the purchase, how can they possibly “prove” it’s legit. Don’t you think a few hundred people, or a few thousand alllll with the same Adobe ID might not make things a bit difficult there?

    The amount of piracy this will stop is highly debatable, but the amount of problems this may create is not small at all.

  • By Rick Unruh - 5:38 AM on March 23, 2012   Reply

    I created an Adobe user id to install the beta of CS6 only to be told the install was counterfeit. Oh well…..

  • By Justin Michaud - 8:13 AM on March 23, 2012   Reply

    As a previous user of quark xPress, I agree to what John states about the license server. It was a pain. And working in IT i don’t have the time nor the patience to manually enter in an Adobe ID every time i need to install an Adobe product. Especially if I am setting up computers for a training session.

    Is Adobe going to propose to give us dongles that software pirates will eventually crack?

    Why not make the program cheaper to encourage the purchase of it instead of every 1-2 years putting out a new version and claiming that we need the ‘new bleeding edge technology’? That is the type of mentality that greedy companies like Apple Inc. encourages. Instead of perfecting an application or piece of hardware we are encouraged to buy into obsolescence.

    What do you suggest?

  • By amohageg - 9:43 AM on March 23, 2012   Reply

    Hi John- thanks for your post. As an IT Admin, there will be two options to install CS6 on multiple computers within an organization. Using the free Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE), an Adobe ID login only needs to be done once by the IT admin as they create the package. They can then deploy to multiple computers without individual users needing to log-in. For smaller companies that only deploy their volume license to a handful of machines, Adobe recommends that the IT Admin use their Admin Adobe ID to install to the individual machines.

    Note that for volume, the license will continue to be associated with the organization that purchased the product, and the organization’s support contract and the ability to call into Support won’t be solely tied to a single Adobe ID. The Adobe ID entered at installation will simply become a contact associated with that serial number. Volume customers who have multiple branches for example can also use more than 1 Adobe ID to deploy CS6 packages.

    Annick Baudot Mohageg- Product Management- Adobe

  • By amohageg - 9:44 AM on March 23, 2012   Reply

    forgot to mention:
    Regarding your Quark fear: no worries->no dongles for CS6!

  • By amohageg - 9:49 AM on March 23, 2012   Reply

    Hi Justin- also thanks for your post. Note that Adobe will soon be launching Adobe Creative Cloud. Membership to Creative Cloud will provide a cost effective way to always be at the bleeding edge of Adobe applications- there will no longer be the concept of “obsolescence” as a Creative Cloud member since your tools will always be the latest/greatest. Check out more info here:|22795|cloud%20adobe||S|b|9448947920

  • By Robert - 12:13 PM on March 24, 2012   Reply

    Photoshop is becoming BLOATWARE. Photoshop is too expensive. I would pay maybe $79 for it….no more. Since I have gotten into computers in 1995 I have never paid a cent for an Adobe Product..not one cent…nor will I at these prices. And you wanna know something?…the only people that these “anti-piracy” measures hurt are legitimate customers…these “measures” can only serve to piss people off to the point where they say “why bother?”…I can just go on Pirate Bay and get what I need in 20 minutes and be done with this craziness until the next “upgrade”.

  • By Robert - 12:18 PM on March 24, 2012   Reply

    and the other thing is this: it like there are too many Indian names in the credits for Adobe Products these days…it’s like kinda obvious what that means….cheaply paid outsourced slave labor and yet Adobe has the balls to ask the prices that they do. I bet Adobe spends more time and money on “anti-piracy” measures that they do on product development or common sense marketing . You people soooo need to get real.

    • By Jeffrey Tranberry - 9:38 AM on March 27, 2012   Reply

      Robert, you soooo need to stop hiding behind an anonymous handle and stop posting racist comments. Many of my friends, who happen to be Indian and work on the Photoshop team, work in San Jose, CA- and are far more talented than you and I. Thanks.

  • By Ross - 1:31 PM on March 24, 2012   Reply

    How is it that cs6 won’t accept my ID even after its been reset. Its no good to me if I can’t use it!

  • By Pete - 2:29 AM on March 27, 2012   Reply

    You wanna make sure that people pay thousands of dollars for your products? Why not lower the prices of the products experience a lesser need to spend money on online activation servers..

  • By No Adobe ID - 6:48 AM on March 27, 2012   Reply

    Uh oh.. No, I will never create an Adobe ID again. I created Adobe ID my main GMail, and they kept sending me unwanted promotion e-mails, even I explicitly opted them out. I closed my Adobe ID and blocked e-mails from that domain.

    Well, I am boned because I downloaded the beta and it asks me the Adobe ID. I will create an Adobe ID with one time e-mail service.

    • By kirank - 12:00 PM on May 11, 2012   Reply

      Hello No Adobe ID –

      Please note that as part of the install process the collection of ADOBE ID doesn’t generate marketing emails but instead it gives you many benefits associated to your product and Adobe. Please login to My Adobe ( to get a view of the products/subscriptions you have purchased, serial numbers, edit profile and complete view of your experience with Adobe to-date.

      In order to stop receiving marketing updates, I recommend you turn-off the notification on marketing updates in your profile.

      Kiran Kumar
      Product Mgmt, Adobe Licensing

  • By Thomas - 6:23 PM on March 27, 2012   Reply

    too bad Adobe does not have an App Store that is tied to your device, ID AND credit card.
    too bad that you guys will fail so much with all your business and development decisions you have put in your pockets for CS6.

    just shaking my head …

  • By James - 6:55 PM on March 29, 2012   Reply

    Photoshop, please:

    Just use a simple serial. Those who pirate will pirate. In fact the continued success of software such as this will rest on the younger generations using pirated software to practice and become accustomed to the software.

    Also, I prefer software without installers. I want to drag and drop you into the applications folder. You’ll need to do this to get into the Mac App Store anyway. I get this icky feeling each time I install, like the software is being baked into the OS itself.

  • By Ridiculous - 9:09 AM on April 3, 2012   Reply

    C’mon, Adobe. Stop wasting our time and forcing us to ‘sign up’ to use your software. I’m so sick of the adobe corporate brain trust thinking they’ve finally figured out a solution to stop piracy and make billions. This will backfire.. I’ve been using photoshop since the beginning, but this is the last straw. I think James said it best (above). Access to pirated copies of your software is what made you successful in the first place. If you weren’t so overpriced, you’d sell more (volume) and make more (profit). Simple economics obviously befuddles the corporate greedies.

    Time for me to give Gimp a serious look… even though the company I work for will but me yet another ‘essential’, ‘best-ever’, ‘gotta-have-it’ update/upgrade.

    And to think, Illustrator on the mac has yet to come out 64bit. Unreal.

  • By Soumya Nair - 1:04 PM on April 18, 2012   Reply

    Does the deactivation process remains the same as for CS5 or CS5.5? (Help>Deactivate.)

    • By Jody Rodgers - 3:14 PM on April 23, 2012   Reply

      Sorry for the delay. Yes, the deactivation process is the same between CS5 and CS5.5.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Creative Suite & Creative Cloud | Adobe Systems

  • By Mike - 10:56 AM on April 28, 2012   Reply

    What Adobe needs to do, instead of lowering the price of their suite, is finish the job on the “elements” suite that they started years ago.

    Where is Indesign and Illustrator Elements? Piracy would CEASE significantly if you took the core products and completed the elements set. I know of many home users/hobbyist parents who pirate only because they need Illustrator and Indesign features and cant get by with just Photoshop and Premiere elements. These same users barely scratch the feature surface of even Indesign 2 or Illustrator 10… Elements would be prime for them. Plus, then you HAVE to get them into the App Store for the Mac. This would be perfect and could mean BIG revenue for Adobe… The brand-name paid apps in the Mac App Store today are doing VERY well according to Apple’s stats. Check the store for yourselves.

  • By Allan W - 7:27 PM on May 4, 2012   Reply

    Some of us, even smaller innovation, strategic consultants, (and I am also a photographer and web designer) have either contractually agreed security with government on classified and/or other corporate proprietary data, etc. With sandboxes, hacks and intrusions can occur, in fact any time you are plugged into the Net you are at risk from hackers, be they groups, individuals or transnational gangs, or even China, Russia etc. I cannot allow my computer for implied reasons to be on the Net. This is not a well thought out idea and as I now own Photoshop 6 as a free upgrade to 5.5, I am concerned. Adobe said my security policy is not Adobe’s fault when I talked to mid-level tech support. You need a method to allow simple serial entry, even if that means sending a valid disk rather than the download. I am not going to jail or risk proprietary data or do bad security by being on the Net on a computer on which I own Photoshop CS6 (as free upgrade). It is the height of arrogance and over thinking piracy prevention vs the vast panoply of cyber threats. Who ever made this absurd decision should be fired or at least forced to attend a week of SANS or other cyber security classes. This will not work and it screws me and my policies, contractual and legal responsibilities, rethink this. Allan

  • By Kiran Kumar - 10:07 AM on May 5, 2012   Reply

    Hello Alan –

    We completely understand yours as well as many other folks who can’t connect online to due to contract/security concern. There’s indeed an option for folks like yourself to remotely activate w/o having the installed machine go online.

    If you have an internet enabled device (smartphone, Tablet, etc) you can remotely activate your machine by going to a website and entering machine generated codes. It doesn’t take too much time and the process is completely self-serve and systematic. Also, please note that you only need to complete this process ONCE and ONLY ONCE within 7-days of using CS6 product.

    We value your feedback and will discuss with our support team.

    Kiran Kumar – Product Mgmt.

  • By Rich - 12:32 PM on May 7, 2012   Reply

    “you can remotely activate your machine by going to a website and entering machine generated codes.”

    Kiran, can you explain in detail how this is done?

  • By Kiran Kumar, Adobe Product Mgmt, Licensing - 1:29 PM on May 7, 2012   Reply

    Hello Rich –

    The product has instructions which will guide you through the process of self activating but at a high level the way the process works is:
    1) Generate a system generated code from the offline machine
    2) Using an internet enabled device go to website ( and enter the system generated code and other details
    3) If successful, you will receive a response code
    4) Enter the response code back in the product (offline m/c)

    and it will work.

    if you have additional questions or need more details, please feel free to email me at kirank (AT-SYMBOL)

    Kiran Kumar
    Adobe Product Mgmt, Licensing

    • By Daniel - 9:25 PM on May 7, 2012   Reply

      And what if I want to uninstall the software reinstall after reformatting the computer? How do I De-activate the software offline? Also I rebuild my computer like every 180 days so this is going to be a real pain. Please bring back the CS5.5 ways.

      • By Eric Wilde - 10:54 PM on May 7, 2012   Reply


        If you’re reinstalling on the same system you shouldn’t have to worry about deactivation. The software should recognize that you’re activating on the same hardware as before and not consume an additional activation.

        • By Daniel - 8:43 PM on May 8, 2012   Reply

          In that case, can I use the same code that I get back from Adobe the first time? Or will I be able to backup and restore the activation files?

          • By kirank - 11:52 AM on May 11, 2012  

            Hello Daniel –

            You will need to generate a new code as the codes are session specific and valid for 72hrs only.


  • By Justin - 9:00 AM on May 10, 2012   Reply

    How does this work when imaging a lab of computers? I just received my CS6 and hadn’t kept up with this change in licensing. When we reimage, we just blow out the old image and put on the new one– usually 3-4 times a year. Will this eventually explode our CS6 licenses? Do I have to go to every computer after a re-image and re-activate it? Worse, will I need to de-activate and re-activate, because when the computer is re-imaged, it won’t necessarily understand it’s already been put on that hardware.

    What happens when/if the person associated with the Adobe ID leaves their employment at one business and goes to another? And they both use Adobe products tied to this silly scheme? Will there be a way to ‘transfer out’ licenses to another employee? It’s an issue because if someone leaves, and their email address eventually dies, that Adobe ID becomes.. questionable, as it can’t be recovered or reused.

    This is going to stop our CS6 deployment dead in its tracks. I must echo the comments of many other users– this will surely be hacked in short time, and all you’ve done is cause headaches for professional IT/support/etc, not the pirates. Seems like more a marketing issue (to track who’s using the software and market to them) than an actual anti-piracy effort.

    • By Jody Rodgers - 12:56 PM on May 10, 2012   Reply

      Don’t worry Justin, not sure why you think we’d throw you under the bus like that. Things really aren’t the doom and gloom you have imagined.

      The recommendation from us around imaging presently is to:
      1) use AAMEE 3.0 to create an unserialized/trial CS6 package
      (There is a specific workflow for this.)
      2) install the AAMEE produced package into the image
      3) use AAMEE 3.0’s new Serialization executable workflow
      4) use the Serialization executable as a post imaging step on each machine
      (There are many different ways to run this executable.)

      That is fine that you are wiping the images out often. Nothing changes on that front. You could re-image everyday and that would not “explode” your licenses. Nothing is going to explode. Deep breaths. You do not need to de-activate anything that used a volume CS6 serial using AAMEE 3.0. Seriously.

      re: What happens when/if the person associated with the Adobe ID leaves their employment at one business and goes to another?
      Nothing. The association is really with your organization. And since people come and go in life, we recommend using a generic Adobe ID account. But it is not the end of the world if you don’t. And yes, we wil able to merge, transfer, etc. in the backend Adobe IDs if need be but this is not likely needed. Capturing the Adobe ID in the package is really just about creating a relationship tie from the volume serial number and the organization. We didn’t have that before nor did we have the ability to validate the serials online. Now we do. If an AAMEE package is leaked we will know where it came from and alert the organization and suspend that serial number and issue you another one. This will NOT effect the installs that are already in the organization. See? Not horrible. AAMEE 3.0 was created to minimize the impact of the licensing changes of CS6, not make things worse.

      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Creative Suite + Creative Cloud | Adobe Systems

  • By TuhinBagh - 5:55 AM on May 11, 2012   Reply

    What if i wanna install cs6 offline..??
    like my friend don’t has net in her house..!!

    • By Guest - 12:55 PM on May 15, 2012   Reply

      “Offline activation involves using an Internet-enabled device […]”

      No comment.

  • By Gandi Paulo - 4:24 AM on May 23, 2012   Reply

    muito bom

  • By Graham - 6:20 PM on May 27, 2012   Reply

    My issue is that we have just installed 12 CS6 licences successfully in our studio using the new Adobe ID login. However the 13th one wont allow us to go any further than the selection of sign in now. then we just get the spinning wheel of boredom. of course the issue is then we only have 7 days to activate it and we can’t get any further than this step.

    Please advise a solution that doesn’t involve me having to trawl through numerous “help” topics etc.

    • By kagibson - 2:10 AM on May 28, 2012   Reply

      Can you confirm how you are creating and deploying the packages ? If you are using AAMEE you should not be required to enter the Adobe ID on each client.


  • By Zeray - 7:11 PM on May 27, 2012   Reply

    very good

  • By DavidS - 8:41 PM on June 12, 2012   Reply

    I am sorry but forcing your legitimate customers to sign up for an Adobe ID account is all but theft. You have no right to their personal information at any level.

    You all but stole the cost of your software from every customer at this point. Any personal information they would put into your system is owned by them not you. Pay for it, don’t steal it after making them pay you to still it from them.

    What you are doing should be criminal.

    We payed for the damn software!!! You don’t need our emails or yet another larger number of throw away accounts and passwords that is only going to get compromised by the thousands sometime down the road.

    Stop treating us like pirates.

  • By Anonymous Coward - 3:20 PM on July 18, 2012   Reply

    What a waste of time developing your product this way. Piracy? Pirates will always be using Photoshop, no matter what you do to stop it.

    I rest my case.

    Instead, myself as an IT administrator, I have to use your silly AAMEE tool to package up and put the software on my master images for deployment. Now our techs need to run the “serialization executable” on every workstation and laptop they reimage? LOL! HEEELLLLLLOOOOO ADOBE, IS ANYONE UPSTAIRS IN YOUR COLLECTIVE BRAINS LISTENING? What’s next, Key Management Server like Microsoft, tieing itself into our core DNS servers for discovery across our network JUST so legitimate customers can prove they’re legitimate? Pathetic. What a pain in the *ucking *ss, seriously. WAKE UP. You really need to bring back the days of just a serial number, nothing more. I’ll be making a new hotmail account and completely abandoning it after registration.

    Wake up, wake up, wake up.

    Oh, and Jody Rodgers, you certainly act like you’re completely out of touch with regard to your response above. This shows us what you truly think of individuals in my situation – you know – those that have paid and want to make your software accessible to users. Great work, smartass. Showing your true colors.

    • By Jody Rodgers - 12:24 AM on July 20, 2012   Reply

      Hello “Anonymous Coward.” Maybe I am out of touch. Shrug. Although I am a former IT admin and have done imaging in education and corporate environments, maybe I no longer properly understand the role of the IT admin as I have been in this new role now for a couple of years. Maybe you’d like to have a conversation and let me understand the impact of the decisions with specific examples of how long it takes you now compared to deploying previous versions of the Creative Suite. Please give me a call at 206-675-7420 since you have decided not to provide your name, email address or organization you work for so I have no way of following up with your concerns through a traditional method of communication.


      Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media

  • By Shell - 5:37 AM on August 29, 2012   Reply

    I have spent many hours trying to install Captivate 6 and Adobe PS CS6. My company buys volume licenses. I spent hours on the phone with Adobe “Support”. The software is still not installed. The instructions are confusing and time consuming. So far, the 12 licenses that were purchased are not installed because we haven’t been able to make it work within our security controlled environment. I need help but can’t seem to get it from Adobe. I feel like the legitimate users are being penalized for purchasing the software.

    • By kagibson - 7:12 AM on August 29, 2012   Reply

      Hi Shell,
      I am very sorry to hear you are having a nightmare trying to get the software installed and have not found much joy with Adobe Support. Can you please e-mail me with as much detail as possible as the problem you are facing and what is happening ?

  • By Shell - 12:37 PM on September 19, 2012   Reply

    I have spent several more hours attempting to install Photoshop CS6 on a PC that does not connect to the network/internet. I installed using the original disc then attempted to serialize it from the serialization package I created. The serialization package is on a CD. I tried to run it from the disc (using command line: y:\PhotoshopCS6Ser\PhotoshopCS6Ser\AdobeSerialization.exe –tool=VolumeSerialize prov.xml) and I have tried to copy the files to the PC and run it from there. In both cases I I get: “Return code=1” message. OS: Windows XP.
    This new process is so frustrating. Please help.

  • By me - 6:46 AM on November 9, 2012   Reply

    I’m making a big push to alternatives to Adobe products. From Flash to Photoshop they are either overpriced or bloated (or insecure) and each is viewed as an opportunity by some marketing dweeb to collect information.

  • By hssouna_ca - 11:50 PM on January 26, 2013   Reply

    je veux savoir mon numéro de série

  • By angel - 6:22 AM on January 4, 2014   Reply

    i cant use the photoshop…because it want response cod..what is it???

    • By Eric Wilde - 4:15 AM on January 8, 2014   Reply


      A response code is part of an offline workflow to enable activation of the product when the user’s system needs to remain offline. Is your system offline?

      If your system is online, then it may be that for some reason your system is unable to contact Adobe activation servers. You should check your hosts file to ensure it has not been maliciously tampered.

      If you still experience these problems after confirming that your system’s host file has not been tampered and that you are indeed online, please work with Adobe customer support to help resolve this bug. Should that lead nowhere, feel free to contact me directly ( and I’ll escalate to a higher tier of customer support.