Adobe Installation and Licensing

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

May 23, 2012

New Creative Suite CS6 Install – Why we did it

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

Since we shipped Creative Suite CS6 I’ve seen a few comments on our blogs or forums from users complaining that the new installation requirements were hurting the “good guys” (= honest Adobe customers) instead of the “bad guys” (= pirate folks). This made me realize that we probably didn’t do a good job explaining the background of why these changes came about. Hard to believe (aren’t we supposed to be the big bad wolf?), but the required activation and login were actually put in place to help the “good guys”!

Most people associate software piracy with back alley sales of cheap Photoshop, serial number keygens, or free illegal downloads. A simple google search shows that there is a whole group of people who will never pay for software and don’t mind the risks associated with installing pirated versions on their machines. If you ask me, that’s not cool. Most of us would love to get a new <insert your dream product name here> but wouldn’t think about going out of the store without paying for it. Plus I’m pretty biased since my job depends on people wanting to use and pay for my company’s software! But that’s how it goes, some people think it’s OK and ultimately those are not the people I want to spend my energy on.

The type of customer we had in mind when we put the new installation requirements in place were the thousands of customers who contact Adobe each year to troubleshoot problems with what they believe to be a genuine Adobe application (as in, they paid big bucks for it)…. but find out that they were in fact using counterfeit. They didn’t go in a dark alley to buy their software, they didn’t use a keygen. No, these customers actually purchased Adobe software from what looked like a legitimate online store and paid full/close to full retail price of their hard earned money for it. Plus the box they received wasn’t a cheesy home made DVD, it was a “real” looking box; and the software installed and seemed to work just fine ….. until it bombed or they couldn’t install an upgrade 18 months later and called Adobe customer service to find out why.

That’s the customer we care about- the honest Adobe customer who thinks they are doing the right thing and yet finds themselves loosing hundreds if not thousands of dollars to high quality counterfeit without having any recourse whatsoever. By the time they realize they were duped, the online store they purchased the app from is gone, the credit card has already been charged, and they don’t qualify for upgrade pricing. Plus who knows what other malicious code was installed with the counterfeit- which is scary- especially for those working with client files, etc. I’ve been a freelancer and know all too well that this type of unplanned business expense or worry about possibly corrupting client files hurts- big time.

With the new CS6 installation, honest customers will now get confirmation that the software they install is genuine Adobe software. The reason we set the 7 day grace (vs longer) to activate and login was so that customers who were duped into purchasing high quality counterfeit can immediately realize the problem and quickly act upon it- by either blocking payment on their credit card or taking advantage of 30-day money-back guarantees some marketplaces (like Amazon Marketplace for ex) offers.

There are 2 levels of confirmation:

  • The first one is during installation: the serial number and software installed gets checked by Adobe’s servers and the customer gets a confirmation at the end of install that the software is genuine (or if we detect it’s not genuine Adobe, they are notified and install will stop).
  • The second line of defense is that since serial numbers are now associated with Adobe IDs during installation, customers can login to MyAdobe to ensure that their serial numbers is listed under their ID, and if it’s not, they can contact Adobe customer support to help out with next steps.

So that’s the scoop. Although I understand that activating and logging in during installation or within 7 days of first launching the new Creative Suite adds a few steps to the process, it hopefully will help many of our customers confirm that they purchased genuine Adobe software and if not, gives them recourse to do something about it. And that’s why we did it.


For more info on the benefits of Adobe IDs, check out Jeff Tranberry’s blog here.

Having troubles with your Adobe ID? Check out our support page.

Need tips on getting started with Photoshop CS6? Jeff provided lots of information here.

“Protect Yourself from Counterfeit” blog here.

For more information on activation, visit this page.



  • By Mark Stals - 1:17 PM on June 7, 2012   Reply

    If it only worked.
    I subscribed to Creative Cloud following the links from Adobe on Monday. Got an order confirmation, with instructions on how to proceed.
    Followed these instructions, and installed some applications using the Application Manager. But I soon got a message box that I had a trial version, and I should purchase a license. The very well hidden and never emailed serial number appeared to be invalid.
    Contacted Adobe Benelux, who said to wait a day to have my order properly processed. 3 days later I tried again, but still got the same issues. Chatting with Customer Support did not help.

    As a “good guy” who had no payable Adobe software installed, this leaves me with a bad feeling about Adobe.

    • By Eric Wilde - 1:21 PM on June 7, 2012   Reply


      I’m sorry to hear that there are problems. I’ll connect with you privately to attempt to address the situation.

      One thing to note is that there is no serial number for Creative Cloud or any other subscription versions of Adobe products starting with CS6. So no serial number should be available nor used. This really should work right from your Adobe ID only.

  • By Giselle - 5:22 AM on August 8, 2012   Reply

    As a small time print magazine, my company always was really tight on budgets and most of our work was done on freeware or older and cheaper software. Now that we’re going digital with a blog and e-Zine it was really important we had the best software to roll out an issue every week. I found this video of the new Adobe CS6 for Design and web and showed it to our CEO. We’ve already ordered our copy, although we dedicated more than 50% of our annual budget to it! Will definitely help us improve our work quality and rate, so we’ll recover the cost very soon!

    • By Eric Wilde - 10:10 AM on August 8, 2012   Reply

      Thanks for the kind words! It is testimonials like this that keep me going. :^)

  • By Peter Burn - 7:46 AM on August 31, 2012   Reply

    Creative Suite CS6 is even worse than the CS4 abomination. I have a dual quad xeon machine with 32 gigs of RAM and QuadroFX 4800. Encore does not even launch most of the time. Premiere Pro is glacially slow to open. The upgrade was a total waste of money and when I manage to finish the rendered Blu-Ray files in either CS5.5 or Sony DVD-Architect I am uninstalling this utterly useless software and sticking with CS5.5 and AVID. I don’tcare about your new activation process because I will never buy any of your new releases again. Sad that I have had great success with Premiere 5.1 – CS5.5 but the Adobe era is over in our shop.

  • By Bruce Sarte - 1:27 PM on September 26, 2012   Reply

    This is all well and good, but the install and activation process is tedious in an enterprise environment. We have a campus license and it is silly to have to LOG IN and then still have to put a serial number in.

    Do one or the other but not both — hundreds of times I have to deal with this — it’s silly and wastes time.

    • By Jody Rodgers - 4:46 PM on September 26, 2012   Reply

      You only need to log in with an Adobe ID and enter your volume serial number into AAMEE 3.1 once. If you are making multiple packages you can go back and create many packages without re-entering the Aodbe ID. You are using AAMEE, correct?

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

      • By Bruce Sarte - 5:18 PM on September 26, 2012   Reply

        No, I’m not. I don’t even know what AAMEE is. It isn’t in my list of downloads on the licensing site.

        Nonetheless, I’m not creating packages. I want to install it once and be done with it if at all possible. This re-registering and activating software is a joke and does nothing to cut down on piracy or illegal use (but everyone does it, so I’m not pointing any fingers).

        Will AAMEE allow me to install CS6 and be done with it?

  • By des - 1:54 AM on October 8, 2012   Reply


    I purchased an Education edition of PS6 Extended from Student Discounts here in Sydney that I have used many times before. I tried to install using the code number supplied to be advised that the disk is a pirate version. I would find this amazing. I have looked at the surface of the disk and there appears to be some grit or foreign matter inside the surface. I suspect this might have thrown the install ‘off”. What should I do?

    • By amohageg - 5:22 AM on October 22, 2012   Reply

      The best thing would be for you to contact the local Adobe customer service line to get support. They can check if your copy is genuine software or a counterfeit. Please have all your registration information handy.
      Annick Mohageg (Adobe Product Marketing)

  • By T.Ramesh Kumar - 8:14 PM on October 20, 2012   Reply

    i like Photoshop…..

  • By Johnnie Painter - 11:19 AM on November 27, 2012   Reply

    A circuitous bit of reasoning at best. In fact, users who have been duped by spurious ads on bargain websites are, by definition, NOT Adobe customers.

    The additional steps of creating and using the Adobe ID does nothing for the enterprise customer except create an administrative burden with zero corresponding benefit. I either have to create and manage the Adobe ID myself, or push that off onto the user whom I would prefer use their time in creative efforts rather than helping Adobe work on their piracy problem. And when these people leave, how do I get the software — for which we paid legitimate fees for every seat — assigned to the successor? I have the license keys, I have installation software provided by Adobe, and still I must jump through hoops. There is no end in sight.

    • By Jody Rodgers - 12:41 AM on November 29, 2012   Reply


      Hello and thanks for your candid feedback. You have asked about what if someone leaves; yet we are advising for our Enterprise customers that only the IT admin or IT admin’s group create an Adobe ID. When using AAMEE 3.1 with CS6 media the end users do not need Adobe IDs to use the products. You only have to manage one Adobe ID and password. That’s all.

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

  • By Average UK Guy - 10:31 AM on December 11, 2012   Reply

    People pirate PhotoShop because it so well supported in terms of books, magazines and tutorials. It is THE standard for photo editing, after all we don’t say ‘Why don’t we Gimp his head on a donkey?”.

    Many people want to be able to use it but it is priced way out of the range of probably 90% of home users/students. Most people who pirate it will never sell anything they make with it, so buying it would see no return on the investment.

    The whole rental thing is a farce as if you bought your software you’d use it for a few years not just the year that the rental price costs. Also the price is still to high for most home users.

    Most people who criticize people pirating software are artists, journalists and tech experts with high paying jobs (even if they appreciate that they are well off compared to most).

    Here in the UK, the average home user isn’t going to spend more than £100 on a software package. By average I’m talking non-commercial, hobbiest users NOT artists, designers, etc. People who want to use the best and can’t understand why they are shut out by ridiculous pricing.

    Some price ideas for the UK:

    Students/disabled/long term unemployed: £0 – Just like Autodesk, Maxon and REAL Software

    Home User, single licence, non-commercial: £89.99

    Home User, single licence, commercial: £189.99

    The corporate pricing as it stands is fine…

  • […] I encounter frequently when servicing this community is reconciling some of Adobe’s newer policies around its Digital Media tools like Photoshop, Premiere Pro and the Creative Cloud, with our […]

  • By Stacey Kadium - 3:14 PM on March 1, 2013   Reply

    People who want to use the best and can’t understand why they are shut out by ridiculous pricing.”

    that’s just ridiculous in itself. I’d love a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, but can fully understand why I can never afford one.
    I wouldn’t go out and steal either.
    Why should software be any different to any other product.

    • By Mathius - 7:42 PM on December 9, 2013   Reply

      Uhm. How about because Ferrari uses high end motors with expensive parts, whereas programs like Gimp do the same thing as Photoshop for free.

  • By Sam Tingle - 11:13 PM on March 11, 2013   Reply

    I agree with Stacey Kadium (no it’s not right to steal it just because you can’t afford it) as well as Average UK Guy (let’s make it more reasonably priced for non professionals).

    My child came home from school today and showed me Dreamwever CS6 and asked me if we could look at buying it (by the way I’m a single father of 2 school age kids). I had a look on your site and it listed as being $399.00. Then I realised that it was USD and I was on the US website. I added the .au to get to the Australian site where the discounted price is $627.00 AUD. The exchange rate today UDS-AUD makes the US product $388.10 AUD making the Australian version $238.90 AUD or approximately 61% more expensive.

    Once upon a time I used to swallow the high cost of freight vs low sales volumes in Australia however considering I was about to aquire this product through digital download this arguement is now null and void.

    Don’t worry I haven’t changed my mind on piracy and won’t now scour the internet for a pirated version but I won’t be geographicaly extorted either.

    I simply won’t buy the product and I hope no-one else does either.

  • By Angela Poch - 10:26 AM on August 27, 2013   Reply

    I have purchased and used Adobe software for over 5 years and it is well worth the price if you are in business. Adobe offers student pricing as well. My biggest complaint is the LACK of common sense in giving individual cases special attention. IE: Having a system that would be far more flexible for unusually circumstances. I have three computers, one for my son, one for traveling, and my main computer. Why can’t I just purchase a reasonable 3rd use license for my 13yr home schooled son (who will only be working on it as a student)??? (It would also help as a backup in case of the traveling laptop dying while on the road!)

    Anyway, a little common sense and flexibility would be great!

  • By Travis - 7:28 AM on September 27, 2013   Reply

    Well Adobe, seems your plans to stop piracy have failed and all you have done is punished the people who pay for your software. Ultimately, i think you guys are slitting your own throats.
    I got my start in the industry because I was able to download a pirated copy of illustrator. With a copy of Adobe Classroom In A Book i learned it, and now i work for a company that happily pays for all your products.
    I wonder, how many other people out there have the same story as me? I think UK Guy is onto something. You should seriously look at what Autodesk is doing with their software.

  • By peter lamb - 12:54 AM on October 7, 2013   Reply

    I purchased a genuine copy of Photoshop CS6. My sign in ID is as above. Can you tell me how I can change this because I want to change to another internet provider.
    Thanking you

    Peter Lamb

  • By Mathius - 4:06 PM on December 9, 2013   Reply

    When will you dumb corporations realize none of your stupid anti-pirate techniques work. Now I have another password and login I have to remember. Thanks for nothing Adobe. Maybe if your software wasn’t 50X overpriced, people wouldn’t pirate it. You’ve added like 3 new features since photoshop 7.

  • By Marianne - 1:58 AM on January 14, 2014   Reply

    Shame on you Adobe! I have used and loved Photoshop almost from the very beginning. I hoped to continue using it into retirement, but had to upgrade my iMac and cannot migrate Photoshop (CS4) to the new machine or install it (no optical drive) even though I have never used my second install option. Your pricing for the CC6 is way beyond what I can afford on a tiny pension (even taking into account the current – one year only – special offer). And your online help chat line is useless – the response was, essentially “Tough!” and your respondent ended the call peremptorily.

  • By Nick - 2:18 PM on January 27, 2014   Reply

    My computer crashed and I had to do a factory reset. When installing Adobe Photoshop again, it says my version is pirated. It’s not. I used it successfully for the last year. What’s the deal? How can I fix this? I’m not buying another copy.

  • By Sova - 7:27 PM on May 14, 2014   Reply

    Well I’m now not able to complete my job because I cannot install the software for a client because your login servers are down. Thanks for making the installation of software on a laptop dependent on an online service that you can’t even ensure is operational.

  • By DistraughtCS6masterPurchaser - 11:06 PM on June 14, 2014   Reply

    Spent around 2 grand for CS6 Master Suite. It’s activation code accepted by Adobe & ran over a month–so passed Adobe requirement for legitimacy. Now, it claims I need to register 30 Day Trial. This is ABSOLUTELY THE WORST experience I have ever had with any software I purchased. I do not have my instal DVD with me or carry serial numbers. I travel for work, need project completed soon, and will not be home for months. I am totally SCREWED! I paid a fortune for this software, and deeply regret I did not purchase AVID or an old copy of Final Cut7. I will NEVER purchase creative cloud, or any other program from Adobe if this problem cannot be solved promptly… Now I have to tell my fiend I have no way to edit his promo trailer, he has no way to get his project onto kickstarter, because the 1000’s of $ I spent was wasted on SCREWED up adobe software :((