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Adobe Software License FAQ

How is MSU Denver's Adobe software licensing changing?

Adobe is transitioning away from using serial numbers for Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Creative Cloud. Instead, they are implementing Named User licenses for these products.

What is Named User licensing?

"Named User" (aka, "Subscription-based") licensing is a method of authenticating valid software licenses. This means that for every user of Acrobat DC and Adobe Creative Cloud, the process requires each user to authenticate with their MSU Denver email account in order to authorize and activate their license and use of the application.

How does Named User licensing work?

Named User Licensing ties the use of Adobe apps and services to an individual user, requiring that user to authenticate to use the apps. Authentication means verifying the user’s identity and connecting that identity with the user’s Creative Cloud membership. Authentication includes checking a user’s membership to determine its overall status, determining which applications and services the user’s membership allows the user to access, and discovering any restrictions or special permissions granted to the user.

Named licenses require periodic Internet connectivity. Computers must connect to Adobe servers for initial activation, and then at least once every 99 days.

What products are affected?

This pertains to all licensed Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Creative Cloud applications. It does not pertain to the free Acrobat Reader DC.

Do we have to use the Named User model?

While the University understands the Named User licensing model has an added burden to users and departments, the change is unfortunately beyond our control. Like many software providers, Adobe has abandoned serial number licensing entirely and changed to a Named User model for a variety of business reasons.

Does the named license allow for home use?

Yes, users can authenticate Adobe products on up to two devices, as long as they are not being used simultaneously. If a user is already signed in on another active device, they will be given the option to sign out of other computers.

How do I re-activate my Adobe applications?

  1. Launch an Adobe application
  2. Under the “Help” menu, select “Sign In”

    Screenshot showing the

  3. On the next screen, use the “Sign in with an Enterprise ID” link

    Screenshot showing the sign in screen on an Adobe program

  4. On the next screen, enter your full MSU Denver email address and click “Continue”
  5. On the next screen, enter your MSU Denver credentials to authenticate through Office 365 Single Sign On
  6. If successful, you will see the menu bar in the Adobe program change to look like the screenshot below

    Screenshot showing the menu bar of an Adobe program after signing in

Further Assistance

If you have additional questions, concerns, or need immediate assistance - Please contact the MSU Denver Helpdesk.


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