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Cornell University

Adobe Creative Cloud Licensing for Technical Support Providers

This article applies to: Software Licensing

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This page provides information for Technical Service Providers (TSPs) about deploying Creative Cloud onto Cornell-owned computers.

If you are not a Technical Service Provider, please see our general Creative Cloud Licensing page. 

Cornell University has renewed its Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) for Adobe Creative Cloud products for the 2021-24 license term. The ETLA includes specific numbers of licenses and license types we can deploy across the University:

  • Creative Cloud All Apps Plan for Cornell Employees (Individual Named-User): 3750
  • Creative Cloud All Apps Plan for Cornell Students: 2000
  • Creative Cloud All Apps for Shared Device: 450
  • Acrobat Pro DC [standalone] for Cornell Employees (Individual Named-User): 3750

These licenses have been paid for out of the central IT budget with no departmental chargeback. Before assigning licenses, we urge departments to assess the Cornell business need and to use reasonable discretion. In the event that we run out of licenses for a given license type, we will be unable to add a new user without first removing an existing user.

The student license allocation is for instructional use: students taking a course that requires them to use Creative Cloud software for coursework and student instructors who need to use Creative Cloud to prepare instructional materials.

Student employees who need to use Adobe software for University administrative purposes can be assigned a license from the Employee allocation.

License Types

There are two product activation methods under Cornell's Adobe ETLA: Named-User (Individual) Licensing and Shared Device Licensing.

Named-User Licensing -- Available to Eligible Faculty and Staff

Named-User Licensing grants access rights to an individual user, rather than to a specific computer. Named-User Licensing has the following features:

  • Available at no cost to eligible Cornell employees, students, and contractors.
  • Named-Users may install their licensed product(s) onto an arbitrary number of computers; these may be Cornell-owned or personally-owned machines.
  • Named-Users may activate product installations on up to two computers at a time, and may be actively using the software at any one computer a time.
  • Creative Cloud All Apps Plan Named-Users also have access to 100 GB of Adobe cloud storage, and may also use Adobe online collaborative tools and Adobe mobile apps.
  • For more information about Named-User (individual) licensing, please see our Creative Cloud Enterprise Licensing page.

Creative Cloud for Shared Device--Available to Technical Support Providers

Important Change to Shared Device Licensing

Creative Cloud Shared Device Licensing (SDL) is a device-licensing option that can be used to unlock Creative Cloud on Cornell-owned computers physically located on the Cornell campus and used for the instruction of students. Using SDL technology, such computers can be configured so that anyone can use Creative Cloud on that device. SDL is not authorized for use through a remote service (such as Remote Desktop) or on virtual machines, and will not function in those configurations. The typical use-case for SDL-activated computers are public-use computer labs for students or on computers located in classrooms. SDL activation is not authorized for use on computers used for university administration or for academic research.

Creative Cloud for Shared Device Licensing

  • Is authorized for use on Cornell-owned computers physically located on the Cornell campus that have a constant physical location with a static IP address. 
  • CANNOT be used on devices which are moved around, such as laptops.
  • Provides Creative Cloud access to any user who signs in with an Adobe ID, regardless of what level of service that Adobe ID normally has.
  • Allows use of any Adobe collaborative tools or cloud storage normally accessible with the customer’s Adobe ID.
  • Does NOT extend any extra Home Use rights to users of the Adobe software on that machine.

Computers activated through Shared Device Licensing are tracked centrally by the Adobe Admin Console, and activation can be viewed in real-time by Adobe license administrators.

For more information about Shared Device Licensing, or to start setting up SDL-enabled computers in your area, please contact

Adobe no longer offers an option to activate Creative Cloud or Acrobat Pro installations with a Serial Number. All Adobe Serial Numbers for Acrobat Pro DC and Creative Cloud that we issued in the past have expired. Also, none of the Adobe Serialization Utilities we had previously provided will work anymore.

Software Installation: Direct Installation onto a Desktop

Named-User Licensing

Instructions for customer self-service installation Creative Cloud under Named-User licensing on a computer that is not part of a endpoint management tools environment can be found at our Creative Cloud Enterprise Licensing page. Please note that installing Adobe software via the standard Adobe-provided installation tools requires use of an user account that has Administrator access rights on the specific computer.

If you are a TSP looking to set up individual users for Named-User licensing, please send a list of employee names and NetIDs and which license they need (CC ALL Apps or Acrobat Pro DC [standalone]) to CU SoftwarePlease include a short description of which CC applications are needed and why. We will set up those employees with Adobe IDs of format ''. Individual customers will be provided with installation instructions.

Shared Device Licensing

To install Creative Cloud under Shared Device Licensing (SDL), please contact CU SoftwareA representative from that office will verify whether or not the use you describe is allowed under SDL. After verifying that the use-case is allowed, the CU Software representative will set up for you an SDL Administrator profile on the Adobe Admin Console, and will work with you to produce appropriate installation packages for your machines.

Installation via Endpoint Management 

You can use your existing Endpoint Management Tools service (such as System Center or Casper) to deploy Creative Cloud installations to your client machines. For more information about Creative Cloud deployment, please see the Adobe Creative Cloud for Enterprise site.

Endpoint Management Tools deployment uses prepackaged bundles of Creative Cloud products. The most commonly used is the "All Apps Bundle" which includes all Creative Cloud applications. We can also produce custom deployment packages with a product line-up of your choice. Just let us know what you would like in the package and which operating system(s) you need it for, and we will put it together for you. It can take several business days to complete packaging on this end.

We can also set up departmental IT personnel as Creative Cloud Deployment Managers, who can create and manage their own custom Endpoint Management Tools Named-User deployment bundles. Please contact the CU Software office for more information about this.

Endpoint Management Tools Installation: Named-User Licensing

After installation of the Named-User version of the Endpoint Management Tools installers, the user will need to sign in with an Adobe ID that has been added to Cornell's Creative Cloud Enterprise License. By default, Creative Cloud will hang onto these credentials, and will not require the user to sign in each time the software is launched. (Note: If the user's computer refreshes from an image at reboot, the credentials are NOT held, requiring the user to sign in the first time Creative Cloud is launched.) The Endpoint Management Tools Named-User license installers allow a registered user to install additional Creative Cloud packages, but restrict software updates to those provided by your local update server. 

Departmental IT staff can send a list of employees to be provisioned with Creative Cloud Named-User Licenses to CU Software.

Named-User licensing allows Home Use installation onto a registered user's personally-owned computer. To install on a home computer, the user can follow the instructions at the Creative Cloud Enterprise Licensing page.


For questions about downloading installation packages and getting them to run, or to request a custom distribution bundle, please email:


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