Adobe Shared Device License - Installation and Usage Instructions

Adobe’s Shared Device License (SDL) is a type of authentication that allows non-licensed users to use Adobe Creative Cloud software. This license is installed on a per-machine basis through a specialized Creative Cloud installer generated by IT administrators. A basic FAQ has been provided by Adobe:

Most UW-Madison faculty and staff can login and use the default Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop application. Instructions can be found on a separate KB article here: Adobe Creative Cloud - Logging in with Your UW-Madison Account. Ineligible faculty, students, and non-University affiliated users who need access to Adobe Creative Cloud products may have the SDL installed to allow effectively anyone access to these products.

Shared Device License Installation Guidelines

"IT administrators" may provide their users with a "Shared Device Licensing" version of the installer, which has been generated via the Adobe Admin Console. This will install similar to the default "Adobe Creative Cloud application", but with the SDL implemented as well.

The SDL version of the installer can be installed over the top of the default "Adobe Creative Cloud" application without uninstalling Creative Cloud or its associated applications. After the installation, the Adobe Creative Cloud application will have to be restarted and the computer itself may require a restart.

By default, after the SDL version is installed, the Apps tab is missing in the "Creative Cloud Desktop" app. This can be resolved by following the steps documented here: under Tip 1.

Login Guidelines

If the user is an eligible faculty/staff member or a student, follow the instructions presented here

If the user is not an eligible faculty/staff member/student, the user must have an "Adobe ID". This can be created for free by following the directions here:

Once the user has an Adobe ID, they can open the Adobe Creative Cloud application and login using the credentials they provided. If, at any point, they are presented with a choice between Adobe ID (Personal account) and Enterprise ID (Company or school account), choose Adobe ID and continue with the login.

Creative Cloud Applications Installation Guidelines

If the IT administrator has allowed this functionality, users who access the Adobe Creative Cloud application may be able to install applications without administrator privileges.

In the Apps tab of the Adobe Creative Cloud application, if a non-federated user (i.e. one who logs in with a student NetID or an Adobe ID) selects “Try” next to an application, it will download the full application. If the SDL is installed, Adobe applications will not show the “Free Trial” prompt when launched for non-federated users and will allow any user full access to the software.

Adobe applications can be launched using typical methods (e.g. through the Start Menu on Windows or through Applications on MacOS), though in the Adobe Creative Cloud application, non-federated users will see “Start Trial” next to installed applications. If “Start Trial” is selected, it will start the trial for 7-14 days (depending on the application) and will expire when the trial is complete. If the SDL is installed, nothing effectively changes and the applications will continue to be fully available while the trial is active and when the trial expires.


How do I know if I have the SDL installed?

When a user logs in with an Adobe ID or a student NetID and opens an Adobe application (e.g. Photoshop or InDesign), if they are prompted with a “Free Trial” screen, the SDL is not installed. If the application opens as normal, the SDL is installed. Alternatively, if the below file exists, the SDL is most likely installed.




“/Library/Application Support/Adobe/OperatingConfigs/TOOLKIT.CONFIG”

How do I remove the SDL?

To switch back to the Named-User licensing model, install Creative Cloud again using the Named-User version of the installer, then delete the folders listed below. The Adobe Creative Cloud application must be restarted and the computer itself may have to be restarted for these changes to take effect.





“/Library/Application Support/Adobe/OperatingConfigs”

“/Library/Application Support/Adobe/LicensingToolkit”

Doing this does not free-up a license. To free-up the license, make sure Adobe Creative Cloud is no longer using the SDL and/or Adobe Creative Cloud is uninstalled, then contact and request that the machine is removed from the license. Please provide the serial number and name of the machine when making this request. Please only make this request if you are an IT administrator. If you are not an IT administrator, contact your IT administrator.

Keywords:adobe cc creative cloud cs shared device license licensing install installation login SDL   Doc ID:94815
Owner:Test U.Group:KB Demo
Created:2019-10-03 17:05 CDTUpdated:2019-10-10 12:28 CDT
Sites:KB Demo
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