Logging in to Adobe Creative Cloud with Your UW-Madison Account

Procedure for signing in to your Adobe Federated Account

The Creative Cloud Desktop app is the best way to download, install, and update your Creative Cloud apps. You can download the Creative Cloud Desktop app here:


You must have administrative rights on your computer to install Creative Cloud.

After you download, install, and launch the Creative Cloud Desktop app, you'll be presented with the Sign In screen.

  1. Type your NetID email (netid@wisc.edu) in the Email address field and click the blue Continue button.
  2. UW-Madison's NetID login screen will open, and you will log in with your NetID and NetID password.
  3. After you finish logging in with your NetID, you'll be returned to the Creative Cloud Desktop app with your available applications displayed. From there, you can install, update, or open the apps.
  4. If at any point you're presented with a choice between Personal Account and Company or School Account when signing in, choose Company or School Account (see image below).

Choose Adobe ID type

Your Adobe Federated account is completely separate from any other Adobe accounts you may have, even if prior Adobe accounts use your netid@wisc.edu email address. If you do have a prior Adobe account under your netid@wisc.edu email address, you'll be presented with a choice between Personal Account and Company or School Account when signing in. To access your Federated Account, choose Company or School Account.

You should not install software on UW-owned computers without the approval of your department's IT staff.

Always back up your files. Never store the only copy of a file in the cloud storage associated with your Creative Cloud subscription. Please follow this link for advice on backing up your personal files, or contact your IT support staff for assistance in backing up UW files.

Tips for Troubleshooting Common Issues

  1.   The Creative Cloud Desktop app displays a "You don't have access to manage apps" message when you click on the Apps tab:

You don't have access to manage apps
  1.   The applications appearing in the Creative Cloud Desktop app are all listed as trial versions.

  1.   A white or blank screen appears during installation of the Creative Cloud Desktop app on a Mac.

  2.   If all else fails, use the Creative Cloud Cleaner tool to uninstall, completely remove all vestiges of previous Creative Cloud installations, and reinstall.

    1. Remove previous versions of all Adobe apps installed on the machine. Uninstall the apps using the "Uninstaller" in the "Applications" tab (Mac) or "Uninstall a Program" from the Control Panel (Windows). Make sure that no previous version apps exist on the machine.
    2. Remove any remnant Adobe folders existing on the machine.
      1. Windows:
        C:\Program Files\Adobe
        C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe
        C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe
        C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe
      2. Mac OS:
        /Library/Application Support/Adobe
        ~/Library/application Support/Adobe
    3. Run the Creative Cloud Cleaner tool on the machine:.
    4. Restart the machine.
    5. Install the Creative Cloud Desktop app from:

  3.  When launching Acrobat on a Mac, you receive an error message that includes the words, "The serial number 1591[...] is already in use by the maximum allowed computers."

    1. Close all Creative Cloud and Adobe services using Activity Monitor.
    2. Download and unzip this file.
    3. In Finder, go to > Library > Preferences and insert the downloaded and unzipped file (com.adobe.acrobat.pro.DC.plist). Authenticate if necessary. If a file with the same name is already there, replace it with the downloaded file.
    4. In Terminal, run this command: sudo killall cfprefsd