How to Sign In With Your Adobe Federated Account to Access Creative Cloud Software

This is the procedure used to sign in to an Adobe Federated Account at UW-Madison.

  • Most full- and part-time faculty and staff paid through UW-Madison central payroll are licensed for installation of Adobe Creative Cloud on either personally- or departmentally-owned computers and are automatically assigned a federated login.
    • This doc lists UW-Madison job classifications and their eligibility for Adobe federated login.
    • Adobe software licensed under UW System's Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA; is distributed separately by each of the UW's organizational entities. Faculty and staff paid through other campuses should contact their campus's central IT to find out how to download and install the licensed Adobe software.
    • Faculty and staff not licensed to use the software under UW's agreement can get an academic discount direct from Adobe:
  • Grad students were not included in faculty and staff counts for the Adobe contract, so are not eligible for a no-charge federated Adobe login. Grad students (and undergrads) can purchase a heavily discounted annual subscription in person at the Tech Store or here:
  • Students who have purchased a subscription to Creative Cloud can also use the procedure below to sign in to their purchased Adobe Federated account.
    • You will not receive a product code after you purchase. Instead, you will gain access to an Adobe/UW federated login that will give you access to Creative Cloud using your email address with the procedure below.
  • Your Adobe Federated account is completely separate from any other Adobe accounts you may have, even if prior Adobe accounts use your email address. If you do have a prior Adobe account under your 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.



The Creative Cloud Desktop app is the best way to download, install, and update your Creative Cloudapps. You can follow these instructions to download and installthe Creative Cloud Desktop app:

You must have administrative rights to install Creative Cloud.

After you install and open the Creative Cloud Desktop app, be sure to log in with your email address and choose Company or school account (see image below) if presented with that option.

Choose Company or school account



1: Apps Tab is Missing in Creative Cloud


    Step 1: Navigate to "Configs" File
    Go to the root of your hard drive (search Macintosh HD)
    Hard drive > Library > Application Support > Adobe > OOBE > Configs
    Copy "Configs" folder to desktop for easy access

     Step 2: Open "Configs File" In TextEdit
    Right click on "configs" file found in previous step
    Select "open in text edit"

     Step 3: Modify File to Display App
    Change "false", shown in screenshot, to "true"
    The correct "configs" file is now on your desktop
    Rename old file as "old" to differentiate old file from newly edited one
    Step 4: Place "True" Configs File in Place of Previous File

      Step 5: Sign Out of Creative Cloud and Restart Computer
    Open Creative Cloud, select "profile window", sign out
    Restart operating system

    2: If the applications appearing in the Creative Cloud Desktop app are all listed as trial versions....
    • If you've followed the procedure above, there may be an issue with the login ID. 
    • Adobe logins can be persistent and difficult to change. Please log out of your Adobe account on all the browsers that you use and the Creative Cloud Desktop app, then restart the machine.
    • After restarting, open the Creative Cloud Desktop app, type only "" in the email address field and tab. That should open the UW-Madison NetID login window, where you can log in with your NetID and password.
    • After completing NetID login, the apps appearing in the Creative Cloud Desktop app should no longer be in trial status.
    • If all else fails, use the Creative Cloud Cleaner tool to uninstall, completely remove all vestiges of previous Creative Cloud installations, and reinstall.

      Keywords:adobe etla log in login sign in signin enterprise account cc creative cloud Acrobat Pro DC After Effects Animate Audition Dreamweaver Experience Design Illustrator Incopy Indesign Lightroom Muse Photoshop Prelude Premiere-Pro Speedgrade Mobile creative suite faculty staff free license subscription install configure personal machine laptop computer   Doc ID:69772
      Owner:Warren R.Group:DoIT Tech Store
      Created:2017-01-04 16:45 CDTUpdated:2018-06-18 15:38 CDT
      Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Product Management
      Feedback:  18   74