Resolve Activation Errors with Adobe Creative Cloud


If you receive the Activation Failed – We are Unable to Activate Creative Cloud Error Message when attempting to use Adobe Creative Cloud, you can use Adobe's Limited Access repair tool, manually reset the host files, or run the Adobe CC Cleaner tool after uninstalling Creative Cloud then reinstalling the program.

Table of contents

Limited Access Repair Tool

  1. Test your connection to Adobe activation servers by visiting the following site, https://lm.licenses.adobe.com/vact/ping.
    • if the page displays the success message pong, you have access to the activation servers.
    • If you do not see this message, ensure you have a stable internet connection and that your Antivirus software, VPN, and Firewall settings are configured to allow access to the Adobe activation servers.
      Screenshot of sucessful test.
  2. Sign out of the Creative Cloud desktop app and all other Adobe applications.
    • Click the Adobe Account Icon. and select Sign out.
  3. Reset Your Host Files by running Adobe’s Limited Access Repair Tool:
  4. Visit Adobe.com and log in using your DirectoryID@umd.edu. Select Creative Cloud from the top right and download the installer.
  5. Run the installer, it will recognize you installation and take you to the Adobe Splash page below.
  6. Sign back into the Creative Cloud desktop app with your DirectoryID@umd.edu. This will redirect you to the University’s CAS page.
  7. Attempt to launch an application using the Creative Cloud desktop app. You may need to sign into each app again individually.

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Manually reset your host files

If you still experience this issue, Sign out of the Creative Cloud desktop app and all other Adobe applications and attempt to manually reset your host files with the steps below.

Windows

  1. Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc.
  2. Open the hosts file with a text editor such as Notepad.
  3. Check for any Adobe-related entries in the hosts file. These files usually end with adobe.com or adobe.de. If there are no Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, move to step 7. If there are Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, proceed to the next step.
  4. Move the file to the desktop, for example by dragging, and delete the Adobe-related entries from the hosts file.
    • Make sure that you do not delete any other entries.
  5. Save the hosts file that you edited in the previous step.
  6. Move the file from desktop to the original location: C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\etc
  7. When moving the file, select the Replace option.
  8. Repeat steps 4 and 5.

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Mac

  1. To find the hosts file, open Finder and then choose Go to Folder.
  2. In the box, type /private/etc/hosts and then press the Return key.

  3. If you are unable to locate the file, it means that the hosts file is hidden. Do the following command in terminal to unhide the file:
    • Open Finder and then choose Go to Folder.
    • In the box, type /chflags nohidden /etc/hosts and then press the Return key.
  4. Open the hosts file with a text editor such as Text Edit.
  5. Check for any Adobe-related entries in the hosts file.
    • If there are no Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, move to uninstall Creative Cloud and its associated apps and then reinstall. To ensure you remove all remnant files, use the Adobe CC Cleaner tool.
    • If there are Adobe-related entries in the hosts file, proceed to the next step.
  6. Move the file to the desktop, for example by dragging. Delete the Adobe-related entries from the hosts file. These entries usually end with adobe.com. Make sure that you do not delete any other entries.

  7. Save the hosts file that you edited in the previous step.
  8. Move the file from desktop to the original location: /private/etc/hosts
  9. When moving the file, select the Replace option.

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Adobe CC Cleaner tool

In the event you are unable to resolve this issue, uninstall Creative Cloud and its associated apps and then reinstall. To ensure you remove all remnant files, use the Adobe CC Cleaner tool.

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If you experience deactivation

If you experience deactivation at a later date after following the steps above, attempt the following:

Windows

  1. Sign out from the creative cloud and quit the application.
  2. Locate Folder SLCache in C:/Program Files(x86)/Common Files/Adobe and delete its contents.
  3. Locate folder SLStore in C:/Program Data(Hidden Folder)/Adobe and remove its contents.
  4. Locate folder OOBE in User directory>App Data>Local>Adobe and clear its contents.
  5. Restart the machine and sign in.

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Mac

  1. Sign out from the creative cloud and quit it.
  2. Locate folder SLCache in System Library(/Library/Application Support/Adobe) and remove its contents(MAC).
  3. Locate folder SLStore in System Library(/Library/Application Support/Adobe) and remove its contents(MAC)
  4. Locate folder OOBE in the User library by typing "~/library" in finder\goto window >Application Support>Adobe>OOBE and clear its contents (MAC).
  5. Restart the machine and sign in.

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