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How to Move Creative Cloud or CS6 from One Computer to Another

Transfer Adobe Software Between Two Computers

OK, so your old computer is running out of gas, you’re upgrading or changing systems, adding a new machine, or switching from a PC to a Mac, or vice versa — and you want to move over your copy of Creative Cloud or CS6 (or CS5 or CS4) Adobe software — what do you do, and how do you do it? Just follow our complete guide below, which also works for other Adobe desktop products such as Acrobat, Elements, Lightroom, Captivate, and more.

As we’ve covered previously here, you are generally allowed to install and activate most Adobe software on up to two computers, with the restriction that the software can not used on both systems at the same time. So right off the bat, you might be good to go with installing the software on a second computer, although you may wish to double-check the licensing agreement for your product to be sure.

Deactivating Your Old System First

Adobe uses software activation to control how many of your computers are able to run their creative apps. So if you’re already at your limit of two computers and want to transfer your license over to a new or different system, then first you should deactivate the software from the old computer. In any CC program, click Help > Sign Out (for CS, it’s Help > Deactivate), and then follow the instruc­tions to deactivate the software. Deactivating any single CC or CS application on your machine will deactivate them all.

Note: For CS tools, you may see two choices on the Deactivation screen – if so, then what’s the difference between Suspend Activation vs. Deactivate Permanently? The answer is that both will properly deactivate your product on that computer. But the first (“suspend”) will keep your serial number stored in the Windows registry in case you want to quickly reactivate the same software on the same computer later, without reentering it. However, there is no harm in choosing the second (“permanently”) option, because you can always later reactivate the same product on the same machine by just retyping the license key. In other words, it’s basically a conven­ience factor to store your SN.

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Deactivation is different from uninstallation. If you’re permanently uninstalling Adobe software from a computer, then deactivate it first to ensure its license is freed up. If you deactivate but don’t uninstall, the next time you run Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Acrobat, etc. on that computer, you’ll be asked to reactivate or to start a free trial period.

If you can’t deactivate the software because your disk drive crashed or you changed/upgraded your hardware or you otherwise can’t access your program – and you don’t have Creative Cloud – then you may need to contact Adobe Customer Service to deactivate it for you on their end using your serial number.

After uninstalling any version of CC or CS, you can run the Adobe Cleaner Tool if you like to make sure it’s completely removed from your old system.

Setting Up Your New System

Now you’ll need two things: the software installation files (or discs), and the product’s serial number itself. Note for the Creative Cloud, this doesn’t apply – please see the next section instead.

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If you purchased the software but lost the serial number or no longer have it readily available, the first place to check is your online Adobe account. You will have one if you ever registered the program, or if you purchased it directly from Adobe… Just log in with your Adobe ID and all your serial numbers will be listed there.  If you don’t see it, then try registering your product now and see if it appears there. As a last resort, you may be able to retrieve it from the computer itself using a free utility like Belarc Advisor (Windows) or Product Key Finder (Mac) – which will recover and tell you the activation keys for the programs on your system.

And if you’ve lost or can’t find your original installation file or CD/DVD, or if your machine doesn’t have a disc drive, then you can download and install a free trial of your application from Adobe servers onto your new computer, and that will convert to a full and permanent version when you enter your valid SN.

OK, once deactivation is complete, you are free to go ahead and enter your serial number key to activate a copy of the software installed elsewhere, or use it to reactivate the same applica­tion on that PC after reinstalling (for example, if you are changing disk drives or upgrading operating systems).  And you should be all set.

Note: When [re]installing an upgrade version of Creative Suite, if you don’t have your prior release already installed on that same computer, then you’ll have to manually input that older license key when prompted by the setup process. In other words, you’ll need to enter two serial numbers, the old and the new. If you are continuing to use your prior release, then per Adobe licensing requirements it must be on the same computer(s) as the upgrade version.

If you run into any problems with the deactivation/reactivation process, you’ll have a short window during which the software should work in free trial mode to give you enough time to contact Adobe Support and get things resolved.

Putting Creative Cloud on More than One Computer

All of this becomes much easier with Creative Cloud memberships as well as with single-tool CC subscriptions, because these products are no longer activated using serial numbers but instead with your Adobe ID login. So moving the software to a new system (multiple machines) is really just a matter of visiting the Creative Cloud Download Center, downloading whichever CC apps you want, and then signing in with your email address…

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When the tools finish installing, just log in and the CC software will auto­matically be (re)activated on the new hardware for you, even if you didn’t happen to deactivate first on the old machine. You’ll see a screen that says “You’ve reached your device activa­tion limit” – but just choose another computer to sign out of and then click “Continue” to let the reactivation happen.

This makes it straight­forward to switch your CC applications to a different system when needed – like when a computer crashes or is otherwise not available, when traveling or away from home, when temporarily using a third machine, and so on. Alternatively, you can deactivate using your account page on

For more details on how all of this works, see this CC Help document.

Creative Cloud and single-app subscribers can also skip the next two sections, as your CC products are already capable of flexibly running on both operating system platforms (both Windows and macOS), as well as freely switching between different languages as desired. All Adobe CS products, by contrast, are licensed for just a single language on a single operating system.

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How to Switch Platforms from PC to Mac (or Vice Versa)

How about if you want to change platforms, like from Windows to Mac, or vice versa? The easiest thing to do is get Creative Cloud, because (as mentioned above) a single CC license will run freely on both operating systems. For Creative Suite, it’s more complicated, because all CS software was licensed for a single operating system only. So if you are making a switch and would like to take your Creative Suite 6 license with you, then you used to be able to do what’s called a “crossgrade” between platforms, which was no charge to you and could be submitted online directly through Adobe Customer Service.

However, Adobe now states: “As Creative Suite 6 is no longer sold or supported, platform or language exchanges are not available for it.” So unfortunately, CS operating system crossgrades are no longer possible.

But if you require a different operating system version of a non–Creative Suite/Cloud product you purchased from Adobe (such as Acrobat Pro or Standard), then you can exchange your product. All product configurations (including Student and Teacher Editions) are eligible for exchange.

There are a few provisos. One is you need to have a registered serial number to qualify (but that just takes a few minutes if you haven’t already). You must also be prepared to deactivate and delete the existing software from your computer and destroy any existing copies, as they will no longer be valid. But perhaps the most important is that you can only swap platforms to and from the most recent perpetual version available for the product.

How to Change from One Language or Country to Another

Note that this same procedure also works for requesting a change from one language set to another for a given Adobe application… You’d follow the crossgrade process described above – but choose a new and different language on the form, instead of a different o/s platform.

And the same goes if you want to move your residence to a different country or region, because the product language will usually be different in your new geography (even for English). For example, in the U.S. the language edition is “Universal English,” whereas overseas it’s “International English,” or another language.

After swapping platforms or languages, you cannot cross back to your original platform or language version. No more than five total (lifetime) cross-platform or cross-language upgrades or swaps are allowed per customer, regardless of the product. Software purchased second-hand or from an auction site such as eBay is not eligible for swaps.

There are some exceptions here. The Adobe Elements line is sold as multi­platform and multilanguage software, so would not require a crossgrade. The same also goes for all Creative Cloud products, because all languages and platforms are automat­ically included and you can freely and easily switch between them at any time with Adobe CC.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully that should do it! Please let us know if this article helped you out, or any questions you may have in the comments below.

And if you’d like to move away from shuffling serial numbers altogether, check out Creative Cloud for Teams to simplify management instead of single-user copies… With straightforward per-seat pricing, you get a flexible license that includes powerful workgroup collaboration capabilities and other exclusive features, plus expert support for your entire team.

See Also

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535 thoughts on “How to Move Creative Cloud or CS6 from One Computer to Another”

  1. In writing up this comment, I decided that I would include as much detail as possible on how to reactivate CS6 so that hopefully no one will be left wondering where something is located or what steps to take. I was rather annoyed at the majority of postings on various forums online because most of them failed to provide complete info on how to do things or where to find various links or buttons. I hope to fix that with my comments now and to be as thorough as I can be.

    Because my comment has run longer than I figured, I am splitting the information up into two parts. Part One will cover background, add details and provide some links to the articles that I ran into that formed the basis for the apparent fix that I found. It will also provide some links to locations on the Adobe site where a download needs to be done. Part Two will cover the actual steps that I took to get my install of CS6 accomplished and activated. If all works out, there will hopefully be some screenshots available in Part Two to illustrate where various buttons or links were found. I will post Part Two following this comment.

    So, here is PART ONE:

    The following information has to do primarily with getting Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) installed and activated on a Macintosh computer. Some (or perhaps all) of the following information MAY be viable for use on a Windows PC, but I can’t vouch for that to any degree since I do not, and have not ever, used a Windows-based computer. So, you Windows users might want to take a look anyway to see if there’s anything there that you can use. YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary.

    As noted in my earlier post, during my research I came across a couple of postings that, when joined together, appear to solve the problem of getting CS6 installed on a Mac. In this day and age, that’s no longer a simple thing since Adobe has moved on and they certainly have no vested interest in making things easier for CS release users… After all, the more hassle CS users have to go through to try to install CS, the more likely they are to throw up their hands in abject frustration and surrender to Adobe’s rental scheme. And Adobe wants EVERYONE to get off of CS and move to “creative cloud” rent.

    I ran into my own CS6 re-installation problem back on Friday of last week, and thus began a long, frustrating effort to try to find information on how to successfully get CS6 installed, and then activated, on my 2015 MacBook Pro laptop (running macOS High Sierra version 10.13.6). Actually, for me the installation was not the problem… it was getting CS6 activated afterwards that was the main hassle.

    Anyway, I looked around over the past three days or so and found a lot of suggestions and recommendations for how to get installation and activation accomplished. I tried a bunch of those suggestions. Nothing worked. As I went through various message board and forum postings, as well as other website articles, I would send a few of those that looked promising to my own email address so that I could have a reference to return to them later. As it turned out, I ended up coming across a couple of items that looked promising and those two ended up sticking with me.

    The FIRST article I came across was a general Knowledgebase article on Adobe’s main support website. I saw that article a few days ago. That article had to do with an ALTERNATE way to install CS6 onto a Mac which a user could try if their regular CS6 installer was not working correctly. That article also had information for users who were trying to install CS4, CS5, and CS5.5 on a Mac. The alternate process for installing those versions is a little different from installing CS6. If you want to check out that FIRST article, you can read it here:

    The SECOND item that I encountered was a message board posting that I happened to see last Sunday morning… sort of late in my research. When I saw that posting, I suddenly had a moment of clarifying inspiration! I remembered the FIRST article (about the ALTERNATE install method) and somehow mentally linked it to this SECOND article to form a unified approach to possibly getting this activation problem vanquished. That SECOND item is not that spectacular… just a short post by someone who related a way that he/she was able to discover where to find a Request Code… the very thing that I’ve been searching for over these last few days. Unfortunately, that poster did not give full information… the post was short on specific details but there was enough there to give me an idea on how to proceed. If you want to check out that message board post, it’s located on one of Adobe’s customer support forum message boards. When you click the following link, scroll all the way down to the post at the very bottom of the thread. Look for a post from: “Ki Fung22619509x6gb”

    Here is that link:

    As noted earlier, I did not have any real problems with installing CS6 on my MacBook Pro (MBP). It was the activation that was the problem. When I did my installs of CS6, I used the original Installer disk that I got from Adobe back in 2012. After doing an install, I would try to start up one of the applications (like Photoshop) and I would always run into the Sign In window which would not work. I would fill in my info, hit Submit… and after one other window I would then be dumped right back into the Sign In window all over again. It was a never-ending loop.

    After trying a couple of installs off of my original CS6 disk and still running into the loop, I decided to try a different installer file. Maybe if I downloaded an installer file from Adobe’s website via my Adobe account, then perhaps that installer file would be slightly newer than what was provided on my original CS6 disk and I might then have better luck with an install and activation with it. So, I signed onto my Adobe account and looked for a download. For those who need to know how to access such downloads from the Adobe site, here is a step by step for that:

    To download an installer file for your product straight from Adobe, do the following:

    1) Sign in to your personal account on Adobe’s main website.

    2) Once you are signed in, choose to “View Account.” (The link for “View Account” can be found under your Profile picture. If you don’t have a Profile picture uploaded, you will see a blue “pie chart” sort of icon in the upper right corner of the web page window… at least, that’s where I found “View Account” when I signed in to my account. Click on your Profile picture or that “pie chart” icon to get a drop-down to appear.) Once the drop down appears, click on “View Account.”

    3) Once you are in your own account area, look for a “tab” link near the the top of the page titled “Plans and payment”. Click once on that tab link for a drop down menu.

    4) When I clicked on that drop down menu, that menu showed 4 items and the bottom item is titled “Products”. Click on “Products”.

    5) The resulting page view will show all of the Adobe products that you have registered with Adobe. Look for the specific name of your product along the left side of the listings on that page.

    6) When you find the specific product that you are looking for, there will be a button displayed below the product name that is titled “Download”. Click that button to Download the installer for your product straight from Adobe.

    Once I got hold of an installer file from Adobe’s website for CS6, I then tried double-clicking it to start it up and try another install. Only problem was: the file would not open. Wonderful! Another hassle from Adobe.

    So, now I had two installers: the original installer from the original CS6 Installer disk that was shipped to me from Adobe back in 2012; and the presumably “newer” installer file that I had downloaded straight from Adobe’s site. The original installer gave me installs that led to the Sign In loop… while the “newer” installer file would not open.

    It was at this moment that I remembered that FIRST article that I had found… the ALTERNATE way to install CS6. And once I started using that alternate approach to installing, I was then able to use some of that info from the SECOND item that I had found… the message board posting on the Adobe support site.

    :::: This is the end of Part One… my next comment will begin Part Two where the step by step instructions… hopefully with screen shots… will be provided. :::::

  2. PART TWO:

    I decided to use the ALTERNATE approach to launch the Installer file that I had downloaded straight from the Adobe website via my Adobe account.

    If you looked at the FIRST article at the link that I provided, you saw that you needed to do a “right click” to get a contextual popout menu to appear. I’m not big on Windows-centric terms so “right click” has never been something I’ve understood or warmed up to. While it is true that it is possible to do a “right click” with various Mac mouse products available on the market these days, I’ve never made use of that option. Fortunately, there is a way to get the effect of the “right click” without actually having to perform it.

    On the Mac, the way to do the “right click” equivalent is to just hold down the CONTROL key while clicking on a given file. That will cause the contextual menu to appear.

    Something else that I need to point out here before I get into the step by step descriptions… when I first started trying out this hybrid approach (i.e. using the two articles together to try to get the install/activation accomplished), I wasn’t expecting it to work. Nothing else had worked up to this point, so I was not focused on doing stuff like making screen shots as I proceeded along this path. By the time it was clear that this approach was having distinctly different results from anything that I tried before, I had already gone through several steps without making any screen shots to memorialize the process. As a result of that oversight, I’ve had to go back and try to reconstruct what I did the first time around.

    I did NOT want to have to reinstall the entire suite again, so I chose instead to UNINSTALL a selected CS6 application, and then reinstall it using the approach I had used before. In this way, I could reproduce the steps and thus be able to make some screen shots as I went along. I actually made screen shots off of 2 different reinstalls… one for Illustrator, and another for Flash… so you may see some different application references mixed into the screen shot stream. Please ignore those and concentrate ONLY on the process.

    For the sake of simplicity of these descriptions, I will reference only CS6 files. If you downloaded some other Installer from Adobe, then please just mentally substitute your particular product name wherever I reference CS6. Thanks!


    So, to do the install and activation, you need to do the following steps:

    IMPORTANT TECH NOTE: Before I get into the step-by-step information, there is one thing that I need to mention so that you can be ready for it should it appear. There will likely be a point during the CS6 installation process where the install will be interrupted and you will be asked to quit a process or quit an application. Quitting an application is simple… just bring that application to the front and choose to Quit. But quitting a process may be something you have not had to do before. Here’s what to do: if you run into an interruption and you are asked to quit something, the items that need to be quit will be listed in the error dialog window. As mentioned earlier, if one or more of the items is an application, just bring it or them forward and choose to Quit them. But if there is an item listed that does NOT look like an application, it’s likely a process. The way to quit a process is to use Activity Monitor. To find Activity Monitor, go into your Applications folder. Inside the Applications folder is a folder named Utilities. Open the Utilities folder. Inside the Utilities folder you will find Activity Monitor. Double click Activity Monitor to start it running. There are only TWO items that you need to concern yourself with in the Activity Monitor window: at the far upper left corner there will be a button with an “X” icon on it; at the far right is a button with a magnifying glass icon and the word “Search”. Those are the only 2 things you will need here. The process that I’ve seen most often (during my installs) that needed to be quit was a process called “SafariBookmarksSyncAgent“. If you get an interruption and you see listed there something that looks like “SafariBookmarksS…”, that’s the one that will need to be closed. The way to do that is to click on the far right “Search” button and, when that field activates, type in Safaribookmarks. You will NOT need to type the whole thing… if you get enough of its name, the process will then appear isolated in the main window of Activity Monitor. Once SafariBookmarksSyncAgent appears by itself in the main Activity Monitor window, click ONCE on the name to select it, and then click on the far left corner icon with the “X” on it. You will see a warning dialog asking if you are sure you want to quit that process. Click the Quit button. Once you click the Quit button, the process SafariBookmarksSyncAgent may linger there for a few more seconds. Be patient. Wait for that process to disappear from the main Activity Monitor screen. (NOTE: if there are other processes that are indicated that need to be quit, do those too.) Once that process is gone from the window, go back to the original error window and click Continue (or whatever the button is to get the install running again). The CS6 install should then continue to its completion.

    STEP 1: The CS6 Installer file that I downloaded from my account on the Adobe site had a filename of: DesignWebPremium_CS6_LS16.dmg
    Double-click that file to open it. You will see the following (see Exhibit 1).

    Exhibit 1
    Exhibit 1

    STEP 2: In the window that opens, you will see 2 items available… one is for Fonts, the other for Adobe CS6. Hold down the CONTROL key and click once on the CS6 item. A contextual menu will appear and you will want to then click on the top item in the menu: click OPEN. (See Exhibit 2)

    Exhibit 2
    Exhibit 2

    STEP 3: In the next window there will be 4 items. One is titled Hold down the CONTROL key and click once on A contextual menu will appear and the 2nd item down from the top will be named Show Package Contents. Click on Show Package Contents. (See Exhibit 3)

    Exhibit 3
    Exhibit 3

    STEP 4: In the following window that opens up, you will see one folder named Contents. Double-click on the Contents folder to open it up. The folder that opens up will reveal 8 items. One of them is a folder named MacOS. Double-click on the MacOS folder to open it up. Inside the MacOS folder is a file named Install. Double-click Install to start the install. (See Exhibit 4)

    Exhibit 4
    Exhibit 4

    STEP 5: After you double-click Install, you will see a warning dialog appear saying that “‘Install’ is a Unix application downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it?” Click Open. (See Exhibit 5)

    Exhibit 5
    Exhibit 5

    STEP 6: When you click on Open, a Terminal window will open and will be running some Unix gibberish. Ignore that window. Along with that window, there will be a smaller window that appears with a progress bar in it… it will indicate that the Installer is initializing. (See Exhibit 6)

    Exhibit 6
    Exhibit 6

    STEP 7: Once the Installer is initialized, another window will appear providing 3 choices on how to proceed. You can either Install with a serial number; or, Start my subscription; or, Install a trial. (See Exhibit 7).

    Exhibit 7
    Exhibit 7

    STEP 8: Presuming that you want to install with a serial number, click that option. A window for the Adobe software license agreement appears. Click Accept. Then, a window appears where you enter your serial number. Enter your serial number and then click Next. (See Exhibit 8)

    Exhibit 8
    Exhibit 8

    STEP 9: After entering your serial number and clicking Next, you will see a window titled Sign In Required. At the bottom are 3 buttons, two of which are titled Sign In Later and Sign In Now. If you’ve been having problems with Sign In, you’d probably be better off clicking Sign In Later. I think that’s what I did the first time around. Since I had already gotten my CS6 installed and activated, there’s no way now for me to go back and test both ways. So, just give Sign In Later a try. (See Exhibit 9)

    Exhibit 9
    Exhibit 9

    STEP 10: Once you click Sign In Later, another window appears listing all of the CS6 applications. Assuming you’re installing everything, then ALL of those checkboxes would be checked next to each application name. In this example (see Exhibit 10), Adobe Flash Professional CS6 is checked… this was one of the tests I did to recreate all of these steps. So, once you have checked the checkboxes for all of the CS6 applications that you want to install, click the Install button to start the installation.

    Exhibit 10
    Exhibit 10

    STEP 11: Once all installations have been done, you will see the Installation Complete window (see Exhibit 11). As noted earlier, this was a test doing a reinstall of just Flash. If you did an install of ALL of the CS6 applications, then you would see a whole string of thumbnail application logos displayed in a row where the Flash logo currently is shown. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT CLOSE THE “INSTALLATION COMPLETE” WINDOW TILL YOU READ STEP 12.

    Exhibit 11
    Exhibit 11

    :::: At this point, the installation has been completed. Now, it’s time to deal with the activation part of this process. This is where that SECOND item that I read came in handy… it gave me a hint as to where to find the important line “Having trouble connecting to the internet?” That’s the line that leads to the Generate Request Code button!!! :::::

    STEP 12: As noted in Step 11, if you are in the process of doing your installation while reading this step by step list, then YOU WILL DEFINITELY WANT TO KEEP THE “INSTALLATION COMPLETE” WINDOW OPEN… THE WINDOW WITH ALL OF THE APPLICATION LOGO THUMBNAILS DISPLAYED IN IT. Why do you want to keep that window open at this point? Because, one of those logos is the key to making your way to the “Generate Request Code button. At least, that’s what I discovered… and I discovered that because of the comments that I saw in that SECOND posting that I read. So, if you still have that “Installation Complete” window open, do the following: Click on ONE of the logo thumbnails and that should cause a Sign In Required window to open (see Exhibit 12). You will see 2 buttons at lower right… IGNORE BOTH OF THOSE BUTTONS! DO NOT CLICK EITHER OF THOSE BUTTONS! Look instead at the blue link text line up above in the window that reads: “Having trouble connecting to the internet?” That’s the line that I had been trying to find the location of for the last 3 days! Click on that blue line of text. Clicking that blue line starts you on your way to the Generate Request Code button!

    Exhibit 12
    Exhibit 12

    STEP 13: Once you click on that blue line of text, you are presented with the “No Internet Connection” window. That’s where you want to be… even if you have your Mac online connection active. In my case, I had an active internet connection while I was doing all of the above. If you check out that “No Internet Connection” window (see Exhibit 13), you will note that most of the text appears to be set up to reflect a situation where the user is NOT connected to the internet. What is particularly funny, though, is the bold line of text at the bottom where it’s evident that something detected that my MBP was indeed connected to the internet and it presented me with that somewhat snarky comment at the bottom of the text where it says “I don’t know what the problem is.” In any event, just look to the bottom right of the window and you will see the button that you are REALLY interested in… the Offline Activation button. Click the Offline Activation button.

    Exhibit 13
    Exhibit 13

    STEP 14: After you click on the Offline Activation button, you FINALLY are able to get to where you have wanted to be for all this time… the point where you can FINALLY get hold of a Request Code so that you can get activation of CS6 accomplished… the Offline Activation window (see Exhibit 14). After reading the details in the window about what you need to do, go down to the lower right corner and click the Generate Request Code button.

    Exhibit 14
    Exhibit 14

    STEP 15: Once you click the Generate Request Code button, you will see a Request Code appear in the Offline Activation window (see Exhibit 15). You also are provided an entry field labelled “Response Code”. LEAVE THIS WINDOW OPEN AND SWITCH TO YOUR BROWSER. Before going to your browser, first select the Request Code and COPY it to the Clipboard. You will want to have that code available to PASTE into the Request Code field on the Adobe site. (NOTE: If it is the case that you really DON’T have internet connectivity on the Mac in question, then you will need to write down that Request Code and then take that piece of paper over to a computer that DOES have internet connectivity.)

    Exhibit 15
    Exhibit 15

    STEP 16: After you generate a Request Code, go to your browser and navigate to the Adobe Offline Activation page (see Exhibit 16). If you want to go STRAIGHT to that page, then the link to use would be this one: Offline Activation – Generate a Response Code. Be aware that, once you click this link, you will be presented with an Adobe page where you will need to sign in to your Adobe account. The first page is where you put in your email address… once you complete that, then you’ll get another page to fill in your password. Once you get that accomplished, you’ll land on the page that you see in Exhibit 16. Once you get to the Offline Activation page, paste (or type in) the Request Code in the first field. Then, type in your serial number in the field to the right. Once both of those fields have the necessary information in them, go down to the button below there titled “Generate Response Code”. Click on the Generate Response Code button.

    Exhibit 16
    Exhibit 16

    STEP 17: After clicking on the Generate Response Code button, the Offline Activation page will display truncated versions of the Request Code and the Serial Number… and it will show (off to the right) a full Response Code (see Exhibit 17). Select the Response Code and COPY it (or write it down if you have to carry it to an offline computer). Then, go back to the Offline Activation window (that you left onscreen back in STEP 15) and PASTE (or type in) the Response Code into the available field. Once you get a Response Code into that field, the “Activate” button at the lower right corner will be enabled, and you will then be able to click that Activate button.

    Exhibit 17
    Exhibit 17

    STEP 18: Once you click that Activate button, you should see the Offline Activation Complete window (see Exhibit 18). If you see that window, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve successfully activated your Adobe Creative Suite 6 installation! (NOTE: in this particular screenshot, you will see that Adobe Illustrator CS6 is indicated to be successfully activated. This was one of my efforts to recreate the activation process so that I could get screenshots to illustrate this report. If you were activating the entire CS6 suite, then obviously the wording in that window would be different and would say something like “Adobe Create Suite 6 Design & Web Premium has successfully been activated and is ready to use.” )

    Exhibit 18
    Exhibit 18

    This concludes my report about how I managed to (1) install CS6 using an alternate method and (2) get CS6 activated through offline activation. I hope that this will work for you as it did for me. I have tried to make this report as thorough and complete as possible. Even so, there MIGHT be something that I overlooked, so if you run into something that I did not list here, then please let me know!


    Having said all of the above… I hope this helps!!

    • David, thank you SO much – that is tremendously helpful! It will surely help other people like yourself.

      We really appreciate your taking the time to write up what you did and share it with our readers.

      Congratulations for posting the most comprehensive and in-depth comment ever on our site, since 2009!

    • You’re welcome! I hope it helps those who ran into the same hassle that I ran into. I tried to include everything that anyone would possibly need or want to know about that process so it would be a one stop shop for info.

      In checking over the comments/report that I posted, I found one thing that didn’t transfer over. In the STEP 16 section, in the 2nd sentence there was supposed to be an active link attached to “Generate a Response Code”. Unfortunately, those words ended up as just plain text that is not clickable.

      I suppose people can navigate to that Adobe page on their own, but it would be so much better if that link was restored and made active.

      Is there any way to fix that?

    • Absolutely – it didn’t come through for some reason, but we just added that link to your text… All set now.

      Three more things to note about Creative Suite 6, which is almost 10 years old now… The first is that CS6 will not install on macOS Catalina (v. 10.15) or newer, because CS6 had 32-bit software components and Apple removed all support for 32-bit applications. So the last macOS release that can install CS6 natively is Mojave (v. 10.14).

      The second note is if someone needs the original CS6 installers, they can still be found here:

      Adobe Creative Suite 6 Direct Download Links

      The third and final comment is that CS6 from 2012 has been “end-of-life” software for some years now and because of that, is completely unsupported by Adobe.

      Thanks again!

    • One last item I found that needs to be corrected in my report…’s an error that I caused. It’s not a consequential item, but for the sake of clarity it would be great if you could edit and fix it.

      In my PART TWO report, there are 18 Steps that I list. The error that I found is in the STEP 15 text area. In that STEP 15 text area, the 4th sentence has some text that reads: “…and COPY it to the Desktop.”

      I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that….it was SUPPOSED to read: “…and COPY it to the Clipboard.” So, could you please change “Desktop” to “Clipboard”?

      Besides that correction shown above, I have a separate question about something else regarding my PART TWO post: as you know, I provided screenshot images for each of the 18 steps that I’ve listed there. Each of those screenshots are referenced as Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, etc. As it stands right now, the only thing that links the screenshot with the Step visually is its relative closeness since none of those screenshot images are actually labeled. It would be better if each of those screenshots could indeed have an actual label of Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, etc. Is that something that could be added?

      There was a time when I uploaded a couple of images to another image hosting site, and then used the code from that site on another message board site. In that instance, there was something in that code…or on the message board site….that allowed the file name to be visible in my post on the message board site. I was thinking the same thing would happen here but, unfortunately, it did not happen.

      So, if you could label those screenshots with the Exhibit numbers, that would be great. If not, then it should still be OK if a little murky.


  3. Thanks! That adds clarity to the step by step area.

    Hopefully all of that info will help others in navigating to a successful installation/activation of their CS6 (or other CS product) on their Mac.

    The only other bit of info that I will offer (and this does NOT need to be added to my comment… it can stay right here in this comment) would be: regarding the “Installation Complete” window in STEP 11/Exhibit 11 where a series of application logo thumbnails will be displayed… I indicate there that the user should keep that particular window OPEN and then click on one of those thumbnail application logos in that window in order to advance to the next window which would be the “Sign In Required” window in STEP 12/Exhibit 12. The only reason I said that is because that’s what I did the first time around when I did the original experiment which resulted in SUCCESS in installing/activating my CS6 software.

    What I’m adding now is: it is likely POSSIBLE that, even if the user accidentally closed that “Installation Complete” window from STEP 11, they MIGHT still be able to get to that next “Sign In Required” window (in STEP 12) by instead going to the Applications folder and directly double-clicking an actual CS6 application to start it up. I would think that action would have the same effect as clicking on one of those thumbnail application logos.

    Since I now have no way to test that approach, I can’t say for certain that it would work. But, I offer this suggestion now so that, if someone is following those steps described above and they accidentally close that Exhibit 11 window, then they can give this alternate approach a try to see if they can recover and still continue on with the Activation part of the process.

    Hopefully this alternate approach is indeed viable. No guarantees, but I suppose this would qualify as “any port in a storm”, right? ;)

    Better something than nothing.

    The only other thing that I could think of (if the alternate option above did not work) would be to do an uninstall of the CS6 installation and start the whole step by step process all over again.

    Just trying to cover as many bases as possible!

  4. The following is an inquiry that is somewhat related to CS6 installation:

    As you know, when you do installs of software, one of the first things you do is to then check for updates to make sure your install is as current as possible.

    In earlier times, you would access the software maker’s site and physically download updater files… and then apply the updates yourself on your computer.

    Of course, the way things happen now is you just choose Update from your application’s menu and the update happens automatically. Or, your software is set to check for updates on its own so that you don’t have to hardly lift a finger.

    But I’m talking about CS6 now and it is of an earlier time. (Yes, I realize that CS6 applications have an Update option in their menu, but way back then I was still used to physically downloading my own update files… I wanted to be self-sufficient if my internet connection went down and I needed to service CS6 apps.) So, back in the day, I downloaded a bunch of updater files from Adobe for my CS6 applications. And so now, even 10 years or so later, I still have those updater files available for Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6, and Photoshop CS6. That means that, whenever I do reinstalls of CS6, I am then able to apply those updater files to them in order to bring all 3 up to their last known updated versions.

    Or so I thought.

    I’m reasonably certain that I have the final updaters for Illustrator and Photoshop. I’m not so certain about InDesign CS6. So, my question now is: what was the last updated version of InDesign CS6?

    For your reference, the version of InDesign CS6 that I’m left with after applying the updaters is:

    Is that the final version? If there was a version after that, do you know of a reputable site where an updater for that later version can be downloaded from?

    Additional info: I took a look at my stash for old InDesign CS6 updaters, and I found that I had 4 of them. Here is a list of what I’ve held onto for all of these years:

    1st Updtr: AdobeInDesignServer8Patch-All.dmg

    2nd Updtr: AdobeInDesign8Patch-All.dmg

    3rd Updtr: AdobeInDesignServer802Patch-All.dmg

    4th Updtr: AdobeInDesign8Patch-All.dmg

    Were there any past these?

    Thanks for any info that you may have on this!

    PS: And, no, I can’t just use the Update feature in InDesign’s menu because that feature no longer works. When I choose Update, a window with all of the CS6 application icons appear… you are given the opportunity there to choose which apps you want to update… and then you choose to update. After that, the software goes through the motions of looking like it is downloading all of the necessary files… only to have a window appear afterwards that says “Update failed.” That happens every time I try to update via the application menu. So, I have to now depend on my old updater files that I downloaded so long ago. So, thanks for any light that you can shed on my query!

    • Yes, in fact another very helpful reader shared their solution on CS6 updates…

      See this discussion in the comments section of another post on our site.

      That could help you get the CS6 updates, if the normal method via the Help menu doesn’t work.

      Please let us know how it goes.

    • Thanks for sending along that link regarding the CS6 updater archive.

      Unfortunately, so far as I could tell, all of the CS6 updater files on that page are for Windows users… not Mac… unless I missed something on that page.

      Hopefully whomever put together that archive for the PC users could also somehow manage to find an equal number of CS6 perpetual updater files for us Mac users.

      Alas… I think it’s probably too late for that now.

      Again, thanks for the info and link!

      – David Miller

    • Actually, Bryan (who put those together) posted this several weeks ago:

      I been working on the Mac CS6 updates and have most of them now. Those add up to 5.7 Gigabytes. Haven’t had the time to make the library and upload the the macOS DMG image files.

      And interestingly, some folks (like Kyle here) do still have luck using Updates on the CS6 Help menu…

    • It’s great to hear that Bryan managed to gather together all of those Mac CS6 updater files! Hopefully he’ll find the time to upload that archive so I can see if I’m missing anything InDesign-wise. Or for Illustrator or Photoshop, for that matter. I’m reasonably sure that I’ve got all of the updaters for those two, but it’s always possible that I’ve missed one here or there.

      As for Kyle being able to Update through the Help menu… he can count himself lucky that he still has that functionality available to him. The Update menu on my CS6 installs have not worked for at least 5-6 years. Whenever I try to use that Update feature, the story is always the same (as I described earlier in another post):

      — I pull down the Help menu and choose Update;

      — A window appears with all of the CS6 applications listed with checkboxes in front of their names;

      — I check the boxes of those applications that I want to update;

      — A progress bar for a download appears… it gives the impression that it is downloading the necessary update files;

      — The “download” appears to complete… and immediately an error window displays indicating “Update failed.” Same story every time.

      A week and a half ago, when I first ran into that Sign In Loop problem, I had decided to see if anyone at Adobe Customer Support could help. I got into a chat with one of their reps on the Adobe site and described the problem. The rep requested permission to access my MacBook Pro (MBP) remotely and I said OK. He then did some editing in some Adobe support files on my MBP and he then tried launching Photoshop to see if the Sign In window appeared again. It did. After that, I saw him move my MBP’s cursor up to Photoshop’s Help menu and he chose Update. He went through the same sequence as I just described above… and the result was the same: the “Update failed” error message. I then mentioned to him that that was the way it had been for my CS6 for several years.

      After that, he gave up and sent me links to message threads on the Adobe message board forums saying that I needed to pursue the “Sign In Loop” problem on my own since CS6 was no longer officially supported. That’s what led to my 3-day research binge which culminated in me discovering that “Part1/Part 2” approach. That, of course, led to my humongous post above.

      In any event, thanks for passing along the info about Bryan being able to gather all of those CS6 updater files! Hopefully he’ll get that finished and uploaded. Then I can see what (if anything) I’m missing. I don’t know how he was able to dredge up all of those files after all this time, but I’m glad he was somehow able to do it.

      Can you let me know when he gets that archive uploaded? Thanks!

      – David Miller

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