Migrating to Named User Licensing


Adobe discontinued serial numbers for ETLA customers installing the Continuous track on September 5, 2017. This change aligns the product’s current capabilities with how Adobe Document Cloud (ADC) is deployed in the enterprise, but it also mirrors an industry trend towards named user software deployments in enterprise environments. Such deployments offer numerous benefits for IT, including browser-based console administration, streamlined deployment via self-service options, and so on.

Note the following:

  • This change does not affect Classic track installs (perpetual installs).

  • Exceptions may be granted under select circumstances.

  • Since some 11.x licenses expired in December, 2018, this is an ideal time to transition to NUL.

What is NUL?

Named user deployment ties the usage of Adobe apps and services to an individual user. Named licensing works well if the product and service requirements are closely associated with a user, group, or role. Named licensing provides IT admins with complete control to manage product licenses for all users at any time. It also facilitates compliance tracking since admins don’t need to track machines and can manage licenses centrally. Named licensing is useful if you need to:

  • Provide access to Adobe-hosted services.

  • Use the Adobe Admin Console for centralized license and compliance management.

  • Require flexible licensing over time; for example, a designer moving from a video product configuration to a web product configuration.

  • Enable self-service workflows for users to acquire apps, updates, and service access.

NUL and Acrobat XI

Adobe Acrobat XI support is ending October 15, 2017. Some Acrobat XI serial numbers will expire by December 1, 2017. Customers should upgrade to Acrobat, and installation of the Continuous track requires using named user licensing and the Admin Console. Classic track installs should use Acrobat or Acrobat 2017 serial numbers from LWS. For Creative Cloud for Enterprise, customers should replace serial numbers with the newer ones they may have received on renewal. For more information or assistance identifying the correct serial numbers, contact Adobe Support.


What are the end of life dates for 11.x?

Adobe Acrobat XI support is ending October 15, 2017. Some Acrobat XI serial numbers will expire by December 1, 2017.

How can I migrate my 11.x product?

After you’ve selected a licensing program and product track, deploy as described below.

Can I reuse my 11.x licenses for Acrobat?


What are the differences between the Continuous and Classic Acrobat tracks?

Refer to the track page.

What licensing programs are available for NUL?

Refer to the track page.

Should I serialize or use named user licensing?

The choice is yours, but named user licensing offers many advantages, including those described below and in this blog.

What are the limitations of NUL?

Users cannot be logged in on more than two computers simultaneously. Users will see an overactivation dialog when logged in on more than two machines. The solution is to sign out before signing in on another machines.

Migrating serialized installs to NUL


The following is required:

  • Internet connection. Computers with Acrobat named user licensing must connect to Adobe servers for initial activation and then at least once every 99 days.

  • Continuous track installer. For track details, see Document Cloud Product Tracks.

  • NUL is not supported on the Classic track, but it does work and may be a viable option for those customers who cannot migrate to the Continuous track.

  • Because the process involves moving from the Classic to Continuous track, the paths to user files change. Prepare to migrate user files to the new path. See Continuous vs. Classic comparison.

  • Access to the Admin Console.

  • For standalone Acrobat deployments which not part of a Creative Cloud packager install, download the Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) and use the adobe_prtk.exe tool

  • For virtualized environments, a roaming profile for all users so that they only need to log in once on any specific machine.

Step 1: Configure proxy and firewall settings

To ensure that users can sign in to Adobe Document Cloud, configure your firewall and proxy servers to enable connections to Acrobat’s web service endpoints.

For customers using Acrobat in the context of a Creative Cloud install, see also Creative Cloud for enterprise Network Endpoints.

Step 2: Set up users and groups

To assure continuous Acrobat availability and functionality, set up your users and groups via the Admin Console. You can invite users to your organization, add them to groups, and assign licenses. Doing so provides users with the opportunity to accept the invitations and set up their IDs without impeding existing workflows. For details, see Manage groups and Manage users.

Step 3: Remove existing serial licenses

Creative Cloud Packager deployments

If Acrobat is deployed as part of a Creative Cloud Packager install, do the following:

  1. If you have not already created a License Package using the Creative Cloud Packager, create one now as described in the CCP documentation.

  2. Open a console with administrator privileges.

  3. CD to the package location. It should contain RemoveVolumeSerial.exe|app.

  4. Run RemoveVolumeSerial.<extension>.


This process de-serializes all CC products. Use your preferred scripting method to run this command on machines across your organization.

Standalone (non-CCP deployments)

If Acrobat was installed as a standalone product:

  1. Download APTEE if you don’t already have it (links above):

  2. Determine your product’s LEID as described in Appendix A: Identifying Installs.

  3. Open a console with administrator privileges.

  4. CD to the tool location.

  5. Run the following APTEE tool command:

Adobe_prtk –-tool=UnSerialize --leid=<Product LEID> --deactivate –-force

Step 4: Uninstall existing products

All deployment methods require removing existing licenses from deployed machines. Uninstalling the product is also required when the following is installed:

  • Acrobat 11.x.

  • Acrobat Classic track. The Continuous track does not require an uninstall.

Windows uninstalls

On Windows, you can let the new installer remove the previous product version or remove it manually first. Admins often remove the current install as a separate action since this facilitates tracking deployment tasks when using tools like SCCM. Uninstall and deactivate Acrobat via the command line or by using the provided tools:

command line

msiexec /x <Application product code> /qn

provided script

The following tools provide an optional method to uninstall and deactivate installed Acrobat versions prior to deploying Acrobat with NUL.

  1. Download and extract the zip file.

  2. Modify the reference scripts to work in your environment.

  3. Copy the contents to a folder on all machines where uninstall is required.

  4. Run the extracted prtk executable file with administrator privileges.

  5. Run UninstallAcrobat.vbs.

  6. Go to step 5 below.

The script removes and decactivates Acrobat products without touching other Adobe products.

Step 5: Migrate to NUL

11.x serial deployments to NUL

After the licenses have been removed from deployed machines, simply uninstall Acrobat and deploy Acrobat Continuous track as described below.

Non-virtual serial deployments to NUL

  1. If the Acrobat Classic track has been installed, uninstall it as shown in the example above. The Continuous track does not require an uninstall.

  2. Deploy Acrobat Continuous track for named user licensing.

  3. Inform users they will simply need to sign-in the next time Acrobat launches.

Virtual serial deployments to NUL

  1. Set up roaming profiles for your users.

  2. If the Acrobat Classic track has been installed, uninstall it as shown in the example above. The Continuous track does not require an uninstall.

  3. Deploy the Acrobat Continuous track with NUL for your virtualized environment.

  4. Inform users they will simply need to sign-in the next time Acrobat launches.