Adobe Software Licensing FAQ

Getting Started | Eligibility | General | License Renewal | Computer Labs | Support

Getting Started

For information on how to obtain an Adobe license and software, please review our Knowledge Base Portal articles found under the How to Sign Up for Adobe Subscription Started section.

We implemented a license renewal policy of three months for Adobe Creative Cloud and once a year for Adobe Acrobat due to limited number of licenses available for the UBC community and to ensure availability. This is also a license management best practice.

Yes, as you can only have one type of Adobe license at a time, you can switch between the two Adobe products if your needs change over time. Please contact the IT Service Centre to help you make the switch.

License is associated to user. Adobe software can be installed on more than one device and activated on two devices. However, only one active session is allowed. If a user logins to more than two machines, an over activation dialog will pop-up and will ask the user to sign-out of other devices before signing-in to the current device.

Yes, you can install Adobe to non-UBC owned devices to conduct university activities.

Some apps are hidden in the Creative Cloud app. You can find them by following the steps below.

  1. Click on this icon at the top of the screen on the upper right corner
  2. Select preferences
  3. Select Creative Cloud
  4. Select show Older Apps


UBC Faculty and staff are eligible for a license at no cost. Contractors are not eligible for this service.

When you leave the university, your access to the Adobe license will be revoked as it is associated to your Campus-Wide Login (CWL).


If you never ordered software through the UBC Software Portal before, you will be asked to create an account and provide active email address during the order placement in the webstore. The email address that you provided will be used for order confirmation and renewal notification purposes.

Once apps are installed and activated on your computer, you need to keep your Adobe apps signed in in order to use them offline.

For Adobe Creative Cloud:
You can use the apps in offline mode up to two calendar months + 99 days (~159 days). The apps will attempt to validate your software license every 30 days. For more information, please click here.

For Adobe Acrobat DC:
You can use the apps in offline mode up to 99 days (grace period). The apps will attempt to validate your software license every 30 days. You will receive a reminder to reconnect to the internet to validate your license after the 30 day period has expired. For more information, please click here.

License Renewal

Yes. UBC has a very limited number of Adobe software licenses. Therefore, term license subscriptions are used to reallocate license periodically.

  • Adobe Acrobat Professional DC: 1-year subscription
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) for Staff: 3-month subscription
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) for Faculty: Annual subscription with a hard renewal date of December 19 every year, to avoid disruption to learning while aligning with the fiscal year renewal periods.

Please renew your license at the UBC Software Portal

If you need to renew a license after the grace period of your license expiration date, you can simply reorder a new license through the UBC Software Portal.

No, you do not need to reinstall any software after you renew your license.
If you previously had a Named User License, you also do not need to reinstall any software. You just need to login using your CWL credential described in step #4 on ServiceNow IT Service Management (

Please go to the UBC Software Portal to renew your license.

The employment status of staff fluctuates more frequently than that of faculty members. As a result, it is difficult to keep an accurate count of licenses in use versus dormant. To ensure the most efficient use of this limited license pool, we have implemented a more regular renewal for staff over faculty.

Computer Labs


Please contact the IT Service Centre for support.