Mac Admin

Moving devices from Adobe Shared Device License to Adobe Named User License

Hey folks, this question came up a while ago in the MacAdmins #adobe Slack channel, and recently reappeared so I thought I’d document it!

In some cases you may need to convert an already deployed Mac away from Adobe’s Shared Device Licensing (SDL) and change it to unlicensed or Named User Licensing (NUL). This is indeed possible but there are a few hoops to jump through.

I know, I just need to deactivate the license!

Well, yes and no.

It is indeed possible to deactivate an SDL using either the portal or the Adobe Licensing Toolkit (Deactivating Adobe Shared Device Licenses). However, as soon as an Adobe ID is used to log into the Adobe Apps, the SDL is re-activated.

However, as soon as a users sign into Adobes app on each of these machines, the machines are immediately licensed again.” – Source

Ok, what else should I do?

So before you go ahead with the second part, I’d still strongly recommend you deactivate the license either via the Admin Console or using the Adobe Licensing Toolkit. If not, you may be stuck with a ‘used’ SDL in your portal that it won’t be easy to flush out.

So the next step came from an older discussion in the #adobe channel

This directory lives at /Library/Application Support/Adobe/OperatingConfigs

Once you’ve de-activated the license, removing this directory and restart the Mac. This can either be manually, or via a script.

The next time you launch an Adobe App, you’ll be asked to login with an Adobe ID account with a license, or to start an Adobe trial! Removing this directory actually permanently removes the SDL from this Mac.


Another Adobe post 😉 I hope it makes things a little easier for someone out there!

As always, if you have any questions, queries or comments, let me know below (or @daz_wallace on Mac Admins Slack) and I’ll try to respond to and delve into as many as I can.


2 thoughts on “Moving devices from Adobe Shared Device License to Adobe Named User License

  1. Deleting the OperatingConfigs directory plus executing a “Recover shared device licenses” might work well as a dynamic duo to both remove the license from the computer and reset the license (Adobe) server-side. Sure it would be more elegant to actually deactivate the SDL and have it returned to Adobe’s licensing servers, but deleting a directory and a few days later clicking a button on a website seems a lot more straightforward.


    • Hey Foigus,
      In practice, the deactivation on device happens immediately, so it should be safe to run together (I know one of my colleagues did this last week for a customer).
      If time is not an issue, and you have no risk of a user logging in in-between, it indeed may be safer to deactivate the license, wait a period of time, then trash off the OperatingConfigs directory.
      I hope that makes sense


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