I bought a used MacBook. The nice thing was it came with the complete Adobe Suite 5. But Apple reformatted the disk to fix a problem. When I did Time Machine the Adobe license number came up, but it said it was invalid.

I contacted Adobe and they said the license was registered to another user. I guess that's the previous owner. Is there anyway I can get Time Machine to restore it so the apps work?

  • Did you want to retrieve the previous owners credit card numbers also? I seriously doubt what you're wanting to do is ethical, or legal. If you want the serial numbers and the license is able to be transferred then you should contact the previous owner. – l'L'l Jan 17 '14 at 23:57

From the CS5 US License document:

YOU WILL NOT RENT, LEASE, SELL, SUBLICENSE, ASSIGN OR TRANSFER YOUR RIGHTS IN THE SOFTWARE, OR AUTHORIZE ANY PORTION OF THE SOFTWARE TO BE COPIED ONTO ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL OR LEGAL ENTITY’S COMPUTER EXCEPT AS MAY BE EXPRESSLY PERMITTED HEREIN. You may, however, permanently transfer all your rights to use the Software to another individual or legal entity provided that: (a) you also transfer (i) this agreement, (ii) the serial number(s), the Software affixed to media provided by Adobe or its authorized distributor, and all other software or hardware bundled, packaged or pre-installed with the Software, including all copies, upgrades, updates, and prior versions, and (iii) all copies of font software converted into other formats to such individual or entity; (b) you retain no upgrades, updates or copies, including backups and copies stored on a Computer; and (c) the receiving party accepts the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other terms and conditions under which you purchased a valid license to the Software.

If the license code does not work, you're out of luck unless you can get the license code from the previous owner and the media (CD or DVD installer discs.)


Contact Adobe for your version of Creative Suite 5, if you can send them screenshots of purchased disks, serial or 'something' vaguely concrete, you can download the disk image, and they will give you a license, providing everything is legitimate. I'm in a similar situation after a Mac restore, but I'd prefer NOT to WASTE another of my 3 installations, leaving only one, just because Apple and Adobe don't bother to inform you that you will lose licensing for most software if you back-up though the semi-unless Time Machine or Migration 'Assistant'. I've ostensibly lost All OF creative Suite, and I use Photoshop everyday, and there different installations/ versions of Lightroom, containing around 16,000 image files. I 've had this issue for a month, and the Apple Tech guys remotely accessing my screen to 'help', same with Adobe, except Adobe DO ACTUALLY take control, whereas Apple just use the pointer, and give you 'instructions, when, in reality, they know that resistance is futile. I just wish I new Time Machine was such Pants!

  • Hi Carlos, and welcome to Ask Different! On this site, answers should be to-the-point and avoid rants and personal anecdotes if possible. Please edit your answer to reflect this, and include sources, if possible. Thanks, and happy answering! – Jackson1442 Nov 30 '17 at 4:42

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