Disable Adobe CS4 Activation Check

You can disable Adobe CS4 Activation Check by editing your windows “hosts” file.

For that- open C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts with notepad and paste the following at the end: activate.adobe.com practivate.adobe.com ereg.adobe.com activate.wip3.adobe.com wip3.adobe.com 3dns-3.adobe.com 3dns-2.adobe.com adobe-dns.adobe.com adobe-dns-2.adobe.com adobe-dns-3.adobe.com ereg.wip3.adobe.com activate-sea.adobe.com wwis-dubc1-vip60.adobe.com activate-sjc0.adobe.com

When you edit host file, if the UAC is enabled, you will get some error message depending on the editor. In that case, save the file in your desktop. Make sure that the host file have no extension. So if you are using notepad, when you save, change the file type from text to “All files option” and file name “hosts” with quotes.
You can paste it before of after the current text. Lines starting with the # symbol is comments.

Save it in desktop. and then Copy and paste the host file in “C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc”. You will get a message box asking to replace the file. Select the replace option.

PS: This is not for cracking your pirated Adobe CS4. Please buy original product, and if you don’t have that much money you can go for alternative tools like GIMP for Photoshop, Aptana for Dreamweaver etc.

Update: We bought licenced Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Dreamweaver CS4... Hurrayy!!!

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64 Responses

  1. robot fury says:

    thanks so much man. you saved me a big headache with this information!!!

  2. robot fury says:

    Thanks so much!! you saved me big time!!!

  3. lalala[: says:

    thank youu so muchh[:

  4. fred says:

    I did copy this into the notepad en brought the notepad into etc as a textfile. Is that enough?

  5. Rafael says:


  6. Arun Vishnu says:

    Hi Fread,
    The “hosts” file has no extension. So when saving, you have remove .txt and select file type as “All files”.

  7. Arun Vishnu says:

    @Rafael @lalalal @robot

    Thank you guys 🙂

  8. cj says:

    Disconnect from the internet and close any CS4 programs you have open.

    if you are attempting to execute this on a windows 7 machine, you may need to provide administrator priv. a few times. You may work around this by copying the hosts file to your desktop, opening it with notepad, editing, saving it as file type “all files.” It may still save as a .txt, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

    Copy it back to the \drivers\etc folder and allow with administrator privileges. If the other hosts file remains, delete it and follow these steps

    Then, bring down the Organize tab, navigate to

    folder and search options > view
    and uncheck “hide extensions for known file types”

    rename hosts.txt as hosts
    no file extension.

    Again, provide administrator privileges to complete this action.

  9. Arun Vishnu says:

    man .. Thx for that detailed comment 🙂

  10. Prophit5 says:

    I am using Windows 7 Home Premium edition. I tried editing the “host” file as explained above. It doesn’t prevent the activation screen from appearing. I have a licensed copy but my old computer died twice with 2 different harddrives and now Adobe thinks i have it installed on 3 machines, when in fact I am only trying to run it on one machine. I don’t have the old AdobeID used to originally purchase the software so this seems to be my only option. Please help!

  11. Alex says:

    If you get an “Access denied” message when trying to save the changes, open notepad by right-clicking and choosing “Run as administrator”, then click File>open and browse to the location of the hosts file and open it.

  12. jon says:

    i know on windows 7, you can also go into system and security…windows firewall…advanced settings…inbound rules and then block the adobe products websites.

  13. Niko says:

    Thank you so much for this post and also to CJ who gave detailed instructions for a win 7 user helped a lot also this WORKS for CS5 aswell so

    THANKS !

  14. vj says:

    i ve tried alomst everything but it still asks for a serial..

    i ve windows 7 n i did all.. somewhwere i read tht u have to add this # at the beginning of each statement.. even tried tht… did not work 🙁

    m just so tired .. help me plzzz

  15. Anthony says:

    Hi i have cs4 and windows 7 I have tried everything mentioned here and am still getting the rego page come up when i try a new serial from the keygen I get your copy has expired. can anyone help please.

  16. Zegladis says:

    Now you have to buy CS5 😀 Muahahaha!

  17. what says:

    tried everything, doesnt work. can someone like post a detailed pic of what the host txt looks like when you edit it please, thanks

  18. gmpco says:

    does this works for CS5 also?

  19. isla says:

    If Vista says ” Cannot create the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file.” Simply cut and paste the “hosts” file in a new folder to crack it. Then open it as notepad, paste the crack sequence f0und at the top. Close it. Paste it back to the “etc” folder.There!Enjoy.

  20. Richard says:

    Your Host file is located at:
    C: ==> WINDOWS ==> SYSTEM32 ==> DRIVERS ==> ETC ==> hosts

    IMPORTANT: First to edit this file you MUST open notepad as administrator i.e ‘Run as Administrator’ To do this go to your desktop, open windows and click ‘ALL PROGRAMS’ then under accessories, RIGHT CLICK on notepad and select ‘run as administrator’ It will ask you to confirm this so click ‘Continue’ to confirm it. Now in Notepad go to file ==> Open.. and now follow the route I’ve given above.

    NOTE: When you click on the ‘etc’ folder it will say it’s empty at first so in the bottom right of notepad you will see it says text files, change this to ‘All Files’ and you will now see your hosts file which you can select, open and edit.

  21. tre says:

    thanks a lot for the useful data 🙂

  22. dudley says:

    thanksso much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. MacGruber says:

    Printing this page using Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 Std — Print to Adobe PDF results in inverted color and left side of page cut off.
    My hosts file (Windows XP) has only one entry since do not have SpyBot, ZoneAlarm, etc. with their lists of thousands of blocked malicious websites.

  24. orkut scraps says:

    nice working properly

  25. Bob says:

    Make a backup of the file to make sure, copy the original to desktop, rename it for a .txt file. Add the stuff, save. Erase .txt from the file and replace the original one. It worked for me. Thanks alot guys.

    Probably need to take ownership of the file before.

  26. Sedaeng(RED) says:

    Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit

    Only issue I had was the UAC, but disabled it temporarily to get around it. Just turned on my CS4 and it appears to have worked.

    Thanks for the info sir!

  27. student says:

    Could you tell me that i should paste before or after the line — “::1 localhost ” , please?

  28. Arun Vishnu says:

    When you edit host file, if the UAC is enabled, you will get some error message depending on the editor. In that case, save the file in your desktop. Make sure that the host file have no extension. So if you are using notepad, when you save, change the file type from text to “All files option” and file name “hosts” with quotes.
    You can paste it before of after the current text. Lines starting with the # symbol is comments.

    Save it in desktop. and then Copy and paste the host file in “C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc”. You will get a message box asking to replace the file. Select the replace option.

  29. sid says:

    Thank you so much for this detailed information! I’ve been trying for hours to get this completed…..and finally did with your help!

  30. Luke says:

    So simple, so many hours of headache turned into nothing! This is awesome! And it DOES WORK IN CS5. I did it to activate my Adobe CS5 Master Collection.

    You rock!

  31. Daniel says:

    thank you very much man! it worked!

  32. nick says:

    Activated my CS5 Master with this on Windows 7. Used the (copy to desktop, edit, save as .txt, delete original, paste into etc folder, remove .txt extension).

    Cheers guys.

  33. John says:

    Does this technique work with CS3? Also, if I already installed CS3 before I adjusted the hosts file, do I have to uninstall CS3 and install again?


  34. SLOBURN says:

    This is sooooooooooooo AWESOME!! I followed CJ and Nicks instructions and just pasted the code up the top of this page on to the next line after the text had fin in the host file.
    What got me stumped for a few mins was why i could not for the life of me get rid of the .txt extension on the host file after editing it (it was because I had not enabled windows to show file extensions in folder options) Duh! live and learn. once enabled I simply deleted the .txt extension as mentioned above and presto! I loaded up the apps and for the first time there was NO activation check and I was connected to the net as I loaded them up!!!! yeeeehaaaaa 🙂

  35. AJ says:

    When everyone keep saying edit the host file, what do you mean? For eg, what do you change/take out/put in? Or is it simply a matter of copying re-saving the file as ALL FILES with a name of “HOST”? Is that all there is to it? And do I delete the original line? See below. that’s what mine looks like: activate.adobe.com

    # activate.adobe.com

  36. Steve says:

    You sire are a gentleman and a scholar. thanks mate

  37. jhonbra says:

    this is f*****gggggggggg AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Sal says:

    I’ve followed these instructions. I am running win 7 home and I got around the .txt issue easily by saving the hosts files as “hosts” on my desktop and “save as all file types.” Then I moved the file back into my etc folder. It ask for admin privilege to complete the replacement. I gave it and the replacement worked perfectly.

    However, I’ve tried to load my Adobe CS5 product and it STILL asks for a serial. What am I doing wrong? The sequence posted at the top of this page has been copied directly into the bottom of the “hosts” file.

    What am I not doing correctly?

  39. Arun Vishnu says:

    @Sal.. You have to enter serial no.. the above trick helps you to disable the activation check, not a serial key crack

  40. Sal says:

    @Arun…Yes, I know. Sorry, I didn’t say it correctly. I do have my serial number, but the authorization check is what I meant. I’ve since been able to make it work, so thanks anyway.

  41. Yaqub AZERBAIJAN says:

    thank you very much man! it worked!

  42. Daniel says:

    Does this work with Adobe After Effects CS3?

  43. Seven says:

    Hello Arun thanks for the above info, just wondering if these steps will work now that I already have CS4 installed?
    I am running Windows 7 on a new machine from 3 days ago, got CS4 installed, said serial invalid but gave me a 30 day trial, so if I do the host file change now will it delete Adobe from saying I only have usage for a limited time (now down to 27 days and I am working on a big InDesign and Photoshop project)?

    Or do I need to uninstall everything and change the host file then reinstall? I could do a system restore back to factory settings when I first got the new machine then change the host file and reinstall? Thanks for any comments in advance…ps, never had this problem on my old machine with Window Pro XP.

  44. Arun Vishnu says:

    @Daniel.. Haven’t tried man

    @Seven – If you have edited the hosts as I mentioned, then I think your problem will be solved after entering a new serial number.

  45. Arun Vishnu says:

    Sorry if I missed anyones comments.. thx all 🙂

  46. Noé says:

    Nice job, works for me with CS4 illustrator, indesign, ps.

  47. David says:

    Works great, thanks a lot..I came from TPB..;-)

  48. JC says:

    After a motherboard failure and two days of replacing parts, all my programs were not recognizing their activation keys. The most dificult were Windows 7, office and CS4. Thanks for the info.
    And, YES i did buy licensed copies.

  49. Arun Vishnu says:

    @David @ Noe .. thx 🙂
    @JC Companies check the machine by hardware. for example when you activate a product, they will find your main hardwares like motherboard, processor, hdd etc and they will generate few points depends on that. if you change your hardware, the point will be different. If there is much change in the old point and new point, they will consider your machine as a new one. so sometimes internet activation may fail, but i think phone activation will works.

  50. Jason says:

    The funny thing is I have the paid version. But my computer crash, so I did not have a chance to deactivate the photoshop that I installed. I called Adobe support but they refuse to give me more license. Now I am stuck with Adobe on one computer, this will really come in handy.


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