University of Southampton


How to download and install Adobe Acrobat DC

This article gives instructions to download and install Adobe Acrobat DC on:

  • personal devices own by staff and Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs)
  • computers managed by iSolutions.


Undergraduate (UGs) and Postgraduate (PGTs) students cannot download and install locally Adobe Acrobat DC on their computers. All UGs and PGTs will need to either use Adobe Acrobat via:

  • common learning spaces (CLS) machines, onsite
  • the Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) Portal.

Adobe Acrobat Pro continues to be available to all users on SVE and common learning spaces (CLS).


Table of contents

Signing in and downloading Adobe Acrobat DC

Installing the software

Related content


Signing in and downloading Adobe Acrobat DC

Downloading Adobe Acrobat Pro DC from your personal device

1. Open the Adobe website and then click the 'Sign In' button on the top right

Sign In button
2. Sign in with the short version of your university email (for example:, not and password

Adobe sign-in window
3. You will then be redirected from Adobe to the University’s external authentication portal. This may involve a second redirection

Microsoft authentication window

4. Once logged in, go to the menu icon and click on 'Document Cloud'

Menu and Document Cloud icons

5. To use Acrobat on your desktop, click on 'Get Acrobat DC desktop'

"Get Acrobat DC desktop" button

6. You will be prompted that “Permission may be required” to install the application. If you already have local administrator rights on your University-owned device, you can ignore this warning. On certain Operating Systems/Browsers you may need to grant permission to instigate the download process. 

7. Click ‘Allow’ to download the set-up file (Acrobat_DC_Installer.exe for Windows or Acrobat_DC_Installer.dmg for macOS).

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Downloading Adobe Acrobat Pro DC from a University device

Windows users

To download the software off campus, you will need to connect to a Virtual Private Network VPN (GlobalProtect). To setup a VPN on your laptop, read the article How do I set up VPN on my device.

1. Go to your Desktop and click on the icon called "Additional Software". You can find it is also available into the Start menu as a pinned item called "Software Center".

Additional software icon  Software Center icon appearing within the Start menu on Windows


2. It will appear a new window. Once the Software Center has fired up, click on "Adobe Acrobat DC". If you can't see it, you can use the search box to find it.

3. Click on "Adobe Acrobat DC" and then click on 'Install' on the next screen.

The installation will start downloading the software. This action can take up to 30 minutes if you are at home.  You can carry on working on other programs whilst this is in progress.

4. Once the downloading part has completed, the installation will automatically begin and complete. If requested to complete any reboots, please do so.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC should now be installed and can be launched from the Start menu.

macOS users

macOS users can download Adobe Acrobat Pro Dc from the  Adobe website by following the step-by-step instructions within the chapter "Downloading Adobe Acrobat Pro DC from your personal device".

Choose between personal and Company or School account

If you have both a personal (Adobe ID) and a Company / School account (Enterprise ID or Federated ID) associated with the same email address, you will must choose the account you want to use. Even if the two accounts share the same email address, they are distinct accounts. No data is shared or transferred automatically.

What to do:

1. Enter your university email address and click 'Continue'.

Adobe sign in window

2. You can now select a profile to sign in

Windows asking you to select a profile to sign in to your profile on Adobe

3. Sign-in as usual

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Installing the software

Installing Acrobat Pro DC on your personal device

Installation of Acrobat Pro DC is very straightforward but does involve re-authenticating to to prove that you have a licence to run the software.

You will also be required to periodically re-authenticate when using the product (to confirm that your eligibility status has not changed).

Instructions are the same for Windows and macOS users.

Step-by-step instructions

1. Locate the downloaded Acrobat_DC_Installer.exe or Acrobat_DC_Installer.dmg file - probably in your “Downloads” folder - and double-click to mount it.

2. Run the installer (you will be warned that the installer has been downloaded from the internet. If you downloaded it yourself from it is safe to continue.

Adobe Acrobat DC installer window

If requested, allow Adobe to access files in your download folder

Window requesting to allow Adobe to access files in your download folder
3. The Acrobat Pro DC Installer will require you to log into the website to verify your eligibility for a license. If you have recently logged in (e.g. to download the installer) this shouldn’t prompt you to login again. Otherwise, you’ll need to repeat the authentication steps detailed above.

4. Once your eligibility has been verified, click 'Continue' to start the installation.

Account authentication window

Note: at this point, the software might ask you to enter a password to start the installation. In this case, it's asking for the password you use to sign in to your computer (not the password related to your university account).

5. You’ll be kept updated on progress by an information screen: 

Window showing the installation bar process and animated images showing Adobe tools


It could take a while to install the software. Once Acrobat Pro DC has been successfully installed, you’ll get an “Installation is Complete” notification.

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Installing Acrobat Pro DC on a University device

Windows users

When you launch Acrobat Pro for the first time, Adobe will ask you to license the product. To do that, you will be prompted to sign in and enter your University email (for example:

Adobe sign-in window

You may be redirected from Adobe to the University’s external authentication portal. In this case, sign in with your university email (for example: and password.

Microsoft authentication window

Once the sign in has completed, Adobe Acrobat will be licensed and you can continue to use.

If you experience any issues during the process, the software can present you an option to start a 7 day trial. If that happens, you can start the trial and use the software with full functionality. You should then contact ServiceLine to diagnose what the issue is.

macOS users

To install Adobe Acrobat Pro DC follow the step-by-step instructions within the chapter Installing Acrobat Pro DC on your personal device. macOS users cannot use the "Software center" as Windows users.

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Related content

How to set up Adobe Acrobat DC your default PDF viewer using Microsoft Edge

How to download software

How do I set up VPN on my device

Microsoft 365 License Comparisons (A5 & A1)

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