Adobe application manager has quit unexpectedly

Tonight I was reinstalling Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 15 for the millionth time, thanks to an apocalyptic experience with what Apple call a public beta.

I’m going to assume you got here because of the title-cum-error-message above. Read on before you head down the hellish path of “CC Cleaner Tool for Mac OS”.

Think of your favourite unimpressed GIF

I was installing the software on a virtually-clean install of Mac OS Sierra 10.12.5, using the latest installers. I had duly logged into the installers (yes, you need to), and typed the serial numbers, and clicked on install. The progress was glacial, and culminated in a crash. Did it save my login and serial when I tried again? Of course not. I tried it again, I tried it after a restart, I tried installing Premiere before Photoshop. Just as I was about to quit, I noticed that my Applications folder did actually have the apps.

I clicked on one. Instant crash. I tried the reopen option, and saw the first clue. The Adobe application manager was complaining about permissions! This was great news. I opened up disk utility to repair them. However, the option was not to be found.

Apple explain how it’s no longer necessary to repair permissions.

Beginning with OS X El Capitan, system file permissions are automatically protected. It’s no longer necessary to verify or repair permissions with Disk Utility.

Yet, there I was with an ostensible permissions issue. Reading on I noticed this.

Disk Utility checks a file’s permissions only if the file has a corresponding receipt in /var/db/receipts. The receipt tells Disk Utility what the permissions should be. Not all installers include a receipt with the files they install.
➜ ~ ls /var/db/receipts | grep -i com.adobe
➜ ~

I started digging around, and I found that the permissions for ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe were set to the system user rather than my own account. That’s not cool. If you have the same issue, then you’ll need to:

  1. Go to the folder in Finder. ⌘+shift+G will allow you to type in ~/Library/Application Support. Library is usually hidden, you see.
  2. Select the Adobe folder, and open up its info with ⌘+ i.
  3. Click the unlock icon, type your password.
  4. Highlight the system user, and click the - to delete it.
  5. Click the + to add your own account with read/write access.
  6. ?
  7. Profit.
You shouldn’t see system or admin here

I hope this prevents you from having to login to adobe and type your serial numbers as much as I did.

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