Sunday, 19 March 2017

Adobe Premiere Elements - activating H.264 and MPEG components in old versions

This blog post explains how, as late as 2017, it's still possible to obtained an encoder activation key for older versions of Adobe Premiere Elements.

Some years ago I purchased Adobe Premiere Elements (ver 1), which served me well for home video editing from my miniDV video recorder on Windows XP. Unfortunately my new DSLR camera produces MP4 format files, and these are not compatible with that version of Premiere. I needed a low cost solution for my unpaid work with Wikipedia, so I purchased an unused version of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements version 7 from eBay.

Component Activation window in Premiere Elements 7.
My computer is now a 64-bit Windows 10 laptop, so it was a relief that the program installed from the CD disk without any difficulty.
So, I spent some time editing my first 15 minute video sequence and familiarising myself with some of the changes, only to then encounter a total inability to save it in anything other than AVI format. Neither saving as MPG nor H.264 encoding would work as a popup appeared for each one, telling me that that an unlock key was needed to activate the encoder.

To get this code, one simply needed to copy an inordinately long string of letters and numbers from that popup, follow the given link to an Adobe webpage, and paste it in so you could then retrieve an activation key which Premiere needed in order to proceed. (This is on top of the original serial number needed on first install.)

First problem: The link is no longer functioning (

A search online quickly identified a new url for Adobe encoder activation: (

Encoder activation page - but it would not recognise the product
Second problem: Whilst the activation page looked to be the answer, it did not recognise the long string of characters given to me from the popup in Premiere Elements. It simply reported "Error: Invalid Encoder Product ID."

A more exhaustive search of Adobe-related discussion forums showed that:
a) numerous people are still searching for a solution
b) many experts simply tell users search for assistance that "Premiere Elements 7 is no longer supported", so go buy a new version.
c) some advisors have suggested users try downloading and installing a trial version of a new version of Premiere Elements in case that resolves the problem (but no-one seems to report having any success)
d) deep within the bowels of the internet, there lurks a solution to unlocking and activating these essential encoders!

THE SOLUTION: Trial and error with innumerable Google keyword searches finally yielded up this little gem on Adobe's own website: 

This page works!

Simply paste in the long character string given to you by the Premiere popup when you try to save and output a file. As at March 2017 the page shown above generates a fully functional key for your individual computer. You then just paste this back into the Premiere popup and click 'OK'. You can use the same page for activating the MPEG encoder within Premiere Elements 7, and for activating the H.264 encoder, although you will be given separate text strings for each one. Bingo! 

Leave a comment to tell me and others how you get on, and whether you found this useful!

Activation code successfully shown (blanked out here)

A typical 'cri de coeur' for software that people
think can't now be used, but which can

Finally, if you've arrived at this page, desperately searching for solutions to related problems, these pages might also be of some interest:


  1. As of June 2017, this way works 100%.Thanks a lot Moyes Noise.

    1. That's great to hear - thank you for letting me know, and glad it was of use.

    2. The link before the last one appeared to work. Recognized my Prem elements 15 serial number, gave me an "unlock key" but when I pasted in that key - nothing happened. the ok button shud have been highlighted for me to click on but it was not. I'm not able to get anywhere further:-grrrrrrr

  2. You are a lifesaver! I needed to send my presentation urgently, but couldn't save it. Adobe support was worthless. THANK YOU!