I recently installed an update to adobe elements 13, when I restarted to computer I only had the trial version. When i tried to enter the activation code it informs me that I have exceeded to number of licences. how do I get around this and avoid it in future?
You will need to contact Adobe support thru chat and ask them to reset your activations. For the link below click the Still Need Help? option in the blue area at the bottom and choose the chat option...
Serial number and activation chat support (non-CC)
http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/global/service1.html ( http://adobe.ly/1aYjbSC )
You are allotted two current activations per single user license - you can deactivate and reactivate as needed, but you have to remember that you only have two to work with.. If you have installed more than twice without deactivating you will get the notice you indicate you saw. To avoid it in the future you need to remember to deactivate before you uninstall/reinstall, if you are able to that is. When a system fails you might not have that opportunity. But if you are knowingly disabling/uninstalling Adobe software then be sure to deactivate it first. To deactivate you normally just have to open a program and choose Help -> Deactivate.
If you did not uninstall/reinstall in this then I cannot explain why you got the message you did.