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NI Software in Evaluation While Also Connected to Volume License Server

Updated Oct 8, 2019

Reported In


  • NI License Manager
  • Volume License Manager

Issue Details

  • I am trying to activate my software using a volume license server but in NI License Manager it still shows up as evaluation. How can I activate my software fully through the license server?
  • I have a license for specific software (i.e. LabVIEW) through a Volume License Agreement (VLA) and Volume License Manager (VLM).  My software won't connect to the license server. When I try to activate my evaluation software using a serial number in NI License Manager, I get an error that says "Invalid Serial Number. See help."  . I can launch or use the software without any problems.
  • I was previously using one of our licenses but I accidentally activated a 45 day evaluation version of LabVIEW instead of re-activating my user-based, non-concurrent seat with Volume License Manager. How do I get my computer pointed to the server again?


If you just upgraded to 2019 software, there is a known incompatibility between NI License Manager 4.4 and VLM 3.1.0 and older. Please contact your software administrator to upgrade VLM. 

NI License Manager activates software based on both local and network licenses. Evaluating software creates a temporary local license that NI License Manager may reference even if a valid server license is active. Newer versions of NI License Manager will look at the server first. On older versions of NI License Manager, when the evaluation expires or is removed, License Manager will look to the network for an active license. Before continuing, make sure you have installed the latest version of NI License Manager.


Option 1: 

For NI License Manager 3.7 or earlier, rename the evaluation license so License Manager can no longer reference it:

  1. Change the name of the evaluation licenses folder, Licenses.  You can rename the folder whatever you would like.  The file path for this folder is given below depending on your operating system:

  • Windows XP: <Program Files>\National Instruments\Shared\License Manager\Licenses\
  • Windows 7/8/10: <ProgramData>\National Instruments\License Manager\Licenses\  
 Note: Check this article on Avoiding Evaluation Licenses Conflicts While Pointing to Volume License Server for further information.
  1. Reopen NI License Manager and check that your software is fully activated.

Option 2:

Try to remove and re-add the license server on the client machine:
  1. Click on the options menu in the top left-hand corner of the NI License Manager window.
  2. Select Manage Volume License Servers.
  3. Remove/delete the server name or address of your volume license server and click OK.
  4. Click the Refresh button at the top of the screen, then close and re-start NI License Manager.
  5. In the Network Licenses tab, you should now see "No volume license servers configured.
  6. Select Manage volume license servers and re-add your license server's name or address and click OK.
  7. NI License Manager should re-initialize and pull the licenses from the server.

Option 3:

Wait for the evaluation license to expire. At that point, NI License Manager will search for active licenses both locally and on the network. If a volume license server is configured correctly, the appropriate license will be pulled.

If your software still appears as in evaluation after following the above steps, check to ensure that you are trying to activate a version of the software that you have access to. For example, if your volume license server only gives you access to TestStand 2017 and previous, it will not be able to activate TestStand 2017 SP1, and this software will still appear as in evaluation or unlicensed after completing the steps above. 

Additional Information

When you install an evaluation copy of National Instruments software, an evaluation license file is stored in the directories listed in Option 1. When you have access to the software through a different method (i.e. Volume License or Developer Suite Package), this file is not removed and hence will continue to be visible in NI License Manager.  The file should not be removed, but will show up in local licenses as unlicensed or evaluation. This does not affect the functionality of your software.

In some cases, the software is appearing like this because you have previously installed an evaluation copy of the software and did not activate that specific package.  For example, you have installed an evaluation copy of LabVIEW that was never activated, but then subsequently configured your computer to check out a LabVIEW or Developer Suite license through a Volume License Server.

If you hide the Licenses folder per Option 1 and are not connected to the Volume License Server, software will not open. Software will appear unresponsive when launched.


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