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How to Change the Hardware Used for Activation of NI Software

Updated Mar 18, 2019

Reported In


  • NI License Manager

Issue Details

How can I change which piece of my computer's hardware is used for software activation? I want to activate my National Instruments software using a computer ID generated from different hardware than the default for my machine.


National Instruments software will use the computer ID available in NI License Manager for activation by default. Another computer ID can be generated based on an alternative MAC Address or disk volume serial number upon request from National Instruments. Please note that the ability to use this method for activation is handled on a case-by-case basis. To inquire about eligibility, email with the following information:
  • Organization Name and Department
  • NI products to be activated
  • Version(s) of each product
  • Serial Number of each product
You will need to provide your computer's disk volume serial number or MAC Address that you wish to use for activation.

How To obtain a MAC address for a network card:

  1. Open a command prompt by clicking Start»Run.
  2. Type "cmd" and click OK.
  3. At the command prompt, type "ipconfig /all" and press Enter.
  4. You MAC Address will be listed under Physical Address and takes the form XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX.

How to obtain a disk volume serial number:
  1. Open a command prompt by clicking Start»Run.
  2. Type "cmd" and click OK.
  3. At the command prompt, change the active directory to the drive of interest by typing the letter followed by a colon, for example C:, then press Enter.
  4. Type "vol" and press Enter to get your disk volume serial number.

Next Steps:
You can then contact National Instruments to request a new computer ID that can be used for activation.

After receiving a new computer ID from, you will need to activate your product(s) using this computer ID. You can do this by completing the following steps:
  1. Open NI License Manager by going to Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager.
  2. Click the Activate button at the top left of the screen.
  3. This will launch the Activation Wizard. Choose the second option of “Use a Web browser, email client, telephone, or fax machine to acquire an activation code”. Click Next.
  4. Select the first option of “Use a Web browser on this or another computer”. Click Next.
  5. Select the link as shown below.  This will take you to National Instrument’s website where you can edit your computer ID and activate your products.

Additional Information

  • This activation process will not work if you specify a hard drive serial number or MAC address associated with hardware from a different computer. Your computer's Computer ID cannot be changed arbitrarily because it is tied to one of the unique hardware resources in your development computer.
  • Your machine's default Computer ID is typically derived from the computer's MAC address for desktop computers and from the computer's hard drive serial number for laptop computers, although this varies.


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