My NI Software License Keeps Deactivating

Updated Jan 10, 2023

Reported In


  • NI License Manager
  • LabVIEW

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

  • The activation code I generated and used to activate my NI software does not keep my software activated.  After a restart, all my software is no longer activated and I have to reactivate my software. I noticed in NI License Manager that my computer ID is not always the same. Why does my computer ID keep changing?
  • When I move my hard drive from one computer to another, LabVIEW deactivates. How can I fix this?
  • When I connect my computer to different test systems the computer ID changes and all my software is no longer activated. How can I fix this?
  • I formatted my PC that had working network licenses through Volume License Manager and now on NI License Manager, I see that licenses appear deactivate. How can I fix it? 


The computer ID is based on one of two sources: an Ethernet card's MAC address or a hard drive’s disk volume serial number. By default, desktop computers are based on an Ethernet card, and laptop computers are based on a hard drive. Disabling or removing this device can lead to the computer ID changing. This will cause issues with activated National Instruments software on the system. Common examples of this situation include:
  • Switching the active Ethernet card (from wired to wireless)
  • Relabeling a hard drive (ex. changing the label from C:\ to F:\)
  • Reformatting a hard drive

Troubleshooting steps for an Ethernet card-based computer ID are:
  • Add or remove cards with an Ethernet interface such as the PXI 6682
  • Enable or disable any wireless or secondary Ethernet adapters
  • Generate the computer ID from the volume disk serial number, change the Ethernet card used for activation, or force the activation to be based on a hard drive then generate a 20-digit activation code based off of this computer ID. See Generate New Computer ID for NI Software Activation for more detailed instructions.

Troubleshooting steps for a hard drive based computer ID are:

  • Reconfigure the system so fixed drives are labeled C:\ or D:\
  • Add or remove any temporary drives such as flash drives or DVDs.
  • Change the hard drive used for activation or force the activation to be based on an Ethernet card. See Generate New Computer ID for NI Software Activation for more detailed instructions.

Additional Information

The underlying cause of this issue is each computer can have several valid computer IDs. Each MAC address or disk volume serial number can generate a unique computer ID. Each NI activation code is then based off a specific computer ID. When activating a license, the NI License Manager chooses a computer ID from all active MAC addresses (or disk volume serial numbers). As long as these devices are present and enabled, there should be no issue. However, modifying what devices are available can cause the NI License Manager to choose a different device and subsequently generate a different computer ID.
If you formatted the PC Client and you are activating network licenses, please contact your Software Administrator and update him on the new Computer ID.