Cannot Activate from a NI VLM Server and Software Is Unlicensed or in Evaluation Mode

Updated Sep 19, 2019

Reported In


  • Volume License Manager
  • NI License Manager

Issue Details

I am using NI Volume License Manager (VLM) to manage my licenses. I have installed the software on the client machine, and I have installed NI VLM on the volume license server, but the products still show up as unlicensed or evaluation on the client. What troubleshooting can I do to get my client software to activate?


You can check a few settings and complete some debugging steps for both the client and the volume license server. 


On the NI VLM Server: 

  • Launch NI VLM (Start»Programs»National Instruments»NI Volume License Manager).
  • Ensure the licenses displayed in the Licenses view match your volume license agreement.
    • If they do not match, make sure you have the proper license file
    • Ensure that your License File is fully up to date. For instance, if LabVIEW is licensed up to 2017 SP1 but LabVIEW Application Builder is only licensed up to to 2017, Application Builder will not work in LabVIEW 2017 SP1. Please note, that a license files which you get from National Instruments later than the one you already have, is different and allows you to install newer software versions. So please always use the most recent file. 
    • If you have recently installed a new license file make sure you hit Apply Changes and restart the server.
  • Ensure that the client has appropriate permissions or in the appropriate group for the software that is not working. After making changes to permissions, click the Apply Changes button.
  • Ensure your firewall is not blocking the specified ports (27000 and 4637). If possible, temporarily disable your firewall for testing. Otherwise, confirm that your firewall is configured to allow incoming connections on the specified ports.
  • If any of these steps failed, you can check the NI VLM debug log.


On the Client Machine: 

  • Launch NI License Manager (Start»Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager) and ensure that the NI License Manager is configured to use a network server under Options»Preferences.
  • If your volume license server is running on a port other than 27000, ensure that the port number is included (server:27000).
  • Try removing the server information to force NI License Manager to look at local licenses. Then, add the server and port information again.
  • If the client software is still asking to be activated, check the debug log on the volume license server. The log will confirm if the client attempted to checkout a license and whether the attempt was successful.
    • If the debug log shows the client failing to check out a license, confirm the following:
      • The computer name matches the information in NI VLM
      • The version being requested is equal to or less than the version available in the volume license file
    • If there is no entry in the debug log, the client computer is not able to communicate with the volume license server. Try pinging the volume license server from the client computer to ensure that communication can be established.
  • If the client can ping the volume license server, use telnet to confirm the server ports are open and accessible from the client .
  • Try restarting the client computer 

Additional Information

If you are using NI License Manager 4.4 on your Client PC, verify that the server is running Volume License Manager 3.1.1 or newer. See Unable to Activate Volume License Software with NI License Manager 4.4 for more information.


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