Software Is Unlicensed or in Evaluation Mode Activating from NI VLM Server

Updated Jun 30, 2020

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. 

If You Are an Admin on the NI VLM Server: 

  • If you are using NI License Manager 4.4 or newer 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
  • Launch NI VLM (Start»Programs»National Instruments»NI Volume License Manager).
  • Ensure the licenses displayed in the Licenses view match your volume license agreement. The license file currently being used by NI VLM can be found in the following file path: C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\Volume License Manager\nivlm.lic
    • 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. Note that each license file includes the version that the file will be able to activate up to.  Always use the most recent license file to make sure you have access to the newest versions of software.
    • If you have recently installed a new license file make sure you hit Apply Changes and restart the server.
  • Ensure that the client has the appropriate permissions or are added to 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 (default is 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.


If You Are a Client Connecting to the Server: 

  • Update NI License Manager. It can be downloaded from here.
  • Confirm with your Software Administrator that you have permissions to access the licenses on the server and have been added to the appropriate licenses or groups.
  • 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 you are using Concurrent Unmanaged Licenses, the activation status under Network Licenses remains default grey even If you have access to them. This is a purely cosmetic issue and should not prohibit your access to the Software.
  • If your volume license server is running on a port other than 27000, ensure that the port number is included with the server name (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.
  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.

Additional Information