Backup Licenses and Expiring Activations in Licensing Wizard Pop Up

Updated Sep 13, 2022

Reported In


  • Volume License Manager
  • NI License Manager

Issue Details

When I try to open my NI software, the Licensing Wizard appears and tells me that the volume license server wasn't found and I am using a backup license that will expire.



What do these backup licenses mean and what can I do to restore my licenses back to the way they were?


This warning indicates that your computer has lost connection to the NI Volume License Manager (VLM) on your network. Your licenses will return to an active state once the connection is restored. You can still use your software as usual for up to 14 days without an active connection.

Alternatively, this warning could indicate that you no longer have the permissions to licenses you previously had from the VLM Server. To check if the server is active and to confirm your permissions, reach out to the software administrators at your company.

To continue starting the software select Remind Me Next Time or the arrow next to it and Remind Me When They Expire.

The backup licenses will expire in the time indicated by the warning.
If you wish to remove them before then, you can rename or delete the database where they are stored.
All of the backup licenses will be removed with this method.
The database is at the following location:


Additional Information

If you are using a non-concurrent license, you should be covered by a backup license file that is located on your machine in the event of a server connection loss. The backup license file provides licensing for any product that a VLM server provides licensing for in the event that NI License Manager cannot connect to the VLM server. By default, they last for 14 days which should give you long enough time to get the server back up and running.

The database folder is hidden and protected, if you cannot find it:
  1. Select View in the Windows File Explorer.

  2. Click Options.
  1. Go to View in Folder Options and make sure that the circle next to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" is selected and that the box next to "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" is unticked. 
  1. If you get a warning, confirm that you wish to display these files.

  2. Click OK or Apply.