Backup Licenses and Expiring Activations in Licensing Wizard Pop Up

Updated Jun 9, 2022

Reported In


  • Volume License Manager
  • NI License Manager

Issue Details

When I try to open my National Instruments software, Licensing Wizard appears and tells me that the Status is Backup and the Expiration is 14 days remaining.


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


This behavior 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 behavior could indicate that you no longer have the permissions you expect 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. This can happen if the VLM software has been updated and permissions are not verified on the new version.

To be able to remove the backup license status on the Activation Wizards there are two options detailed below: 
  • Wait for Backup License Expiration

If you have any other licenses running, such as a disconnected license or a license from a VLM server, that provides licensing for the item that appears as "Backup", you can simply let the backup run out and the current license will go into effect. 
  • Remove Backup Licenses

The backup licenses are stored in the database where we do not have the ability to selectively modify them. In order to remove them, we need to either delete or rename the database. The database is named and located in the following directory:


Since the folder is hidden and protected, you need to go to the hidden files options for the directory and unselect "Hide protected operating systems files (recommended)". Here is how to do it:
  1. Click Options on the top of windows and choose "change folder and search options". 
    • image.png
  2. Untick the highlighted settings
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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.