Serial Number Is Not Activating NI Software

Updated Apr 6, 2020

Reported In


  • NI License Manager

Operating System

  • Mac OS X
  • Windows

Issue Details

  • My serial number isn't activating my software.
  • I ordered an upgrade to the latest version of my NI software, but the serial number I got on the box does not activate my software. 
  • My serial number is for a Mac operating system and it won't activate my software for a Windows operating system.
  • I am trying to activate LabVIEW Base, but my serial number is being rejected for one or more of the packages included with LabVIEW (Application Builder, toolkits, etc.).


If you are using MacOS, check that the serial number you have is for the same operating system as the version of NI software that you are trying to activate. A serial number purchased for a MacOS will not activate for Windows.

In all cases, try the following troubleshooting steps:
  1. Check to see if you have another serial number tied to your account or register a new one that you can use to activate.
  2. Make sure that the serial number does not contain any spaces or punctuation.
  3. If automatic activation continues to fail, you can activate individual software packages, such as LabVIEW Base, manually. You will need to use a 20-character activation code specific to your computer. There are two ways of generating that 20-character code:
    1. Go to the NI Product Activation page on a device that has internet connection and generate a 20-character activation code specific to the computer. You will need to find the computer ID of the computer that needs activation and use your serial number to generate the activation code.
      • Note: If an activation code is not generated, your serial number may not be valid for that particular version of the product. For example, trying to activate LabVIEW 2018 when you only have access for LabVIEW 2017.
    2. Reach out to National Instruments and provide us with your serial number as well as the computer ID of the computer that needs activation. If the SN for your product and computer ID are valid, we will generate a 20-character activation code specific to the computer in question.
  4. Contact NI Support for additional information concerning your serial number. 

Additional Information

Note: If you ordered an upgrade, then the serial number for the older version of NI software should activate your new version of software.