Upgrading NI Volume License Manager (VLM) Version 2.x to 3.x

Updated Jul 10, 2024

Reported In


  • Volume License Manager 2.1
  • Volume License Manager 2.1.1
  • Volume License Manager 3.0

Issue Details

I have NI Volume License Manager (VLM) version 2.x and would like to migrate, update, or upgrade to version 3.x. 


If you are upgrading from NI Volume License Manager 2.x to 3.x and also moving to a new server, refer to the steps in Migrating NI Volume License Manager (VLM) to a New Server

If you are not changing the server, complete the following steps to transfer your permission settings from VLM 2.x to 3.x.  NI strongly recommends you create a backup of important files before transferring your settings.
  1. Create a backup copy of the Activity Log from the old server. To do this select Options»Save Activity Log... and specify a location in which to save the log file.
  2. Create a backup copy of the configuration file, which contains both permissions and client information.  This file is named nivlm.cfg, and is typically located in C:\ProgramFiles\National Instruments\Volume License Manager\.
  3. Install NI VLM 3.x.  
  4. During installation, the Getting Started Wizard will run.  If you do not have a new license file for VLM 3.x, you will see the following warning:

    If you choose to request a new agreement license file, National Instruments will send you an email with this new license file.  Alternatively, you can still use a valid agreement license file created for VLM versions 2.x or earlier with VLM 3.x.  However, you will not have full access to some VLM 3.x features.
  5. Next follow the steps in the Getting Started Wizard.  Upgrading VLM should have automatically caused your configuration and log file to be integrated with your new version of VLM.  However, if there was an issue finding these files during upgrading, you will see the following screen in the Getting Started Wizard:

    Select Import settings from a previous installation, but do not check I have an NI VLM 3.x backup file (*.vlmbak).  This will bring up a second window:

    The Configuration File, Agreement License File, and Activity Compliance Log fields are required.  Click on the ... button to the right of each field, and navigate to the appropriate files. Then click Import and complete the remaining steps in the Getting Started Wizard.