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Activation Error When Trying to Activate NI Software

Updated Oct 31, 2022

Reported In


  • NI License Manager
  • Volume License Manager

Issue Details

After installing NI software and trying to activate it in NI License Manager, I receive the following error message: Activation Error.


Before you can activate NI's software, make sure that it is installed on your machine and that the license you purchased includes the software product you are trying to activate. 

There are three ways to activate NI software products: with a serial number, an activation code, or a volume license agreement. Follow the troubleshooting steps below depending on the method you are using.

Serial Number

  • Make sure you are connected to the internet.
  • Make sure your serial number is correct for the software version you are trying to activate. The software name and version can be seen in full by selecting Local Licenses in NI License Manager.
    • For example, a serial number for LabVIEW Professional Development System 2017 will produce an Activation Error if you are trying to activate LabVIEW Base Development System 2017.
    • Service Pack releases are considered separate versions from the base release of NI software. A serial number for LabVIEW 20xx will not activate LabVIEW 20xx SP1 and vice versa. Note: If you already installed LabVIEW 20xx SP1 and want to activate LabVIEW 20xx, you will have to uninstall LabVIEW 20xx SP1 and then reinstall LabVIEW 20xx.
  • On rare occasions, serial numbers on shipped packaging can be incorrect. Check other sources, like quotes and order confirmations, to see if different serial numbers corresponding to the same product can be found.
  • Student Install Option (SIO) serial numbers change every year, so if the number you are using is from a previous year, it will have expired. To obtain the current serial number, please contact the software administrator for your academic site.
  • You can try to disable the IPv6 setting for the time of the activation: If you are using Windows 8 or later, you can press Win + Q to search for Control Panel and open it. Select Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center. Click on Change adapter settings and right-click on the connection in use and select Properties. Untick Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).
  • Make sure that the serial number you are using to activate the software is not expired. Please contact NI Support  for further assistance.

Activation Code

  • Make sure the activation code is generated for the computer ID of the computer you are activating on. Each activation code is related to a unique Computer ID, and it will not work for a different computer. 
  • Make sure that the activation code matches the software name and version you have installed.
    • Service Pack releases are considered separate versions from the base release of NI software. A serial number for LabVIEW 20xx will not activate LabVIEW 20xx SP1 and vice versa. 

Volume License Agreement


Additional Troubleshooting Steps

If you have gone through the troubleshooting steps above and are still receiving an Activation Error, try the following:
  • Ensure that the software you are trying to activate is compatible with the version of the operating system installed on the computer.
  • Uninstall and reinstall the software.
  • If you don't need the 64-bit version of LabVIEW, install the 32-bit version.
  • Ensure that you are using the latest version of NI License Manager.
  • If you are using a computer with multiple MAC addresses (i.e. multiple Ethernet adapters), try changing the hardware your computer ID is based on, then use the new computer ID to activate the product.
  • If the serial number is part of an Alliance Partner agreement or a subscription software license, confirm that the service has not expired. If the service has expired, contact Standard Service Program for more information.
  • In unique cases, your serial number may not reference all the activatable products. This is due to a migration of serial numbers. To resolve this issue, please contact NI Support
  • If you recently purchased software online, the serial number may not be associated with the activatable products immediately. Please wait 24 hours and try activating your software again.