Error: Requested Operation Requires Write Access to Licensing Directory

Updated Mar 1, 2018

Reported In


  • NI License Manager

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

When I launch NI License Manager and try to activate a piece of software, immediately when I click Activate, an error window pops up stating:  

The requested operation requires write access to licensing directory.


There are two main causes for this behavior:  file permissions and missing directories.  Try out the below steps to resolve this error:
  • Run NI License Manager as an Administrator.
    1. Right-click on NI License Manager in the Start menu
    2. Click on Run as Administrator 
    3. Click Yes when prompted
    4. Activate given NI software
  • Enable write privileges for the Licenses directory.
    1. Navigate to the License folder on your machine.  This can be found in the following locations depending on your OS: 
      • Windows XP:
        <Program Files>\National Instruments\Shared\License Manager\Licenses.
      • Windows Vista/7/8/10:
        <ProgramData>\National Instruments\License Manager\Licenses.
    2. ​Verify that the folder named Licenses exists.  Sometimes, this folder is renamed during troubleshooting by users, which results in NI License Manager being unable to properly locate the folder.  If the folder was renamed or moved, rename it back to Licenses or move the folder back.
    3. If the folder exists and is properly named, check the permissions of the National Instruments folder and ensure that the current user account has Full Control by following the steps below:
      1. In the Program Files or ProgramData folder, right click the National Instruments folder and select Properties.
      2. Select the Security tab. If the security tab is not visible, disable Simple File Sharing:
        1. In a Windows Explorer window, select Tools >> Folder Options from the menu bar.
        2. Select the View tab.
        3. Deselect Simple File Sharing in the list of options.
      3. Select the group the current account belongs to (usually Administrators), and check Allow for Full Control.
      4. Click OK.
    4. Relaunch NI License Manager and activate the NI software again
  • If the Licenses directory does not exist: