Activated NI OPC Servers Starts in Demo Mode

Updated Dec 2, 2020

Reported In


  • NI License Manager
  • OPC Servers

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

  • I have installed NI OPC Servers and have licensed it in NI License Manager (NILM), but when I open NI OPC Servers Configuration, I see that it is still in demo mode and has a 2-hour count down timer in the title bar. Once the time expires, NI OPC Servers Configuration automatically closes.
  • I have a license for NI OPC Servers (1 driver), and it appears licensed in NILM, but the driver I use to access our PLCs starts up in demo mode which expires after two hours. How can I fix this?
  • I have an active license for NI OPC Servers, but when I open NI OPC Servers Configuration, I see the following error:
The DEMO period has expired. Please refer to the Error Messages section on the server help file for more information. This message does not appear when all drivers and plug-ins used by your application are licensed.


This behavior occurs when the OPC Servers is not being accessed by a licensed user, or the software is unlicensed.

Additoinally, NI OPC Quick Client will automatically close after 2 hours, regardless of if NI OPC Servers is activated or not.

However, if the configuration is booting into Demo mode, it could give you limited functionality for this duration. See the steps below for troubleshooting this issue:

For All License Types:

1. Confirm that you have activated NI OPC Servers in NI License Manager. If the software is not activated please follow the steps listed in the article: Activating NI Software Products
2. Go to the Notification Area in the taskbar and search for the NI OPC Server icon .
3. Right-click on the NI OPC Servers icon.
4. Select Stop Runtime Service.
5. Select Exit

6. If the issue still remains after the above steps, verify that you are only trying to connect to the amount of drivers that your license permits. If you are trying to connect to more than 1 driver at a time and don't have the unlimited driver license then this may also trigger the demo mode. 

Additional Step for Named-User Volume Licenses Only:

This issue can occur if the OPC server appears licensed in NI License Manager but the OPC server is not logging on using the credentials which are assigned to the OPC license in NI Volume License Manager. The correct credentials can be set up in Services using the steps below: 

1. In the Windows Start Menu open Services.
2. Find the NI OPC Service, right-click it, and select Properties.
3. Select the Log On tab.
4. Select the This account option and type in the credentials for the user who is assigned the license.

6. Click Apply, then OK.