I Switched My Hard Drive/Network Card and Now I Cannot Activate LabVIEW

Updated Dec 11, 2023

Reported In


  • NI License Manager
  • LabVIEW


  • Applies to all NI Software

Issue Details

  • I moved my old hard drive to my new computer, now the license manager indicates that the license is registered already
    for another computer:
"Already activated on another computer"
  • I switched my network card and now my software cannot be activated.


NI software is activated based on your computer ID. This computer ID is built with a MAC address or disk volume serial number. Whenever changes to hardware, like the hard drive, network cards or adapters, occur this might change your computer ID and with it the activation status of your NI software.

To troubleshoot this you can:
  1. Deactivate and reactivate your license:
  1. Activate your software through another computer ID:
  1. Replace your license files with an evaluation license file and activate your software again
  1. Download an evaluation license file: Simply go to ni.com, use the search bar and type in e.g.: "LabVIEW Development System 2018 SP1 - Evaluation License Files - Windows"
  2. After you downloaded the zip file, unpack it and save e.g. on your desktop
  3. Close all NI software
  4. Open Windows Explorer
  5. Navigate to the License folder, located in the following directory: 
    • Windows XP - C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\License Manager\Licenses
    • Windows 7/10 - C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\License Manager\Licenses
  6. Find and backup your license files. In order to find the right license file, the naming convention is <Application Name>_<Product Name>_PKG_<Version>.lc. For example, if you wanted to replace the LabVIEW Professional 2018 SP1 license file, you would need to find LabVIEW_PDS_PKG_180001.lc (PDS  = Professional Devleopment System). Note that the file extension may be either .lic or .lc.
  7. Now copy the according license file you downloaded before to the license manager folder
  8. Open the license manager again, your software should be in evaluation mode now
  9. Activate your software
  1. Do a forced reinstall:
  1. Uninstall and reinstall your NI software