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How to Activate NI Software Products

Updated Aug 8, 2022



  • NI License Manager
  • Volume License Manager
  • LabVIEW
  • LabWindows/CVI

This article outlines the steps for activating the NI software products.

There are three methods for activating licenses depending on whether or not the computer has Internet access.

  • Identity-based activations using your NI User Account.
  • Entering your serial number.
  • Using activation codes (offline method).


Online Activation

Make sure the computer is connected to the Internet and you have logged in to your NI User Account in the NI License Manager (NILM). To activate the software online, you can use the identity-based method or enter the serial number. The steps below apply for NILM 4.7 or later. For older versions refer to the Legacy NILM Versions section.

  1. Open NILM and make sure that the software you want to activate is listed in the Product Summary tab. If it is not, download the appropriate software.
  2. Click Activate Software.
  3. If you registered the serial number in your NI User Account, select Check my account for licenses from the drop-down menu and click the Activate button.
2021-06-24 13_07_42-Activate Software.png
  1. If the above method fails or you have not registered your serial number in your NI User Account, select Enter a serial number from the drop-down menu. Then, enter your serial number next to each software product that you want to activate and is included in your license. Once done, click the Activate button.
2021-06-24 13_12_54-NI License Manager 4.7.png
  1. If the activation was successful, you should receive a message similar to the window below.
2021-06-24 13_14_16-NI License Manager 4.7.png
  1. If the activation failed, try again or use the offline activation method explained in the following sections.

Offline Activation

If the computer doesn't have an Internet connection but is connected to an active network, a window will show up requiring you to sign in to your NI User Account. Remove the computer from the network or disable the WiFi to avoid getting the login screen. The steps below apply for NILM 4.7 or later. For older versions refer to the Legacy NILM Versions section.

  1. Generate the 20-digit activation codes by going to the NI Product Activation portal on a computer with an Internet connection. Complete the form using the Computer ID of the offline machine, and the serial number, and select the specific versions of the software you need to active. If you run into issues, please contact NI Support.
  2. Open NILM and click Activate Software.
  3. Select Enter activation codes from the drop-down menu.
  4. Enter the activation codes separated by dashes. Once done, click Activate.
2021-06-24 13_25_57-NI License Manager 4.7.png

Additional Information

  • If you are using a legacy version of NI License Manager and cannot upgrade, please see Archived: Activating NI Software Using Legacy NI License Manager​​​​​.
  • If you have a patch version of your software, you can use the same Serial Number/Activation Code as the main version to activate it.
  • If you get the following error, "An error occurred when trying to activate your product, use an alternate method or try again laterverify you are using the correct Computer ID and recreate a new 20-digit activation code.
  • If you have the same product, on the same computer, and all you did was uninstall and reinstall a non-expired product, the same activation codes will work when you are prompted to reinstall.
  • If you still get a message to activate your software products even after activation from a disconnected license file with NI Volume License Manager (VLM), you may ignore the message.

Activating Products Without Serial Numbers

Non-serialized products, such as LabVIEW Community Edition and LabVIEW NXG Community Edition, use identity-based activation. After you have installed these products, follow the default settings in NI License Manager 4.6 or later to activate your software using your user account. Note that you cannot use serial number activation or activation codes for these products. 

Next Steps

  • If the Activation Wizard does not appear when you open or launch an NI product that is not yet activated visit Activating Your Software. You should launch the corresponding application, which will typically have a .exe extension, for the Activation Wizard to launch
  • If activation errors occur when using the 20-digit activation code: 
    • Visit the version of the software that you have installed on your computer, and verify that the code you are creating matches that version. For example, a code generated for LabVIEW Professional Development System 2018 will not activate an installation of LabVIEW 2018 SP1 as the codes are version specific.
    • Upgrade NI License Manager to the latest version of the software.
  • If red exclamation points continue to appear, it is possible that it is associated with a Volume License Agreement (VLA). If this is the case, your company will have a dedicated Software Administrator (admin) who handles granting licenses to users. Try contacting the software admin prior to contacting NI. If your organization has a VLA and you would like to apply it to an offline computer, follow these instructions on how to install a disconnected license.