How to Change Which Part of my Computer’s Hardware is Used for NI Software Activation

Updated Nov 19, 2020



  • NI License Manager

  • How can I change which piece of my computer's hardware is used for software activation? I want to activate my National Instruments software using a Computer ID generated from different hardware than the default for my machine.
  • I'm trying to activate NI software that is installed in a Virtual Machine. Each time I reboot my Virtual Machine, the related Computer ID changes and I have to activate my software again. There is a way to make the Computer ID be permanent?
  • I have different computers with same computer IDs, how can I change these computer IDs?

National Instruments software will use the Computer ID available in NI License Manager for activation by default. Another ComputerID can be generated based on an alternative MAC Address or disk volume serial number upon request from National Instruments. Please note that the ability to use this method for activation is handled on a case-by-case basis. To inquire about eligibility, email with the following information:
  • Organization Name and Department
  • NI products to be activated
  • Version(s) of each product
  • Serial Number of each product
You will need to provide your MAC Address or computer's disk volume serial number that you wish to use for activation.

How To obtain a MAC address for a network card:

  1. Open a command prompt by clicking Start»Run.
  2. Type "cmd" and click OK.
  3. At the command prompt, type "ipconfig /all" and press Enter.
  4. You MAC Address will be listed under Physical Address and takes the form XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX.

How to obtain a disk volume serial number:
  1. Open a command prompt by clicking Start»Run.
  2. Type "cmd" and click OK.
  3. At the command prompt, change the active directory to the drive of interest by typing the letter followed by a colon, for example C:, then press Enter.
  4. Type "vol" and press Enter to get your disk volume serial number.

Next Steps:
You can then contact National Instruments to request a new computer ID that can be used for activation.

After receiving a new computer ID from, you will need to activate your product(s) using this computer ID. You can do this by completing the following steps:
  1. Open NI License Manager by going to Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager.
  2. Click the Activate button at the top left of the screen.
  3. This will launch the Activation Wizard. Choose the second option of “Use a Web browser, email client, telephone, or fax machine to acquire an activation code”. Click Next.
  4. Select the first option of “Use a Web browser on this or another computer”. Click Next.
  5. Select the link as shown below.  This will take you to National Instrument’s website where you can edit your computer ID and activate your products.

Additional Information

  • To avoid the software installed in a Virtual Machine turn unlicensed after a reboot, you can request National Instruments to provide the new Computer ID based in the hard disk Serial Number. In this way, the Computer ID won't change and the software will keep licensed. 
  • This activation process will not work if you specify a hard drive serial number or MAC address associated with hardware from a different computer. Your computer's Computer ID cannot be changed arbitrarily because it is tied to one of the unique hardware resources in your development computer.
  • Your machine's default Computer ID is typically derived from the computer's MAC address for desktop computers and from the computer's hard drive serial number for laptop computers, although this varies.
  • If you have the same computer IDs in different computers, this may be because the Volume Disk Serial Number are the same on both computers. Please contact National Instruments to request a different compuer ID based in the MAC address.