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Product Activation

What Is Activation?

Activation is a secure and anonymous process in which product features are enabled based on what you purchased. Upon installation of the software, National Instruments uses a unique serial number to generate an activation code. You can use this activation code to activate the product on the same computer an unlimited number of times. If you need to activate your software on another computer, simply reactivate using the same process. Please refer to the License Agreement for information on the number of computers you can install the software on at any given time. Additionally, most products have a 7-day evaluation period so you can begin using your software right away even if you are not able to activate immediately. See below for more information on how to activate, or visit the Product Activation FAQ.

Why Activation?

National Instruments uses activation with many products to improve the efficiency of delivering software to customers and to provide license management to large organizations. Activation makes the process of moving a product from evaluation use to release use significantly smoother. Previously, a customer had to uninstall an evaluation version before installing the purchased software. With activation, you can download evaluation software and simply activate the fully featured version once purchased. With activation, you also can add features or migrate to higher product levels without reinstalling software. For example, a system deployed on the manufacturing floor contains an NI TestStand Deployment License. If something goes wrong with that system and it needs debugging, you do not need to install additional software. Simply apply a new activation code to enable the NI TestStand Development System to fix the problem.

In the past, companies under the Volume License Program (VLP) requested some method of tracking and managing their licenses. Asset management is extremely important in these large organizations, and without the proper tool, the organization could spend more time on tedious tracking tasks and more money on additional licenses they might already own but did not track. With activation, National Instruments provides NI Volume License Manager (VLM) to these companies so they can better manage and track their NI software installation and use.

How Do I Activate?

NI has made activation quick, easy, and flexible by providing several activation methods. It takes only a few minutes of your time and does not require you to formally contact NI directly. When you install the product, the NI Activation Wizard is immediately launched and guides you through the entire activation process. There are six methods available to activate your product. When you activate, the NI Activation Wizard displays each of these options and gives you any information required to activate. These options include:

24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

  • Auto - Activate the product automatically through the NI Activation Wizard.

    Note: This is the only method that requires an Internet connection on the computer where the software is installed.
  • E-mail - E-mail your activation request to National Instruments. This method creates an e-mail to send to National Instruments. If the computer that has the software installed does not have Internet access, you can save this e-mail text to a file and send it from a different computer that does have Internet access.
  • Web - Use a Web browser to acquire an activation code for the computer. You can activate this method, which displays the required information, on the computer or print the information. You can take this information to a computer that has Internet access to acquire your activation code.
  • Auto-Phone - Phone NI at any time to activate your product. The Activation Wizard will display a phone number and numeric information to enter into the automated phone system. An activation code will be read back to you over the phone.

During Business Hours

  • Phone - Contact a National Instruments representative to acquire your activation code.
  • Fax - Fax your activation request to National Instruments.


For help activating your product, see the NI Product Activation FAQ. To see the steps of the NI Activation Wizard, visit National Instruments Activation Wizard Walk-Through.