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Activation FAQ

See answers to these questions below.

Q: How Can I Find My Computer ID?
A: To display your computer ID, from NI License Manager (Start»Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager), go to Options»Display Computer ID.

Note that when you activate using the NI Activation Wizard, all of the necessary information, including the computer ID, is gathered and displayed for you.

Q: Where Do I Find My Serial Number for Activation?
A: You can find your serial number on the Certificate of Ownership included in your software kit. If your software kit does not include a Certificate of Ownership, you can find your serial number on the product packing slip or on the shipping label.

If you have installed a previous version using your serial number, you can find the serial number by selecting the Help»About menu item within the application or by selecting your product within NI License Manager (Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager). You can also contact National Instruments. Refer to for branch office contact information.

Q: On What Is My Computer ID Based?
A: Your computer ID is based on the MAC address of your Ethernet adapter. In some cases, your computer ID is based on the disk volume serial number.

If you change your Ethernet card or reformat your hard drive, you may need a new activation code. The software alerts you when you need to reactivate in one of these circumstances. Once you receive an alert that one of these resources has changed, the software continues to operate for seven days. You should reactivate the product during this period.

Q: How Many Times Can I Activate a Product?
A: You can activate your product as many times as necessary, provided you follow your licensing agreement. Each time you reactivate your product, simply follow the same activation process as the first time. You do not have to contact NI to deactivate an installation.

Q: Why Has National Instruments Implemented Licensing and Activation?
A: NI has added product activation to some of its software products to accomplish better software delivery and efficiency. It is now easier to deliver evaluation software, add-on features, online software downloads, and license management for large organizations.

Q: What If My Evaluation Version Expires?
A: Even after the evaluation version expires, you are able to activate the release version of the product. After the evaluation version expires, you are not able to run the product in evaluation mode. If you decide not to purchase the product, you may uninstall the evaluation version.

Q: If I Install the Evaluation Version of My Software, Do I Need to Reinstall the Release Version?
A: No. By activating, you unlock the release version of the software. Simply activate and use the software. You do not need to uninstall, reinstall, or install any new software.

Q: How Do I Activate My Product?
A: When you launch the product, a dialog box alerts you that activation is required to use the release version of the software. You may activate the software, run the software in evaluation mode, or purchase the software.

If the dialog box is not displayed, you can activate the product from within NI License Manager (Start»Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager). In NI License Manager, right-click on the product you wish to activate and choose the activate option. Alternatively, click the "Activate" button within NI License Manager to activate a product. Once you have chosen to activate, the NI Activation Wizard opens and guides you through the activation process.

Q: What Is an Activation Code?
A: The activation code is a 20-character alphanumeric string that encodes:

  • A digital signature
  • The product name
  • The product version
  • The computer ID

An activation code works only on the computer for which you provided an ID in the activation process. An example of an activation code is:


Q: After I Activate My Software, Can I Move the Software to Another Machine?
A: You can install the software on another machine. When you install on the new machine, simply follow the same activation process that you completed the first time you installed. Remember to follow the software licensing agreement.

Q: How Do I Activate My Product If I Cannot Access the Internet?
A: Internet access is not required to activate your product. When you activate, the NI Activation Wizard displays the different options for activating. There are four methods that do not require Internet access on the machine where you are activating:

  • Phone - Contact a National Instruments representative to acquire your activation code during business hours or use our automated phone system to activate at any time.
  • Fax - Fax your activation request to National Instruments.
  • E-mail - E-mail your activation request to National Instruments. The NI Activation Wizard creates an e-mail to send to National Instruments. You can copy the e-mail text to a different computer that has Internet access and send the e-mail from that computer.
  • Web - Use a Web browser to acquire an activation code for a computer. The NI Activation Wizard displays the required information, which you can print or you can take this information to another computer that has Internet access to acquire your activation code.

Q: What If I Cannot Find My Serial Number for Activation?
A: Your serial number is required to complete the activation process. Please refer to the FAQ, "Where Do I Find My Serial Number for Activation?" If you still cannot find the serial number for the product you are activating, please contact National Instruments.

Q: How Do I Activate My Software Products If I Purchased NI Developer Suite?
A: To activate the software products, use the serial number for NI Developer Suite. There is one serial number for all of the products that come with NI Developer Suite. Use the NI Activation Wizard to activate your software and enter in the Developer Suite serial number for each of the products that require activation. If you use the auto method to activate a Developer Suite product, activation codes for your other Developer Suite products will be stored on your computer. Then, if you activate any of those products, the saved activation code can be applied automatically in the Activation Wizard.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Activation and Registration?
A: Activation and registration are separate processes. Activation is required to use products built with license management. Registration facilitates technical support for registered products and ensures that you receive important product updates from National Instruments.