MATLAB Answers

How do I launch the MATLAB activation client?

Asked by MathWorks Support Team on 7 Aug 2013
Latest activity Commented on by Eric LaRue
on 24 May 2015

I would like to know how to run the MATLAB activation client.



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1 Answer

Answer by MathWorks Support Team on 25 Feb 2015
 Accepted answer

This information only applies to MATLAB R2008a and higher. For previous versions of MATLAB, there is no activation process. To update an older release of MATLAB, see the solution: 1-2YJW8B - "How do I update the license for my existing standalone installation of MATLAB?"

For re-activating the MATLAB Student Version R2008b and higher, see the Related Article:

How can I re-activate MATLAB Student Version R2008b or higher?

NOTE: If you have a Designated Computer activation type, you may need to deactivate the license before you can reactivate. For deactivation instructions, see the Related Solution "How do I deactivate MATLAB?"

For Window 7 and earlier:


1. Click the Start Menu, go to "All Programs", then "MATLAB"

2. Go to the folder for the release of MATLAB you wish to activate (e.g. R2008a)

3. Click the option to "Activate MATLAB"

You can also launch the activation client directly by running activate_matlab.exe from $MATLABROOT\bin\win32 or $MATLABROOT\bin\win64.

(where $MATLABROOT is the MATLAB installation folder)

For Windows 8:


1. Press the 'Windows' key on the keyboard to go to the Start screen.

2. Search for 'Activate MATLAB' - you should see the activate program appear in the search results.

For Linux:


To launch the activation client, you will need to use the script in the $MATLABROOT/bin folder. To launch this script:

1. Open a Terminal window.

2. In the Terminal window, run the following commands:



(where $MATLABROOT is the MATLAB installation folder - by default in R2014b: /usr/local/MATLAB/R2014b/bin)

NOTE: You may need administrator or superuser permissions in order to complete activation. If you encounter a permissions error, try launching the activation client by running:

sudo ./

You will be prompted for the superuser password.

For Mac OS X:


For MATLAB 7.8 (R2008b) and later on Mac OS X, you can launch the activation client from Finder:

1. Open a Finder window and Locate the icon in your Applications folder (e.g.

2. Open the MATLAB folder by hitting CTRL+Click (or right-click) and select "Show Package Contents".

3. Double-click on "Activate" in the MATLAB folder to start the activation client.

  1 Comment

Eric LaRue
on 24 May 2015

I followed the instructions above, and I did not find a file that simply says "Activate." I have a file that says "activate.ini" which, when I try to open it, says "There is no application to open the document 'activate.ini'."


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