How do I deactivate MATLAB?

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I need to deactivate MATLAB. How do I do this?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 30 Mar 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 4 Jun 2021
If MATLAB is still installed on the computer
To deactivate MATLAB:
  • Launch MATLAB.
  • Click on "Help" in the MATLAB toolstrip, right beneath the question mark in the white circle. (Click on the "Home" tab if you don't see the help menu.)
  • Hover over "Licensing."
  • Click on "Deactivate Software..." from the licensing submenu and follow the on-screen instructions.
In MATLAB R2012a and earlier there is no toolstrip, so the Licensing submenu is in the help menu.
In MATLAB R2007b and earlier, activation and deactivation do not apply.
If MATLAB has been uninstalled
If you are unable to launch MATLAB or MATLAB has already been uninstalled, you will need to launch the deactivation client manually. On Windows, the deactivation client remains on the computer even if MATLAB has been uninstalled. Assuming MATLAB was installed in the default location, the deactivation client is located here:
C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R20XXx\uninstall\bin\winXX\deactivate_matlab.exe
Once the activation client has been launched, follow the on-screen instructions.
If the MATLAB installation folder has been deleted, and you have the deactivation string
Please log into your MathWorks account on
  • Select the license you are deactivating
  • Select the install and activate tab
  • Under Related Tasks, on the right side, there will be a deactivate a computer link. Select this link.
  • The activation list should show up now. There will be a X underneath the deactivate column, click on the x
  • Put in your deactivation string in the proper field and select Submit Deactivation String.
This will deactivate the computer in our systems.
If the MATLAB installation folder has been deleted, and you do not have the deactivation string
If the MATLAB installation folder has been deleted then MATLAB must be deactivated on the MathWorks License Center. For more information, see the following article:
How can I deactivate MATLAB on a machine I cannot access?
  1 Comment
Julio on 21 Jun 2016
I have R2013, I can't find the deactivate_matlab.exe when I reach the matlab uninstall bin folder. Also in my MATLAB the "Help" do not have "Licensing" as an option. It seems like I can't deactivate the license on this machine. I also tried the online method, but it does not deactivate it; in fact, I still can use MATLAB like usual even after deactivating using the online option.

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More Answers (11)

victor bontemps
victor bontemps on 6 Mar 2017
One of my computer has been stolen. Can I desactivate a license Matlab, without it ?
  1 Comment
Andreas Goser
Andreas Goser on 7 Mar 2017
Yes, through your MathWorks Account. In case you struggle, call Customer Service

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kkyaj on 28 Sep 2019
R2018b on windows 10, deactivaing the license gives me:
Unable to Write to Drive Deactivation failed because the application cannot write to your disk; your drive is locked. Change the write protection on your drive and try Update again. Contact your system administrator if you need help.
  1 Comment
Justin Ghetti
Justin Ghetti on 2 Oct 2019
Hi kkyaj,
Windows default security settings can prevent users from writing to the Program Files directory. To work around this problem on Windows, launch the activation client directly as an administrator.
By default, the activation client is located here:
"C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2018b\bin\win64\activate_matlab.exe"
Right click on the activate_matlab.exe and select “Run as adminstrator.” Proceed with the activation process normally. If you are unable to run the application as an administrator, please contact your system administrator for assistance.
If this does not resolve the issue, please contact your System Administrator or MathWorks support:

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Andreas on 28 Sep 2016
at my new license I upgraded a short time ago, there is no "deactivate" button... installing 2016b gives the message "no more maschine transfer available"? Any hint?
  1 Comment
JuanCa on 4 Oct 2016
Andreas you are asking a question in a answer box. You will have more luck if you ask this question in the home of Matlab Answers

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ferran camarasa
ferran camarasa on 7 Jun 2017
i have matlab in an old pc, that pc is not able so i can't disactivate the program, now i have a new pc and the matlab liscence says that that liscence is already joined with a computer, what can i do?

john hanna
john hanna on 22 Aug 2018
The license I am trying to deactivate says "Deactivation Not required"
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 27 Aug 2018
You would not need to deactivate MATLAB if you are using a network license, only if you are using a standalone single user license or a node locked license.

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Allan N
Allan N on 15 Feb 2019
I am having the same problem, and although I've contacted support, I've not received an answer after a week!
I'm just using a newer computer, and I just want to use the same version that I purchased, even though that was some time ago.
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 15 Feb 2019
Which "same problem" are you experiencing? What kind of license do you have, and what have you tried?

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Allan N
Allan N on 15 Feb 2019
Edited: Walter Roberson on 15 Feb 2019
I have license numbers XXXX32 to XXXX42. I have only two of the original being used. When I uninstall the programs (matlab version 2013b), and try installing again, it comes back with it's already in use. I just need one install on a new computer, and the older versions of Matlab works fine for me.
I've also tried to install the original 2006b version for which I purchased the disk and have the PLP. But the PLP doesn't work, and the link sends me to your site that says the site is no longer working.
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 15 Feb 2019
Visit and click on a license number. In the tab that comes up click on Install and Activate. In the Activations tab that comes up, click on the "x" near the right hand side to deactivate. Then you should be able to activate that on the new system.

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Michael Reilly
Michael Reilly on 2 Feb 2020
I am encountering the "Unable to Write to Drive Deactivation failed because the application cannot write to your disk" problem encountered by the previous answer but on my linux system. The linux equivenent of run as administrator - sudo - does not work since when I sudo my "username does not match the username in the license file."
How do I deactivate my license on this machine so I can install matlab on my new computer?
Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser on 5 Feb 2020
You can also deactivate manually through our website. Please review the article below on how to do this.
-Colin Fraser

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Luiz Pinheiro Cordovil da Silva
Olá, Boa noite
Não estou conseguindo instalar o MatLab neste computador.
O computador anterior queimou e este é novo.
Preciso de uma permissão para instalar neste ou tengo que comprar outra licença.
Luiz Pinheiro

Dr Ahmad Zahedi
Dr Ahmad Zahedi on 12 Jun 2021
How do I deactivate MATLAB?

Charles Zahm
Charles Zahm on 16 May 2022 at 18:24
my previous computer no longer functions so I'm unable to deactivate matlab from this computer. I need to reinstall matlab on my new computer


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