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Why do I receive License Manager Error -1?

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Why do I get the following error:
License Manager Error -1.
Cannot find license file

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 14 Nov 2019
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 14 Nov 2019
This error is either a result of a missing license.dat file, or not having read permissions to the license.dat file.
To check the license file, please refer to solution 1-63ZIR6
Where are the license files for MATLAB located?
If you're using a network installation, contact your license administrator for a new license file.
If you have a standalone license try starting MATLAB from the bin folder.
Windows - C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R20XXx\bin\matlab.exe
Linux - /usr/local/MATLAB/R20XXx/bin//matlab
Mac - /Applications/
If MATLAB starts properly, delete the shortcut and create a new one.
How do I create a shortcut or link to MATLAB?
If you are receiving this error when entering a PLP for MATLAB R12 or R13 on Windows, this is a result of using a passcode generated from the license center. These PLPs will work as far back as R14. Any earlier passcodes will need to be requested from our Customer Service team here:
This error can also occur when you have borrowed a MATLAB seat from a network-based license and the borrowed seat has expired. To resolve this error, you must re-connect to the network license manager and check-out the MATLAB seat again.


Brandon Rasmussen
Brandon Rasmussen on 10 Jul 2019
I was directed here from my own license failure and cannot find any corresponding information myself.
My academic installation was running fine for several weeks, but now I receive this error when starting matlab:
MATLAB is selecting SOFTWARE OPENGL rendering.
License checkout failed.
License Manager Error -1
The license.dat file cannot be found.
Troubleshoot this issue by visiting:
Diagnostic Information:
Feature: MATLAB
License path: -prefersoftwareopengl
Licensing error: -1,359. System Error: 2
I have tried deactivating and reactivating matlab to regenerate the license file to no avail. I had no problem with initial activation using the online system. I believe the error might have been caused by automating the bash command "killall MATLAB" to terminate stalled processes during pipeline processing that I've been performing, but I'm not sure.
Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser on 17 Jul 2019
Please contact us at the following link so we can troubleshoot further.

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