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Why am I continuously prompted to activate when I try to launch MATLAB?

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I am trying to activate and use MATLAB. Every time I start MATLAB, it prompts me to activate, even though I complete the process and it states activation is complete each time.
Why am I continuously prompted to activate when I try to launch MATLAB?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 7 Apr 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 21 Jun 2021
When launching MATLAB, you will be prompted to activate if no valid license files can be found on the license file search path. The most common reasons that MATLAB will continuously prompt you for activation are:
  • Activating to the wrong computer login name (username)
  • Insufficient user privileges
  • Wrong file type
  • Activating to an expired or invalid license file
Activating to the wrong computer login name (username)
For Individual licenses, the MathWorks Installer and Activation Client will attempt to place the license file into the directory of the user specified. If the user specified is not the user attempting to launch MATLAB, then MATLAB will not be able to locate the license file. This is most commonly seen when administrator credentials are used to install or activate due to to limited user permissions, and as a result, the license file is stored under the administrator account.To resolve this, verify the username
 of the MATLAB user, then reactivate MATLAB  with the correct username.
Insufficient user privileges
When activating MATLAB, you must have sufficient user privileges to create the required licenses folder and create the license file. To verify that the license file is being created, browse to the location where the license files are stored for your license option and operating system type:
Where are the license files for MATLAB located?
If you do not see a license file, or the licenses folder, you may not have sufficient privileges.  You may resolve this by activating the license manually then placing the license file into the appropriate directory found in the link above:
How do I activate MATLAB without an internet connection?
Note: You may be required to create the licenses folder for R2020a and newer.  If so, verify that the name matches the path found in the article  above.  For example, Individual licenses will be located in the folder R20XXx_licenses, with the XXx changed to match the release.
Wrong file type
License files must be a LIC file.  LIC files have a .lic extenstion, e.g. license.lic or network.lic. If the license file has any other extension, such as .txt, MATLAB may not be able to read the license, and you will be prompted to activate.
To resolve this, change the file extension to '.lic'.
Note: The exception to this is DAT files used by network License Managers.
Activating to an expired or invalid license file
If the license file is expired or invalid, MATLAB will prompt you to activate.  To resolve this, download a new license file.
  15 Comments
undefined undefined
undefined undefined on 18 Mar 2021
i have been trying everything on this thread and nothing worked. ive reinstalled the program 3 times in different locations on my computer and nothing works, would appriciate a solution if any other ideas come to mind.

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More Answers (9)

Adesh Prasad
Adesh Prasad on 26 Nov 2020
Had same problem. I think this is the answer for most people..
I'm logged in as a regular User, not my Administrator user account. But Matlab insisted to use my Adminstrator user account name when activating, even though I was installing in my regular user account.
So to run Matlab from my regular user account, need to right click on Matlab icon, say run as Administrator, then Matlab opens without opening Activation window every time.
Hope this helps.
  7 Comments
Tirthankar Mazumder
Tirthankar Mazumder on 26 Aug 2021 at 15:10
I had the same problem, and this was the reason why. Thank you so much!
Alternatively, instead of running as administrator, I just changed the "Windows username" from the auto-filled thing to the username of my regular user, and it worked.

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soxib abduxalilov
soxib abduxalilov on 20 May 2018
I am trying to activate and use MATLAB. Every time I start MATLAB, it asks me to activate, even though I complete the process and it states activation is complete each time. Why am I continuously prompted to activate when I try to launch MATLAB?
  4 Comments

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durga sadasivuni
durga sadasivuni on 26 Jun 2018
I am trying to activate and use MATLAB trial. Every time I start MATLAB, it asks me to activate, even though I done with all the process and it states activation is complete each time.Even I did every process mentioned above still getting the same problem. Why am I continuously prompted to activate when I try to launch MATLAB,please help me out
  3 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 8 Nov 2018
Richard, the volunteers who answer questions here do not have access to the license database and do not have access to your system. We are also not trained on the various ways to investigate this problem. It is recommended that you contact Mathworks for free installation assistance.

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Seungyoun Lee
Seungyoun Lee on 2 Jul 2019
Edited: Seungyoun Lee on 2 Jul 2019
They do not want to resolve customer's problem. Why matlab developers did not try to solve the problems? Why? Is it customer's problem? or Matlab's fault?
  2 Comments
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 2 Jul 2019
Seungyoun Lee: what leads you to understand that "they do not want to resolve customer's problem" ? Mathworks actively updates the response here to add information, clarify, and rephrase for better understanding.
Mathworks offers free support for installation problems.

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Daniel Guterman
Daniel Guterman on 1 Mar 2021
every time i start the matlab it asks me to do activation and i alreadyy done it many times. what can i do to solve this problem?
  2 Comments

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Artur MKRTCHYAN
Artur MKRTCHYAN on 2 Jun 2021
Edited: Artur MKRTCHYAN on 2 Jun 2021
perhaps it will be useful for some. In my case I had the same problem. The steps to follow to launch the MatLab correctly.
  1. $ sudo whoami (you copy the result name. Is will be root by default)
  2. $ suodo matlab (you finish the activation process with 1. step result as login name)
  3. $ sudo su
  4. $ matlab
I d'ont know why but second $ sudo matlab open again the activation process.I think it's a problem of access rights to the activation file. I haven't tried changing the rights to the activation file, but that might work too.

Faruk CANOGLU
Faruk CANOGLU on 15 Sep 2021 at 12:25
I had the same problem, I fixed my problem in an another way.
I had the licenses at AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB\R2021a_licenses but there were no folder named licenses in "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2021a\ , so I added new folder named "licenses" then I coppied the licenses from "AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB\RXXXXa_licenses" up here to "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2021a\lincenses" location. It's worked. I hope everyone can solve their problem.

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