What do you mean my activation count is EXCEEDED??!!

NOTE: An update to this blog has been posted in April 2017. View it here.

Enough of us have seen this message before. We all cringe when it happens and then try to figure out who we have to scramble to call to get it resolved. Do I call my co-worker next to me who using a similar license, IT to look at the system and ask what you did wrong, or SolidWorks Corporation and be worried that you caused some major licensing violation. In most cases this overage was done without your knowledge. There are a few steps to keep this from happening.

Activation Failed 

First, what is product activation?

In Solidworks “jargon”: Product activation is an anonymous, secure, and hassle free process that authenticates licensed users during the installation process. The process verifies that the serial number is legitimate and has not been activated on more systems than allowed by the SolidWorks End-User License Agreement (EULA). It does not affect the ability of licensed users to use their software the way they have always done.

In short, this is a check of the use of the license key on a specific machine. You are able to activate a Stand-Alone license on two machines that are not to be used simultaneously. One of these activations is for office use and the other is for home or travel purposes.

Are the messages below all too familiar to your installation of SolidWorks products?

Activation failed message
SolidNetWork License Manager

Before you can run SolidWorks products on an individual computer or SolidNetwork License setup, you must activate the license for that computer or server. Activation requires that you have Internet or email access. After activation, you do not need to be online to use the products. If you do not have email access on the computer where you use this product, you can save the activation file and send it from another computer.

This process:

  • Activates all software licenses across the SolidWorks product line.
  • Allows you to transfer licensing rights from one computer or server to another.
  • Enables you to install and activate the SolidWorks products on one work computer and one home computer. (SolidNetwork Licenses require a Home Use License form be filled out.)
  • Can be performed immediately (recommended) or within 30 days of installation.
  • Eliminates the need for Network License Dongles.

The “Activate/Transfer Your SolidWorks Product” screen appears if one of these events occurred:

    • You started SolidWorks and the license for this computer has not yet been activated. (You are in Activate mode.)
    • In SolidWorks, you clicked Help > Activate Licenses. (You are in Activate mode.)
    • In SolidWorks, you clicked Help > Transfer Licenses. (You are in Transfer mode.)

If you are disabling a computer or transferring SolidWorks from one computer to another, you must transfer the license to the license key server at Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation and then reactivate it on the other computer.

Activating a License

  1. Start the SolidWorks application or SolidNetwork License Manager.
  2. Start SolidWorks Product Activation using one of these methods:
    • If you have not yet activated the license for this computer, the SolidWorks Product
      Activation window appears automatically when you start SolidWorks or the SolidNetwork License Manager.
    • If the SolidWorks Product Activation window does not appear automatically
    1. Stand-Alone: Start activation by clicking Help > Activate Licenses.
    2. Network: Select the Modify > Activate/Re-Activate License.SolidWorks Product Activation
  3. Click the Product listing to specify the product whose license you want to activate.
  4. Specify automatic activation over the internet or manual activation using email.
  5. Supply email contact information.
  6. Click Next to proceed.
    • Internet: Activation occurs automatically.
    • Email: Press Save to create a request file, then email the file to When you receive the email containing the response
      file, extract the file from email and then click Open to load it. If necessary, you can exit and rerun the activation procedure to open the response file.SolidWorks Product Activation
  7. Click Finish.

Transferring a License
To transfer a license to a new or upgraded computer, first transfer it to the license key
server at Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, then reactivate it on the other

If you were unable to transfer the license to Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks
Corporation (because of hard drive failure, for example), reactivation is still successful
in most cases. If not, contact your VAR for help.

To transfer a license back to the server from a Stand-Alone installation:

  1. In SolidWorks, click Help > Transfer Licenses, and follow the instructions.
  2. To reactivate, go to the new or upgraded computer and activate the license as you did during the initial activation.

To transfer a license back to the server from a Network License installation:

  1. In the SolidNetwork License manager on the server, click Modify > Transfer Licenses, and follow the instructions.
  2. To reactivate, go to the new or upgraded server and activate the license as you did during the initial activation.

Attn: With SolidNetwork License upgrades to new major releases it is require to Transfer the Activation back to the SolidWorks server before installing the new Network License manager.

SolidWorks Product Activation Transfer

Help! My Activation is stuck…
There are a few options for getting activation that are locked to or hung up on client machines or servers.

In the first case, the SolidWorks or SolidNetwork License Manager has been uninstalled before the activation was released. In this case, you can download and install the SolidWorks Activation Wizard via your SolidWorks Customer Portal account. It will allow you to release activations from your machine without reloading the full program.

Another occurrence is when multiple products were installed and removed without removing activation then you might be getting, “this version of SolidWorks has not been commissioned properly, please contact your supplier.” This may take the Windows command prompt option below to get it cleared up.

  1. Open a Windows® Explorer window to \setup\i386\ and drag and drop the swactwiz.exe into the command prompt window.
  2. Add the following to the end /dellic /primprod:solidworks
    By default (in SolidWorks 2008+), the command should look like below:
    “c:\program files\solidworks corp.\solidworks\setup\i386\swactwiz.exe” /dellic /primprod:solidworks(The spelling is important so do not capitalize the above; simply type it in as shown.)
  3. Hit Enter. There will be a prompt to delete licenses, select “Yes”.
    The message should no longer occur.
    The last option is to contact technical support and they should be able to set up a plan of action to get you and your Solidworks installation back on track.

Jerald StaleyJerald Staley
DASI Solutions

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2 Responses to What do you mean my activation count is EXCEEDED??!!

  1. Tin-Man Lau says:

    What should I do if I did not deactivate my SolidWorks before I upgrade my computer from Windows 7 to 8? Is there anyway to deactivate that old one that does not exist anymore, so that I may activate the one installed on the upgrade?

    • RG says:

      With Solidworks 2017, Click the bottom most selection out of the three selection(I forgot the sentences shown), click next, click the solidworks standard, click finish. Done.

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