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How do I activate MATLAB or other MathWorks products without an internet connection?

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How do I activate MATLAB and/or other MathWorks products on a computer that is not connected to the internet?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 25 Sep 2020 at 4:00
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 28 Sep 2020 at 12:45
To activate MATLAB and/or other MathWorks products on an offline machine, you must:
  1. Obtain your Host ID
  2. (Individual licenses only) Obtain your computer login name or username
  3. Activate the license through the License Center to obtain license file
  4. Use the activation client to activate MATLAB or other MathWorks products with the license file
Obtain your Host ID
To obtain your host ID, follow the article below:
What is a Host ID? How do I find my Host ID in order to activate my license?
(Individual Only) Obtain your computer login name or username
To obtain your computer login name or username, follow the instructions in this article:
How do I find my computer username in order to activate my license?
Activate the license through the License Center to obtain license file
  1. Go to the License Center: <>
  2. Under My Software, click the license number you want to activate. If you do not see your license number, in the bottom right hand corner, click View Additional Licenses or Trials.
  3. Click the Install and Activate tab
  4. Click Activate to Retrieve License File or Activate a Computer.
  5. Enter the following information: the release you are activating, the operating system, the host ID, your user or login name, and the Activation Label.
  6. Download the license file
Use the activation client to activate MATLAB or other MathWorks products with the license file
  1. Transfer over the license file.
  2. Run the activation client. You can find how to open up the activation client in the article below* How to activate MATLAB?*
  3. Select "Activate manually without the internet"
  4. Select "Enter the full path to your license file, including the file name:" and browse to the license file.
  5. Hit Next, and then activation will be complete. Click Finish.


Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser on 18 Mar 2020
The File Installation Key would not be in the license file.
To retrieve a File Installation Key for a license which is already activated:
  1. Log into the License Center here:
  2. Click on the desired license
  3. Select the "Install and Activate" tab
  4. Click the blue arrow under "Get License File"
  5. If you do not see the activated machine and blue arrow, press "Update License File" to open the correct menu
  6. Select a release
  7. Specify that the software is not yet installed
  8. The File Installation Key will appear on this screen
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 4 Jun 2020
It appears that you have found a File Installation Key, but that you have not downloaded the installation files yet, or else you are not running the installer executable that is in the directory that you downloaded the installation files into.

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More Answers (12)

Nathan Goedeke
Nathan Goedeke on 4 Dec 2018
I solved the issue mentioned in the comments: DO NOT run the Matlab Activation Client
Matlab must have changed the activation client GUI but never bothered to update their FAQ.
After you complete steps 1-8 in the official answer, do the following additional steps:
  1. Copy the downloaded liscence file to the following directory (using Windows): C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\{version}\licenses
  2. Delete any other liscence file already in that directory
Now you can start Matlab, and this time the activation client will not run. You do not, repeat, DO NOT need to run the activation client.


Show 1 older comment
Anil Kunnappillil Madhusudhanan
Thank you very much. This worked wonderfully, whereas the instructions from MATLAB did not work. Amazing.

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Amy Meader
Amy Meader on 5 Nov 2016
I would seriously like customer service or help center or whomever to try and follow your own directions. I give up.


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omar ElewA
omar ElewA on 9 Mar 2017
in the second step where is "my software" or where is "View additional Licenses or Trials" ?? you are telling things that are not exist I'm spending one hour for installing this program and no progress

  1 Comment

Kyle Perry
Kyle Perry on 31 Mar 2017
You should see the license right on that page that is linked on step one. If you have several licenses and do not see it, then there will be a "View additional licenses or trials" button. If you need assistance please contact MathWorks Support.

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Thomas Vincent
Thomas Vincent on 15 Jan 2019
Note that the host ID for matlab 2008b (and most surely up to matlab 2013), is resolved from the MAC of eth0 (and no other) on linux.
Recent linux have different interface name instead of eth0.
It is not indicated, but you should reboot after reconfiguring grub at the end of the instructions.

ANA H on 11 Nov 2019
I can't install MATLAB following these ofline instructions.
I've got a license.lic. Where I have to put license.lic file? in _temp_matlab_R2019a_win64 folder?
After write my File Installation Key it shows next message:
'Using a File Installation Key requires you run the installer from a MATLAB DVD or from a directory which contains files previously downloaded via the installer.
To obtain the missing files, click Back on the previous screen and select Log in with a MathWorks Account or contact your MATLAB license administrator. '
What can I do?


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ANA H on 11 Nov 2019
That I've said in may last comment, i've tried with both setup.exe aflter run matlab_R2019a_win64.exe and the result is the same. I

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Zhiyuan Liu
Zhiyuan Liu on 19 Jan 2020
No offence, But I find a lot of pirate version of MATLAB installation guide much more easy to follow.
And they have a much higher successful rate!!
Although I have a license.

  1 Comment

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Eliza Roxana OPRESCU
Eliza Roxana OPRESCU on 16 Mar 2020
Why am I have to activate every time when I try to launch MATLAB and it never starts?
When i try to acces Matlab, it asked me to activate every time..after the activate module is complete the program never starts...

  1 Comment

Nathan Goedeke
Nathan Goedeke on 16 Mar 2020
Hey Eliza,
I had the same issue you did earlier, and my solution is one I posted earlier on this thread:
  1. Copy the downloaded liscence file to the installation folder, i.e. C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\{version}\licenses
  2. Delete any existing liscence files already in that folder
This will prevent the activation client from popping up again.

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Angela Pico
Angela Pico on 14 Apr 2020
porque no puedo abrir el programa de Matlab por el error -9
Que hago para solucionar

  1 Comment

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 14 Apr 2020
If none of the answers above work for you, then you need to contact Mathworks for free installation assistance.

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Kimberly Andersen
Kimberly Andersen on 25 Jul 2020
Got it to work finally!! I'm trying to download 2009 Student (yes in 2020 lol) and these directions worked through downloading a license file (step 6). I wasn't given an option to activate my license without internet in the activation window so I wasn't able to do steps 7-10. I moved the downloaded license file from my download folder to C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\R2009a Student\licenses and once I put it in the license folder I was able to start Matlab without going through the activation window, it just opened up! woohoo! Thanks!!

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