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Trouble Shooting on the License Transaction Error

Tips and Tricks Mark Deng 19 September 2018

Trouble Shooting on the License Transaction Error

If you are transferring your SOLIDWORKS licenses frequently, you may have seen the error message “Activation count exceeded” for one of your SOLIDWORKS license activations.

This article will help you to understand how SOLIDWORKS license works and trouble shoot this particular error.

1. SOLIDWORKS License Activation:

SOLIDWORKS licenses (including standalone and network) can be used for more than one installation. However, a licence can only be activated on one machine at a time. Therefore, to use SOLIDWORKS on a different machine, you will need to deactivate your license from the machine where the license is currently activated. You then need to activate your licence on the machine on which you wish to continue working. We call this process transferring a licence.

The SOLIDWORKS activation portal is using the Computer ID to identify the machines on which a particular licence is activated. Each of the machine will be given a particular Computer ID which is generated from a combination of the motherboard mac address, hard drive ID and Windows ID.

Therefore, there are 2 common reasons to cause a license activation failure:

(a).  Failing to transfer the license from the current activated machine before activating the license on a new machine.

(b). Performing a change to the Computer hardware/software which caused the Computer ID change, so the license is still activated on the old Computer ID (even on the same machine).

2. Trouble shooting process:

(a). if you forget to transfer a license off an old machine before activating it on a new machine, you can access the machine that has the license activated, launch SOLIDWORKS, and go to “Help” > “Deactivate license(s)”. Then you can follow the prompts to get the license deactivated:


Deactivating license

After this, you should be able to launch SOLIDWORKS and follow the prompts to activate the license on the new machine.


(b). If you have performed a computer hardware/ software change and are receiving this activation error, please follow the steps below:

First of all, the steps you take to fix the problem will depend on what changes have been made on your machine.

If you have replaced your hard drive, you will need to plug the old hard drive back in to the machine, and start Windows system from there. Then you should be able to launch SOLIDWORKS and deactivate the license from there, as per the above.

If you have replaced your motherboard, reinstalled Windows, or replaced the hard drive and the old hard drive is not accessible, then you will need to contact our Technical Support team to request a license disable request. The license disable request will disable the old Computer ID for using the particular SOLIDWORKS license in question.

Therefore if you computer has crashed and been sent to IT for repair, you won’t need a license disable request as you will be using this computer for SOLIDWORKS again once it is repaired. In this case, a temporay license can be provided to cover the time of repair to your machine.


3. License activation type.

To avoid performing a manual license transfer, you can change your SOLIDWORKS activation type from machine activation to online activation.

The online activation system is a new feature that is only available with SOLIDWORKS 2018.

You can reach our Technical Support for detailed instruction for setting up the online licensing system.


Finally, on rare occasions the activation portal could be down at SOLIDWORKS’ end.  In this case, you can reach out to our Technical Support team for a temporary license to keep working until the Activation portal is back online.


I hope this helps.

Mark Deng
Applications Engineer
Central Innovation, New Zealand


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