Access Keys:
Skip to content (Access Key - 0)

Q: How can I convert an existing Student MATLAB installation to run as a standalone TAH license?


Older Student MATLAB only
If you downloaded MIT Student MATLAB on or after August 16, 2010, you do not need to perform this procedure.

Before You Start

Make sure you have made a note of the License Number and have downloaded the Activation Key. You can find both of these at (certificates required).
Make sure your computer is connected to the Internet (the VPN is not required). You need network connectivity to the MathWorks to perform the conversion.
Make sure you are running MATLAB R2008a or later. R2007b and earlier cannot be converted to TAH standalone licensing.
Mac Users: Make sure you have an Intel processor. PowerPC-based computers (e.g. G5, G4) can no longer run Student MATLAB, as The MathWorks has ended all support for PowerPC.

If You Need Help

If the conversion process fails, the best option is to completely uninstall MIT Student MATLAB and re-install the new version, following the instructions at Note that Windows users must reboot after uninstalling the old version to ensure the license manager software has been completely removed.

Alternatively, please contact The MathWorks and tell them you need assistance converting MATLAB from a "Network Concurrent License" to a "Standalone TAH License". They will require the license number and activation key (see above).


  1. Go to and select Create Account in the top right corner of the page.
    (If you have previously created an account, you may click the "My Account" or "Log In" link instead, and skip to step 4.)
    mathworks home

  2. You will need to provide your MIT email address and select a password for your Mathworks account.
    Note: Please do not use your Kerberos password!
    Be sure that the country is set to "United States" and that "How you will use this software?" is set to "Academic Use". Do not select "Student use..". You will also need to provide your first and last name, as listed in the MIT Directory. The rest of the form may be left blank. Scroll to the bottom and press Submit when done.
    Provide Accurate Information
    You must use your real MIT email address and provide your first and last name. Accounts are audited periodically, and MIT reserves the right to disable any MathWorks accounts that appear to have fraudulent or incorrect information. Unauthorized use or distribution of MIT-licensed software is prohibited and disciplinary action may be taken. On the next screen, you may optionally provide some information to the MathWorks, or you may leave it blank.

    personal info fields

  3. On the next screen, you may optionally provide some information to the MathWorks, or you may leave it blank.
    account successfully created

  4. Once your account is created, you will be returned to the MathWorks front page. Click My Account in the top right corner of the page.
    mathworks home

  5. In the navigation bar on the left side of the page, click the Manage Licenses link.
    navigation bar

  6. On this page, you will see the licenses you are associated with (if any). Click the Add License button at the top right.

  7. You will then be asked to provide a License Number or Activation Key. Choose Activation Key and click Continue.
    add license

  8. Enter the Activation Key.
    ( Don't have the Activation Key? Scroll back to the top of this page and re-read the "Before You Start" section).
  9. You should then see a message that you have successfully associated with the license. If you get prompted to associate with an additional license, simply click Cancel.
    association complete

  10. Launch MATLAB, and run Help > Licensing > Activate Software.
    You may also run the Activation Wizard manually:
    • Linux: /usr/local/matlabr2009a/bin/
      (location may vary if you did not accept the default settings during installation)
    • Mac: Open the Applications folder. Right-click on MATLAB_R2009a, and choose Show Package Contents. Double-click on the Activate icon.
    • Windows: Start Menu > Programs > MATLAB R2009a > Activate MATLAB
      menu path

      Mac OS X Users: If you get an error when trying to run the Activation Wizard, please see Why did I get an "Unexpected Exception" error when trying to activate MATLAB R2009a?.
  11. The activation wizard will start. Click Next.
    software activation options

  12. You will be prompted to log in to your account. Click Next.
    log in

  13. You will be prompted to select the license to associate with. Select the Total Academic Headcount license, and click Next.
    select a license or enter an activation key

  14. Enter the activation key, and click Next.
    Don't have the activation key? Scroll back to the top of the page and re-read the "Before You Start" section.
    activation key

  15. Enter the username of the user who will run MATLAB. You should usually accept the default value, unless you normally log in to this computer with a different username than the one you're currently using. Click Next.
    This is your username on your local workstation. It is not necessarily your MIT Kerberos username.
    If you need to run MATLAB as a different user, you can re-activate it as that user.
    login name

  16. The activation wizard will prompt you to confirm the information you have entered. Click Next.

  17. The activation wizard will finish and offer to start MATLAB. Click Finish. After a few moments, MATLAB should launch automatically. MATLAB will now also be available in the Start Menu and on your Desktop.
    activation complete

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

April 29, 2016

Get Help

Request help
from the Help Desk
Report a security incident
to the Security Team
c-student-matlab c-student-matlab Delete
convert convert Delete
tah tah Delete
matlab matlab Delete
license license Delete
matlab-review matlab-review Delete
Enter labels to add to this page:
Please wait 
Looking for a label? Just start typing.
This product/service is:
Easy to use
Difficult to use

This article is:
Adaptavist Theme Builder (4.2.3) Powered by Atlassian Confluence 3.5.13, the Enterprise Wiki