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Q: How do I renew my MATLAB license for the next academic year?


Your MATLAB license will expire each year on July 1, but has a built in 30 day grace period. You will need to re-activate MATLAB using a new Activation Key when new codes become available in July. (see below).

Before you start

Make sure you have made a note of the License Number and have downloaded the Activation Key

You should already have a account from the last time you activated or installed MATLAB. You will need your username (usually your MIT email address) and password (not your Kerberos password).

Renew your license

  1. Launch MATLAB, and run Help > Licensing > Activate Software.

    You may also run the Activation Wizard manually (release R2010a is illustrated; adjust appropriately for a different release):
    • Linux: /usr/local/matlabr2010a/bin/
      (location may vary if you did not accept the default settings during installation)
    • Mac: Open the Applications folder. Right-click on MATLAB_R2010a, and choose Show Package Contents. Double-click on the Activate icon.
    • Windows: Start Menu > Programs > MATLAB R2010a > Activate MATLAB
      Menu Path

  2. The activation wizard will start. Click Next.
    Software Activation

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

  4. You may be prompted to select the license to associate with. If so, select the appropriate Total Academic Headcount license, either Student or Faculty/Staff, and click Next. Otherwise, you will skip this step and arrive directly at Step 5.
    License Selection

  5. 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

  6. 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.
    Provide Username

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

  8. 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
  9. After updating the license, you may need to restart MATLAB in order to implement the change.
    • If you still receive this warning after performing the steps above, there may be multiple license files on your computer.
      • Please note: According to the MathWorks, on startup MATLAB looks for the first valid license. If you have activated the new license, MATLAB should begin to use it once your old key expires on August 1.
    • To resolve the issue, remove any additional license files that are about to expire.

Getting help

All technical support for MATLAB installation is available from the MathWorks.
  Note: Have your license information ready before contacting technical support. (see above)

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

July 07, 2016

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  1. Apr 28, 2016

    Is this a duplication of "How do I activate my expiring MATlab license"? Just asking as I comb through....

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