MATLAB: Am I being told “the license file selected appears to be invalid” when browsing to a license file

MATLAB

When providing the license file during activation, I get the error message:
The license file selected appears to be invalid
However, the license file I got was sent directly from MathWorks. How can I resolve this issue and activate my copy of MATLAB.

Best Answer

  • There are a few possible reasons for this issue. See the information below to resolve this activation error:
    1) Bad formatted/manually edited license file:
    If the formatting in the license file has changed, or any of the text has been changed, the license file will not work. The biggest cause for this issue is having the license file emailed. Email clients tend to add Rich Text formatting to the license file, corrupting it. When obtaining a license file from the License Center, choosing the download option for the license file will ensure that the formatting is correct.
    Additionally, manually changing the encoding of the license file will break the file. If you need a new license file for a different Host ID, you will need to activate to generate the new license file.
    2) Activating a license file meant for a Concurrent/Network Named User license server:
    When obtaining a license file for a Concurrent/Network Named User license, this raw license file cannot be used to activate a client for this license. This is because the license file lacks the information needed to point MATLAB to the network license manager. When setting up a Concurrent/Network Named User license, the steps are as follows:
    1. Generate the license file for the server in the License Center.
    2. Install and configure the network license manager on the computer where the license manager will run. This will process the license file with the information about the license manager.
    3. Install the client for the network license manager with the newly processed file.
    While it is possible to activate a client with the processed license file, the unprocessed one will not work.
    For more information about setting up a Concurrent/Network Named User license, see the installation guide here: