Is my key under current support? (Zemax legacy)


In this article, you can check to see if your key is currently under support, as well as check for or apply a support update after renewal.  It covers red, green, black and softkey licenses. 

Before proceeding, please read:

This article applies only to software licensed via legacy Zemax licenses. Legacy Zemax licenses include all USB-based licenses, licenses with 5-digit numeric serial numbers (e.g. 22000), and 6-digit alpha-numeric serial numbers beginning with "L" or "T" (e.g. L100000). You can identify your license type using the guide located here: How to identify your legacy Zemax license.

If you are using:

  • Ansys-licensed versions of Zemax software, do not follow this article. The license administrator will get an email with instructions upon renewal. 
  • A Black USB licenses (license serial number in the range of 22000-40999 skip to Black USB key updates
  • A softkey or a Green / Red USB key as above (license number in the format L1XXXXX or T1XXXXX) see Applying a license update for Zemax software products 

Checking your support expiry date

Launch your Zemax software, click on the Help tab, and the About button to see the key serial number and the support expiry date: 

Red or Green USB and softkey license updates 

If you use a softkey or a Green / Red USB key as above (license number in the format L1XXXXX or T1XXXXX) and have recently received an email with a support or subscription renewal, refer to the following articles to apply a support or other update.

Applying a license update for Zemax software products 

Black USB key updates

This section is for licenses with 5-digit numeric serial numbers (e.g. 22000)

Check for updates online

If your machine does not have internet access, skip to the "What If the check for update process for your Black USB license fails?" section below. 

In OpticStudio, you can update the support expiry date by clicking on Help...Check For Updates. You should then see:

If it thinks your support is expired, it will state that instead. Press OK, and OpticStudio will offer to download the latest license file:

Press "Yes". Exit and restart OpticStudio to see the up-to-date support information. If the information was not updated, then Opticstudio may not be able to reach the update server or your Opticstudio release no longer receives update. At this point, please move to the next section  "Requesting an update file for a black USB license"

Requesting an update file for a black USB license

For machines that do not have internet access or on which the check for updates process fails, you may manually install a license file instead. 

Again, this procedure is only for Black USB licenses, serial 22000-40999.

  1. Launch Opticstudio, and click the Help...About page. Make note of the release date and version of OpticStudio you are using.

  2. Contact Zemax support either via or opening a ticket in your Zemax account profile page.  Provide a screenshot or summary of the "About" box with the release date and serial number from step one. They will provide a license file. 

  3. Open Setup...Project Preferences...Folders. Make note of the location of the DATA folder on the first line. mceclip0.png

  4. Place the license DAT or COD file you received into the "License" subfolder under DATA folder you found in step 3. In most cases, this will be Documents\zemax\license folder. Overwrite any existing file. 

  5. Close and restart OpticStudio, and you should see the correct support date.

    If you still do not see the correct date, contact Zemax support again for help. 

Get help

If you are still unable to update your support status, or are using an unsupported release, Zemax Support is happy to help.

For Black USB licenses (both network and single user): Simply send a screen shot of your OpticStudio Help...About screen to to the Support Team. If a screenshot is not possible, you can also provide your key number (such as 22000), OpticStudio version and release date (such as OpticStudio 16 SP2, July 20 2016).

For softkey licenses, a Red USB key or Green USB key, you just need to provide a screen shot of the "License Information" page in the "Zemax License Manager" application that shows your current license (such as L123456).


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