This article explains how to activate a new OpticStudio single user softkey license on your machine. It explains the activation process for both new and legacy versions of the Zemax License Manager.
Authored By Alessandra Croce
This article explains how to activate a new Single-User (individual) softkey license on your machine for Opticstudio OpticsBuilder or OpticsViewer
You must be connected to the internet to complete the installation and activation. If your machine is not connected to the internet, you must instead follow these instructions to activate your softkey license.
Before continuing this article, you should be certain that you have a softkey license (your license serial number will be in the format L1XXXXX). If you received a physical USB dongle from Zemax, you do not own a softkey license.
After ensuring that you have a softkey license, you must verify all of the following.
- The license does not contain NET or NETWORK in the Product name. Network licenses need to be installed on a dedicated server not on each client machine. See How to configure the keyserver and clients for Zemax network licenses
- Your license has not been activated previously. Activation can only be performed once. After that the license can only be transferred from one machine to another.
- You must be connected to the internet to complete the installation and activation. If your machine is not connected to the internet, you must instead follow these instructions to activate your softkey.
- You must have the Zemax software installed on the same machine you will be activating.
- Important: You must not activate your softkey license on a machine using Windows in an Apple Bootcamp (dual boot) environment, as the softkeys are not compatible. You can use Parallels or other virtualization software like Vmware. See "How to run OpticStudio on an Intel-based Mac computer" for details on alternatives for Apple computers.
After you have verified all steps above, use the following procedure to activate your single user (also called individual) softkey license. Note: Starting in May 2019, Zemax began shipping the Zemax License Manager Version 2 (ZLM V2) with a new user interface. The instructions below will cover both versions of ZLM.
The first step is to launch the Zemax License Manager from the Windows Start menu... Zemax Opticstudio, Opticsbuilder or OpticsViewer) folder After the ZLM is open, follow the steps below.
- For Zemax License Manager Version 2 (versions dated May 2019 or later) continue to part a. For the Classic Zemax License Manager (versions dated before May 2019) move to Step 2
- Navigate to New License.
- Enter the License Number and Activation Code in the designated fields. Some Zemax software requires individual software registration. If your software requires registration, two fields will automatically be displayed for your MyZemax email address and password. If these fields do not appear, move to Step 2e.
- If the Zemax username and password fields appear, first ensure that you can successfully sign into the Zemax portal. If you cannot sign in, contact the Zemax support team for help with your account. Be sure to include the license number in your request such as L123456
- After you have successfully completed setting up your MyZemax account, enter your MyZemax email address and password in the appropriate fields below.
- Select Activate to finish activating your license. You will receive a confirmation message if successful.
If you get a "not authorized" error, then you cannot activate the license. Have the license administrator add you as an end-user in the Zemax portal before continuing or have them activate the license. The license administrator is typically the same person the activation email was sent to. if you are not sure who that is, contact the Zemax support team for help. Be sure to include the license number in your request such as L123456
If you receive any other error while activating, see Solving softkey activation or transfer errors
- Once activated, move to Step 3 below.
- For the Classic Zemax License Manager (versions dated before May 2019):
- After activating your license, navigate to the License Information or View License section of the Zemax License Manager. Verify the Product and support expiration match your activation email or purchase order.
- As a final step to activating your license, read the Zemax Licensing Policy. It gives details on how your softkey license is locked to the machine, tips to avoid losing it, backing it up, and Zemax's policy on lost keys.
- Now that activation is complete, you can close the License Manager and launch your product.
If you have multiple licenses available to you, you can select others as your default. For example you may need to switch between a Professional and Premium license.
In the Classic Zemax License Manager, you can choose which license to use by navigating to the License Information section and selecting Set as default for a given license. All softkey, Red USB, and Green USB keys available on your machine or on your local network will appear listed in the License Information section. If you have a Black USB license attached to your machine, check Use Black USB key.
Some Zemax licenses require a Zemax login. If this is the case, when setting such a license as Default, you will be prompted to sign in with your MyZemax email address and password. If you do not know your Zemax password, you can reset it from Zemax.com
Once you have successfully completed setting up your Zemax account, enter your Zemax email address and password in the appropriate fields and press Login. You will see a confirmation message and then be returned to the View License section.
The Default button will be highlighted blue, indicating which license is your default. Your license will also have a check mark in the Activated field, indicating that it has been activated once logged in.
Do I have to worry about losing my softkey in case of hardware failure, theft, or a reinstall of Windows?
Yes. We recommend reading Zemax Licensing Policies. It gives details on how your softkey license is locked to the machine, tips to avoid losing it, backing it up, our policy on lost keys, and optional Zemax Productivity Assurance (ZPA).
It says the activation code can only be used once. Can I move my license to a different machine after activating?
Yes! Your softkey license can be easily transferred to a different machine if required. For instructions on this process, refer to "Transferring and updating a softkey license."
If you receive any error messages that you cannot resolve, contact the Zemax Support team for further help. Please include:
- Screenshots of any error messages you've received,
- A screenshot of the Sentinel Keys page located in the Sentinel Admin Control Center
- Your license number (e.g. L000001)