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I have just updated/installed a new Operating System. Why is my license failing to activate?

Symptoms

  • I have just installed Windows 10 on my computer.
  • I just updated my Operating System
  • On opening Unity, I receive an error and it will not activate.

Cause

Unfortunately, sometimes our licenses are confused by a change in OS - essentially, it tricks the license file into thinking it is being activated on a new machine, which can cause problems if you have already maxed out your activations.

Resolution

Please follow this process:

1) Uninstall Unity

2) Delete this file:

* Windows: C:ProgramData/Unity (If the files are hidden, you need to click View and tick the Hidden Items check box.)

* Mac: Library/Application Support/Unity

3) Restart

4) Download Unity again from our website

5) Reinstall, remembering to select ‘activate free version’ when prompted for Personal, or enter your serial number for Plus or Pro.

 

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19 Comments

  • 1
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    mgear

    It was enough to delete the license file *.ulf, then activate free, run unity, and activate pro/plus (license check still hanged, but you can close it)

  • 0
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    Sergio Carneiro

    I'm using Windows 10 and this happened after an update.

    I tried everything and more than everything, nothing worked, the only solution I got was to revert the update. This is easily done in the "Recovery" settings.

  • -1
    Avatar
    Lily

    Hi Sergio,

    If you have a Plus or Pro license activated on your machine, it may be that you need to return this activation in order to activate on your new OS version.

    You can return your activations when logged in at id.unity.com and under the 'My Seats' tab. Alternatively, you can return them from within the Unity Editor.

    - Click 'Help'

    - Click 'Manage License'

    - Click 'Return License'

  • 0
    Avatar
    Unity Builds 4

    Is there a programmatic way to free our licenses? Having to manually sign into the webpage is a problem. Do you have a web API that we could use to release/return licenses?

  • 0
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    Maru

    Hi there,

    We do have some command line arguements to release licenses which you may find useful: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/CommandLineArguments.html

  • 2
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    Paul Bronowski

    This will do the trick...

    - Close Unity and Unity Hub app
    start cmd.exe as admin
    for /f %i in ('tlist ^| findstr /i unity') do (kill -f %i)

    - Delete (or back up) the local license cache files
    C:\ProgramData\Unity>del *.ulf

    - Delete any appropriate activations on the service side
    Online: https://id.unity.com/en/serials

     - Restart Unity Hub app. Provide product key. The last button will be "Install Unity", which is misleading - you already have Unity installed. It's should just be a success message with a Continue button. Clicking it will take you home.

    - Keep calm and go about your business. ;)

    Edited by Paul Bronowski
  • 0
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    JoeCool

    Sorry not working for me. Also you should update this page as it is not saying anything about Unity Hub which is actually managing the licenses. I have contacted support now, as I am not able to solve the problem.

  • 4
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    Andre Weinhold

    I had the same problem the last two days. The following worked:

    Please go to: https://id.unity.com/en/serials

    And remove _all_ assigned values. Then Activate again with Serial etc. in Unity Hub.

  • 1
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    邓中洋

    Problem solved if you are using unity hub(i am using unity hub 2.1.0) to manage your unity license!

    First, delete  C:\ProgramData\Unity.

    Then, remove all activated device values in your unity ID site(My Account->My Seats) 

    Finally, restart system and enter your serial number in unity hub.

     

    Edited by 邓中洋
  • 2
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    Tony Topper

    Not happy with this solution.  Time is precious.  Do a better job please.

  • 0
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    Benjamin

    Well, this wasted a few hours of my life... After uninstalling, reinstalling, Unity Hub showing it had the license but it still not appearing in the editor.

    On another support page, I discovered I had to go to https://id.unity.com/en/serials?key= 

    There, I could see there were two old activations which needed to be deactivated (likely from a previous purchase years ago)

     

    ... then follow the directions on this page to clear ProgramData and only Unity Hub could correctly acquire the license and I could see that reflected in the editor.


    Unity: Fix your licensing, I agree with Tony, time is precious.

  • 0
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    Dawid Müller

    I can not load any project, after i saved it and restartet unity. how can i open them ? non of the tipps above helped me

     

  • 0
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    Bruce Harrison

    I am getting as well and it seems like chat support is pretending that they are unaware of this problem.

    When I check what the seat is assigned to you can clearly see that all of the data is logged incorrectly. It says I am on 32bit, cannot read my system at all (listed as N/A computer model) and says that I am on 2017.2.0 when my project is clearly 2019.3.3.

    To me this looks like incorrect data is being used to identify your PC resulting in your PC failing to verify against the server.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Chris Oje

    What worked for me following a Windows 10 Update:

    • Can't run Unity, can't return license in Unity Hub (hangs)
    • Delete C:\ProgramData\Unity
    • Kill all Unity Hub processes
    • Restart Unity Hub (missing license, entered my key)

    Works now.

    Nothing useful at all on the Unity website - I saw nothing actionable, no seats listed, entering my key only showed info about it.  I tried a lot of the above, but Unity Hub continued to hang when trying to return my license (and failed to connect to the server when trying to activate free).  Actually deleting the whole ProgramData\Unity folder seemed to do the trick where everything else failed.

     

    Edited by Chris Oje
  • 0
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    Yevhen S

    Same issue. Tried above solution not working. Free license. Removing & re-installing also not helping.

  • 0
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    Frank Kotarski

    Same issue. Also tried above solutions with no recourse. It seems the license management system in Unity Hub is unreliable and buggy.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Yevhen S

    @Frank Kotarski

    Hi,
    I have fixed the issue following this, quote:

    fherbst said:
    Also for the people here:
    Check your ethernet adapters if you're on a laptop, and make sure that Ethernet Adapter is enabled even if you're not using it (you`re on Wifi).

    https://forum.unity.com/threads/hub...-locate-the-same-version.786434/#post-5806318

    Hope that helps, it did for me on multiple laptops.

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Gabe Bell

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLjHHTryBEY&t=61s

     

    This helped some people, However still trying to figure out what "Binding Key" 4 is supposed to represent...

  • 0
    Avatar
    Derek

    Hello Unity users.

    Derek here from Unity Customer Service. I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble activating.

    I'll advise as best as I can.

    If you are activating on a new machine, reinstalling your OS, or your machine OS has automatically updated recently, this is resolved by either -

    Returning your activations, or deleting your license file. 

    If none of these work, I recommend trying it again to make sure there are no traces of a Unity license file on you machine and your license has available activations.

    Just FYI it's always good if you check your network before reaching out the reason being is that Unity requires an uninterrupted connection to activate, this means that a poor internet connection, sudden drop in connectivity, firewall or proxy can get in the way of activating. 

    If you would like to know how to allow Unity through your network, I recommend checking all in the following link.

    https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/upm-network.html

    if none of these work, you can either reach out to support@unity3d.com or you can report a bug via the Hub bug reporter. This will open a dialog with the Hub Devs team. 

    1. Open Hub
    2. Click the account icon in the top right corner
    3. Select "Report a bug" 

    If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to support. :)

    All the best 

    Derek. 

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