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Why do I receive License Manager Error -9?

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When I try to launch MATLAB, I get one of the following errors:
License checkout failed.
Invalid host. License Manager Error -9
License Manager Error -9
Your username does not match the username in the license file.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 14 Dec 2023
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 14 Dec 2023
License Manager Error -9 may be caused by various reasons:
  • The username or Host ID in the license file does not match
  • (Designated Computer Only) MATLAB is already running under a different user account 

The username in the license file does not match

This error occurs when the OS username of the user launching MATLAB does not match the username that was used during activation. This most often occurs when an administrator activates MATLAB for a user.
To determine your OS username:
  • Windows: Open a command prompt and enter "set username"
  • Mac and Linux: Open a terminal window and type "whoami"
To resolve, reactivate MATLAB with the correct username.
Note: Usernames are case sensitive and may not be recognized if they contain spaces.

The Host ID in the license file does not match

To resolve this, verify the Host ID (MAC address) of the machine, then reactivate MATLAB. If your machine has a variable Host ID, configure your system to have a static Host ID, and then reactivate MATLAB.

MATLAB is already running under a different user account

With Designated Computer licenses, MATLAB can only be running by one user account on the machine at a time. If there is already a MATLAB process running under a different user, MATLAB issues License Manager Error -9.
To resolve this, end the MATLAB process on the other user account. This can be done by restarting the computer.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 15 Oct 2021
People have also argued that it is the university's responsibility to aupply textbooks that are required for courses.
Unfortunately, in some countries, especially with private universities, some universities seem to specialize in wringing money out of students. Fees for everything.
IIRC, way way back there was a modest lab fee for one of my chemistry courses. Computing courses that require non-commercial software licenses but don't want to buy campus licenses, but are required to provide the software, would just charge the costs back as a "lab fee".

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More Answers (5)

Dandan Zhang
Dandan Zhang on 12 Mar 2016
Note: It's your Windows User Name rather than Microsoft Account Name.
You can determine your Windows username as follows:
  1. 1.While sitting at the host computer with press and hold the Windows key and press the letter R on your keyboard.
  2. 2.The Run box will appear.
  3. 3.In the box, type cmd and press Enter. The command prompt window will appear.
  4. 4.Type echo %username% and press Enter. (there is a space between echo and %username%)
  5. 5.Your current username will be displayed.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 29 Mar 2017
See the above on "How do I activate MATLAB?".
After you enter your Mathworks account information, you will get a window asking which user name will be used to run the program; enter your windows username at that place.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 29 Aug 2021
Windows-R . When it brings up the small box to type in a command, use the command
This will cause a full cmd.exe to be launched. When that comes up, at the (Windows) command window, enter the command
echo %username%
The echo does not go into the MATLAB command window; it goes into the Windows command window.
(You can bring up Powershell instead of cmd if you prefer.)

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Scott Ruffner
Scott Ruffner on 25 Feb 2017
Edited: Scott Ruffner on 25 Feb 2017
I was able to fix the error on my MacBook Pro with the advise above from Scott on the MathWorks Installation & Licensing Support team. I've added a few tips and step by step clarifications for others that may have the same issue.
I was receiving the -9 error. I'm running OS X Yosemite 10.10.5
It seems that you need to know which user on your Mac you are using. To find this out open a terminal window and type "whoami". Copy that result. You will need that at last step of the activation process.
I installed MATLAB in the /Applications folder.
In the terminal window go to wherever you installed MATLAB and find the bin sub-directory. For me this was /Applications/
In the terminal I ran the activation script again by typing "./"
Then I went through the steps "Login to MathWorks" [email/password] >> Next Selected the pre-selected license. >> Next Provide a user name/Login Name: (Paste the user name that you copied when you ran whoami above.)
Then open a new finder window go to Applications and try to run MATLAB_R2016b. It opened this time without errors hope this helps.

Miguel Angel Benavides Morales
Para usuarios de windows 10 Home single language: Presionar la tecla windows, buscar Matlab, en la parte inferior debajo de la pestaña aplicaciones debe aparecer Activate MATLAB. Luego ingresar con usuario y contraseña, darle activar licencia y dejar el nombre del usuarios como aparece (por cambiar ese nombre al momento de la instalación o cambiar el nombre de usuario o de usuario en el pc es que aparece el error), luego seguir los pasos de activador y listo.

Michael on 6 Sep 2014
Edited: Michael on 6 Sep 2014
Note for Linux users: when I installed MATLAB on my Manjaro OS, I was required to have 'root' as my username, rather than my actual username.
The solution to this (if you're using a terminal, which is the only way I can access MATLAB), is to open MATLAB as 'root' by entering 'sudo su' (which changes you to root), and then typing 'matlab'.
P.S. The '' marks on words and phrases like 'root', 'sudo su' and 'matlab' are written in this post just to highlight the specific terms and commands. Quotes ('') should not be included when inputting commands into the Terminal.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 22 Oct 2016
Lovuit Chen comments to Scott:
This helps!! Thanks
Luis Ignacio Gómez-Jordana Martín
It work mate. I love you. You save my night, going to sleep finally XD

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Andrew Janke
Andrew Janke on 3 Oct 2019
Ouch, dude. That's not a great user experience. I got this same problem when I upgraded my iMac to a newer hardware version. Props to you for the "Troubleshoot" button bringing up this (relevant, correct) answer, but seems like the license transfer process could be made easier, especially for the case of restoring a computer from backup to new hardware.


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