Manifold Activation

A Manifold® product license must be activated to be used on a computer system. Activation means authorization to use that license on that particular computer system.  



The first time you run a Manifold product on a computer it will automatically raise an Activation dialog. Your computer must be connected to Internet to allow activation. Enter your serial number to activate your license on that computer.


After activation, when you run that product the software from time to time will use Internet to verify the license is still authorized on that computer. If you activate your license on a new computer, the license will no longer function on the old computer.


Licenses on an activated computer will check status infrequently, perhaps every week or two. That enables use where Internet service is unreliable or slow. However, you must have at least some Internet connectivity for any computer on which a Manifold product is to be run, so that occasional checks of license status can be done.


If the computer is not connected to Internet, the software will not be able to confirm license status for that computer. For a limited time, at least ten days but usually less than 25 days, the product will continue to launch.  That makes it easy to travel with a portable computer through regions where Internet is not available.


But if Internet is not available during repeated attempts to confirm license status, the product will not launch until Internet becomes available.


Once it is activated, a Manifold product license will run so long as that computer can connect to Internet from time to time and continues to operate in sufficiently unmodified form not to require re-activation. Significant changes, for example, changing a motherboard, or re-formatting a hard disk and re-installing Windows, will require re-activation.



A Renewable Resource

Activations are like a crop of apples: after being used they automatically grow back over time, so they can be used again and again.


Each Manifold license has a crop of four activations, like a tree that has four apples. When the product is activated the first time, that is like picking one of the apples, leaving three more apples on the tree.


Activations renew automatically. As soon as you "pick" an activation, it starts growing back again. It takes twelve months for that activation to grow back and to become available again. While the picked activation is growing back we will have a crop of three activations we can use. If we do not use any more activations, in twelve months we will again have four activations available.

Moving a License

Moving a license to a different computer requires an activation on the new computer. Suppose that after activating Manifold on a computer, two months later we want to move it to a different computer. We can do that by simply launching the product on the new computer, providing the serial number, and thus activating it on the new computer.


We do not have to "deactivate" the license on the old computer, so even if the old computer has stopped functioning we can still move the license to a new computer. As part of the activation on the new computer, Manifold's servers automatically will remove the authorization for use on the old computer.


After activating on the new computer, we will have used two activations from our renewable crop of four activations. The first activation we have used will already be growing back, with only ten months to go before it has grown back and is available for use again. The second activation we have used, to activate on the new computer, will have just been picked and will require twelve months to grow back before it can be used again. But we still have two ripe activations, ready for use.


The analogy to a crop of four apples that can be picked at any time we want, with a picked apple growing back in twelve months, is a useful way to think of activations. We can use activations as we prefer, eating many apples in short order and then waiting for a new crop, or we can pace ourselves and pick a new apple from time to time so we always have apples that are ready to pick or which soon will ripen.


For example, if we want to move our license from machine to machine four times in the first month of use, we can do that. But then we will have to wait another eleven months before the first activation we have used has "grown back" and is available again.


If we use our license in a more normal way, activating on the computer we routinely use and only activating again if the hardware fails and must be replaced, we very rarely will need to activate more than once per year. We will always have a stock of three or four activations to use.


If we move our license to a different computer every few months we might have two or three activations at different states in the twelve month process of "growing back", with every few months the oldest of the activations we used becoming available again. If we do not move our license overly frequently we will always have at least one ripe activation ready for use at any time.

Activations Always Grow Back

Activations never stop growing back. Having a crop of four activations where any picked activation always grow back in a year means we can replace our computer every three months on average, and we can keep doing that for years into the future without any fear of not having an activation when we want it.

Many Users, No Problem

Activating a serial number on a computer authorizes the software for the user login that was used during activation.  If Jason logs in to the computer and activates using a serial number, the license will be up and running for him.  When Tina logs into the same computer and launches the product for the first time,  the Activation dialog will pop open for her as well.


Tina simply uses the same serial number to activate and the license will be authorized for her as well; however, no additional activation will be used.   Once a serial number is activated on a computer, using the same serial number to authorize an additional login on that same computer does not "pick" another activation from the crop of available activations.  


Authorizing for each login removes the need to login with Administrator privileges.  Each login's permissions are sufficient to authorize that user, so there is no need for IT managers to give Administrator privileges to ordinary users just so they can install or activate software.  This also simplifies life in Windows editions that hide Administrator privileges from users.



If you prefer to activate for all users on the computer, that is easy to do.  When Manifold first raises an Activation dialog,  check the Install for all users (admin) box and pressing Activate.   You will need Administrator privileges to activate for all users on the computer.  If your login does not have Administrator privileges, Windows will pop open the usual dialog to ask you for an Administrator login and password.


When activating a Manifold 9 Server license, make sure to check the Install for all users (admin) box to activate the license for all users.  

Switching to a Different License

Once a serial number is activated on a machine, that serial number will continue to be used.  To change to a different serial number, for example, if upgrading a machine from a Manifold 9 Professional license to a Manifold 9 Universal or Manifold 9 Server license, the old license must be removed as follows:


First, launch Manifold and choose Help - About.  If the License for all users setting reports Installed, press the Remove button to uninstall the license for all users.


Next, open Windows Explorer and visit the C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Manifold\lic folder, where <user name> is replaced with the login name that was used to activate the license.   Delete the manifold9.lic file in that folder.  That will delete activation data.   The next time Manifold is launched, it will pop open the Activation dialog again so a new serial number can be entered.


[Upcoming builds will add a button to the Help - About dialog that will allow switching to a different serial number.]





See Also



Install and Activate


Using SHA Checksums


Activation Reference