How do I Activate an installation of LabChart 8 or later?

An installation of LabChart 8 or later on a machine must be activated before it can be used.

There are three ways LabChart can be activated:

  • Using a PowerLab. If a PowerLab is connected, LabChart will silently activate (that is, the user will not be prompted to activate). Here, LabChart does not use the internet to communicate with the Activation Server at all and so the license code’s remaining activation count is unchanged.

  • Online. LabChart talks to the Activation Server via the internet and activates automatically.

  • Manual. The user is instructed to enter a special key (called an Installation ID) into a webform on the Activation website. This will produce an Activation key that is entered into LabChart.


An Installation ID is a special key that LabChart generates. It encodes certain information about the user's machine as well as the license code they're attempting to activate. This way, a unique Installation IDs are generated across machines, however the same ID will be reused in the case where the user has upgraded their OS and reinstalls LabChart. Reusing IDs means that one of the user's remaining activations are not used up.


Once a machine has had LabChart activated on it, it will not need to be activated again unless, say, the hard-drive is wiped. In addition, if the computer’s hardware hasn’t changed since LabChart was previously activated, the previous Installation ID / Activation Key pair gets reused, resulting in no change to the license code’s activation count (so if there were three activations remaining prior to this, there will still be three left).


However, if the hard disk is wiped and the computer’s hardware changes (for example, new mainboard or hard-drive), LabChart treats the computer as a new machine requiring activation. This uses up one of the license code’s remaining activations.

License Types that Require Activation

We have two sorts of licences that the Activation Server handles:

  • Single user license: three computers for use with one PowerLab data acquisition unit or an authorized recording device.

  • Student Pro license: one computer.


For any activating license type, an additional +1 activation is allowed. For example, this means that a Student Pro license will be able to be activated twice.


The +1 covers activation oversubscription that we would probably let slide such as:

  • Getting an exciting delivery and installing onto wrong computer

  • Wanting to use both laptop and desktop.

The reason we do this is to reduce support queries.

Activation count regeneration

In order to permit our customers upgrading to new machines over time while still using LabChart, Activations will regenerate over time.


The activations will regenerate by one each month (taken from the day of the first activation) up to the maximum activation count allowed for that license type.

Edge case: no internet access

If a user is attempting to activate online but they do not have a working internet connection, LabChart will allow them to continue using LabChart for that session. The user will be asked to activate LabChart upon next launch. This can occur up to a maximum of ten times, after which LabChart will require successful activation in order to be used.