Licensing System

Now reading version 18.1. For the latest, read: Licensing System for version 22

Altium Designer provides a streamlined licensing system, enabling you to get licensed and up-and-running with your Altium Designer software in a timely and efficient manner. The system offers various licensing types to meet, and suit, your licensing needs. This includes web-based, on-demand licensing. Tightly integrated with customer accounts through the Altium portal, web-based on-demand license management allows a license to be used on any computer without the need to move license files or activate on each machine. This provides a global floating license capability – within the geographic scope of your license and the conditions set out in the EULA – without needing to implement your own server.

Use the following links to go straight to detailed information for your specific license type: On-Demand License, Standalone License, Private Server License.

License Types

The Altium Designer licensing system features three distinct license types:

  • On-Demand - client-side license acquisition is administered by an Altium managed server. There are two 'modes' when using a seat of an On-Demand license:
    • On-Demand – a seat of an On-Demand license acquired by any client computer, only while you are signed in to your account. When you sign out, the seat is released so that another user can acquire it. Licenses can be centrally pooled for 'use and release' by all designers on your team, or alternatively, licenses can be allocated to defined roles within your company.
    • Roaming – a seat of an On-Demand license acquired for a specified time. In this mode, you can sign out and work offline, in essence roaming freely with your acquired seat; a temporary standalone license as it were.
This license type provides the greatest degree of flexibility for users who plan to work from multiple machines with an active internet connection.
  • Standalone - client-side license acquisition is managed by the user through use of a licensing file (*.alf). This file can be saved, copied and backed-up as required. The .alf file is reusable on a home computer (in accordance with the EULA) simply by copying the file to a specific folder on that computer and then adding the file as part of Standalone License Configuration.
This license type is ideal for a single workstation and solo designer, and requires no active internet connection.
  • Private Server - client-side license acquisition is administered by the Private License Service of an Altium Infrastructure Server - a free, on-premise server that provides remote Altium product installation and license management. The Infrastructure Server, installed on a PC connected to the company LAN/WAN, is set up by an administrator to acquire the company's Altium licenses and then using its PLS, serve these over the network to Altium software installations. When initially acquired from Altium's web-based license service, the licenses are converted to Private Licenses for localized access. A seat (instance) of a PLS-hosted Altium license can be 'leased' by workstation software when it is in use, and then 'revoked' (returned to the available pool of licenses) when no longer required. Licenses can also be served on a Roaming basis, where the license seat is leased to the target machine for a specified time, allowing the software's host PC, say a laptop, to 'roam' freely while isolated from the network.
This license type is ideal for those who want the flexibility of accessing their licenses from multiple machines, but are not able to connect to the Altium On-Demand license server. The Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS) and its PLS offer the flexibility required by companies that host multiple Altium software installations, with the bonus that the license and seat usage can be configured, monitored and controlled from a centralized server – which in turn is hosted on a local LAN/WAN that may be isolated from the internet.
Access continues to be available to the legacy PLS software, whose setup and use is often preferable for smaller organizations. One thing to note is that server redundancy is not yet supported with the Altium Infrastructure Server. Please use the legacy Private License Server software if this functionality is required. More details on the legacy private license server can be found in the legacy/frozen documentation here:

License Availability, Selection and Configuration

License configuration and selection is performed from the License Management view, accessed by clicking on the  control at the top-right of the workspace and choosing the License Management command from the menu. This is 'command central' for obtaining a license. Sign-in to your Altium account and view and select On-Demand licenses available to you. Add a Standalone license file. Or, connect to your Private License Server and use a seat from any of the associated Private Server licenses made available to you by your network administrator.

Whether using an On-Demand license, Standalone license, or Private Server license, the Available Licenses region of the page will automatically present the specific licenses available to you. Choose the license that you want to use and then click on the applicable command, depending on how you want to use that license.

All purchased licenses associated to your account, and that are allocated to you for use, will be presented here. This includes Altium Designer licenses, and any licensing associated with certain paid/licensed extension-delivered functionality.

Accessing the License Management view.
Accessing the License Management view.

Accessing the License Management view.
Accessing the License Management view.

Browser-Based License Management

Main article: Dashboard

The Altium Dashboard is a dedicated area that allows administrators of an organization's Altium account to manage the users, licenses and other assets associated to that account, as well as defining the organization's profile – which can be made public, for viewing by other organizations and their users, within the AltiumLive community.

Account management of any type should never feel burdensome. With the Dashboard, being able to manage all aspects of an organization's account is both intuitive and expedient, and all from the one convenient location. The Dashboard will even notify of pending items requiring action, such as renewing that subscription that is about to expire - and enable renewal to be conducted right there-and-then, online and hassle free, allowing the organization to remain licensed with continuous subscription and access to all the benefits that entails.

Access to the Dashboard can be made in the following ways:

  • By entering the URL: in a tab of your preferred Web Browser. Depending on your browser, you can drop the https:// prefix.
  • By clicking the Dashboard link at the top of any page within the AltiumLive community (such a page will have a URL ending in
To access the Dashboard, and any page within the AltiumLive community for that matter, you must be signed in to the AltiumLive community using your AltiumLive Account Credentials.

Use the Dashboard to manage your account with Altium including, most importantly, your product licensing.
Use the Dashboard to manage your account with Altium including, most importantly, your product licensing.

Only those with administrative privileges (Group Administrators) will have full access to the Dashboard, and the ability to view and modify aspects of their organization's account. If you don't have such privileges, you will only be able to view the Dashboard's landing (Overview) page.


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The features available depend on your Altium product access level. Compare features included in the various levels of Altium Designer Software Subscription and functionality delivered through applications provided by the Altium 365 platform.

If you don’t see a discussed feature in your software, contact Altium Sales to find out more.