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Activation Guide

Manifold licenses are copy protected using a serial number and Activation key mechanism that locks each license to a single computer system. Serial numbers are provided in an email message sent to the licensee. You must have the original serial number email message to verify the accuracy of the serial number you are attempting to use and to obtain assistance.

If you do not have a valid Manifold serial number you can procure a license on the Online Store to obtain a serial number. If you lost your serial number, you may or may not be able to recover it by purchasing a Key Recovery service product.

If something unexpected happens during activation, DO NOT PERSIST. Instead, GET HELP using free installation and activation support.

Manifold provides free installation and activation support for current products. Please see the Activation Support page for information on contacting tech support for priority assistance with any serial number or activation question. No tech support token is required for activation questions using the given procedure. Activation questions for Runtime licenses or License Server installations require a developer level support token.


Follow this short summary when installing on standard Windows systems supported by Manifold.

Important: If any Manifold installation or activation dialog tells you that you do not have Administrator rights, DO NOT IGNORE that message. Manifold is telling you the truth. If a careful re-reading of this page does not solve the problem, do not persist. Get free help with Activation from Manifold's tech support staff. See the Activation Support page to start that process.

Important: Manifold is licensed for use on one machine at a time. Five Activation keys per serial number are provided to allow re-installs if necessary, not to allow simultaneous use on five machines. Simultaneous use of the same Manifold serial number on multiple machines will cause license revocation.

Tech tip: Your Manifold .msi installation was accompanied by an installation.txt file giving step-by-step instructions for installation. Take a moment to re-read those instructions carefully.

To keep the above summary short it covers installations on standard Windows systems as supported by Manifold. It works 99.9% of the time, but it does not cover all possible wild and crazy situations some folks attempt, like trying to install Manifold on a Linux-based coffee pot or trying to install Manifold on a remote network drive where the network administrator has denied permission to use that drive. For more comprehensive discussion, see the other links on this page, such as the Activation Troubleshooting page and the links it recommends.

For complete details and to get the most out of your license, please read the entire the Activation Keys and Serial Numbers help topic. This help topic describes procedures for manual activation if your computer is not connected to the web, if a proxy server or other network problem requires manual activation or other departures from the usual routine.

Activating Extensions

If you have licensed Business Tools, Geocoding Tools or Surface Tools extensions: launch Manifold and choose Help - Activate Extension. Enter the serial number for the extension. Get an Activation key if it is more than 30 days since the serial number was issued. Press Accept. Do this for each extension that you have.

If you have licensed Universal Edition or Ultimate Edition, all three extensions get turned on automatically when you activate your main Manifold System serial number. No need to use the Help - Activate Extension dialog with Universal Edition or Ultimate Edition.


Please visit the Activation Troubleshooting page for a quick troubleshooting checklist that solves 99% of activation problems.

For even more detail, see the Activation Frequently Asked Questions page for a comprehensive list of questions and answers.

Getting Assistance with Activation

All serial number and activation questions are handled by email.

If the tips in the Activation Troubleshooting page do not help, the fastest way to solve any activation problem is to read and apply the instructions in the Activation Keys and Serial Numbers help topic. Although tech support responds very rapidly to activation questions it is faster to read even a long topic carefully since that will usually solve the problem right away.

Please see the Activation Support page for information on contacting tech support for priority assistance with any serial number or activation question. No tech support token is required for activation questions about most licenses if the given procedure is applied. Users who do not wish to use the free procedure may get customized activation support by utilizing technical support tokens.

Useful Links

Pages especially useful for installation and activation: