Moving your license to a new computer Follow

Samantha Petro

Internal note: Significant activations for 2019 have changed

  • Deactivate / reactivate - counts as 1 significant activation
  • Move licence function in the admin console - does not count as a significant activation if the new license host is on the same network

A BarTender license consists of four significant activations, which means you may activate the software once, and then move it to a new computer up to three times. If additional moves are required, or you receive an error while moving the license, please contact Technical Support.

Understanding licensing and what to move in BarTender 2019

Administering licenses has changed from previous versions. Here are some key things you need to know before moving your license:

  • All licensing administration has moved to the Administration Console. There is no longer a separate application that manages this.
  • Only one computer can host the license. This is called the License Owner
  • Activating and deactivating a license counts as a significant activation. Using the Move License function does not. You are allotted 4 significant activations.
  • The BarTender License Server can host multiple licenses at the same time.
  • You can move a license to a new License Server or one that is already actively hosting another license.
  • You cannot move a provisionally activated license.

If you are uncertain if the current computer is a license owner, please refer to How to find the BarTender License Server on your network in BarTender 2019.

There are two methods to move your license owner to a new computer, handing a license to the new host through the Administration Console or activating and deactivating the license owner.

Handing a license to a new computer

Version 2019 has introduced a new means to hand over a license to a new computer without the need of activation and deactivation. You can simply migrate a license to a new license owner using the "Move License" feature.

What you need

  • A license owner that has the license you wish to move
  • A second computer that has BarTender already installed that will become the new license owner. This computer
    • does not need to have the full suite installed
    • needs to have the licensing service and the administration console installed at the bare minimum
    • can already be hosting another license

Preparing the second computer for the transfer

  1. On the target computer, open up the Administration Console
  2. Select Licensing from the left-hand menu. When the licenses populate the list, open the section labeled "This License Server" at the bottom of the window, if it's not open already. Here you will see a list of rules of who and what can access this computer's licensing information.
  3. By default, only the license owner administrators can modify the license as shown below:


  1. Click "add a new rule" or modify the current rule by clicking the pencil icon or right clicking and choose to edit the rule.
  2. Add in a user and computer who has permissions to move the license from the current license owner.
    1. If you choose Allow, Everyone, and Everywhere as your options, anyone will be able to modify licensing information on this computer.
    2. This can be changed after you move the host.

How to hand off a license

  1. Open the Administration console
  2. Select Licencing from the left-hand menu. Your current license will be listed as the Current License at the top.
  3. Right click on the current license and select Move License
  1. The Move License dialog will open. 

This dialog will tell you about the current license on your host, including the last four digits of your product key code, your licensed edition, printer usage, and printer count.

At the bottom of the dialog will be the destination where you want to move the license to. In this example, NNPC has a hosted license already with pools set up. If the target computer doesn't have any pools set up or isn't hosting a license, you won't be able to add your printer count to any of the target computer's pools.


  1. Select the server's name from the drop down menu. If no servers are listed, please refer to the "Preparing the second computer for the transfer" section for how to set transfer permissions.
  2. Choose your settings for the printer pool.
  3. Click next to move the license to the new host.
  4. The Administration Console will take a moment to refresh itself. Once it does, you'll see the updated information about the license owner, the license itself, and the license server.

Handling the clients

The clients do not need to be updated with the new license owner information. Once the move is complete, the clients will follow the license owner to the new location.

Note: If BarTender Designer is open during the move, it will claim to have lost contact with the license owner. Simply close and reopen Designer and this message will go away.

Deactivate and reactivate the license owner

If you plan on completely moving the location when two computers are not up at the same time, the original method of deactivating and reactivating still works relatively the same way as before. Please follow these guides to move your license to a new computer

Understanding which application to deactivate and move in BarTender 2016 and earlier

The application that triggers a significant activation is different based on edition.

Basic and Professional editions

Activating BarTender is the significant activation for Basic and Professional editions. If you need to move BarTender to a new computer, then you must deactivate the currently activated computer, and then you may activate BarTender on the new computer using the Product Key Code supplied with the software.

Automation editions

Activating Seagull License Server (SLS) is the significant activation for Automation editions.  If you need to move SLS to a new computer, then you must deactivate the currently activated computer, and then you may activate SLS on the new computer using the Product Key Code supplied with the software.  Since automation editions allow unlimited users as long as they can connect to your SLS, you don't need to deactivate BarTender in order to activate BarTender on another computer.


Steps to move a license

Moving a license to a new computer is a two step process:

First you'll need to deactivate BarTender or Seagull License Server (SLS) on the currently activated computer. Please follow the steps here on how to do this: How to deactivate BarTender

Activate BarTender or Seagull License Server (SLS) on the new computer. Please follow one of the two guides that best describes your install:


Geoff Glass
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Where do I find the same instructions for the 2016 version ?

Eric Myers
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Hi Geoff,

At the top of this page, there is a drop down box that with BarTender 2019 as the primary selection. If you choose the dropdown, there is also an option for BarTender 2016.


Richard Quinn
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I just received BT_2019_R5_144231_Full.exe.  I will be responsible for installing the application on one of my test machines prior to actually installing it on the end-users machine.  With respect to license Activation/Deactivation and/or Moving the license:

1) Is there a procedure to follow to ensure I don't waste (or otherwise use up) my allocated licenses?

2) Once I am done installing and testing the application, can I just leave it on my test machine for future testing purposes?

3) Would you provide guidance (and perhaps a URL) on how to do what I am asking?

Thank you.

Tim Lee
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Where do I find the instructions to move 10.1 version?

William Steward
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Please provide URL to instructions to move license from one computer to another, as I am doing a PC upgrade from Windows 7 to 10.

Do I need to deactivate the license on the existing PC before activating on the new PC, or is there another method which should be followed?

This page just seems to be questions with no answers, and the on-line help for licensing doesn't seem to address this specific question.

Ralph Burkhardt
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I want move the license to another server, but I always get an error message, unable to connect the remote server. any suggestion?

Alma Reynaga
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We are upgrading our computers and are have a difficult time transferring the files to our new computer. We are not techies and have hired a tech company to do this. Is there any way they can work with you and get the system up and running? 


Jon Goff
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Where do I find the instructions to move 10.1 version please?

Kim Sullivan
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We just switched to a new environment and now most of the label files are locked and I cannot check them in because the domain is changed.  Is there a way to change this through sql.  All new labels I create are not saving to the library either.

Also, I've installed the license server on the new server that holds that, and a client to my pc before i push it to our users.

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