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How to Activate MATLAB R2012a with a Key File

MATLAB is a popular software for numerical computing, data analysis, and visualization. It is widely used by engineers, scientists, and students for various applications. However, to use MATLAB, you need to activate it with a valid license. In this article, we will show you how to activate MATLAB R2012a with a key file that you can obtain from the MathWorks website or from your institution.

What is a key file?

A key file is a text file that contains the information needed to activate MATLAB. It has the extension .lic and it usually looks something like this:


Download File:

SERVER this_host ANY 27000 DAEMON MLM "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2012a\etc\win64\mlm.exe" INCREMENT MATLAB MLM 27 31-dec-2023 1 \ VENDOR_STRING="R2012a" DUP_GROUP=UH \ ISSUER="MathWorks Inc." SN=12345678 \ SIGN="0123 4567 89AB CDEF FEDC BA98 \ 7654 3210 0123 4567 89AB CDEF FEDC BA98"

The key file contains the following information:

  • The name of the license server (this_host) and the port number (27000).

  • The path to the license manager daemon (MLM) executable file.

  • The name of the product (MATLAB), the version (R2012a), the expiration date (31-dec-2023), and the number of licenses (1).

  • The vendor string, the duplicate group, the issuer, the serial number, and the signature of the license.

How to get a key file?

There are two ways to get a key file for MATLAB R2012a:

  • From the MathWorks website. You need to have a MathWorks account and a valid license associated with it. You can log in to your account and go to [License Center]. There you can select your license and download the key file for your operating system.

  • From your institution. If you are using MATLAB as part of an academic or research program, you may be able to get a key file from your institution. You need to contact your system administrator or IT department and ask them for the key file. They may provide you with a link to download it or send it to you via email.

How to activate MATLAB R2012a with a key file?

Once you have obtained the key file, you need to follow these steps to activate MATLAB R2012a:

  • Copy the key file to a location on your computer where you have write access. For example, you can copy it to your desktop or your documents folder.

  • Run MATLAB R2012a as an administrator. You can do this by right-clicking on the MATLAB icon and selecting "Run as administrator".

  • When MATLAB starts, it will prompt you to activate it. Click on "Activate manually without the Internet".

  • Browse to the location where you copied the key file and select it. Click on "Next".

  • MATLAB will verify the key file and activate your license. Click on "Finish".

  • Restart MATLAB and enjoy using it.


In this article, we have explained how to activate MATLAB R2012a with a key file. This is one of the methods to activate MATLAB without an Internet connection. However, if you have an Internet connection, you can also activate MATLAB online by following the instructions on [this page]. We hope this article was helpful and informative for you.

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