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Before you begin


This image summarizes the concept of node-locked licenses.


When you use Node-Locked licenses, there's no need to install the RLM License Server and your computer won't depend on it to get the license. The benefits of this type of license are that activating is easier and you can move your computer to a different office and the license goes with you. On the other hand, if you have to license a lot of computers you will have to go one by one activating one license key per machine. 

There's only one step to activate a Node-Locked license, and it is done through the License Activator.


If you are installing a V4.x update, you do not need to re-license Maxwell. It is only if you are upgrading from V1.x, V2.x or V3.x to V4.x that you need to re-license Maxwell because the license is different.


Activate license keys

Once you have installed your application you can proceed to activate your license. For that we use the License Activator. If Maxwell is unlicensed, it will come up when you open any application that needs a license to work, but you can also find it by opening Maxwell Render application (green icon without color touch) and going to Help menu > Activate License... or double clicking licenseactivator.exe in Maxwell installation folder.

Once the License Activator opens, please follow the instructions in this video:



If the activation process has finished successfully your Node-Locked license will be activated and you will be able to use your product. If you get some error, please check Licensing Troubleshooting section and if that doesn't help, take some screenshots showing the error and contact the support team through the Customer Portal.

The License Activator will write your license file (maxwell_product_name.lic) into this folder:

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Next Limit\Maxwell\licenses

OSX: Users\<username>\Maxwell

Linux: $HOME/Maxwell


Activate a license for a different computer

Sometimes the computer you want to license is not connected to internet for security reasons. As we need an internet connection in order to generate the license file we will need to generate the license file in a different computer and then move the license file to the computer we want to license.


The process will be something like this


As the activation process ties the license key with the machine host ID, we will need to know the host ID of the machine running the RLM server in advance.

The easiest way to know the host ID of a machine is opening Maxwell Render and going to Help menu > License Info... You will see the host ID in the first line of the box of text that comes up:



If you want to learn more ways to find the host ID, please take a look at this section, entry #7: Licensing Troubleshooting

Once we know the host ID it's easy to activate the license; just open the License Activator from Maxwell (the green icon without color touch) > Help menu > Activate License... and follow this video:



If you don't have Maxwell installed in the computer that has internet connection, you can just copy the License Activator application from the computer that has Maxwell installed and take it to the computer that has internet connection. It is called licenseactivator and you will find it in the installation folder.

As mentioned in the video, after following this steps, you will get a .lic file downloaded which you should move to the other computer and save it in on of these folders depending on your operating system:

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Next Limit\Maxwell\licenses

OSX: Users\<username>\Maxwell

Linux: $HOME/Maxwell

Activate a Demo license

Activating a Demo license is pretty easy. The process is very similar to a normal license, but skipping the email, password and license key step. Please check this video to check how to do it:



After this process, the License Activator will store a .lic file in the following paths depending on your operating system:

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Next Limit\Maxwell\licenses

OSX: Users\<username>\Maxwell

Linux: $HOME/Maxwell

If you eventually purchase a license of one of our products you can either delete or overwrite this license file.

As you may have noticed in the video, you can also activate a Demo license for a different computer; the process is very similar as the one explained in the previous section and you need to know the host ID of the other computer as well.


The most common licensing error messages

  • Connection error - Usually means the license activator and/or Maxwell Render is blocked by a firewall and can't reach our servers.
  • "License could not be validated" - Usually has the same cause as the above.
  • "License could not be saved" - This means Maxwell doesn't have enough permissions on your computer to write the license file to disk. Start the install process again, making sure to right-click on the installed and chosen "Run as Administrator".
  • "The license is in use" - This means you have already activated your key in two different computers and you are not allowed to activate it in an additional one. If you have to activate the license for another computer (because your computer broke or had to change the hardware) please fill the following form and send it to us: Change of license server or machine.pdf

If you still have problems, the first thing you should do is open Maxwell (not Maxwell Studio) and look in the Console panel for any licensing errors. Then go to the licensing troubleshooting page to see if the error message is listed there, and what the solution is.


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