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Software Activation

Software activation is a method to enforce the “one license per PC” policy in mAirList. This is the default method for all mAirList licenses. Optionally, you can obtain SG-Lock or FTDI dongles and use them as a hardware lock instead of software activation.

All mAirList software comes with a built-in License Manager that is used to download, activate and manage locally installed licenses. The License Manager can be found in the Windows Start Menu. It will also pop up automatically when you try to run mAirList without any valid license installed.

Customer Area and Voucher Codes

Your licenses are managed in the Customer Area on the website.

When you purchase a license through our online shop, you will receive a voucher first (found in the confirmation e-mail that the shop sends you). In order to create the license in your account, register and log into the customer area, go to the “Redeem Voucher” page, and enter/paste the code found in the e-mail.

How it Works

During startup, mAirList collects information about your computer, e.g. the CPU type, harddisk models and Windows licensing data.

This information is transformed into an encrypted hash code, which we call the Hardware ID. Due to the encryption, no cleartext hardware information be derived from the Hardware ID. Any change in the relevant part of harware configuration will lead to an entirely different Hardware ID.

The algorithm that calculates the Hardware ID has changed multiple times since it was first introduced in mAirList. The current algorithm (as of February 2017) is called XSHWID.

Activating a License

Automatic activation

Automatic activation is the most convenient way to activate as license, as it will activate and download the license at the same time. Automatic activation requires the computer to be connected to the internet.

  1. Open the License Manager (from the Windows Start Menu etc.).
  2. (mAirList 5 and below only) Click Download in the main toolbar.
  3. Enter your customer area login credentials (e-mail and password).
  4. A list of available licenses will appear. Select the license that you wish to activate and download. It should be written in regular (not activated yet) or bold (already activated for this PC) font. If the license is displayed in a gray/italic font, that means that it is still assigned to another computer and must be reset first (see below).
  5. Follow the instructions on screen.
  6. At the end of the process, the license will be loaded into the License Manager and selected as the active license. Close the License Manager and restart mAirList.

If anything goes wrong during the process, please see the troubleshooting guide below.

Manual activation

Use this method only if automatic activation does not work due to no internet connectivity.

Manual activation means that you have to write down (or save to a USB thumb drive etc.) the Hardware ID, enter it manually on the customer area website, download the license file, and copy it over to the computer, again using a removable drive etc.

  1. Open the License Manager
  2. (mAirList 6+ only) Click the Advanced button to switch to advanced mode.
  3. Go to the Hardware tab.
  4. Click the Actions button.
  5. Select Copy Hardware ID to clipboard
  6. Create a new text file on your thumb drive, and paste the Hardware ID into it. (You can also write it down on a piece of paper, of course.)
  7. On a computer that is connected to the internet, log into to customer area on the mairlist website.
  8. Go to My Licenses, license details, then follow the link for manual activation.
  9. Paste the Hardware ID and confirm.
  10. Your license is now activated, and you can download the license file (license-*.ini) from the license details page.
  11. Transfer the license file to the computer running mAirList.
  12. In the License Manager, go to the Select License tab and click Import to load the license file.
  13. Close the License Manager.

Note: For computers that are permanently disconnected from the internet, it might be favorable to obtain a USB hardware dongle for activation.

Resetting the Activation

After making significant changes to your computer hardware, or if you wish to transfer the license to another computer, you must reset the activation before you can activate the license on the new PC. This is done in the customer area on the website.

  1. Log into the customer area.
  2. Go to My Licenses.
  3. Open the details of the license that you wish to reset.
  4. In the Activation section, follow the link to the license reset.
  5. Complete the license reset form and confirm.

The previous Hardware ID is now erased from the license, and it is open for activation again (see above). At this point, the license MUST be removed from the old computer (if still accessible)!

When you try to reset the same license two times in a row within only a couple of days. your request must be reviewed by a member of the support team before the activation is reset. In this case, you will receive a temporary emergency activation first, valid for 7 days. We will send you an e-mail as as soon as we have review your request.


In very rare cases, the Hardware ID can change unexpectedly, even though you are not aware of any changed hardware.

If this happens only once, it is usually sufficient to just reset the activation (see above) and continue with the new Hardware ID.

If it happens regularly, or the Hardware ID toggles between two values, please contact the customer support, and we will investigate the issue.

The support staff will ask you two provide the current cleartext hardware report (hwid.txt) and any possible report from the activation log. This can be obtained as follows:

  • Hardware report:
    • Open License Manager
    • Go to the Hardware tab
    • Click Actions
    • Select Save hardware report
    • hwid.txt file will be saved
  • Activation log:
    • Open License Manager
    • Go to the Hardware tab
    • Click Actions
    • Select View activation history
    • The ActivationLog folder will open in Windows Explorer.
    • Check if the folder contains any files.

Please send the support staff both the current hwid.txt file as well as any file found in the ActivationLog folder.

licensing/software-activation.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/07 17:35 by tw