Authored By

Mark Nicholson


The article explains how to tell if your key is currently eligible for technical support and upgrades to OpticStudio software. It also explains how to update the support expiration, and what to do if it fails.


When you buy a copy of OpticStudio, it comes with 12 months of technical support and upgrades to the software. After that time, you can choose whether to continue receiving support. 

In this article, you can check to see if your key is currently under support and how to check for or apply a support update. 


Checking your support expiry date

Launch OpticStudio and click on the Help tab, and the About button to see the key serial number and the support expiry date:




Red or Green USB and softkey license updates 


OpticStudio is currently available with a softkey license, or a Red/Green USB key. It was previously available with a Black USB key. If you are not sure which type you have, refer to this article for help identifying it.



If you use a softkey or a Green / Red USB key as above (license number in the format L1XXXXX), refer to the following articles to apply a support or other update.

Softkey update articles:

If your machine is online, refer to Transferring and updating a softkey license  or, if offline, follow Activate, transfer, or update a softkey license on a machine without internet access

Red or Green key updates:

Update a Red or Green USB license with internet access or Update a Red or Green USB license on a machine without internet access

Black USB key updates

Check for updates online

If your machine does not have internet access, skip to the "Check for updates offline" section below. 

IMPORTANT: Support updates for Black USB keys are not generated automatically for releases of OpticStudio that have been phased out. This means releases over ~2 years old. If you have an Opticstudio release installed that is no longer listed on the Opticstudio Downloads page under the Legacy Versions tab, then move to the Get Help section of this article to get a manual update.

Once you have verified you are using a supported release of OpticStudio, you can update the support expiry date by clicking on Help...Check For Updates. You should then see:



If it thinks your support is expired, it will state that instead. Press OK, and OpticStudio will offer to download the latest license file:



Press "Yes". Exit and restart OpticStudio to see the up-to-date support information. If the information was not updated, move to the next section "What If the check for update process for your Black USB license fails?"


What If the check for update process for your Black USB license fails?

Clear browser temporary files. OpticStudio checks for Updates using the Internet Explorer engine in Windows. Sometimes it will cache an old support update and prevent ZOS from downloading the current one. You can work around this by clearing the Internet Explorer temporary files. 

  1. Click Start...
    • (Windows 7) - Click Control Panel, click Network and Internet, and then click Internet Options.
    • (Windows 8, 8,1, 10) - Type "Internet Options" (without quotes) and it should automatically search. Click the first result, which should have a gear symbol to indicate it is a settings app.
  2. Click the General tab, and then click Delete under Browsing history.
  3. Check the "Temporary Internet Files" box. Uncheck any other boxes, as they are not necessary to fix this issue.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. Try checking for updates in OpticStudio again. If it still fails, use the check for black USB license updates offline method in the next section.

Check for Black USB license updates offline

For machines that do not have internet access or on which the check for updates process fails, you may manually download the license file instead. 

  1. Launch Opticstudio, and click the Help...About page. Make note of the release date and version of OpticStudio you are using.

  2. Open Setup...Project Preferences...Folders. Make note of the location of the DATA folder on the first line. 


3. Visit the OpticStudio Download Page. Check the release date of the Opticstudio version you obtained in step 1.

  • If your installed version matches the release on the primary Download page, open the "Resource Files" section and download the LC_XXXXXX.DAT file. Move to step 4.
  • If you have a previous release installed, open the "Legacy Versions" tab and download the LC_XXXXXX.DAT file that matches your installed release. For example, for Opticstudio 18.9 released Nov 19 2018, you would download LC_181119.DAT. Move to Step 4. 

TIP: If you do not see your previous release on the "Legacy Versions" page, your release of OpticStudio has been phased out and no longer automatically receives support updates. Move to the Get Help section of this document to request a manual update.

4. Open the OpticStudio "License" folder. This is a subfolder of the "DATA" folder you located in step 2. On my system, the DATA folder is called Zemax in my user account's "Documents" folder. See the screenshot below. 

5. Locate the LC_XXXXXX.DAT file you downloaded in step 3. Typically it will be located in your system's "Downloads" folder. Copy the .DAT file into "License". Select "Overwrite" or "Replace" when it prompts to do so.

Example of License folder location and the prompt to replace the existing license .DAT file.


6. Close and restart OpticStudio, and you should see the correct support date. If you do not see the correct date, move to the Get help section below.

Get help

If you are still unable to update your support status, or are using an unsupported release, Zemax Support is happy to help.

For Black USB licenses (both network and single user): Simply send a screen shot of your OpticStudio Help...About screen to to the Support Team. If a screenshot is not possible, you can also provide your key number (such as 22000), OpticStudio version and release date (such as OpticStudio 16 SP2, July 20 2016).

For softkey licenses, a Red USB key or Green USB key, you just need to provide a screen shot of the "License Information" page in the "Zemax License Manager" application that shows your current license (such as L123456). If this is for a network license, a screen shot of the server, not the client machines is needed.


The article explains how to tell if your key is currently eligible for technical support and upgrades to OpticStudio software. It also explains how to update the support expiration, and what to do if it fails.