Authored By

Don Dickinson


This page is a directory for all softkey-related licensing, installation, and troubleshooting articles.


This article serves as a collection of all of the Knowledgebase resources for users with softkey licenses. 

Before getting started

Before continuing this article, you should be certain that you have a softkey license. If you received a USB dongle from Zemax Sales, you do not own a softkey license.



Resources for single user softkeys

A standalone (single user) softkey license is activated on a single computer that runs OpticStudio. The license is locked to a fingerprint of the machine, and it must be transferred between machines in order to run OpticStudio on a different machine than where the softkey was activated. Only one machine can hold the license at a time.

Resources for network softkeys

The network softkey license is a single license that is activated on a keyserver machine and accessed by client machines over a network. When the client machine launches the licensed software package, the client will "borrow" a seat from the keyserver. Licensed software can be used simultaneously on different client machines, up to the specified number of seats available on the keyserver. Once the client closes the software, the seat is returned to the general pool available on the keyserver.  

Keyserver Machine

If you are a network license administrator and you are working to install or control the license on the keyserver machine, please follow the resource links below.

Client Machine

If you are an end user attempting to connect to a license on the keyserver machine, please follow the resource links below.

Please note: The softkey is worth the full value of the software. We recommend that you purchase Zemax Productivity Assurance (ZPA) or insure the softkey for its full replacement value. If the key is lost due to computer failure, reinstalling your operating system, machine loss, etc. and you do not have ZPA, it will not be replaced without payment of the full purchase price. You may see details of our policy here


This article has provided links to all of Zemax's Knowledgebase resources for users with softkey licenses. These articles outline the most common questions received regarding this license type. If you have a question that is not covered in one of the related articles, contact the Zemax Support team

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