How To: Move the ArcGIS License Manager from one machine to another


The content in this article pertains to ArcGIS versions 9.x only. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools. For more current information, see: Transferring licenses from one license manager to another

Instructions provided describe how to relocate the ArcGIS License Manager from one Windows machine to another.



  • A copy of the ESRI concurrent use (floating) license file. This file is usually named with the same number as the concurrent use license dongle (hardware key), which always begins with the numbers ‘371’ and has an extension of .EFL9. If the floating license file cannot be found, request a copy by visiting http://service.esri.com, and clicking ‘request a new license file’ or by contacting ESRI Customer Service at 888-377-4575.
  • The ArcGIS license dongle (hardware key). The number printed on the hardware key should match the number of the floating license file. If the hardware key has failed or if a parallel dongle is being used instead of a USB dongle, request a new hardware key from http://service.esri.com.
  • ArcGIS installation media, which contains files and programs necessary for installing the License Manager server application.

For all Windows machines, download the License Manager from within the article located at the following link: ArcGIS 9.x License Manager Update

  1. It is best to be physically in front of the license manager machine while performing the installation procedure, as the hardware dongle needs to be inserted into the new license machine manager machine during the installation process.
  2. Locate the floating license (.efl9) file. Right-click the file, and select Open. Select the option to search for a program to open the file with and select Notepad.
  3. After the license file has been opened in Notepad, locate the line near the beginning of the license that reads ‘SERVER’. Ensure the name of the machine listed after ‘SERVER’ matches the PC’s hostname:
    [O-Image] Floating lic
    To find the PC's hostname, open a command prompt by going to Start > Run. In the 'Run' text box, type CMD and press 'Enter'. A black DOS console should appear. In the console, type HOSTNAME and press 'Enter'. The value returned is the machine's hostname.
  4. Save the license file.
    Do not save the file as .txt, keep the extension .efl9.
  5. Install the ArcGIS License Manager on the new machine per the following KB article: Install: How to install ArcGIS Desktop and the ArcGIS License Manager with a concurrent use floating license.
  6. Once the ArcGIS License Manager is installed on the new license server machine, be sure to use the ArcGIS Desktop Administrator to change the hostname of the license manager machine.
    1. Start > Programs > ArcGIS > Desktop Administrator.
    2. Click the License Manager folder, and press Change.
    3. Enter the name of the new ArcGIS License Manager machine. Click Apply. Click OK.