Activation Error message – SNL

Working with SOLIDWORKS on an SNL server, you can sometimes experience an Activation error message.

Often these messages are not the same as the activation error messages you recieve when performing standalone activation

What is SNL?

SNL is short for Solidworks Network License.

It is an activation system where the user gets his/hers license from a License server.

By using this activation system, more users are able to use one license.

Not only can you activate the license from the license server but you are also able to borrow a license.

The license is only as a rule activated one time on the server.

The error messages when activating on the server are very similar to the error messages on a standalone license which you can read about in this blog post.

I will focus on the error messages received by the end users.

Backward compatibility

The License manager is  backward compatible, meaning that it is possible to have a license server that is 2020 and a SOLIDWORKS that is 2019, but not the other way around. This is also applicable to other SOLIDWORKS products using a license manager.


What does it say?

As I stated in my previous blog post, it is very important to take note of the error message you receive.

For the most part the error message gives you a pretty good idea on how to proceed.

Since the obtaining of a license is dependent of your connection to the server, i usually recommend that people look here first.

Ping the server

You can easily check if your computer communicates with your server by Pinging it.

When pinging the server, your computer sends a short message to the server. It is then possible to see if it responds.

To ping the server start the command manager by pressing the windows key and R.

In the window that appears write “cmd.exe” and press enter.

In the command window write “Ping <server name or server IP>”, without the brackets.

Ping example

You should then be able to see you can reach the server.

Ping the server yes or no

If you are not able to reach the server, you should contact your IT department

Three tiresome SNL error messages

When working in support I get a lot of calls regarding SNL errors.

In the below section you will find some of the most common error messages you can receive when trying to use a SNL license.

”License server does not support this request”

could not obtain license for SOLIDWORKS- license server does not support this request

This error message usually comes If your SOLIDWORKS installation does not match the license server.s

Meaning that the SOLIDWORKS version installed is never than the license server version.

If this is the case, either upgrade the license server to a more recent version or restore your SOLIDWORKS to a previous version.

As stated above this is not an issue if your license manager is newer that your SOLIDWORKS installation.


“License server node is down or not running”

could not obtain license key. Server nogde is down or not responding

This error message indicates that the License manager to the connection is lost.

The problem could be the connection or that the License Manager program is not running.

First of start by pinging the server as described above.

If you seem to have a connection, then the problem could be that the License Program has stopped for some reason and needs to be restarted.

“Invalid (Inconsistent) License key”

inconsistent license key error message

This error message is usually linked to a license that has a time limit on it.

Usually this applies to products that are subscription dependent for instance Visualize and CAM standard.

When you activate your CAM license the expiration date is set to the date when your subscription expires.

Even if you renew your subscription you will still receive an error.

The activation only takes the subscription expiration date into consideration.

You have to reactivate your License in order to renew the licenses.

After that you should be able to get your license


On-line licensing

If you are having many issues with your internal network, and often find your self working from home, you might benefit from On-line licensing, read more here and here.

It is a bit more tricky to convert them, as you first need your licenses converted to standalone licenses, but it can give you more freedom.

I started working with CAD systems in 2003, and have since 2012 worked solely with SOLIDWORKS. I am a certified Technical support specialist as well as a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Since 2016 I have helped PLM Group customers to work smarter, not harder. The inspiration for most of my posts comes from the support cases i work on. When writing blogpost I try to focus on the everyday use of SOLIDWORKS.

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