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Get license status, test existence of product license, or check out feature license


Use the license function to return the license number in use, list the licenses checked out in the current session, list licenses checked out by user, determine if a particular product on the license is checked out, and check out a specific product on the license. To perform license management tasks, including how to renew or deactivate a license, see Manage Your Licenses.

license returns the license number for this MATLAB® product. The return value may also be a non-number, for example, 'demo' for a demonstration version of MATLAB, or 'student', for a student version of MATLAB.


license('inuse') displays a list of licenses checked out in the current MATLAB session. The product list is alphabetical by license feature name. These names are the same as the valid values for the feature input.


S = license('inuse') returns an array of structures indicating checked-out licenses and the user name of each person who has a license checked out.


S = license('inuse',feature) checks if the product specified by feature is checked out in the current MATLAB session. If the product is checked out, then license returns the product name and the user name of the person who has it checked out. Otherwise, the fields of S are empty.


status = license('test',feature) tests if a license exists for the product specified by feature.

license('test',feature,toggle) enables or disables testing of the product specified by feature, depending on the value of toggle.


[status,errmsg] = license('checkout',feature) checks out a license for the specified product. If you specify the optional second output argument, errmsg, then license returns the text of any error message encountered if the checkout is unsuccessful.


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Display a list of licenses currently being used. license displays a list of products in alphabetical order by the license feature name for your configuration.


Get a list of licenses in use with information about each user. license returns a structure array.

S = license('inuse');

View the first element of S.

ans = 

    feature: 'image_toolbox'
       user: 'juser'

Determine if the license for MATLAB is in use. If the license is in use, then S is a structure array with nonempty fields.

S = license('inuse','MATLAB')
S = 

    feature: 'matlab'
       user: 'jsmith'

Determine if a license exists for Mapping Toolbox™. If a license exists, then license returns 1.

status = license('test','MAP_Toolbox')
status =


Check out a license for Control System Toolbox™. The status output is 1 and the errmsg output is empty if the checkout is successful.

[status,errmsg] = license('checkout','Control_Toolbox')
status =


errmsg =


Input Arguments

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License feature name, specified as a character vector. Values of feature are not case-sensitive. The INCREMENT lines in a license file indicate the valid features. To locate your license file, see Where are the license files for MATLAB located?

Ability to test the existence of a product license, specified as either 'enable' or 'disable'.

  • If toggle is 'enable', then the syntax, license('test',feature) returns 1 when the product license exists and 0 when the product license does not exist.

  • If toggle is 'disable', then the syntax, license('test',feature) always returns 0 (product license does not exist) for the specified product.


Disabling a test for a particular product can affect other tests for the existence of the license, not just tests performed by the license command.

Output Arguments

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Checked out products, returned as an array of structures, where each structure represents a checked-out license. The structures contain two fields:

  • feature — license feature name

  • user — user name of the person who has the license checked out

If the fields are empty, then the product is not currently checked out.

Test or checkout status, returned as 1 or 0.

  • When testing for the existence of a license, 1 indicates that the license exists, and 0 indicates that the license does not exist.

    The existence of a license does not necessarily mean that the license can be checked out or that the product is installed. If all the keys of a product are in use, then the test will still return 1, but a real checkout will fail.

  • When checking out a license, 1 indicates that the checkout is successful, and 0 indicates that the license function could not check out a license.

Error message for unsuccessful license checkout, returned as a character vector. If the checkout is successful, then errmsg is empty.

Error messages usually indicate how you can resolve the issue. For example:

License checkout failed.
License Manager Error -5
Cannot find a license for FEATURENAME.

Troubleshoot this issue by visiting:

The license checkout error you get can depend on what type of license you have.


  • Sign in to your MathWorks® Account for details about all licenses linked to your account, such as license type, product use, and expiration information.

  • To perform license management tasks, including how to renew or deactivate a license, see Manage Your Licenses.

Introduced before R2006a