Activating your Xojo license and building apps

License activation

Xojo is free to download and use for development and testing. A Xojo license is required in order to compile/build Xojo apps.

There are two ways to activate your Xojo license: Sign In or Manual Activation.

Sign in

Sign in to the Xojo IDE (the Xojo application, not the website). Signing in with the same account used to purchase your license will automatically download your license and allow you to begin compiling your projects. If you are already signed in to Xojo and have just purchased a license, open the License Key Window (on macOS go to Xojo>License Keys, on Windows and Linux go to Help>License Keys) and click "Update" to download your new license to compile. Xojo Lite licenses allow for 1 simultaneous activation, Xojo Desktop, Web and iOS licenses allow for 2 simultaneous activations, Xojo Pro allows for 3 and Xojo Pro Plus allows for 6 simultaneous activations. We make it simple to move your license or activations between machines as much as you need, Activating Your Xojo License and Building Apps

Manual activation

Manual activation can be used to activate your license on an offline machine, for example if you were in a secure facility or on a research vessel in the sub-arctic. Manual activation is also recommended if you have multiple licenses and wish to activate them on multiple different machines. To activate your Xojo license manually, go to your License Key page and click on the blue download icon to the right of that license to download the license file. Then, in the Xojo IDE, open the License Key window (on macOS go to Xojo>License Keys, on Windows and Linux go to Help>License Keys) and drag and drop that license file into the window (or click the Add button to add the file). You may be asked to verify your email address, in which case use the email address that is the current default address in your Xojo account.


If you have a Xojo license but cannot build, either because the Build button is disabled or you get an error saying you need a license in order to build, here's what to check:

  • Have you activated your license in Xojo? If you have activated your Xojo license in Xojo you will see it listed in the License Key Window in the Xojo IDE. (On macOS go to Xojo>License Keys, on Windows and Linux go to Help>License Keys) If you are signed in to the Xojo IDE but don't see your license listed there, click "Update" in the Licenses Window or sign in.

License Key Window 2021r3
  • Are you signing in to Xojo with the correct account? Make sure to use the same Xojo account that you used when you purchased, both username and passwords are case sensitive. If you have set up a username other than your email address you must use the username, it is not interchangeable with your email address. If you have questions about your account or licenses, contact us.

  • Do you have a target OS selected in the Build Settings? You must have a target selected in Build Settings in order to build. If you don't have a target selected the Build button on the toolbar will be disabled. For Desktop apps "This Computer" is selected by default. For web apps, by default, "Xojo Cloud" is selected. Make sure to select only targets that your Xojo license can build for.

  • Do you have the appropriate Xojo license to build your project? Selecting targets other than those included in your Xojo license will result in an error. For Xojo Lite licenses, make sure you have selected only the target desktop platform of your license (i.e., Xojo Windows Lite licenses only build for Windows). Also for Lite licenses, make sure you aren't using a database other than SQLite.

More Xojo license options and tips


All Xojo licenses are cross-platform, that means you can activate your license on Mac, Windows and Linux. A Xojo license gives you access to new Xojo releases for a 12 month period. After your Xojo license expires you may continue to build with those releases distributed during that 12 month period, indefinitely. You are never required to renew your Xojo license and can do so anytime before or after its expiration.

Xojo licenses allow you to build with all Xojo releases dated before your license expiration date with the exception on Lite licenses which build for Xojo 2014 and later. Point releases (for example Xojo 2021r3.1) are available to anyone whose license was current during the original release date.

See System Requirements for supported Operating Systems and the System Requirements Archive for releases other than the current Xojo release.

Moving an activation or activating on a new computer

Xojo makes it easy to move your license activation between machines as you need. If you have a free activation, sign in to Xojo to automatically download your license and begin building. If you don't see your license after signing in or using the "Update" button, go to your License Key page at the Xojo website and verify you have a free activation. (If you see a duplicate machine listed under one of your licenses, delete the duplicate.) Click the 'x" next to one of the machines listed below that license to deactivate it, freeing up an activation for the new machine. Sign in to the Xojo IDE or click "Update" in the License Key Window on the new machine to activate your license there and begin building.


Activation error

If you have a Xojo license but cannot build, either because the Build button is disabled or you get an error saying you need a license in order to build, Activating Your Xojo License and Building Apps.

If you are using an older release of Xojo (2015 or earlier) and have received an activation error, please try Activating Your Xojo License and Building Apps. If manual activation does not resolve the issue, download a current release and sign in on that release (disregard any messages indicating that you don't have a license for the release). Now launch your older release and you should have no problem signing in to it then.

Upgrading to Catalina or Big Sur changes storage in such a way that it creates a different activation when using Xojo releases from before 2021r1. The solution is to remove the old Xojo activation on that machine at your license key page, then update your licenses in the Xojo IDE.

Assigning your Xojo license to someone else

In your Xojo account you can build your Team. Contractors, end-users, developers, the billing department or management -your Team can consist of anyone else with a Xojo account. Assign any of your Xojo licenses to any member of your Team. The assignee gets full access to that Xojo license plus any related technical support and special forum channels. The license owner retains the ability to revoke that license anytime as well as manage the billing.

  1. Owner and assignee log in and go to their Team page.

  2. The assignee shares their connection key with the license owner.

  3. From the Team page, the owner selects “Add Connection” and “Adds” the assignee's connection key. Now the accounts are connected and the license owner will see that assignee listed in their Team.

  1. Now the license owner can assign their licenses to anyone in their team from their licenses key page. Select the box next to a license, scroll down to “Assign A License” and choose a name from the drop-down.


Now that the license is assigned, the assignee sees it in their licenses key page, and the owner can no longer use that license for building apps. Add multiple team members and change who the license is assigned to as needed.

Eight digit codes and legacy authorization codes

You can find online Legacy Authorization Codes, aka 8 Digit Codes, at the Legacy Authorization page from your Account Settings page. If you have trouble with this link, please make sure you are logged in and try pasting the link into your browser.

Follow along with the instructions in those web pages in Real Studio. Please note that you must remain on the final screen prompting you for this code in the IDE for 2 minutes prior to pressing "Continue."

Compiling and building apps

For more information about building your apps, refer to the appropriate section: