Mathcad 15.0 – New Licensing Process

Hello, everyone.  My name is Brent Edmonds, and I’m the Director of Operations for the Mathcad business unit at PTC.

To satisfy our valued PTC Mathcad customers, we are continually striving to make changes to the way we interact with our users. Sometimes these changes are small and incremental, and might only have a negligible impact on any one user, and sometimes these changes are more significant. Such is the case with the new licensing process rolled out with Mathcad 15.0, and which will be further improved upon with the upcoming release of Mathcad Prime 1.0.

A Description of the New Licensing Process for Mathcad 15.0

Well, let’s start at the beginning.  After PTC acquired Mathsoft, the software itself needed to be integrated into PTC systems and processes. There just wasn’t any way around that fact, given the size and structure of PTC. However, PTC’s systems and processes are designed for larger enterprise software implementations, and licensing this software was typically done by experienced Systems Administrators familiar with all the lingo and nuances of FLEXnet, server-based licenses, and what’s known as ‘configuration options’. All this technical jargon usually left Mathcad’s bread and butter customers, the individual user, a bit perplexed.

So we undertook a redesign of how Mathcad asks for, and gets, an Individual license file from PTC. First and foremost, all required information from the user is now entered in Mathcad itself, in what’s known as the Mathcad License Setup wizard. Simple questions are asked, and only a limited amount of information is expected back from the user. For your reference, detailed instructions on this new process are included when you purchase Mathcad 15.0.

A Walkthrough of the Licensing Wizard for Mathcad 15.0

Here’s the first screen in the wizard:

Users are given the option to request a license file over the internet, configure Mathcad to use an already existing license file on the workstation, or configure Mathcad to use an already existing license file on the server. The second two options are straightforward – if selected, the user is then asked to browse to the license file, and off you go.  Note that by selecting one of these 2 options, the location of the license file should be known. When the first option is selected, the second screen provides additional options:

Here the user indicates what type of Mathcad software is owned and requires a license. Two options (Educational – Student and the 30-day trial) will retrieve the license file automatically from this point, and the user is off and running.  For the first two options, a bit more information from the user is required:

    • Is the license being requested newly purchased? Or,
    • Are you an existing maintenance customer simply moving up the latest release and need to renew your current license file to work with Mathcad 15.0?

Those choices are selected on the third screen in the wizard:

Newly purchased licenses are retrieved using the first two options – the first option is for the main license to be installed on the work computer, and the second option is for the Home Use license for the home computer. The Home Use license is a great additional benefit of being on active maintenance.

Active maintenance customers simply moving up to the latest release of Mathcad, and just needing to refresh their current license file, should select the third option – ‘I want to retrieve a copy of the existing license for this computer’. This assumes, of course, you are installing Mathcad 15.0 on the same computer where you have Mathcad 14.0 installed. If not, you’ll need to select the fourth option, ‘I want to transfer the right to use an existing license from one computer to another computer’.

And that’s essentially it. For the Professional – Individual, Educational – Professor, and Home Use requests, the license file will be emailed to your PTC basic web account email address (which you provide at the conclusion of the wizard – be sure to use an active e-mail account that you check often). Follow the instructions included in the email, saving the .txt file to a .dat file on your workstation, and run the wizard again (by opening the Mathcad application) to configure using an existing license file:

At the completion of the licensing process all the information specific to your order, your hardware, and the software you’ve installed is captured. This allows you to have complete control over your license file – you can move it from machine to machine, you can request the license file be regenerated, you can track all the licenses in your organization, and many other actions through our self-serve tools.

Look for more licensing improvements as we develop Mathcad Prime 1.0, coming this winter. We’d love to hear from you about your software licensing experiences – what applications do you like the best and why? Please comment!


Why Not Try Our Latest Version, PTC Mathcad Prime 3.1? Download our Free for life version.

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22 thoughts on “Mathcad 15.0 – New Licensing Process”

  1. Lester J. Wahner says:

    So I’m still confused. Does this allow me to install my Mathcad 15 on my home or work computer without contacting PTC service for help. I have a dual license and applied for the maitenance plan. So where is the Wizard?

  2. Lester, the wizard starts automatically whenever you open Mathcad and it doesn’t find a valid license – this, of course, is the default scenario the first time you run Mathcad.

    For your primary work and Home Use licenses, see the third image above. You’ll chose the first option on your work computer, and the second option on your home computer.

    Assuming you enter your Sales Order Number and Customer Number correctly, the wizard will retrieve your license automatically.

  3. Gregory says:

    I have an absolutely different scenario while trying to set up MathCAD 15 than described above. Is there a step-by-step instruction?

  4. Gregory, the step-by-step instructions are provided at time of purchase. If you purchased on-line they are downloadable from the confirmation page and email; if your purchased through a reseller or directly from PTC they are inside the DVD case with the software. You can also find them online on our Mathcad Licensing FAQ page here:

  5. Moises Rivera says:

    I had to purchase Prime 1 to obtain Mathcad 15 for free. I used the only product code provided in the email to install Prime 1. When I tried to install Mathcad 15, I could not use the same code obviously. I then contacted PTC for a Mathcad 15 product code which took a few days. By then I had decided to install the 30 day trial version of Mathcad 15. Now I have the license file from PTC, but it has not prompted me for it yet. Where do I enter this license file or how do I start the wizard?


  6. Moises, there are 2 ways to address your current situation:

    1. Save the license file you received from PTC as ‘license.dat’ in your c:\program files\Mathcad\Mathcad 15\licenses directory. There should be a file by this name already – that’s your 30 day trial. Simply replace the trial license with the new one, making sure you have the same name.

    2. You can save the new license file to your desktop and then open the Mathcad License Wizard by running the mclicense.exe program in the c:\program files\Mathcad\Mathcad 15\mclicense directory. The Wizard will prompt you to point to an existing license file – point to the one on your desktop, and Mathcad will automatically put a copy in the proper directory.

    For the original instructions on how to use a Prime 1.0 product code to license Mathcad 15.0, please see the Licensing Guide that was provided with the software and also online here:

  7. I’m working with a non-profit scientific organization, ISUS, Inc., and am working on another doctoral dissertation. Essential Mathcad, with a student edition license, was purchased and the Mathcad 15 software installed. On startup, the licensing screen comes up, and I put in the product code. I have an academic account at the PTC site (as well as an older commercial account). However, after login, I get the message “provider load failure”. This is quite annoying. What should I do? I used to use Mathcad 11, but this will not now work on a Windows 7 computer.

  8. Thanks, Anna. I was working with Brent Edmunds at PTC and he was supposed to obtain a license.dat file for me, but I haven’t heard from him since 7:25 p.m. last evening. My computer is “multi-homed”–which means that the local area network card and the DSL modem have different IP addresses. Maybe your licensing server cannot handle this situation.

  9. Brent, Anna: Thanks. I received the licence file this morning (Monday) and now Mathcad 15 is working fine! All of my current papers in theoretical physics are written in Mathcad and are available for free download (as PDFs) at

  10. saso says:

    i run the wizard operation but it shows me that there is unexpected error
    so tell what should i do ?
    thank you

  11. I will reach out to you via email to get more details on the error message you are receiving.

  12. eddie smith says:

    I get an unexpected error 401 when trying to get a license

    1. Eddie, it is possible our servers were down for maintenance. If you continue to get this error, please request a manual license file be generated for you thru our Installatino & Licensing Support Center:

  13. JIm says:

    Ok thanks, but I can’t seem to get a trial license for the MathCad 15 download from the PTC website. I constantly receive a 401 Unauthorised error.

    I don’t have a PTC account – the installation did not require me to create one.

  14. kennethharrison says:

    Can i set up 2 to 3 version of mathcad say version 13 15 and prime and avoid it haveing a fit over my 2 to 3 diffrent liscense files.

    1. Mathcad 14.0 and later versions (all released by PTC) can use the same license file, depending on what release you have entitlement to when you request the license file from us. For example, if you are active on Global Support today you have the entitlement to Prime 3.1 and all earlier versions back to Mathcad 14.0, so the license file you’d retrieve today will activate all prior versions back to 14.0. If you are not on active Global Support, the license file you retrieve will activate from the then current version when you were last on active Support back to version 14.0. You can request a license file online from

  15. Ayuba says:

    I purchased the software online and I couldn’t get the licence key . please how can I get license key?

    1. Someone from our e-store team will be reaching out to you shortly to help address your issue.

  16. Joseph says:

    Brent – installed M15 on this new computer with a trial license. Today, I got a new license key for my old M15 for use on this computer. How do I update my license key from trial to permanent?

    1. Please see the Mathcad licensing FAQ section here.

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