Product License Activation and Renewal

There are a number of software products, obtained primarily for faculty and staff for individual use (usually an off-campus laptop), which need yearly license renewal; they include SPSS, Mathematica, and SAS. In most cases you will need to contact the helpdesk for a new license key, but the process for reactivation is different in each case.


To renew SPSS licenses, a Proof of Entitlement is usually required. You must contact the HelpDesk to get a new key.

The general procedure is as follows:

  1. Launch SPSS.
  2. Pull down File → New → Syntax and type-in "show license" which will give you a display similar to the following (note: current versions should show expiration of 31-August-2014):

License Table

  1. If your license has expired, you have a 30 day grace period to renew the license. Obtain your new license key (through HelpDesk).
  2. From Start → Programs Files (x86)→IBM → SPSS → Statistics → 20 there is usually a License Wizard in the same directory. Use it to input the new license key.

    Note: Screen shots of this procedure can be found on a USC Software Documentation page.

    • Double-click on the Wizard.
    • On the License Status screen click Next.
    • On the Product Authorization screen select License my Product Now and click Next.
    • On the Enter Codes screen Enter the new license code in the box provided and click Next.
    • On the Licensing screen click Next.
    • On the Licensing Completed screen click Finish.
      • Note: If this doesn't work or you do not have the wizard, in a command ("cmd" program file) window cd to C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\SPSS\Statistics\20 and run "licenseactivator.exe." Type licenseactivator [your license key] and press Enter.
  3. Repeat step 2 to verify that you've renewed your license.


To renew a Mathematica license, you must have already registered your copy of Mathematica at The HelpDesk acts as the Site License Coordinator. Your license expires every year at July 31.

The general procedure is as follows:

  1. Go to the Wolfram User Portal.
  2. Fill out the form in detail. The computer platform and version are important.
  3. You will be given a license key that needs to be verified by the Site License Coordinator (HelpDesk in our case). As a temporary key, it will work for 15 days.
  4. When your old license expires launching Mathematica will automatically prompt you for a license key.
  5. When the Ste Coordinator approves you request, the temporary license key will become permanent for the next billing year.


Renewal of SAS licenses is dependent on getting a SID (SAS Installation Data) file issued to you from the HelpDesk. In addition to the below SAS Institute provides a how-to reactivate video (

The general procedure is as follows:

  1. Close your SAS application.
  2. Select Start → Programs → Utilities → Renew SAS Software.
  3. From the Browse box find your SID file (a long-named file starting wth SAS and ending with .txt) and click Open.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Verify your operating system (i.e. Windows 7) and click OK.
  6. Click Renew. which should give you the message The setinit was successfully applied.