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Setup & License forum

Is it possible to backup licences? Archicad 24 on Windows 10


Hi there. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm struggling to find the answer and Graphisoft refuse to help me without paying for support. 

We recently had a computer breakdown due to a faulty hard drive. It caused several days downtime as we scrambled to try and get Graphisoft to issue a replacement licence, we had to fill out a "Destroyed Licence Declaration" form and wait. 

I'd really like to be able to backup our licences. Ideally by just copy and pasting them to an external hard drive at the time of installation. There are 6 licences in effect, so hopefully can just copy them to two small USB sticks and keep them safe somewhere. 

In the case of a system crash with no option of releasing the key back to the 'pool', it would be great to just copy these keys back, Obviously onto the same PC with the same serial, MAC address and we'd give the PC the same 'computer name' as before. Happy to have also backed up any registry keys and reintegrated them after, whatever needs to be done. 


Alternatively, we can purchase six external hard drives, or a cloud storage service, that would do an image of the entire drive, If this was the only option then It's important for us to know if we need to do daily backups or can do one single backup after Archicad is installed. Keep in mind this backup would solely be for the Graphisoft licence and nothing else (our project's are backed up already). 

Sorry to be long winded. I don't personally work with Graphisoft/Archicad so it's all very new to me. 

Any advice or creative ideas are welcome, I'm quite naïve on this subject but otherwise quite techy. 

Thanks in advanced!



Six seats, no support, and you expect someone here to solve your problem for free... 🙄

Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

What are you talking about? No expectations, I'm trying to understand how this software works, I'm completely new to this licencing type.

Why the hostility? I'm confused sorry. 

Take care. 

You want payment? If we need to pay to get an answer to this then I'm happy to discuss our options. 

In the many years I've worked with different software I regarded my question as a more general piece of information, I was surprised not to be able to find a solution online easily. 

again, like I openly said, I'm naive to this software/industry so I'm looking for advice. It seems there was a misunderstanding here, if that's the case I apologise. 

Please if you can point us in the right direction as to what to do then we will, if it means we need to pay for technical support from Graphisoft then we will. 

Thanks again for your time. Take care. 

Karl Ottenstein

I apologize for @DGSketcher 's understandably terse response. Of course, all discussion here is free and hopefully someone can give you some suggestions, however issues with license management are typically a topic for technical support, which is included in the annual subscription fee and is not offered here, but through the distributor/reseller from whom you purchased your licenses.  It is, though, pretty unusual to hear of an office with many licenses that is not on a support contract of some form.


By trial/error or pure luck, someone here may know if a fully imaged / cloned disk will be recognized as the same license by the license manager.  If I were Graphisoft, I would have tied the floating license to a hash key of the target computer which includes the disk serial number etc and so I would not expect a clone to work...otherwise people would be selling cloned disk images on the black market for Archicad licenses.


If your licenses are all used by the same people or the same physical location, you could consider purchasing a physical Codemeter keyplug (a USB A device) if Graphisoft still issues those.  I still have mine from years ago and haven't converted to a digital / floating license because the physical keyplug serves my needs.  Contact your distributor/reseller.


One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.2, iMac Pro 10-Core, Radeon Pro Vega 64

Thank you so much for taking the time and explaining this. to be honest I really had no perception, I didn't realise that it's odd to have no support agreement. I'm outsourced help so I'm just trying to deal with a situation that came up. So thanks again and no need to apologise!

I guess what is clear is that there is not some generic method of "licence backup" that I'm missing. Again, I really know nothing about this software, so I thought maybe there might be some "Backup/Export Licence Key" feature to allow businesses to get up and running as quickly as possible after technical issues.

The question was never really about the money, I should have made this clearer to avoid any misunderstandings. The question is strictly to try and work out how we as a business, can internally and autonomously get ourselves back up and running after some sort of IT related malfunction; as quickly as possible. Unless the tech support is 24/7, I think the fear is if we have problems say at 5:35PM on a Friday. We would prefer to have the option to get the issue resolved overnight if possible.

I'm not aware why there was not a support contract in place, I will follow up about this. However I am still unsure If a support contract will still resolve our concerns moving forward. 

Thanks again for any other comments or solutions you may have, all the best!

The physical key is also a great idea. I wonder if the key can be backed up/copied as USB sticks can get lost/damaged. Thanks again!

Lee Hankins

As far as I am aware the software license keys distribute files across the whole system.  I know if you perform an OS update and don’t upload the software key first it can become damaged. The hardware keys are also copy protected so they cannot be copied or backed up. 

The Graphisoft Forward agreement (support) offers included protection for lost or damaged keys. If you don’t have a support agreement it is suggested they are insured against loss or damage. 

Lee Hankins
ArchiCAD 4.5 - Archicad 26UKI Apple Silicon 4032
macOS Ventura (13.1)

Barry Kelly

I don't have software licenses, I prefer the physical key so I don't have a problem with a lost license if a machine breaks.

Having said that, I have had physical keys lost and stolen, so there is not much difference.

Fortunately having a support agreement, they are covered (although a small fee to replace does apply, which I don't think the replacement fee is applicable with software keys - but I may be wrong about that.).


As far as I know the software licenses are stored in a company pool that is set up by Graphisoft, the distributor that the licenses were bought from.

This pool is not on a physical machine, at least not on your side.

You download the license to a particular machine, but where this license is saved i am not sure, but it is not something that can be put on a USB key.

Even on the hard drive, it might be linked to the Operating system, and motherboard/CPU in some way.

So even swapping the hard drive to another machine may not work.


However, when you start Archicad with no license, dose it give you an option to use an 'Emergency' licence?

This emergency license can be used for a period of days (not sure exactly how many), to allow you to work while you contact your distributor to organise a replacement license.

If you have no support agreement, I have no idea if there will be fees involved.

But your local support are the only ones that can replace the license as far as I know.




One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10


Definitely not a silly question and you don’t need to be sorry either.


I hope you get your issue sorted for your business.


The support company will always benefit greatly by helping out of date users like us because you encourage them very much to get back on board when they can afford it.


I have personally experienced great support with my company where I live.

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Apple Studio CPU 10C
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