I bought Mathematica home edition and installed it under Ubuntu. During an Ubuntu upgrade the power went out and wrecked the process. I installed Linux Mate Debian Edition and tried to reinstall Mathematica. It refused to license itself claiming that it had been installed on a 'different' computer. The MAC addresses are still the same.

Wolfram does't provide support with Home Edition (though I think this is a bug) and suggested that I ask on this forum. Has anyone else bumped into this?

  • $\begingroup$ Just for the record, I was in the same situation right now: Mathematica 9 home edition, after reinstalling Windows, same OS, same machine (but different partitions, maybe it's what causes trouble). I used the contact form found from the activation window when launching Mathematica and I got a quick answer: activation code reset, and I was able to activate again. $\endgroup$
    – user10957
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:55

2 Answers 2



Mathematica Home Edition customers get Premier Support (the "how to plot" kind of help) for 30 days from the day of purchase, and Installation Support (to get your copy of the product running again) forever after.
At all times, Wolfram's Customer Support will be glad to reset your activation key so you can reinstall and use your Mathematica Home Edition on a different machine; you can reach them by calling 1-217-398-0700 ext 2, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm US Central Time, or by sending email to [email protected].

Could you please send me details on how you had contacted Wolfram Research?
Following your post we investigated to find out whom you had talked to, but were not able to identify any fitting record neither in our US nor our European offices (of course, we also don't quite know who you are).

Please rest assured that Wolfram Support will always try to help you get your Mathematica copy running again.
Also, if any questions on Wolfram's support levels remain, please feel free to contact me.

Peter Fleck
Manager, Wolfram Technology Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.
[email protected]


Wolfram don't provide support with Home Edition and suggested that I ask on this forum.

I hope it is because we are so awesome and not because we don't have to be paid.

It refused to license itself claiming that it had been installed on a 'different' computer.-- mac addresses are still the same.

The MAC address is not the crucial thing here, because a desktop license is always bound to the machine and the operating system and Wolfram uses several things to determine whether the environment you installed Mathematica has been altered. Therefore, a change of the Linux distribution invalidates your license.

I'm not sure whether I can help you, but usually when you bought a Mathematica license (and probably you have to register it) and you created a login at https://user.wolfram.com you should see your product when you navigate to My Products and Services:

user page
(source: wolfram.com)

When you click on the product you bought (in the image above it would be the Mathematica link), you get the details to your license and nowadays you can manage your Activation Keys from there. In this page, you have the opportunity to deactivate an activation key which is currently in use

enter image description here

After deactivation, you can reuse the activation key (which is displayed in the first column of this table, which is not visible for the obvious reason).

If the situation for a Home License is completely different, then you could have a look in the Mathematica knowledge base which has a separate section about activation and license problems. Unfortunately, most articles end with please contact the Wolfram support).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Where's your Donate button? :) $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Jul 19, 2013 at 10:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @cormullion Don't you think it is a bit brazen, that the support refers to bluntly to this site? I mean in the end it is a license question and we cannot really do something about it. Wolfram has to manage this. $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Jul 19, 2013 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ I was going to ask the OP what was said exactly. I would see licensing issues as being part of the legal seller/purchaser contract. Whereas "how do I plot a sine curve?" is what I would consider "support". Like you, I hope that WRI didn't say really say that licensing issues are not their concern. $\endgroup$
    – cormullion
    Jul 19, 2013 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks guys. Didn't help as the user portal does not show the activation code. however if I try to put it in it pops up and says "error.. already registered" Frankly my experience with Wolfram has been appalling. Hard to credit that these guys write code for a living! $\endgroup$
    – pat macC
    Jul 19, 2013 at 21:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Sigur Unfortunately, I'm not sure anymore whether the "Deactivate" button does what he is supposed to do. I thought, that I can invalidate the usage of an ActivationKey to reuse it when I reinstall a machine or buy a new one. In the beginning of this year, I tried it and the complete row vanished which left me a bit stunned. Before you deactivate something you cannot activate again later, please ask the support how this is supposed to be used. $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Nov 25, 2014 at 15:24

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