LightWave Support > Registration & Licensing FAQ

  • Registering LightWave (Full and Trial Versions)
    • I can't register my LightWave 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 that I purchased years ago!
      • For versions of LightWave that pre-date the new registration system, you can contact Customer Support to help get registered.

        You will need to supply the following:

        1) Serial number

        2) Hardware Dongle ID (also called the Product lock ID)

        The product lock id is also given when you launch LightWave, you'll get a screen saying, "License key not found, please contact customer service to get a permanent key.  Product Lock ID #####"   - please include that ##### number.

    • I'm trying to register the Trial, but I don't see the Serial in the corner of the splash screen
      • There are two reasons this might occur.  That you're running with a dongle plugged in from a prior version of LightWave, or your Font setting is too large, and the Serial is being pushed off the splash window.

        If you have a dongle for a previous version of LightWave, unplug it.  The trial doesn't use a dongle, and if it "sees" a dongle it will try to use it and not give the trial serial splash screen.

        When you want to use the trial, you need to keep the dongle unplugged so that LightWave can use the software based licensing system.

        Otherwise, on Windows, click on the "Start" button in the lower corner of your interface, and in the search window, type "FONTS".  In the window that opens, click on "Change font size" in the list on the left.  Make sure in the panel, that "Smaller - 100% (default)" is checked.

        You should now be able to see the serial number in the splash screen to allow the registration to get the trial mode working.

  • License Issues
    • Drag/Drop install of the license key isn't working, can I just copy the files somewhere?
      • Drag/Drop installation of the license key was introduced in LightWave 11.0.3.  However you can install the license files manually by dragging the LICENSE.LWK file to one of the following locations:

        LightWave 2015 License File Location:

        Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\.NewTek\LightWave\2015\licenses

        Macintosh: USERNAME/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015/licenses

        LightWave 11.x License File Location:

        Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\.NewTek\LightWave\VERSIONNUBMER\licenses

        Macintosh: USERNAME/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/VERSIONNUMBER/licenses

        LightWave 10.1 License File Location:


        LightWave 9.x License File Location:

        LW 9 Mac License location : USER/Library/Preferences/LightWave3d/
        LW 9 PC License location : C:\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave 3D 9\Programs

        Mac users:

        If you can't find "Library" -  From Finder, look at the "Go" menu at the top; while looking, press the Option key; Library will appear.

    • I have 11.0 installed, and have just installed 11.5 but it can't find the license key
      • If your LightWave 11.0 install was working before you installed 11.5, you need to copy the LightWave 11 'LICENSE.LWK' to the LightWave 11.5 installation.

        LightWave 11.0 License File Location:

        Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\.NewTek\LightWave\11.0\licenses

        Macintosh: USERNAME/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/11.0/licenses

        LightWave 11.5 License File Location:

        Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\.NewTek\LightWave\11.5\licenses

        Macintosh: USERNAME/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/11.5/licenses

  • Hardware Dongle Issues
    • I have forgotten my dongle / product lock ID? How to I find it?
      • The dongle ID, or product lock ID, is a number that Layout and Modeler reads from the dongle.

        If you are running LightWave 9.x or higher currently, and it's licensed properly, you can open the "About LightWave" box in Layout - you'll see your dongle number there.  In 11.x and higher, your serial number is listed there as well.

        If you don't know your dongle ID, and have a hardware dongle, follow these steps to find your dongle ID:

        1) Download the trial version of LightWave 11.x and install it

        2) Run Layout with your existing dongle plugged in

        3) On the 'License Error' window that pops up, you should see your dongle / product lock ID

    • I have installed LightWave and it can't find my dongle
      • LightWave 11.0.3 (or above) no longer needs a hardware dongle to function.  However, if you wish to use your old dongle, you can.

        For LightWave to find the hardware dongle it needs three things; the dongle itself, up to date dongle drivers and a valid license key placed in the correct location.

        No matter which version you are using, first update your dongle drivers, you can download the latest version here:

        For LightWave 11.0.3 (or above):

        1) Download your license key from your account page

        2) Run LightWave and drag the license file onto the splash screen that appears when you first run LightWave

        3) LightWave should now place the license file in the correct location

        4) Restart LightWave

        For LightWave 10.x :

        1) Download your license key from your account page

        2) Place the license key into the following location: YOUR_LW_INSTALL_PATH\bin
        (The same location as the executable files for Layout, Modeler and Hub)

        3) Restart LightWave

        For LightWave 9.x (or below):

        1) Download your license key from your account page

        2) Place the license key into the following location: YOUR_LW_INSTALL_PATH\LightWave 3D 9\Programs
        (The same location as the executable files for Layout, Modeler and Hub).  The "LightWave 3D 9" will be different for LightWave 8, etc.

        3) Restart LightWave

    • I just bought LightWave from a 3rd party without a dongle. Did I get scammed?
      • If that version of LightWave was 10.x or older, then yes. You got scammed. Please report the scam artist to whatever website the sale took place on (ex: eBay). Older versions of LightWave still require a physical hardware dongle in order to run the software.

        LightWave 11.0.3+ introduced the option of a software license and does not require a hardware dongle. Any copy of LightWave 11.0.3+ and higher can run on a software license.

        Whichever version of LightWave you purchase from a third party, that third party must contact Customer Support to officially transfer that license from his or her registered account to your registered account. Otherwise, the records kept by LightWave 3D Group will show that the third party still owns the software.

        Transferring the license to your account will give you access to convenient online backup copies of your software, licenses, content and manuals. More importantly, it will also make you eligible for future upgrades from that version of LightWave, because the LightWave 3D Group will know that you own that copy of LightWave.

  • Transferring a LightWave or ChronoSculpt license
    • How do I transfer my LightWave or ChronoSculupt License to another user?
      • Effective August 1, 2014, a transfer fee of $100 per license will be required to transfer the original registration and ownership of any version of LightWave 3D or ChronoSculpt software to a new owner. The NevronMotion plugin, however, is tied directly to the LightWave 3D license and cannot be transferred separately.

        This does NOT apply to the transfer of license from one machine to another.  Only between "Seller A" and "Buyer B"

        Please email any transfer requests or inquiries to The LightWave 3D Group's customer support desk at The purchase of the transfer fee is done by requesting the purchase link from customer service.

        What it will involve, is the validation of the serial to be transferred.  Making sure that it's registered proper, and that it's valid for transfer.  Educational and NFR licenses are not valid for transfer.  Then, the buyer needs to have an account at to receive the transfer.  Once the communication of the transfer fee is made, Seller and Buyer will be notified when the transfer is complete.  If a dongle is involved, that dongle must be given to the buyer by the seller by whatever means works for the seller/buyer pair.

        Proof of the transfer payment being made must be provided by the cleverbridge reference number being sent to customer service.


If you could not find the answer to your question in the FAQ, please contact technical support.