Why am I seeing "License is inactive" in Illustrator?

4 minute read • Last updated 2021-01-06

If you are seeing a “License Inactive” warning for any of your plugins, please read the following information and go through the checks. If you get to the end of "Check 3" and you’re still experiencing issues, please contact us with your answers to the questions at the end of this page, this will help us to get to the bottom of the problem for you as quickly as possible.

Please note:  If you are seeing "License Inactive ID:8", your Astute Manager and plugins simply require updating for the important 20 November 2020 update which was released to improve the robustness of the licensing system. In this instance please refer to this articleIf you are seeing a different License Inactive ID, please read on...

Check 1

  • In the first instance, please always check that your Astute Manager is running and then update it to ensure that you have the most up to date version. You will need to launch the Astute Manager on a regular basis (at least once every 3 days, but we recommend daily) to ensure the plugins remain activated.

  • (If you are a Windows user, please also try the following: Go into the Task Manager > Scroll down to Background processes > Find Astute Graphics Astute Manager > Right Click > End Task. Finally, go into the Start Menu and restart the Manager).

  • Please also check that you did definitely quit Illustrator before running the installation - if you didn’t, please quit Illustrator and run the installation again.

  • Next, please ensure that you have detected installed Illustrator versions - guidance on this here (please also note that it may take up to 5 minutes before the license appears in Illustrator)

  • If your licenses still don't appear, please restart your computer

Check 2
If you have checked the above, followed our How to update your Astute Manager guide and you’re still having problems, it’s possible that there is a network connection block likely caused by security software, so we would ask you to please also try restarting your computer in Safe mode. This will help ensure that no external security systems are blocking access to the licensing server.
Starting your computer in safe mode:

  • Mac

  • Windows - (In the case of Windows, if this fails, please open your Windows Task Manager. In the Astute Manager startup options, enable the Write option in application permissions which may be disabled by default (Security > All application packages > Write).

Check 3
If the above advice hasn’t worked for you, please do the following:

  • Use the Astute Manager to uninstall all plugins

  • Uninstall the Astute manager

  • Manually delete Astute Graphics plugins from inside the Illustrator plugins folder

  • Start Illustrator up again (with no plugins)

  • Quit Illustrator again

  • Restart the computer

  • Reinstall the Astute Manager

Finally, if you have tried all of the above and the issue still isn't resolved, then please contact us with as much of the following information as possible to enable us to more accurately understand the problem:

  1. Full description of operation taking place and resulting issue including any error messages/license inactive IDs

  2. Some screenshots or a screencast video showing the issue

  3. email address that you are logging into the Astute Manager with

  4. Your operating System (including point release)

  5. Your version of Illustrator (including point release)

  6. Hardware Description (RAM, GPU, etc.)

  7. The version number of your currently installed Astute Manager (if you know it)

  8. Details of any additional Hardware (such as a Wacom tablet)

  9. The most useful information is a log sent from your AM after reinstallation of the plugins - Please let us know if you do this so that we can warn the technical team to look out for it

This will then be marked for the attention of our technical advisors, one of whom will investigate and reply to you in due course.

Read more about Astute Manager v2.


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