Failed to obtain license: Invalid activation key format

An error similar to “Failed to obtain license: Invalid activation key format” is received when attempting to activate a product license, though the activation key/serial number has been entered exactly as it appears in the purchase email.

Probable Cause

The incorrect licensing utility is being used to validate the activation key/serial number.


As some product releases introduced new licensing technologies, the format of ActivePDF product activation keys/serial numbers and licensing utilities used in activation can vary depending on the product version. Refer to the list below for the activation key/serial number format and licensing utility used by each ActivePDF product version.

Note: In the example activation keys and serial numbers below:

  • A represents an alphabet character
  • 1 represents a numeric character
Product Version Licensing Utility Activation Key/Serial Number Format
3.5.x ActivePDF License Manager 111111-1A1A1A1A1A1A1A1
3.8.x, Toolkit 4.0.x ActivePDF License Administrator 1-1A1A-1A1A-1A1A-1A1A
Toolkit 4.1.1-4.2.4 ActivePDF License Administrator 1A1A1-1A1A1-1A1A1-1A1A1-1A1A1
2009 ActivePDF License Manager 2009 AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA-AAAAA