CodeMeter software protection

by GRAPHISOFT and Gábor Almási · updated: 05.16.2016

Changes in Software Protection System from ARCHICAD 13

GRAPHISOFT provides the CodeMeter protection key (developed by WIBU) with ARCHICAD 13+.

The CodeMeter hardware and software-based protection keys represent your license to use ARCHICAD. Like the familiar WIBU-key protection system, you can use it to transfer the license from one machine to another.

If you use CodeMeter NET key, you have the option to purchase the License Borrowing feature from your ARCHICAD distributor. This feature lets users borrow a license for a limited time, without having to transfer any network protection key itself. Consult your distributor for details on how to purchase the various types of borrowable licenses.

If you are upgrading from an older version of ARCHICAD:

  • up until ARCHICAD 18: No change in your protection system. Your existing WIBU-Box key will be remotely updated to enable you to run ARCHICAD 13+.
  • ARCHICAD 19+: From ARCHICAD 19 only the CodeMeter protection keys are supported, so the Wibu key must be replaced with CodeMeter protection key

If you are a new ARCHICAD user:

You will receive the CodeMeter stick or Software key.

If your offices uses a CodeMeter NET license, you can purchase “borrowable” licenses to be able to use CodeMeter’s License Borrowing feature.


During the installation process for ARCHICAD, you are prompted to install CodeMeter driver).

  • Note: When you install CodeMeter, you also install the CodeMeter Control Center on your machine, which contains a license borrowing interface similar to ARCHICAD’s, as well as access to the “WebAdmin” features. Ordinary users do not need to access this interface, except in cases noted in this article (see the Information For BIM Managers sections below).


Replacing WibuKey with Codemeter Key

If you have a WibuKey and you are switching to CodeMeter, you need to transfer your licenses from your WibuKey to the CodeMeter key. Either your reseller will ship you an empty Codemeter key or provide you an authentication code in order to manage Software key, and the license transfer can be carried out with the Graphisoft License Manager Tool. This takes a few minutes, after which you will have a ready-to-use CodeMeter key and a voided WibuKey. You can either keep or return the WibuKey to your reseller to have it recycled.


Compatibility with Older ARCHICAD Versions

If you exchange your WIBU key for a CodeMeter key, your ARCHICAD 10, 11 and 12 programs will also run with your CodeMeter license, provided that you have installed the latest hotfix for these versions (CodeMeter Enabler).

To download the CodeMeter enabler please visit this page: CodeMeter Enabler download page

Projects saved in ARCHICAD 8 or 9 should be converted to ARCHICAD 10 to enable them to run with a CodeMeter license.

/!\ Note that due to a technical limitation, these versions (10-12) cannot be run with borrowed licenses or with PPU (Pay Per Use) keys and the CodeMeter enabler is not supported on PPC Macs.

Compatibility with Third-Party Softwares using WIBU protection

All your previously installed programs will work without any problem, provided that you do not uninstall your WIBU driver.

License Borrowing

For detailed description how license borrowing works see the following article: CodeMeter/LicenseBorrowing

Information for BIM Managers

Enable CodeMeter Network

For a detailed CodeMeter server setup guide see: CodeMeter/Server

Recommendations for Managing the Borrowing Process

  • Your office should use either the hardware-type or the “soft” license file-type borrowable license system, but not both.
  • To maximize borrowing capacity, you should unify your CodeMeter NET keys so that all the borrowable licenses are located on a single key.
  • Do not move your CodeMeter NET key, especially once licenses have been borrowed. The NET key must be in its original location in order for the borrowers to return their licenses.
  • If you are using a DNS server network, do not rename the server. The server must retain its original name in order for the borrowers to return their licenses.
  • If you are not using a DNS server network, the server containing the CodeMeter NET key must use a fixed local IP address; do not alter the IP address, otherwise the borrowers cannot return their licenses.
  • A borrowed key should not be used or tested on the machine where the network CodeMeter key is located.

Offices Using Multiple License Types

It is recommended that your office use either the hardware-type or the “soft” license file-type borrowable license system, but not both.

If, nevertheless, your office uses multiple CodeMeter NET keys (for example, with Act “soft” licenses on one key and Key “hardware” licenses on another), each NET key should be connected to a separate server.

In this case, each client’s computer should be set to connect to the desired server (with either “soft” or “hardware” licenses).

  • Note: If you do not define the desired server on the client machine, the borrowing process will choose a server (and a license type) at random, meaning that users may get the “wrong” type of license.

To do this:

  1. Go to the CodeMeter Control Center on the client machine.
  2. Click the WebAdmin button.


  1. In the WebAdmin interface, go to the Configuration page (see image below).
  2. Under the Server Search List, click Add to define the server that is connected to the CodeMeter NET key you need


Summary of Recommendations

  • To maximize borrowing capacity, you should unify your CodeMeter NET keys so that all the licenses are located on a single key.
  • It is recommended that your office use either the hardware-type or the “soft” license file-type borrowable license system, but not both.
  • If your office does have multiple CodeMeter NET keys (for example, if you want Act “soft” licenses on one key and Key “hardware” licenses on another), each NET key should be connected to a separate server.
  • Do not move your CodeMeter NET key from its server location, especially once licenses have been borrowed.
  • Do not rename the server to which your CodeMeter NET key is attached.
  • To ensure compatibility with 3rd party products, do not uninstall the WIBU driver, if you installed it to use with earlier ARCHICAD versions.
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