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Where are the MATLAB Installation and Activation log files located?

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I would like to know where the MATLAB Installation and Activation log files are located to troubleshoot potential errors with MATLAB.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 15 Oct 2019
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 15 Oct 2019
The installation log file name is called "mathworks_<username>.log". Where <username> is the username of the user that ran the installer. The activation log file is aws_<username>.log where <username> is also the name of the username of the user that ran the activation client. Please see the instructions below to locate the log file depending on your OS.
Windows 10 \ Windows 8 \ Windows 7 \ Windows Vista
The log files will be located in the AppData\Local\Temp directory under the user account who ran the installer. The full path, as an example, is:
You can use the steps below as a shortcut to get to these files:
Hold the "Windows" key and press the "r" key
In the run window type the following command:%temp%\mathworks_%username%.log OR %temp%\aws_%username%.log
Windows XP:
The directory is:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp\mathworks_<username>.log
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp\aws_<username>.log
The log files will be located at the following location:
Mac OS X:
Follow these steps to retrieve the installer log file on a Mac:
1. Log in as the user who ran the installer.
2. Open a Terminal window (you can use Spotlight Search to find Terminal)
3. Copy and paste the following command, and press enter to run it in Terminal. Do not edit the command, run it exactly how it appears below:
cp $TMPDIR/mathworks_$USER.log ~/Desktop
cp $TMPDIR/aws_$USER.log ~/Desktop
This will create a copy of the needed log file on the desktop. If the command fails, this means the installer log file is not being created. This could indicate that the installer is not starting at all, and is thus not able to write the log file. If that is the case, additional information may be able to be obtained from the Console:
Applications - Utilities - Console (or use Spotlight Search to find the Console application)
Use the 'Clear display' button to clear out previous console messages. Then try running the installer again and see what is recorded in the console. You can save this information from console. This output may be helpful in addition to the installer log file.
All operating systems:
Forcing the creation of the log file in a specific location:
If the installer is not creating a log file, then you may need to create your own. You can run the installer in command prompt or terminal with a flag to force a log file to be created. You could use a command like the following to do this:
/full/path/to/setup.exe -outputfile "C:\path\to\logfile.log"
./install -outputfile /path/to/logfile.log
As a note, you can drag the installer into command prompt or terminal and command prompt will automatically populate the path of the installer for you. When defining where the log file will go, make sure it is a directory that you have write permissions. You may need to run command prompt as administrator (Windows) or the installer as sudo (Linux/Mac) in order to do this.
To retrieve the network license manager log file check the following locations:
Default $MATLAB\FNP_DIR\debug.log
Path specified in LMTOOLS

More Answers (5)

Ali Awais Farhat
Ali Awais Farhat on 18 May 2017
I was using the student version and the MATLAB was activated on two machines. I deactivated one and tried installing again. And it worked.


Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 5 Jan 2018
Student license can only be activated on one machine at a time, and there is a limit of about 4 times per year that they can be switched between machines. If you need to regularly run a student license on more than one machine then your options are:
  1. use MATLAB Online instead; or
  2. buy more than one license; or
  3. activate on only one machine that you own, and when you are away from it, use a program such as Go To My Pc, or Teamviewer, to connect to the one machine remotely; or
  4. if you are at a university that is providing licenses to students under the Total Academic Headcount (TAH) license, then those licenses are considered Academic licenses and are authorized to be activated on two machines at the same time

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MDSAIF ALAM on 18 Nov 2017
I'm using a free trial but don't insrall why?

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Shoumei on 27 May 2019
It's easy to open temp directory with folliwing command.


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