Activating Visual Studio 2013 on an Offline Machine


(File this under “I already know that”, but I get asked this question quite frequently..)

Visual Studio 2013 likes to go online every so often to validate that it’s being used by a licensed user.  That’s all well and good, but what if that user is working in a permanently offline environment? 

Fear not.  As an MSDN subscriber, you can download a “static” activation key to use.  Here are the steps:

  • Go to http://msdn.microsoft.com from a computer that has internet access.
  • Click on “MSDN Subscriptions” link toward the top right.
  • Sign into MSDN with a valid MSDN subscriber account (Microsoft Account, formerly Live ID)
  • Click on “My Product Keys”

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  • Scroll down to the VS 2013 edition you have installed.  You should see the term “Static Activation Key.”  That is the key you need to enter into Visual Studio to turn off the internet activation check (which normally runs every 30 days).

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Make a note of that key, and head over to your offline computer.

 

  • Launch Visual Studio 2013
  • Go to Help->Register Product

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  • Click on “License with a Product Key”

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  • Enter the static key you noted from MSDN.

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  • Click Apply, and you should be set!
Comments (2)
  1. Prabhdeep says:

    Thanks a lot for this. In my case IE wont open in visual studio because of some script error. Tried various ways to sign in but to no avail. I never knew about these product keys. Applied the key and voila, it worked. Thanks again.

  2. Sam says:

    MSDN has now removed this option since the launch of 2015. Even these 2013 keys have been removed and replaced with a message saying to 'login' to remain active during your subscription. Offline enabling in VS seems to be no longer possible.

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