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Documentation & User Guides | Fotoware

Performing an offline activation (legacy)

How to perform an offline activation of Fotoware software in environments where the server or client does not have internet access.


Note: The Fotoware Application Activation Wizard has been superseded by the fwlicensetool for managing activations. For information on how to obtain this tool and use it to manage software activation from the command prompt, see Command line activation of Fotoware applications using fwlicensetool.

Offline activation procedure

Fotoware software uses an activation system that relies on a working internet connection to function properly. However, if your system is behind a restrictive firewall or has limited connectivity for other reasons, there is a manual activation procedure to allow you to activate and run the software even in such environments.

Tip: To manually start the activation wizard, hit Start | Run fwappactwiz and press Enter.

Offline activation 1 - Select Offline activation.PNG

Steps to perform an offline activation

The offline activation procedure only becomes available if the Fotoware Activation Assistant fails to connect to the internet. When this happens, you get the option of manually performing the activation offline.

From a technical point of view, the manual activation procedure works just like the online activation procedure.

1. Create an activation request file. This file contains a binary “fingerprint” of the computer where you want to activate the software.

Offline activation 2 - Create request file.PNG

This file is created when you select Create Request File in the Activation Assistant. The file must then be copied to a computer with a working internet connection, for example, using a USB memory stick.

Offline activation 3 - Store fingerprint file on desktop.PNG

2. Using a computer with an Internet connection, go to (external link).

3. Log in to the Customer Portal to access the activation reset tool

Upload activate request file.png

3. Select Browse to locate the activation request file and select Submit.

4. Fotoware will process the file and return the Activation Response File directly in your browser. This file is only valid for activating the software on the machine where you originally created the fingerprint file.


5. Copy the Activation Response file to the machine where the software should be activated. From here, the procedure differs based on whether you have a Windows or a Mac system

Offline activation 6 - Save Activation response file and move it to computer for activation.PNG


Note: The activation response file (file extension .fwar) should be 2KB or more in size. If it's only 1KB, it typically means that the offline activation request failed. In that case, repeat steps 2-5 until you get a response file back that is larger. A 1KB activation response file will fail to activate the software when proceeding to point 6 above.


Having copied the file to, for example, the desktop, double-click the file to activate the software.

Offline activation 7 - Doubleclick activation response file to activate.PNG


1. Open the Applications folder.
2. Right-click on the FotoStation application icon and choose Show Package Contents.
3. Expand the Contents folder and then expand the MacOS folder.
4. Start the Terminal application.
5. Drag the Fotoware-Activation-Assistant into the Terminal window.
6. Drag the Activation Response file from Fotoware into the terminal.


This should produce this syntax in the Terminal window: (The path to and name of the Activation Response file may differ based on where you have stored it):

/Applications/ /Users/oaf/Desktop/Activation-response.fwar

7. Press Enter / Return to execute the command and activate the software.

 If, when following the above procedure for Mac, you receive an error message saying that the file is already open, perform the offline activation as follows:

1. Start the Terminal application.
2. Enter

cd /Applications/

3. Press Enter

4. Type 

./FotoWare-Activation-Assistant /Users/username/Response.fwar

(replace /Users/username/response.fwar with the path and filename of the activation response file) and select Enter.

This should complete the activation and allow you to run your Fotoware software.

What if offline activation fails?

Read about troubleshooting offline activation.

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