Multi-User License Management Guide for License Holders & Administrators

Manage your licenses, seats, and users quickly and easily.

We have collected some of the most common questions about the License Management system and recommend this compilation highly to administrators and users alike (documentation in progress).

  1. Introduction to the ATLAS.ti licensing model
  2. Purchasing a License
  3. Creating an Organization Account
  4. Activating the License
  5. Sharing the License
  6. Installing the Software
  7. Using Your Shared License
  8. Managing Users (for Administrators)
  9. Additional Licenses
  10. Resellers

Introduction to the ATLAS.ti licensing model

The ATLAS.ti licensing model is flexible and gives you as a customer the opportunity to optimally utilize your ATLAS.ti licenses. With few exceptions, ATLAS.ti licenses are per-seat licenses. This means that only users that are using ATLAS.ti at any given moment count as active users and occupy a seat.

For the purpose of this document, we use the term organization regardless of its size; this can be a small team of 3-4 people, or an entire university campus.

The administrator is the user who administers the ATLAS.ti licenses and assigns them to end-users.

The user is the end-user, typically an employee, team member, faculty member, or student.

On this page, we will help you, the license administrator, with some of the most common tasks.

Purchasing a License

It is not always the license administrator that purchases the license. Some organizations may have a special department that is responsible for purchases, but after the purchase is complete, the administrator takes care of the actual administration of the license. Other organizations may purchase license trough a designated reseller.

  • If you, the administrator, or your purchasing department are conducting the license purchase, just go to the ATLAS.ti web shop and purchase the license as you normally would. You will receive a license key in the confirmation email from the web shop.
  • If you purchase trough a reseller, the reseller will send you the license key (see below).
  • If you have a subscription license and qualify for a free upgrade from a previous version, you will receive the license key directly from ATLAS.ti per email.

With the license key in hand, proceed to create your organization account (see next step).

Creating an Organization Account

To use ATLAS.ti 22 and ATLAS.ti Web, you need an ATLAS.ti Account. This is true for both administrators and end users.

An organization account is no different than a normal ATLAS.ti account, except that the intent with the account is to manage and share the organization's ATLAS.ti licenses with end users in the organization.

Here are some tips for creating an organization account:

  • Do not use your personal email address. You may change job and your colleagues will not be able to access the account anymore. Create and use some generic email address, such as [email protected] or [email protected]
  • As the email address will need to be validated, you man need help from your IT department to ensure that you can receive the email sent to it.
  • Name the account something descriptive, as the end users will see this name.
  • Use a strong password, as anybody with access to this account can otherwise block the end users from accessing ATLAS.ti.

To create the organization account, go to and register as a new user.

If you already have an account and have opted to be automatically logged in, you may need to logout first and then register the new organization account.

Activating the License

Now, when you have your organization account and your license key, you can activate it. Activating the license key makes the license available under your organization.

To activate the license, type/paste the license key you received when you purchased the license and confirm that you want to activate it.

Keep a few things in mind:

  • Once activated, the license is bound to this account and cannot be transferred to another account . Therefore, ensure that you are logged in with the correct account, not, for example, with a private ATLAS.ti account. (Under exceptional circumstances, ATLAS.ti support can revoke the existing license and generate a new license key for you, which you can activate under a different account.)
  • When you invite end users into your organization (next step), they will be able to see and use all licenses in that the organization has.
  • If you have a complex organization with, for example, multiple departments, and each department will need different policies as to who has access to which license, create several ATLAS.ti organizational accounts. Then purchase a license per department.
  • If you have a campus license and have several accounts (as described above), contact ATLAS.ti Support to receive a license key for each account.
  • If your license is time limited, the expiration is always relative to the purchase date, not the activation date. That means that if you have a one-year license and you wait six months before activating it, you will only have six useful months left on this license.
  • If you have a subscription license, once entered in the system, renewal of the subscription will happen automatically--there is no need for any action from your side.

Sharing the License

Once your organization is registered, and the license is activated, you can start sharing it with users in your organization.

Each organization has an invite key , which is a secret key that gives access to your organization. People who know this key can join your organization and use your ATLAS.ti licenses. You find that key in your account.

If your organization is small, you can just email the invite key to each member , or you can print it out and post it on your bulletin board. For larger organizations, you can, for example, share this key together with information on how to use it (next step) on your organization's intranet.

Together with the invite key, we provide an invite URL. This is very similar to the invite key, except what when clicked, it takes the user directly to and enters the key for the user, making things much simpler. The invite URL is also easier to integrate in a larger organization's intranet or other IT systems.

Keep in mind that the invite key is very similar to an ATLAS.ti version 8 license key. Anyone who has the key can join your organization and use your ATLAS.ti licenses. Therefore, do not share the key with people outside your organization. In fact, we recommend generating a new key on regular intervals. This will invalidate the old invite keys in case they have been compromised. Users who have already joined the organization will stay unaffected.

Installing the Software

Before the end users can use the software, the desktop software (Windows or Mac) must be installed. ATLAS.ti Cloud needs no installation, only a compatible browser.

In larger organizations, you as the administrator should download the installer from the ATLAS.ti portal, The installer can be given to the organization's IT administrator to have it installed on the organization's computers. No license-related configuration is required. - If you need to deploy ATLAS.ti for multiple computers at once (e.g., in a computer lab), you can request an .msi installer from our Support Team We also plan to make this .msi file available in your account.

In smaller organizations, the end users who have access to your license can also directly download the installers for the desktop apps and install on their computers.

Only software for which you have license is available for download . If you have only ATLAS.ti Cloud licenses, then the desktop software will not be available for download.

Once installed, the software will automatically update itself as new updates are released (after confirmation from the user). In larger organizations, the IT administrator may need to install the updates, as the end users may not have the necessary permissions.

Using Your Shared License

The following instructions are for end users- e.g., employees, organization members, students-who want to use theorganization's license. It is assumed that the software is already installed (see above) and that the invite key or invite URL has been given to the users (see above).

  • The user navigates to and registers as a new user. If the user already has an ATLAS.ti account, they can use their existing account.
  • The user then enters the invite key to join your organization.
  • Alternative: If the user uses the invite URL , the process is similar, except that they do not need to enter the portal URL nor the invite key, they are included in the URL. This makes things simpler and very convenient.

Once the user has joined your organization, they can start ATLAS.ti Cloud or the desktop version, login with their account and use the organization's licenses. In the portal, they can also see the licenses that are shared with them; however, only some basic information is shown to the user (information such as the total number of seats, other users in the organizations etc. are not available to the user, but only to the administrator).

There is no limit on how many users can join your organization. But there is a limit on how many users may simultaneously use your licenses, as stipulated by the license.

Managing Users (for Administrators)

This step is optional but recommended:

In your account, you can see the users that have used the invite key and joined your organization. If a user leaves your organization, you will wanmt to block their access to your licenses. When you deactivate the user, even if they have an invite key, they can no longer use the organization's licenses.

Be aware that a user can create a new ATLAS.ti account at any time, and if they know the invite key, they can re-join your organization. Therefore, change the invite key at regular intervals, and deactivate users who are no longer part of the organization.

Under "users," you can also see in your account which users are currently active and occupy a license seat. Normally, the user will occupy a license as long as their ATLAS.ti application is open. Therefore, we recommend that users close the ATLAS.ti application before a long absence from the computer (e.g., vacation).

Should the application crash, the license portal will not notice and will still consider the user to be using the system and therefore occupying a license. However, the system does regularly check if the app is still active. If it has crashed and is not responding, after a few hours the license portal will automatically release the occupied seat.

Additional Licenses

If your organization has exhausted the available license seats, it is possible to purchase additional license seats by purchasing additional licenses.

Purchasing additional licenses is similar to how you purchased your initial license: Once you have the license key for the new license, open the license portal, type your new license key and activate it.

Once the license is activated, the seats from all your licenses are aggregated. For example, if you have a 20-user license, a 10-user license and a 5-user license, 35 simultaneous license seats will be available in your organization.

If you have multiple ATLAS.ti accounts, be sure that you are logged in with the correct account!

Be aware of the following:

  • If your licenses have expiration dates, they will still apply individually, even in an accumulated setting. Let's say you have a 20-user license expiring 12-31-2021 and a 10-user license expiring 06-30-2022, you will have 30 seats until the end of 2021 and then 10 seats until the end of June 2022.
  • Be aware that the new license that you add are compatible with the existing license. For example, if you have commercial license, you should purchase additional commercial licenses and not educational or governmental licenses. Currently the system does not check if you try to mix incompatible license types - it is the administrator's responsibility to ensure that the organization is entitled to use activated licenses. Our posted license terms and conditions apply.


The following instructions are for ATLAS.ti resellers. If you are a reseller, please read and follow the instructions. - If you buy from a reseller, please bring this information to the reseller's attention:

  • If you are an ATLAS.ti reseller, you do not need an ATLAS.ti account in the online portal. Simply purchase licenses from the shop.
  • Once the purchase is complete, do not activate that license key yourself. Instead, forward the key and the purchase confirmation mail to the customer. It is the customer who will create an ATLAS.ti account and activate the key under their account.
  • If the license is time limited, the expiration date if the license is set relative to the time of purchase, not the time of activation. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you forward the license key to the customer in a timely manner.