Chief Architect Software Lock Security

Reference Number: KB-00937
Last Modified: September 26, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How does the security system work with Chief Architect?


If your Chief Architect implements security through software lock security, a license of Chief Architect can only be active on one computer at any given time.  

If you have been running the software on one computer and wish to run it on a different computer, you must deactivate your license on the first computer.

Please refer to the video below or the written instructions for more information on how to deactivate your license.

To deactivate a Chief Architect license

  1. Launch Chief Architect on the computer where your license is active.  

  2. Select Help> Manage License from the menu.  

  3. A message will confirm that you wish to deactivate the license. Click Yes

  4. The software will then close signaling it was deactivated successfully.

Starting in Chief Architect X6, you can also manage your activations in your Digital Locker.

To manage activations online

  1. On the Chief Architect website, click on the My Account link and sign in to your Account using your e-mail address and password.

  2. Click on Digital Locker: Downloads, Product Keys & License Management, locate your license, and select the In Use link under the License Usage column for your license.

  3. Click on the Make Available button to deactivate the license so it can be used on another system.


  • The Software Lock security is the default security with Chief Architect X2 and newer products, and provides easy portability between multiple computers. An internet connection is required for all activation actions, including periodic validation.

  • In Chief Architect X5 and prior versions, an Emergency Transfer Password option did exist for the case where you were unable to successfully Deactivate the current Activated license; such as in the case of a hard drive failure. This Emergency Transfer Password can be used up to 3 times for any given license. A fee may be required if more transfers are needed. 

    You were issued an Emergency Transfer Password upon successful activation of Chief Architect for the first time. Be sure to record this Emergency Transfer Password for future reference. 

  • USB Hardware Lock security is discontinued for X10, Home Designer 2019 and newer products. Replacement USB Hardware locks for legacy products are no longer available. 

  • Information on all security options can be found here.