Message: System security bypassed or malfunctioning.

Reference Number: KB-00249
Last Modified: July 16, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


When I try to run Chief Architect, a warning message says: "System security bypassed or malfunctioning. Exit system immediately. Do not save any files". And when I click OK, the program closes.

Why is this happening?


Chief Architect uses license security which places limits on how many times the software can be launched simultaneously. There are a couple of different security options available - which one you have will determine how this issue can be resolved.

To prevent your plan or layout files from becoming locked and inaccessible, do not try to work in them or save them until this issue is resolved.

Before continuing, first check to ensure that you're running the most current build available for your software by selecting Help> Download Program Updates. If an update is available, download and install it, then restart your computer. Once the system reboots, test to see whether or not the issue is resolved. If the error persists, then continue with the troubleshooting instructions below.

Hardware Lock Security

If your license of Chief Architect uses Hardware Lock Security, this error indicates a possible problem with your USB hardware lock, or possibly the port that it's plugged in to. To resolve this issue, you can try these steps:

  • Make sure your hardware lock is securely seated in the USB port.
  • Update or reinstall your hardware lock drivers.
  • Try a different USB port on your computer.

If the problem continues, please see the "Troubleshooting Hardware Lock Issues" resource in the Related Articles section below. If your hardware lock is found to be failing or broken, you will need to switch to Software Lock Security as hardware locks are no longer offered.

Software Lock Security

If your license of Chief Architect uses Software Lock Security, this error indicates a problem with the license you're attempting to use. To resolve this issue, please contact us with your proof of purchase and valid Product Key.

This error has been associated with copies of the software downloaded from unreliable sources. If you feel that this could be the case, we recommend that you uninstall the software immediately and perform an in-depth virus scan on your system.