License Security

Reference Number: KB-00937
Last Modified: January 14, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


How does the license security system work with Chief Architect and Home Designer products?


If you're using a current version Chief Architect or Home Designer program, your license is using Software Lock Security. This is a security system that uses an internet connection to verify the legitimacy of your license upon activation, including periodic validation every 2 weeks. This allows the license holder to install the program on whatever computers they wish and then run the program on a single computer at a time.

If you'd like to activate and use your license on a different computer, you must first deactivate the license from the currently active computer. Please follow the steps in this article to deactivate your license or see the appropriate resource in the Related Articles section below.

To deactivate a license locally

  1. Launch Chief Architect or Home Designer 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.

To deactivate a license online*

*Applies to Chief Architect X6, Home Designer 2015, and newer program versions.

  1. Navigate to the Chief Architect or Home Designer website, click on the My Account link in the top right corner, and proceed to sign in to your online account using your e-mail address and password.

  2. Click on Digital Locker: Downloads, Product Keys & License Management, and locate your license.

  3. Click on the Make Available button.

  4. Select OK to deactivate the license so it can be used on another system.


  • The Software Lock security is the default security with Chief Architect X2, Home Designer 9.0, 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, Home Designer Pro 2014, 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 or Home Designer Pro for the first time. Be sure to record this Emergency Transfer Password for future reference. 

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