Archicad License Types

This page explains the different types of Archicad Licenses, including Demo Mode.

Commercial License

To run the commercial license of Archicad in full mode, you need either a hardware key (CodeMeter) or a software key.

If you purchased a single copy of Archicad, you received a “single license” key. If you purchased multiple licenses of Archicad, you received a “NET” key which holds all your licenses.

Full License

With a full license, you can use the fully functional Graphisoft product with unlimited usage. You will also be able to run older versions with some technical limitations.

For more details, see Archicad Protection Key Compatibility.

Rental License (Selected Markets Only)

With the rental option, you can buy a license for a certain time period, such as one month. During the purchased time period, you can use Archicad without any limitation - e.g. running multiple sessions all day.

The service period starts on the order date (the user gets 5 extra days that cover the delivery time of the physical key).

When starting up Archicad, a dialog box will let you know how many days remain available on your rental license. You can also check this number at Help > License information.

Demo Mode

Demo Mode gives you full functionality except file saving and Teamwork. Use Demo mode to open, view and try out functions using any Archicad file.

The unavailable commands and menu items are disabled, and the Archicad title bar changes to Archicad Demo.

Your Archicad program may also be restricted to Demo mode for the following reasons:

no key is attached to your computer, or

all of your Archicad licenses are in use, or

your hardware protection key is defective, or

CodeMeter service is not running.

Education License

The Education license is available if you are a student, teacher or contact person at an educational institution.

A serial number can be obtained by registering at The first step of registration gives you a temporary serial number and a download link immediately. This temporary serial number is valid for 30 days.

After you register, the credentials you provided go through an approval stage, after which Graphisoft’s local representative sends you a final serial number valid for 1 year. When the 1 year license expires, you can renew it free of charge.

File Format and Compatibility

EDU and commercial project files have the same file format (.PLN), but EDU files have an irremovable watermark at the top right corner. This watermark will be present on all printouts.

EDU project files (including shared Teamwork projects) can be opened with a commercial version of Archicad. In this case, Archicad switches to EDU mode and the watermark will be present.

Commercial project files can be opened with an EDU version of Archicad. The watermark is added, and cannot be removed.

Note: Teamwork Projects shared in the commercial version cannot be joined by users having the Education version.

Apart from ‘Open’, no other data exchange (e.g. copy, paste, merge, hotlink) is allowed between EDU and commercial project files.

If your serial number is that of an individual student rather than an educational institution, you will not have the option to create a custom Installation Package.

Trial License

Use the Trial License to try out the full functionality of Archicad for up to 30 days, on a single computer.

The trial license requires a serial number, which can be obtained by registering at

File Format and Compatibility

Files written in the trial version are encrypted and can only be opened with the same copy of Archicad, on the computer on which they were created.

Trial projects shared in Teamwork: You can try out Teamwork functionality if you share and access the Trial-version project on the same computer on which the Trial version is installed. (The BIMcloud can be running on another computer.)

The trial license cannot back-save files to any older version of Archicad.

At the end of the 30 days, if the files are not converted to full commercial files, the save function is disabled, but it is still possible to print.

The files can be converted to full files by purchasing a commercial license. You must open the files, using the commercial license, on the same computer on which they were written.


Time Limit?

Save files?

Open file?





Open and view any full-version Archicad file



30 days

Save as Trial version, on same computer only

Open Trial version file, on same computer only

Open commercial file, but the file will be converted to Trial version

Yes, for TW projects shared in Trial version, on same computer only


30 days initially, one additional year after approval (renewable)

Save as EDU version only: Permanent watermark appears on all output

Open commercial file with EDU (watermark appears)

Open EDU file with commercial (watermark appears)

Yes, for TW projects shared in EDU

Read More

Related Topics

Resolving Issues with Serial Numbers