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Why not computer host activation in iLok?


New Member

Am I the only one extremely frustrated with not being able to activate my UADx plugins with the computer host function in iLok? It means that I either have to have an internet connection at all times or need to use the iLok USB. For me as a traveling musician this is very inconvenient. I want to have access to my plugins without any external factors such as an internet connection or extra USB:s when traveling with my laptop. This is the first time in 10 years I have had such a problem. I thought we had moved past this in 2023...

I first thought this issue would be resolved if I purchased the plugins instead of paying for the Spark subscription, but I found out it didn't. Should have done some more research before I purchased all those plugins lol. I think it makes a bit more sense for the subscription to be internet dependent but I think we should be able to use computer host activation if we have purchased an actual license for a plugin.



Venerated Member
since i´m not a traveling musician, and only work stationary at one place, i dont mind using the physical usb dongle.
But i dont use the cloud service at all, i´m not a fan of it.
i do very much understand, that for a travelling musician, a machine based authorisation would work so much better, so i give also +100 on that idea

from a technical reason, i dont know if its a difference in terms of security, if the ilok authorisation service is machine based, USB or cloud and what was the reason behinds UA decision to not allow machine based authorisation

i encourage you that you should feedback your request to UA directly, as posting it on the forum wont make a difference at all, and everyone that wishes the same, should also raise the feedback :)
Last edited:


Venerated Member
I’m with you. I have an iLok usb but begrudgingly have been using cloud for UADx because I don’t want to have to deal with a dongle let alone a usb hub/dock when I’m on the move.

All my other iLok authorized plugins offer machine authorization (Softube, soundtoys, eventide, liquidsonics, melodyne) so I’ve been leaning more on those and using UADx sparingly.


Hall of Fame Member
I think most of here would like mach auth, but it doesn’t seem that it’ll be happening anytime soon.
Hit the feedback button.


Venerated Member
UAD and UADx are both hardware dependent except UADx hardware is tiny/portable.

Joe Porto

Hall of Fame Member
I believe this is in the works. According to Luna 1.5 release notes, new Luna license registrations will include 3 licenses and machine license option with existing licenses being updated in the future. I assume UA plan to do this with all iLok licenses, as it would make no sense not to be consistent across all iLok licenses.

Version 1.5.0
November 9, 2023

Download This Version

  • Host Computer Licensing
    • As of November 9th (with LUNA 1.5), new LUNA licenses support three simultaneous iLok USB and host computer authorization locations.
    • Existing LUNA license locations are unchanged, but will transition over the next several months.


Active Member
I believe that UA is just doing its best to prevent piracy by only allowing cloud/dongle iLok authorization for plugins. Opening things up for LUNA makes sense since it is free and they want to increase the adoption rate. I know this may be a touchy subject but I've seen countless plugs from other developers "unlocked" as soon as they made machine authorizations an option. It is a shame that this affects honest customers but I understand it from UA's standpoint if this is a factor in protecting their bottom line. If there is a technical/management reason for the limitation I would certainly like to know why since many other developers offer the option.


Active Member
I have problem with USB connections (number), I use only in 2 rooms, but I have a lot of problem with cloud, when I pass from a machine to another, connect doesn't authorize plugins in automatic, but projects open and work WITHOUT alert me about plugs "bypassed" because not activated. A stable way would be real cool...


New Member
Ok so you get two activations, after spending lots and lots of money on plugins and hardware. Now you want to sit in the studio and work on something on the Mac, then you want to work on your laptop in the living room. And now your session on the MacBook has all UADx plugins dissalbled. You have to move your iLok Cloud session, and restart the daw to activate the plugins. You do this, then later you figure you should go and work on your other project, just because you can. Nah, wrong! Now your plugins have been disabled over there. You have to go through the whole restart your DAW again. But wait I have two licenses... two! One for the Mac and one for the MacBook. Even if I want to get another license for one of the plugins, it will only allow me to put it on a stick. But a stick takes a USB port, no... a full Thunderbolt 4 port on my laptop. I get it that UAD is concerned about piracy, but I feel that I am not getting what I am paying for here. I don't want iLok dongle. I like having no keys. It's 2024 man! Steven Slate has no issue with machine activation. Come on UAD! Time to budge. We are paying our share. And it ain't little.


Established Member
I love the dongle, so does my girlfriend.
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