This manual refers to an old version of CodeTwo Backup. Go here if you use the latest version.


The licensing of CodeTwo Backup is based on an annual subscription model. When the 12-month subscription period is over, you need to renew your subscription to continue running existing backup jobs and to create new backups. However, you will be able to restore the backed-up data even if your subscription has expired.

Below, you will find answers to the most common questions related to the licensing of CodeTwo Backup.

Trial version

For information on the trial version, see this article.

All license-related functions and information are available in the Licensing window (Fig. 1.), accessed through the program's Administration Panel by clicking the Licensing link on Help card, on the Dashboard tab.

Backup licensing window
Fig. 1. The Licensing window in CodeTwo Backup.


The program's licensing service requires an internet connection to retrieve information regarding your license. 

How can I get the license key?

To get the license key, you need to place an order on our website. You can also access the order form directly from the program (Fig. 2.):

  • by clicking the Buy a full version link on the Dashboard tab, on the Help card,
  • by clicking the Buy button located in the Licensing window.

Backup how to buy license key
Fig. 2. Accessing the license order form from the program's user interface.

Detailed pricing information is available on the product pages: CodeTwo Backup for Office 365 and CodeTwo Backup Exchange.

The subscription includes free upgrades, updates and patches, and full technical support.

How do I activate the program?

Once your order is completed, you will receive a product license key that will upgrade the program from the trial version to the full version. To activate CodeTwo Backup, open the Licensing window (see Fig. 1. above), click the Activate button, paste your license key in the field provided, and click Activate again. For detailed instructions on how to activate the program, follow this link.


The machine on which CodeTwo Backup is installed needs to be connected to the Internet in order to activate the program.

Can I use one license key on multiple instances of the program?

Yes, you can install CodeTwo Backup on as many machines as you want and use the same license key to activate each instance of the program. Once activated, each instance is distinguished separately by the licensing service. This means that in case the same object is backed up in multiple instances of the program, each instance will consume the adequate number of licenses for that object. Read more about the license usage below.

How can I check the number of available licenses?

You can check how many licenses you own, and how many have already been used in the Licensing window (see Fig. 1. above) under Number of licenses. For more detailed information, click the License usage button to open the License usage window (Fig. 3.).

Backup license usage window
Fig. 3. Accessing the detailed license usage statistics.

This window allows you to check how many licenses are consumed to back up Exchange mailboxes, Public Folders and SharePoint data in the current and other instances of the program. 

How many licenses do I need?

You need to purchase a license pack that covers all the data (mailboxes, public folders, and SharePoint data) from your organization that you want to back up. Keep in mind that:

  • mailboxes (hosted on on-premises Exchange servers or Office 365) consume 1 license per backed up mailbox, regardless of the mailbox size and the number of items located in that mailbox. Licenses are sold individually and are assigned automatically to each source mailbox that is selected for backup as soon as the backup job starts. 
  • public folders use 1 license per 2 GB of data backed up on one program instance. For example, you need 3 licenses to back up 5.6 GB of the public folder data that can be spread across multiple source environments (on-prem and Office 365). Licenses are consumed based on the size of the public folder data on the source server. License usage for public folders is shown as a decimal number that will increase or decrease proportionally to the amount of data being backed up. 
  • SharePoint data consumes 1 license per 10 GB of data backed up on one program instance. For example, you need 6 licenses to back up 56 GB of the SharePoint data that can be spread across multiple source environments (on-prem and Office 365). Licenses are consumed based on the size of the SharePoint data on the source server.  License usage for SharePoint data is shown as a decimal number that will increase or decrease proportionally to the amount of data being backed up. 


If the same (from the same source environment) mailboxes or public folder and SharePoint data are being backed up on multiple instances of the program, the licenses are consumed for each instance separately.

CodeTwo Backup performs incremental backups, which means a full back up is performed only once. All successive backup cycles will only back up new items or those items that have been modified since the last cycle (read more about the backup model). Modified items are backed up as new versions of such items. The size of all subsequent versions of the same item created by the program doesn't count to the overall size of data subject to licensing. However, if versioning is enabled in SharePoint for list and libraries, each version of the items counts independently.

I want to reassign licenses to different mailboxes. Is it possible?

You can release licenses taken up by mailboxes and reuse them to back up other data. However, you can release a license not earlier than 30 days after it has been assigned.


Before you attempt to release licenses from any mailboxes, remove these mailboxes from all backup jobs. Otherwise, once these backup jobs are started, the program will automatically re-assign available licenses to these mailboxes. If that happens, you will need to wait at least 30 days before you can release licenses from these mailboxes again. 

To release a license, go to Licensing > License usage (see Fig. 3. above) and click the Mailboxes licensing details button. This will open the Mailboxes licensing details window. In this window, you can either release licenses from individual mailboxes that are backed up by the currently running instance of the program, or you can release all available licenses from other instances of CodeTwo Backup in your organization. 

  • Releasing licenses assigned to mailboxes in the current instance of CodeTwo Backup

Select a mailbox for which you want to release the license and click the Release license button (Fig. 4a). The button will appear as grayed out if the period of 30 days hasn't yet passed (check the Licensed on date). You can only select one mailbox at a time.

  • Releasing available licenses assigned to mailboxes in other instances of CodeTwo Backup

Click the Release other licenses button at the bottom of the window (Fig. 4b) to release all licenses assigned not earlier than 30 days ago to mailboxes in other instances of the program. The button will appear as grayed out if there are no licenses available in other instances of the program (either because the period of 30 days hasn't yet passed or because no licenses were assigned in other instances of CodeTwo Backup). 

Backup Mailboxes licensing details window
Fig. 4. Releasing licenses from mailboxes in CodeTwo Backup.

Is it possible to release licenses consumed by public folders or SharePoint data? 

Licenses assigned to public folders or SharePoint data are released automatically for the data that hasn't been backed up for 30 days. The applied license release mechanism calculates how many licenses can be released based on the maximum amount of the public folders or SharePoint data that was actually backed up within the current 30-day period (or time window). In other words, if the program consumes more licenses than are actually needed, the excess licenses will be released. This will happen if during a 30-day time window:

  • the size of backed up public folders or SharePoint sites was reduced on the source server,
  • some public folders or SharePoint sites were removed from backup jobs (assuming that this also reduces the overall size of backed up data),
  • backup jobs that include public folders or SharePoint data were not active.

If no public folders or SharePoint data is being backed up for 30 days, all licenses assigned to back up these objects will be released.


The program backed up 8 GB of public folders data, which consumed 4 licenses (2 GB of data per license). During the next 30 days, the maximum size of public folders being backed up in subsequent backup cycles was 6 GB, which would consume only 3 licenses. This means the program will release 1, unused license. The graph below (Fig. 5.) shows two 30-day time windows that indicate how many licenses are used by the program during:

  • the 1st time window (blue dashed line): 4 licenses,
  • the 2nd time window (green dashed line): 3 licenses.

Backup - release licenses mechanism
Fig. 5. Time windows used in the license release mechanism.


Licenses assigned to public folders or SharePoint data are counted, assigned and released separately.

Do I have to renew the license annually?

If you want to continue backing up your data, then the answer is yes. CodeTwo Backup license keys are sold on an annual subscription basis and are valid for 12 months from the date of the first activation of the program. 

What happens if I do not renew the license after it expired?

Once the annual subscription expires, you will not be able to continue running the existing backup jobs or create new backups until renewing the subscription. However, you will still be able to restore the backed-up data or run archive jobs. 

I renewed my subscription. Do I have to reinstall the program or use any other installer to activate it?

No, you can continue using the same instance of CodeTwo Backup after purchasing a subscription renewal. Once your license is renewed, the program should be fully functional within 1 hour. To speed up the renewal process, you can re-activate the license manually in the program by using your license key (visible in the Licensing window, as shown in Fig. 1. above). When you renew your license key for the same or higher number of licenses, the licensing service will automatically assign licenses to the same objects.

How can I extend my license key to backup mailboxes for additional users or back up more data?

If the number of licenses is insufficient to backup all your data, you can purchase additional licenses at any time. These licenses will be assigned automatically to your existing product license key (the one you received with your first order).


When adding licenses to an existing subscription, the subscription period remains unchanged. The price for the additional licenses is prorated.

To buy additional licenses, please go to the order form.

My annual subscription has expired. Is it possible to renew it for fewer mailboxes or less data than in my previous order?

Yes, you can renew the license for fewer mailboxes and fewer data. Place your order and activate the program using the same license key.


If you renew your license key for a lower number of licenses, the license usage will be reset. During the next backup cycle, or when you start a backup job manually, unused licenses will be automatically consumed by objects (mailboxes or public folders / SharePoint data) included in the active backup jobs. The licenses are assigned in the same order in which these objects start being backed up in the program. If necessary, before renewing your subscription either make sure that there are no backup jobs scheduled to start or remove unnecessary objects from these jobs. 

Do I need to be connected to the Internet even if I'm backing up my on-premises data?

Yes, the internet connection is necessary to verify the program's license status and to back up any type of data. The program uses a mechanism that keeps you secured against temporary internet connection issues or licensing service downtime. However, when the maximum offline working time is reached or exceeded, you will not be able to run any backup jobs at all until the internet connection is restored.

See also

Trial version - this article describes how the trial version works.
Activation - this article describes the activation procedure of the program.
License Agreement - this article contains the terms and conditions of using CodeTwo software.

In this article

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