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.

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.

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

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.

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. The information about license usage is shared between all instances, which means that if the same object is being backed up in multiple instances of the program, licenses for that object are consumed only once. 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), next to Number of licenses. To check specific users to which the licenses are assigned, click the Release licenses button to open the Licensing details window (Fig. 3.). Users shown as Unknown are users licensed in other instances of the program.

Backup licensing details window
Fig. 3. The detailed license usage information.

You can also use this window to release the licenses that are currently in use. Click here for more information.

How many licenses do I need?

CodeTwo Backup is licensed on a per-user basis. To back up a specific object (mailboxes, public folders, site collections), you need to purchase a license pack that covers all the users from your organization that have access to that object. Follow the links below to learn how many licenses you need to back up:


If all users in your organization are licensed, you don’t need to purchase any additional licenses to back up other shared Exchange, SharePoint or OneDrive for Business contents, regardless of their size. One user can be assigned only one license, regardless of the number of jobs in which that user is included.

You also don't need to purchase CodeTwo Backup licenses for users with whom you share your resources, such as SharePoint data, if such users:

  • are not assigned a Microsoft 365 license,
  • are external (people from outside your organization).

Exchange mailboxes

CodeTwo Backup allows you to back up different types of mailboxes. The number of necessary licenses depends on the type of the mailbox you want to back up:

  • User mailboxes consume 1 license per user. To back up 50 user mailboxes, you need to purchase 50 licenses. 
  • Office 365 group mailboxes are mailboxes connected to Office 365 groups. To back up such mailboxes, you need to assign licenses to all members of the related Office 365 group. Licenses are not consumed for group owners. For example, if you want to back up an Office 365 group mailbox that has 10 members + 2 owners, you need to purchase 10 licenses. However, if you have already assigned licenses to all members of that group (e.g. to back up their mailboxes), no additional licenses will be consumed to back up that mailbox (plus, you can also back up SharePoint team site connected to that group).
  • Shared mailboxes and resource mailboxes (room and equipment) don't require CodeTwo Backup licenses as long as they are not assigned an Exchange Online license (e.g. to increase their storage limit). If an Exchange Online license is assigned to a shared or resource mailbox during the backup, this mailbox will be treated as a user mailbox and the program will consume 1 license.
  • Site mailboxes don't require licenses. 

In addition, Archive mailboxes are backed up together with mailboxes for which they are enabled. You don't need additional licenses to back them up. For example, to back up an archive mailbox enabled for a user mailbox, you need 1 license (required by the user mailbox).

Disabled mailboxes (including Office 365 user mailboxes that are not assigned an Exchange Online license) are not supported.

Public folders

Each folder you intend to back up consumes as many licenses as many users can create, edit or delete items in that folder. For example, if there are 100 users in your organization that can access a specific folder, but only 40 of them can modify the folder’s contents, CodeTwo Backup will use up 40 licenses to back up that folder. However, if among these 40 users 35 are already licensed (e.g. you are backing up their mailboxes), the program will only use up additional 5 licenses instead. The size of public folders being backed up has no impact on the number of consumed licenses.

SharePoint site collections

To back up classic SharePoint site collections, sites or subsites, i.e. sites that are not connected to Office 365 groups, you need to purchase licenses for all users that can modify the contents of such sites. For example, if there are 100 users in your organization, 80 of whom have a read-only access to a given site and the remaining 20 can either create, edit or delete its contents, CodeTwo Backup will use 20 licenses to back up that site. However, if you have already assigned licenses to these 20 users (e.g. to back up their mailboxes), no additional licenses will be consumed to back up that SharePoint site. The size of your classic SharePoint sites has no impact on the number of consumed licenses.

SharePoint team sites (Office 365)

The same principles apply as for Office 365 group mailboxes – to back up team sites, you need to assign licenses to all members of the Office 365 group to which that team site is connected. The size of your team sites has no impact on the number of consumed licenses. Once you assign licenses to these users, you can back up both the SharePoint team site as well as the Office 365 group mailbox to which the site is connected.

OneDrive for Business (Office 365)

The same principles apply as for user mailboxes – once you assign a license to a single user, you can back up the data of that user’s mailbox and OneDrive for Business site.

When are licenses consumed?

Licenses are consumed once you start a backup job for the first time. The program will back up only those objects (mailboxes, public folders, SharePoint sites, etc.) for which you have the required number of licenses. For example, if you have 50 licenses and you add 60 user mailboxes to the backup job, the program will back up only 50 user mailboxes – you will also receive a notification on the Bad news card informing you which mailboxes have not been backed up. Once you purchase the necessary licenses (or release the unused ones) and restart the backup job, the remaining mailboxes will be also backed up.

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

Yes, you can release licenses from users 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 users, remove all objects (mailboxes, public folders, SharePoint sites, etc.) associated with that user from all backup jobs. Otherwise, once these backup jobs are started, the program will automatically re-assign available licenses to these users. If that happens, you will need to wait at least 30 days before you can release licenses from these users again.

To release a license, go to Licensing > Release licenses (see Fig. 3. above), select an user under Licenses in use and click Release license (Fig. 4.). You can release licenses from users to whom these licenses have been assigned by the currently running instance of the program or from users licensed in other instances of CodeTwo Backup (shown as Unknown).

Backup releasing licenses
Fig. 4. Releasing licenses in CodeTwo Backup.

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 users, the licensing service will automatically assign licenses to the same objects.

How can I upgrade my license key for more users?

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 users or less data than in my previous order?

Yes, you can renew the license for fewer users 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. 

While installing the program, I'm getting a message informing me about a new licensing model. What should I do?

We've introduced a new per-user licensing model in version 2.2.x of CodeTwo Backup. You are seeing this message because you are updating or upgrading the program form one of its previous versions. Before you continue with the installation process, we recommend you read this article that explains the differences between the old and new licensing model and troubleshoot any problems you may experience. 

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. In addition, the state of a backup job will be changed to Suspended (waiting for the licensing server).

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

Was this information useful?