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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-01-2009

3 PC License: Is it really?

[ Edited ]

Hi there


About 6 months ago I purchased a download copy of NIS2011.


I installed and used NIS2011 for around 3 months on my Laptop, then lost the use of the Laptop upon which it was installed.


The Laptop was rebuilt and NIS2011 was reinstalled from the downloaded copy I had saved on another PC.


At the same time I decided to install NIS2011 on the other PC itself as this was going to be used as an Internet Gateway machine - Great!


Last month the Laptop broke down again and I finally got this fixed, at expense, and decided to reinstall NIS2011 the Laptop - All was well.


About a week ago I was required to reinstall NIS2011 on the other PC (now the Internet Gateway) but I was effectively told that no further installs were available and I had to Buy a key.


Concerned, I logged in to my Norton Account with the expectation that I had one licence left (I was under the impression that I could protect up to 3 machines) since I had only installed on 1 PC and 1 Laptop (2 machines), I should have 1 install left; not so, 0 available installs. How come....?


After speaking with Norton support, I was horrified to discover that "Protection for upto 3 PCs" actually means that one can only install a product 3 times, and this is not related to machine.


So, becuase I had Installed on the Laptop, reinstalled on the Laptop and then installed on the PC, all 3 installs has been used even though only 2 machines had been used. Even now, though I run NIS2012 on the Laptop, these Install "Licences" did not reset (despite NIS2011 having been expired and a new version installed) and still showed as NONE on my Norton account. I have since spoken with Support further on this and I have been suitably recompensed for the problem and I can now install a further few times, NIS2012; it's still an install counter though and not a license per machine, but at least I now know what this is all about! So, "Install Licences" appear not to really be "licences" but are actually a COUNT of how many times a product has been installed irrespective of the machine upon which the product was installed.


Thus, 3 installs on a single PC uses 3 "licences" and that the "licence" is not related to a specific PC, person or organisation, this makes it a counter. I do believe that the term "Licenses" (where used) is misleading and should be rephrased as an "Install Count" (or simillar) with an explanation of the difference between "License" and "Install".


Licenses usually apply to a product installed on a PC and are usually related to an individual (or organisation) and not to the number of times the software is installed on a single machine.


If I have to rebuild a PC 3 times in a year because of issues then I would use up all 3 installs, this does not seem fair since I have purchased a 3 "Licence" product, so should be allowed to install this product on a single PC as many times as required.


By way of an example, I can install my "licensed" copy of MSOffice as many times as I like on the same PC without violating the MS agreement (in fact I can actually install it on one PC and a Laptop - if the agreement is read) so why can this not be the case with the Norton product (NIS2012)?


One should be able to intall as many times as one needs to on a single machine. Don't offer "licenses" in preference to a count, if it's a count that you are promoting, make it a proper licence for 3 machines. Regards

Posts: 6,792
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Registered: ‎04-08-2008

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?



when your laptop was "rebuilt"? Did you changed anything in it? CPU, HDD, Memory, Windows OS? When any of these are changed, the machine will not get same generated key as before, and this can cause a wrong detection.

I don't know how the support guy it told you, but the 3 PC license is really a 3 PC lisence. If you install it on the same machine (Windows OS and everything is the same) you can reinstall the product many times without problems.

Windows 8.1 Embedded Industry Pro x64 Hungarian, Norton 360 v21.3.0.12

Regular Contributor
Posts: 325
Registered: ‎07-07-2011

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?

If you have any subscription issues, you can contact Norton support at and they can sort it out for you.

Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-01-2009

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?

Thx PauPaz. Thank you for confirming that it REALLY is a licence. Nothing has changed on the LapTop - try to leave be as best I can. So don't really know what went wrong. Still, support sorted me out in the end, but the guy still believed that it was an install count - I just coudn't get past that one!



Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-01-2009

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?

Cheers DarkSta. I did just that and all is now well. It was all very confusing, as I (since 2006) have believed the PC license to be a true licence, hence my incredulity



Posts: 179
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Registered: ‎11-17-2009

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?

I've had no problems with my 3 user license. That includes uninstalling and reinstalling multiple times (no hardware changes). You should really only run into issues if you changed hardware, which is true with any software that requires activation.

Posts: 9,862
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Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?

I have also installed and reinstalled multiple times and never had a problem on the same machine.  A change of motherboard caused a query once, and a change of operating system will also cause a query.  Customer service is very good at sorting out subscription issues.


Since 2012 has a manager now to record such changes to the licence, it will be interesting to see if that makes any difference in normal uninstall-reinstall scenarios. 

Under certain circumstances profanity provides relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain
Posts: 284
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Registered: ‎07-15-2008

Re: 3 PC License: Is it really?

Hello Cryasor, sorry to hear about the problems you had with your subscription. For 2012 we have released Norton Management for just such a case you mention in your post. You can learn more about it here: This allows you to remove Norton from one computer and frees one of your seats so that you can use it on anther computer without the need of contacting customer support to do it for you.