Installing Matlab on a Student Owned Computer

This HowTo is for student-owned computers only. Directions for Mac and Windows are very similar.


There are 4 tasks to complete in order to get MATLAB running on your personal computer.

  1. Create Mathworks account (5 minutes)
  2. Associate your Mathworks account with our license and Download MATLAB install program files (10 minutes) 
  3. Download and Install MATLAB (1 - 2 hours)
  4. Activate MATLAB (2 minutes)

This guide will take you through all 4 tasks. You need not do all of them at once, but if you start one section you should finish it.

Create Mathworks Account (5 minutes)

  1. Click on "Log In" in upper right
  2. Go to
  3. Click on "Create Account" below the log-in fields
  4. This will take you to a form, fill out all necessary fields making sure to:
    1. use your email address -- you must do this to associate with our license later
    2. For the field "How will you use Mathworks Software", you must pick "Student use"
  5. Click on Create
  6. At this point, the Mathworks will send an email to the address you listed requiring that you click on a link to verify the address.
    1. When you receive the email, click on the link to verify the email address
    2. Provide information for creating your account
  7. Click on Create

You have now successfully created the account. If you wish to stop now, come back to this point in the directions when you resume

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Associate Account with nU License and download MATLAB Install Program (10 minutes)

If you have the same window open from creating the account, skip to step 3

  1. Go to
  2. If not logged in, in the upper right, click on Log In
  3. In upper right click on your first name and then Associate License.
  4. Enter Activation Key and click on Associate License.
    The Activation Key can be retrieved here.
  5. Click on Download Your Products Now
  6. Click on Download R2017a
  7. Choose Installer depending on the operating system you are currently using
  8. Select the NU license.

You have finished associating your account with NU's license and downloading the install file. You may proceed to download and install MATLAB.

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Download and Install Matlab (1 - 2 hours)

  1. Go to where you saved the downloaded installation file and run it
    On Windows this will unzip the install files and AUTOMATICALLY run Setup.
    This takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
    On a Mac this will only unzip the install files. Once unzipped, navigate into the unzipped folder and double click on InstallForMacOSX.
  2. A MATLAB install window will pop up, click on "Log in with a Mathworks Account"
    The program will connect to the Mathworks site (but not log in yet)
  3. Accept the agreement
  4. Enter your Mathworks email address and password (now the program will now log you in)
  5. Highlight license #551759, click Next
  6. Accept default place to install MATLAB, click Next
  7. Accept default list of products and toolboxes to install, click Next
  8. Decide what shortcuts to install, click Next
  9. Review information, click Install

    The install program will now download and install MATLAB. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. You need not be present, but your computer needs to remain connected to the internet.
  10. The install program will show some info about a compiler, click on Next after you've read it.

Once MATLAB has been installed you are ready for the last step. If you wish to stop now, you can get to the Activation screen later by simply starting MATLAB.

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Activate Matlab as continuation of Download and Install Matlab (2 minutes)

(If you are doing the Activation as part of starting MATLAB for the first time, skip to the next section.)

  1. Click on Activate
  2. Click on Next
  3. Enter Activation Key and click on Next
    The Activation Key can be retrieved here.
  4. Enter the username that you usually use to log in to this computer.
    (MATLAB will populate the username field -- unless you know it is incorrect, use this one.)
    (MATLAB must be activated for each account that uses it on each computer.)
  5. Confirm the selection -- click on Confirm

If you didn't Activate MATLAB as part of the install but are doing it now, read on.

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Activate Matlab as part of running Matlab for the first time (2 minutes)

  1. Pick "Activate automatically using the Internet (recommended)", click on Next
  2. Click on "Log in to my MathWorks Account", enter the email address and password you registered, click on Next
  3. Select License #551759, click on Next
  4. Enter the Activation Key, click on Next
    The Activation Key can be retrieved here.
  5. Enter the username you usually use to log in to this computer -- click on Next
    (MATLAB will populate the username field -- unless you know it is incorrect, use this one.)
    (MATLAB  must be activated for each account that uses it on each computer.)
  6. Confirm the selection, click on Confirm
  7. Click Finish

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