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VMware Horizon VDI: Simple Steps of Working with Licenses

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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or VMware Horizon VDI is a powerful technology that enables organizations to centralize and manage desktops efficiently. VMware Horizon VDI is a leading VDI solution, and understanding how to add and activate licenses is a crucial step in the deployment process. This DIY guide will walk you through adding and starting licenses in VMware Horizon, ensuring a smooth and compliant VDI environment. VMware has a rich history of providing diverse deployment options for Horizon, catering to the varied needs of organizations.

Horizon License Types/Offerings

For on-premises solutions, VMware offers Horizon licenses in the form of Perpetual licenses or as part of the comprehensive Horizon Universal subscription offering. This flexibility ensures that organizations can choose a licensing model that aligns with their specific preferences and requirements.

For cloud-based or Software as a Service (SaaS) deployments, VMware extends its offerings through the Horizon Cloud subscription and the Horizon Universal subscription. Additionally, these cloud-based solutions can be seamlessly integrated as an add-on to Workspace ONE, providing organizations with a holistic approach to managing their virtual desktop infrastructure.

Within each deployment type, whether on-premises or in the cloud, VMware provides a range of offerings, each tailored to deliver a variety of features and functionalities. This allows organizations to customize their Horizon deployment according to their unique operational and business needs. The availability of diverse options underscores VMware’s commitment to providing versatile and scalable solutions for virtual desktop infrastructure.

For more detail, Refer to the KB article: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/87490

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Let us understand the step-by-step process in detail.

As an administrator, whenever you see the message below stating that your license is expired or ready for renewal, it’s high time to acquire and activate a new license.

Step 1: Acquiring Horizon Licenses

Before you start, ensure that you have the necessary Horizon licenses. You can obtain these licenses from VMware or an authorized reseller. Make sure to have the license keys ready, as you’ll need them during the activation process.

Step 2: Accessing the Horizon Administrator Console

Open a web browser and enter the URL for your Horizon Administrator Console. Typically, this is in the format: https://your-horizon-server/admin.

Log in using your administrator credentials.

Step 3: Navigating to Licensing

In the Horizon Administrator Console, navigate to the “Settings” tab. Select “Licensing” from the left-hand menu. Here, you’ll see the current licensing information and the option to add new license keys.

Step 4: Adding License Keys

Click on the “Plus (+)” icon to add a new license key. Enter the license key in the provided field. You can add multiple keys if necessary. Click “Add License Key” to proceed.

Step 5: Verifying License Information

Once added, the license key information will be displayed on the Licensing page. Verify that the information is correct.

Step 6: Activating Licenses

Select the “Licenses” tab to view the list of license keys.

Click on the key you added, and then click “Activate.” This process may involve contacting VMware’s license server to validate and activate your licenses.

Verify the activation status to ensure that your licenses are activated successfully.

Step 7: Monitoring License Usage

Navigate to the “Monitoring” tab to check the license usage and ensure that it aligns with your purchased licenses.



Following this DIY blog step by step, You’ve successfully added and activated licenses in VMware Horizon VDI.

Properly managing licenses is essential for compliance and ensures that your VDI environment operates smoothly. Regularly monitor license usage and consider expanding your licenses as your VDI deployment grows. This DIY guide empowers you to take control of your Horizon licenses, contributing to a secure and scalable virtual desktop infrastructure.


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1. How do I access the Horizon Administrator Console for license management?

ANS: – To access the Horizon Administrator Console, open a web browser and enter the URL for your Horizon server, typically in the format https://your-horizon-server/admin. Log in with your administrator credentials to access the license management features.  

2. Can I add multiple license keys in VMware Horizon?

ANS: – Yes, you can add multiple license keys in VMware Horizon. In the Horizon Administrator Console, navigate to the “Licensing” section and use the “Plus (+)” icon to add additional license keys.

3. What information do I need to have before adding licenses?

ANS: – Before adding licenses, ensure you have the license keys ready. These keys are typically provided by VMware or an authorized reseller. Having a clear understanding of your organization’s virtual desktop infrastructure needs will also help in allocating the appropriate licenses.

4. How do I verify if my licenses have been activated successfully?

ANS: – In the Horizon Administrator Console, navigate to the “Licenses” tab and check the activation status of each license key. Ensure that the status indicates successful activation. You may also receive confirmation messages during the activation process.  

5. Can I monitor license usage after activation?

ANS: – Yes, you can monitor license usage in the Horizon Administrator Console. Navigate to the “Monitoring” tab to view license usage details. This information helps ensure that your deployed licenses align with the number of virtual desktops or applications in use.  

6. Is it possible to switch between on-premises and cloud deployments with Horizon Universal License?

ANS: – Yes, the Horizon Universal License provides flexibility, allowing users to switch between on-premises and cloud deployments. This versatility is particularly useful for organizations that may transition or have a hybrid infrastructure.

WRITTEN BY Rahulkumar Shrimali



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