Activation FAQ

Cakewalk by BandLab is 100% free but requires activation to save your projects. A quick guide for activating Cakewalk by BandLab can be found here.

What is Activation?

Activation is the process that verifies your version of Cakewalk by BandLab is genuine and safe to use. 

Why is Activation required?
Installing the program from other sources could put your machine at risk, and without activating, the program will only run in Demo Mode. Activation allows BandLab to check and ensure you're using an authentic program.
Why do I see a sign-in message when opening Cakewalk?
Newer versions of Cakewalk by BandLab handle activation within the application itself, whereas previous versions needed to be activated via BandLab Assistant. In-app Activation requires you to sign in to your BandLab account. Once you sign in, your credentials will be saved, and you should not be prompted again. 
How do I sign into BandLab?
If have not activated Cakewalk, the BandLab Sign-In prompt will appear automatically when you launch Cakewalk. You may also choose to sign in manually by selecting Sign In to BandLab from the Help menu. Thereafter, type the same credentials you used to create your BandLab account or select any of your linked social accounts such as Google, Apple, or Facebook to sign in to BandLab.
How do I activate Cakewalk by BandLab?
Cakewalk can be activated in two ways: using In-app Activation (preferred) or using BandLab Assistant. By default, activation is done automatically and seamlessly if your PC is online. The first time you install and run Cakewalk, you will be prompted to sign in to BandLab, using the same credentials you used to create your BandLab account. Once you sign in, Cakewalk will be activated. 
In-App Activation/Refresh
Cakewalk by BandLab defaults to activating directly in-app. When starting Cakewalk for the first time, you will be presented with a BandLab sign-in dialog box. After signing in, Cakewalk will automatically activate.
Offline Activation
If your DAW does not have an internet connection, offline activation is also an option, which requires the use of Cakewalk Product Center to submit an offline activation request (see Offline Activation). Offline Activation is only available for the latest version (v2024.02)
Does Activation Expire?
Yes, but if you are signed in to BandLab and your system is online, no intervention will be required, and Cakewalk by BandLab will stay permanently activated. If your system is offline, however, activation will last for up to 6 months. Activation may also be required if you make major changes to your system like installing a new OS, changing the motherboard, etc. You will see an Activation message before it expires, but we recommend keeping the program up to date, which will also reactivate it automatically.
Do I need to be online for Cakewalk to work?
No. You need to be online to install, activate, or update the program but do not have to remain online to use it. After the initial install or update, you can work offline at any point for up to six months until reactivation is necessary.
Does activation share usage information with BandLab?
No. The purpose of activating Cakewalk is to check the program's validity; no other user data is transmitted during this process! The sign-in data is used to verify your BandLab user account identity during operations such as refreshing activation or when using BandLab specific features to upload or download BandLab projects. No other data is transmitted.
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