Licensing, Troubleshooting

Help! Online Activation is not working

While it should be simple and straightforward, for some reason, MASS just refuses to activate. Follow these steps to get your license activated today.


If you can read this article but MASS thinks you don’t have internet, there are two things you can do to get around this issue. While either one should work on their own, we’ve outlined 2 just in case.

This article originally was featured on the MASS Software Blog, formerly hosted on the software section of the Canada Masonry Design Centre website. CMDC is the authorized technical service provider for the MASS Software

October 2016 Update: Windows 10 users must jump straight to option 2. Since the initial publishing of this article, there have been many cases of users not having success after attempting option 1

May 2019 Update: a change to the server location broke the online activation functionality. This has been written about in detail here and has also been fixed with the release of MASS Version 4.0.

First of all, this article is for those who have tried to activate online and gotten an error message about not having an internet connection. More general activation questions are answered here on our quick activation guide. If you can’t get an internet connection through other programs other than MASS, you may need to activate offline.

This page will help you if you have seen either of the 2 following error messages

online activation 7 error message combined

MASS not being able to connect to the internet is a result of your computer trying to protect you from malicious software infecting your computer. We should say that there is absolutely nothing malicious within MASS that you need to be worried about. By default, Windows is suspicious of programs contacting servers outside of your own office which is why you need to take an extra step in allowing that connection. Option 1, outlined below, is the easiest and fastest way to restore that connection.

Note: You only have to follow this procedure once to activate. you will not have to do this each time you wish to use MASS

Option 1: Run MASS as an Administrator

Even if you are using your own personal computer where you have full access to all files and operations, you still need to manually do this for Windows to allow MASS to have internet access. To do this, simply find MASS in your Start menu, right click, and select Run as Administrator

online activation 4 start menu admin

This will launch MASS with full administrator rights which will allow it to reach our server to activate. You will not see anything different when MASS opens however, you will be able to activate online. Click here to return to the general activation guide for an online activation walk-through.

Can't find this option? Click here for other ways to launch MASS as an administrator
The appearance will look different if you are not using Windows 10 however the instructions remain the same; find MASS in your Start menu, right click, and select Run as Administrator. If the option is not readily available, you can go to the location where MASS is installed and find the option there.

By default, this will be C:\Program Files (x86)\Masonry Analysis Structural Systems Version __ where the version number of the folder matches the version you have installed.

online activation 5 MASS program directory

You can then right click the MASS.exe file and select Run as administrator.

online activation 6 right click

You can also access the “Run as administrator” option by right clicking on any application, selecting “Properties“, and under the compatibility tab selecting the “Run as administrator” option and clicking OK.

Option 2: Add a Windows Firewall exception

This option will target the root of the problem rather which is that the reason MASS is unable to connect to the internet is because Windows Firewall is blocking the application. Individual programs can be allowed through in the Control Panel which will be explained below. Note that administrator privileges are required so if you could not follow option 1 because of a lack of user permissions, you will not be able to follow option 2 either.

Click on the expandable headings below to view details for each step
Open Firewall Settings
Start by opening the Control Panel. The easiest way to do this is by opening the Start menu and typing in the search bar.

online activation 8 Control Panel

In the search bar in the top right corner, type “firewall” and before pressing enter, you will be presented with a variety of options. Select “Allow an app through Windows Firewall”.

online activation 9 Control Panel Search

Click the next heading (Allow another App) above to proceed to the next step

online activation 16 allow transition

Allow another App
When you open the Windows Firewall settings, you will first need to select “Change settings” in order to enable the greyed-out options below.

online activation 10 firewall admin

Once you have enabled the Firewall options, click “Allow another app…” to select MASS.

online activation 11 Allow another app

Click the next heading (Locate MASS) to proceed to the next step

online activation 17 locate transition

Locate MASS
Click Browse near the bottom right and navigate to the directory where MASS is installed. Select “MASS.exe” and press Enter to add the exception.

online activation 12 firewall browse for MASSonline activation 13 browse for MASS

Then click “add” to finalize this selection online activation 14 firewall add exception

Click the next heading (Enable Firewall Exception) above to proceed to the next step

online activation 18 Enable transition

Enable Firewall Exception
Find “Masonry Analysis Structural Systems” in the list of applications and select all 3 options. Once they are selected, click OK at the bottom of the window to enable the exception.

online activation 15 check other permissions

Click the next heading (Relaunch MASS and Activate) above to proceed to the next step.

online activation 19 Relaunch transition

Relaunch MASS and Activate
Now that the Firewall exception has been enabled, launch MASS and activate as normal to access the software. Simply enter your serial number and click “Activate

Activation article 1 online activation

Fill out the form and click submit to complete this process.

Activation article 2 online form filled

You will know MASS has been activated when, next to “License status”, it reads “MASS will expire _______” with the date being sometime down the road. You are good to go, can close the activation window, and start designing again!

Option 3: Windows Compatibility Mode

Admittedly, this is a bit of a Hail Mary but it has worked for a couple of users who exhausted all other options. Before attempting this, please contact MASS technical support as there may be more accessible ways to activate.

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all. CMDC is the authorized service provider for the MASS software which is a joint effort of between CCMPA and CMDC.