How to transfer Terminal Services CAL from one computer to another

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.


This article describes how to transfer a Terminal Services (TS) Client Access License (CAL) internally from one client device to another in the same company within Terminal Services Licensing.

More Information

The TS CAL End User License Agreement (EULA) is a per-seat license that does allow for a one-time permanent transfer of the license to another client device. To reissue this license, customers should contact a Microsoft Customer Services Representative (CSR) in the Terminal Services Licensing Customer Service Center (CSC) and request a reissue of the number of necessary TS CALs. For Windows-based Terminal Services, you can complete this reissue process only by using the telephone. Customers could complete this process on a periodic basis, retrieving multiple licenses in one call, and making use of the 90-day temporary client license if necessary. A reissued set of TS CALs is displayed in the Terminal Services Licensing administrative tool as another license key pack installation. Other than being a separate license key pack installation, reissued TS CALs are not distinguishable from an original installation. Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server do not receive a TS CAL from the TS server because a TS CAL is included with all versions of Windows 2000. The steps described in this article are not necessary for clients running Windows 2000.

To find the phone number for the CSC nearest you and install your reissued licenses:
  1. Start the Terminal Services Licensing tool on your Windows 2000 server.
  2. On the View menu, click Properties.
  3. Click the Connection Method tab.
  4. In the drop-down box, click Telephone and your country.
  5. Click OK.
  6. On the Action menu, click Install Licenses to start the Licensing wizard and obtain the telephone number.
  7. Call the CSC and describe your need to reissue licenses.
  8. The CSR guides you through the process.

Physically removing the TS CAL

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

If you want to physically remove the TS CAL from the original client device, you can delete the local registry key containing the license. This ensures that the client cannot connect to a terminal server in the future without being issued a new license.

Microsoft recommends that only system administrators who are knowledgeable about the Windows 2000 registry make this change. Note that deleting this key only removes the license from the client; it does not remove the issuance history contained in the Terminal Services License server.

All licenses under MSLicensing are TS CALs. LICENSE000, LICENSE001, LICENSE002, and so on are used in succession until an empty slot is found. There is no particular mapping of license numbers to license types.

The key to be deleted is LICENSE000 or LICENSE00x:
Then, have the clients reconnect.

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