Software installations vs. software license keys

Lansweeper scans both the software installations and the software license keys found on Windows computers in your network. It's important to note that, from a Lansweeper point of view, these two pieces of scanned data are completely unrelated.

Installations and license keys are stored in different locations within the client machine's registry and different tables within the Lansweeper database. There are no naming conventions for installations or keys. A software publisher can add a software installation as "Software ABC" to Add/Remove Programs, while adding the license key for the same software as "Software DEF" to the registry. This makes it impossible for Lansweeper to link the two. Lansweeper uses two separate scanning procedures and two separate database tables (that cannot be linked) for installations and keys.

A report cannot list both software installations and license keys; it can only list one or the other. To report on installations, use a software installation report, e.g. the built-in "Software: List of software by computer" in the Reports tab. To report on license keys, use a license key report, e.g. the built-in "License: Software licensekey overview".
License key reports should not be used to report on software installations. If software is uninstalled from a computer, it is removed from installation reports upon rescanning. If the key associated with the program remains in the computer's registry however, which happens often, that key will continue to be listed in license key reports. It is expected behavior for license keys present in the registry to still be detected, even if the corresponding program is uninstalled. Lansweeper isn't saying the software is still installed on the machine; it is merely indicating that the license key is still present in the registry.


The difference between installations and keys is the following:

  • The Software section of a Windows computer's Software tab and the built-in Lansweeper report Software: List of software by computer list software installations. Software installation scanning mimics the Add/Remove Programs (Programs and Features) section of the Control Panel on the computer itself, as explained in this knowledge base article.
    software installations of Windows computer
  • The License Keys section of a Windows computer's Software tab and the built-in Lansweeper report License: Software licensekey overview list software license keys. License keys are pulled from various locations within the registry, as explained in this knowledge base article, and are often left behind when the corresponding software is uninstalled.
    software license keys of Windows computer
    To reduce network traffic, scanning of most license keys is disabled by default in recent Lansweeper releases, though can manually be re-enabled.

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