How do I install MATLAB? 

 January 1, 2019

By  Gunjan Gupta

Want to know how to install MATLAB on your system? Read the steps in details and install the latest version of MATLAB on your computer without a heck. Let’s begin!

Before You Install

To run the installer, you need:

  • Your email address and your MathWorks®Account password. You need them to log in to your account during installation. If you have multiple licenses associated with your account, determine which license you want to install. If you do not have a MathWorks Account, you can create one during installation. You must have an Activation Key to create an account. An Activation Key is the unique code that identifies a license. Ask the administrator of the license for the Activation Key.
  • Correct permissions to install the software. If you have questions about permissions, ask your system administrator.

While you use an administrator account or root privileges to install the software, you typically do not want to activate the software for an administrative user account. Specify the non-privileged account that will use the software when you activate it. Running MATLAB® as a user with administrator privileges or root privileges is not recommended.

  • Windows— Get the name and password for an account on your computer that has administrator privileges.
  • Linux— Get the root password. You can install MATLAB software without superuser privileges; however, it limits certain installation options. For example, if you want to set up symbolic links to the matlab command, install product files in a protected folder, or edit the system boot script, you must have superuser status.
  • Mac OS X— Get the name and password of an administrator account on your computer. The administrator account is the user account you set up when you configured your Mac OS X system; this account is not your MathWorks Account. During installation, enter this name and password in the Authenticate dialog box.
  • To consider disabling anti-virus software and Internet security applications on your system during installation. These applications can slow the installation process or cause it to appear unresponsive (or to hang). If you do not have an Internet connection during installation, see Install Products with a File Installation Key (Installation, Licensing, and Activation).

Step 1: Start the Installer

  • Download the installer from the MathWorks website or locate your MATLAB DVDs: When you select an installer on the website, you receive the files that the installer needs in order to run on your selected platform, not the product files. Run the installer to select products that you want to install on the computer where you are logged in. The installer downloads the products that it needs from MathWorks, if necessary.
  • Start the installer. The method you use to start the installer depends on your platform and whether you download the installer from the MathWorks website or use DVDs.
    • Windows:
      • Downloaded installer file— If you click Run when you select the installer on the MathWorks website, the installer starts automatically. If you saved the installer instead, double-click the self-extracting installer file in the folder where you saved it. The name of the self-extracting installer file is matlab_release_$ARCH, where release is the release you are installing (for example R2017b) and $ARCH is the selected architecture.
        The installer should start automatically after file extraction is complete.
        To restart the installer later, click setup.exe. This file is located in the top level of the folder where you extracted the files.
      • DVD installation— Insert DVD 1 into the DVD drive connected to your system. The installer usually starts automatically. Insert DVD 2 when the installer prompts you for the second disc.
    • Mac OS X:
      • Downloaded installer file— Double-click the dmg-file that you downloaded from the MathWorks website. Double-click app.
      • DVD installation— Insert DVD 1 into the DVD drive connected to your system. When the DVD icon appears on the desktop, double-click the icon to display the DVD contents, and then double-click the Install For MacOSX icon to begin the installation. Insert DVD 2 when the installer prompts you for the second disc.
    • Linux: 
      • Downloaded installer file— Use the unzip command to extract the files from the archive file that you downloaded from the MathWorks website. After extracting the files, execute the installer command:  ./install
      • DVD installation — Insert DVD 1 into the DVD drive connected to your system and execute this command: /path_to_dvd/install 
      • Depending on how your system is configured, you might have to mount the DVD first. Make sure that you mount it with execute permissions, as in the following example. The name of the DVD drive might be different on your system. mount -o exec /media/cdrom0
      • Insert DVD 2 when the installer prompts you for the second disc

Do not run the installation from inside the DVD root. Start the installation from a directory outside the DVD root.

Step 2: Install Using a MathWorks Account

Leave the Log In with a MathWorks Account option selected (the default), and then click Next. During installation, you log in to your MathWorks Account, select the license you want to install, and follow the prompts in the installer.

If your Internet connection requires a proxy server, click Connection Settings. Enter the server name, port, and password in the Connection Settings page. MathWorks supports Basic authentication and Digest authentication proxy configurations.


On Windows systems, the installer uses your system proxy settings, by default. If your proxy server requires you to log in, the installer prompts you for your login information.

Step 3: Review the Software License Agreement

Review the software license agreement and, if you agree to the terms, select Yes and click Next.

Step 4: Log in to Your MathWorks Account

To log in to your MathWorks Account, enter your email address and password, and click Next. The installer contacts MathWorks to retrieve information about the licenses associated with your account. If you have enabled Two-Step Verification on your account, a verification code is sent to your primary method. If you do not have a MathWorks Account, select the Create a MathWorks Account (requires an Activation Key) option and click Next. You are prompted to enter the data needed to create the account.

Create a MathWorks Account

To create an account, enter your email address, first name, last name, and password. You must also provide an Activation Key because a newly created account does not have any licenses associated with it. The Activation Key identifies the license you want to install. The administrator of this license can retrieve the key by visiting the License Center at the MathWorks website.

Click Next to create your account.

Entering dashes or spaces for the Activation Key is optional.

When you create a new MathWorks Account, you must verify your email address before you can proceed with the installation. Before you click Next in the Email Verification Required dialog box, go to your email program, open the message sent to you by MathWorks, and click the verification link. Then return to this dialog box and click Next.


Step 5: Enter Two-Step Verification Code

If you have Two-Step Verification enabled (in your MathWorks Account), you will be prompted to enter the verification code sent to your primary method when you signed in to your MathWorks Account. If you do not have Two-Step Verification enabled, you can go directly to the next step.

Enter the verification code sent to your primary method.

Click Next to proceed with the installation.

Step 6: Select the License You Want to Install

Select a license from the list of licenses associated with your MathWorks Account and click Next.

If you want to install products on a license that is not associated with your MathWorks Account:

  1. Select and Enter an Activation Key for a license not listed
  2. Enter an Activation Key and click Next.

An Activation Key is a unique code that identifies a license. Use it to activate a license or allow licensed end users to associate their MathWorks Account with a license. The administrator on the license can retrieve the key by visiting the License Center on the MathWorks website.

Specify an Activation Key

If there are no licenses associated with your account, or if permission to activate is disabled on the license you selected, the installer displays the Activation Key dialog box. Enter the required Activation Key and click Next. Ask the administrator on the license for the Activation Key.


Step 7: Specify the Installation Folder

Specify the name of the folder where you want to install MathWorks products. Accept the default installation folder, or click Browse to select a different one. If the folder does not exist, the installer creates it.

When specifying a folder name, you can use any alphanumeric character and some special characters, such as underscores. If you make a mistake while entering a folder name and want to start over, click Restore Default Folder. After making your selection, click Next.

Step 8: Specify Products to Install

From the product list, specify which products you want to install. The list shows all the products associated with the license you selected, or with the Activation Key or File Installation Key, you specified. If you do not want to install a particular product, clear the checkbox next to its name.

After selecting the products you want to install, click Next to continue with the installation.

If the products you select exist in the default download location on your computer or on DVDs, the installer uses the local files for installation instead of downloading them from MathWorks. If you want to download the products again, go back to the Folder Selection dialog box and select a different installation folder.

Step 9: Specify Installation Options

You can specify some installation options, depending on which platform you are installing.


On Windows®, the Installation Options dialog box offers you the option to put shortcuts for starting MATLAB in the Start menu and on the desktop.

After selecting installation options, click Next to proceed with the installation.


On Linux systems, you can specify whether you want to create symbolic links to the matlab and mex scripts. Specify a folder to which you have to write access and that is common to all your user’s paths, such as /usr/local/bin.

After selecting installation options, click Next to proceed with the installation.

Step 10: Confirm Your Choices

Before it begins installing the software on your hard disk, the installer displays a summary of your installation choices. To change a setting, click Back. To proceed with the installation, click Install.

Read Product Configuration Notes

Depending on which products you install, the installer might display a dialog box containing additional information:

  • Product configuration information— certain products require additional configuration. If you installed a product requiring additional configuration, the installer lists the configuration commands in this dialog box.
  • Supported compilers and SDKs— some products require a supported compiler or software development kit. If you installed a product with this requirement, the installer displays a link to where you can learn more.

Click Next to proceed with the installation.

Step 11: Complete the Installation

When the installation successfully completes, you can choose to activate the software you just installed. You cannot use the software you installed until you activate it. Activating immediately after installation is the quickest way to start using MATLAB. Click Next to proceed with activation.

If you choose to exit the installer without activating the software, clear the Activate MATLAB option and click Finish (the button label changes). Use the activation application to activate the software at a later time. If you have not activated the software, the activation application starts automatically when you start MATLAB.

 Source: in.mathworks.com

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About the author 

Gunjan Gupta

Gunjan is the founder of MATLAB Helper ® and a MathWorks Certified MATLAB Associate with his Post Graduate in Intellectual Property Rights. He conducts MATLAB & Simulink training programs with a focus on Logic and Skill Development.

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