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MATLAB installation instructions

Undergraduate students at the University are entitled to install MATLAB on their personally owned computers, for non-commercial University use only.

Getting the installation media

NOTE: It will take some time to download and install the files. Please ensure you have the bandwidth to cope.

Download from the MathWorks website (recommended)

We recommend that you download MATLAB directly from the MathWorks website by using the following instructions:

  1. Go to the Mathworks website
  2. Log in (top right) using your email address
  3. Click on 'Support' (menu along top)
  4. Select 'Download Products'
  5. Choose your download.

Download from a Cambridge server

MATLAB is also available as an ISO file, which is the 'image' of an entire CD or DVD. Recent recommended versions for Windows and for Linux/macOS can be downloaded here:

Due to the increase in file size, it isn't possible to download ISO files of MATLAB versions from R2018b onwards from Maths website.

R2015b and earlier versions are available if needed – see the Other versions.

Installation instructions

Installing from the MathWorks website

For installation from the MathWorks server, click through from the 'Download Products' link or follow the advice on the MATLAB Installation page.

Installing an ISO file from a Cambridge server

If you downloaded an ISO file from a Cambridge server, follow the procedure below. Step-by-step instructions (for R2011b but applicable to later versions) are also available as a PDF file.

Install the ISO file


Once downloaded, the ISO file can be installed in one of at least two ways:

  • On Windows 8 and above, you can double-click the image to see its contents.
  • On earlier versions of Windows, open and extract the installation files, by mounting the ISO file as a Virtual CD using free tools such as Microsoft Virtual CD-Rom or Virtual CloneDrive.

Now run the setup program from the DVD or from your Virtual CD.


Double-clicking the ISO image file will mount as a new Volume on your desktop. Open this and run the installer.

Intel Macs with 32-bit (only) CPUs can only run up to 2010b. macOS 10.5.x will run up to R2010b. You need macOS 10.6.6 or newer to run R2011a–R2012b and macOS 10.7.4 or newer to run 2013a or later. For versions other than R2013b and R2014a, see Other versions.

 Further information on system requirements for Macs


You can burn the ISO file to a dual-layer DVD, or mount the file on your machine using something like the following (as root or using sudo on distributions like Ubuntu):

mkdir /mnt/matlab mount -o ro,loop ./linux-mac.iso /mnt/matlab /mnt/matlab/install umount /mnt/matlab

More information about which versions run on which architectures and other issues can be found on the Faculty of Mathematics' MATLAB Q&A page.

Install the licence

You need internet access to install the software. During installation, choose "Install using the Internet" and then either:

  • Select 'I need to create an Account (requires Activation Key)'
  • Log in using your email address and MathWorks password, if you already have an account.

If you need to create a new account, be sure to use as your email address – please don't use or similar or other subdomains.


The Activation Key for MATLAB R2010b onwards is:


After installing the software, you will be prompted to activate the software. This process (which again needs Internet access) should run to completion without further intervention.

Known problems

If you don't have an Internet connection (to allow access to the MathWorks website) then the MATLAB installation will fail and/or the activation of the installation will fail.

If you find that this does not work or you run into other problems, please contact the CATAM Helpline in the first instance: .

Updating an expiring licence

If your MATLAB licence is expiring (there is usually a message when starting up MATLAB) then to update the licence:

  1. Quit and relaunch MATLAB by right-clicking the icon and choosing "run as administrator", if this option is available.
  2. Go to Help > Licensing > Update Current Licences (on Macs, you may need to navigate to this menu via: Home > Resources > Help).
  3. Click on "Update" button.
  4. Restart MATLAB.

Other versions

If you aren't sure which versions of MATLAB will run on your machine, MathWorks' platform roadmap may help.

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