iLok Cloud: Free Yourself from the Dongle

By in Audio Post, Music Creation, NAMM 2018, Pro Mixing

With the introduction of Pro Tools 2018we’re doing more than just improving your workflow with new features, we’re also changing how you work. Pro Tools and all Avid audio plug-ins now support iLok Cloud. That means you now have the option to work iLok-free, and gives you the freedom to work “on the go,” wherever you have internet and Pro Tools. Or, if you prefer, continue using your iLok as before.

How it works

Getting Pro Tools 2018 running without a license key is simple. First, ensure you have cloud-enabled licenses. You can tell if you have this by opening iLok License Manager and checking to see if your Pro Tools licenses have a darkened iLok Cloud icon. To authorize a cloud license, simply right-click on the license and select ‘Authorize’ from the context menu.

  1. Install the latest iLok License Manager
  2. Ensure you have cloud-enabled licenses in your available tab
  3. Launch Pro Tools and run through the activation prompts. Enter your iLok ID and password when prompted
  4. When a Cloud Session has started, your cloud-enabled licenses will appear under “Cloud” in iLok License Manager in the locations pane under “Local”


Using the iLok Cloud licenses without a physical license key is called a “Cloud Session.” When you start up Pro Tools without an iLok dongle inserted, you will be presented with a screen with the options to “Quit” or “Activate”. Select “Activate”, and follow the log in instructions on the screen that follows. Once you log into your iLok account, an iLok Cloud session will start and Pro Tools will run without a physical dongle until the iLok Cloud session is closed through the iLok License Manager.

You now can use your licenses from whichever machine you begin a “cloud session” on. If you attempt to launch Pro Tools while a Cloud Session is still running elsewhere, you will be prompted to automatically end that session in favor of a new one. The Cloud Session on the original computer will be automatically closed (prompting a save and quit if a Pro Tools session/project is still open there).

Being able to run Pro Tools without a dongle is something the audio community has been requesting for a long time, so we answered. But, we know there are many users who feel more secure with a physical dongle. Of course the latest version of Pro Tools 2018 continues to fully supports physical iLoks, as well.

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.

From news production, sports production, audio editing and music composing, content creation and the applications that drive the industry are something I have used throughout my career. Inspired by powerful and emotive film scores and the behind the scenes orchestration–I now work as Solutions Marketing Specialist (Creative Artists) for Pro Tools at Avid, where I help deliver the very best software in the audio industry to the creators who inspired me from the start. My music creation started when I picked up a guitar in junior high, and continues today through writing cinematic compositions.