Skip to content

HA license transfer

License transfer provides the ability to transfer a license from one serial number to another. You must only use it to cover exceptions when moving the license to a different serial number.

The main cases in which you would transfer a license are:

  • You replace a device through the Sophos RMA process, and the license wasn't transferred automatically when the replacement was registered.
  • You need to transfer a license to a cold standby appliance in an active-passive HA cluster.
  • You've set up an active-passive HA cluster group, and the license that should belong to the active device has been assigned to the auxiliary device.
  • You placed an order for a virtual appliance that started as a free trial, and the free trial serial number wasn't quoted on the order to Sophos. In this instance, you must attach the paid-for license to the free trial device's serial number.
  • If you receive a device that is dead on arrival and it needs replacing.

In an HA cluster, the most common scenarios where you must transfer a license are an RMA or when a license is applied to the wrong device.

You must claim the new firewall in your Sophos Central account and transfer the paid-for license to a new device. In the case of an RMA, when you complete the transfer, the faulty device will be deregistered. The base license and any subscriptions are transferred to the replacement.


You must always complete the license transfer for an RMA case before returning the faulty device to Sophos.

The process flow for raising an RMA and receiving the new device is as follows:

  1. Sophos agrees to raise an RMA case.
  2. You receive your replacement device.
  3. You claim your new device in Sophos Central and transfer your license from your faulty device to the replacement. The faulty device is then deregistered.
  4. You return the faulty device or safely dispose of it.

You can transfer your license to the replacement in two ways, which are:

Method Description
Automated license transfer If Sophos detects an RMA case for the device you're registering, then automatic license transfer is offered when you claim the device, and you'll see a screen that shows the serial number of the faulty device. When you confirm, Sophos will complete the claim and transfer the paid-for license from the serial number of the faulty device to the device you're registering. Ensure you carefully check that the serial number displayed on the registration page matches your faulty device. The faulty device will automatically deregister since the license is transferred to the replacement device. This won't take full effect on the faulty device until three more license synchronizations have taken place.
Manual license transfer Although Sophos knows there's an RMA case, there's a reason why you can't transfer the license from the faulty device. You'll be able to claim the firewall and, in the majority of cases, transfer the license yourself using Sophos Central. If you need to transfer a license that was applied to the wrong serial number, you'll need to use the manual transfer method.