Beginners Guides

Prepar3D is offered for simulation, training and learning often used by professionals, students, and developers. Please be aware that the three license types have different end-user license agreements (EULAs) and usage restrictions. For more details, please review the License Options page.

No, Lockheed Martin does not offer Prepar3D for entertainment, and we have no plans to enter the entertainment space. The EULAs explain that Prepar3D can be used for purposes other than personal/consumer entertainment.

The only technical differences in the software are that the Academic version has a different splash screen and a small watermark in the top-right corner of the main window. Please be aware that they have different EULAs and usage restrictions. Full details can be found on the  License Options page.

The Personal version requires internet connectivity during use. Please be aware that they have different EULAs and usage restrictions. Full details can be found on the  License Options page.

Prepar3D Professional Plus has additional features specific for usage in advanced training.

Please visit the Prepar3D Product Overview and License Options pages for more information on the additional Prepar3D Professional Plus capabilities.

Any of the Prepar3D can be used in your home. As specified in the EULAs, Prepar3D can not be used for personal/consumer entertainment purposes.

Prepar3D is only available as a digital download from our website. We chose this method of delivery because it allows you to receive the software quickly and it gives us the ability to provide frequent updates. We do not plan on releasing DVDs in the future.

Thank you for your interest, however we do not offer demo or trial copies of Prepar3D to the public. We do offer a 14 day refund policy within some restrictions. Our refund policy is available for review here.

Prepar3D v3, v4 and v5 are still available for purchase to support legacy 32-bit and DirectX 11 systems. Prepar3D v1 and v2 are no longer available for purchase, however Customers that purchased v1 and v2 can still download and install these versions as needed.

If you have purchased Prepar3D within 14 days, per the refund policy, you can request a refund and then purchase the desired license of Prepar3D v5. There are no exchanges, upgrades, or discounts available.

Download & License Activation

All software can be downloaded immediately after purchase from the Purchased Downloads page. Please be aware that the credentials you enter should match exactly what is in your invoice.

If you still have your invoice, it will contain all your activation information. If you can’t locate your invoice, you can use our account information retrieval tool by clicking here. By entering the email address you used when purchasing Prepar3D, you will receive an email with your activation information.

Please make sure you are using the email address or licensing ID from your invoice. This is not always the same information as your forum account. For any account issues, please email the details to For security reasons, you are not notified that the information is incorrect, but rather not shown an license information.

Before making any major changes to your computer such as hardware swaps and operating system changes please uninstall Prepar3D through the Windows Control Panel.

Prepar3D can be properly uninstalled by ensuring you are connected to the internet, then navigating the Control Panel to the Add / Remove a Program section. Please, uninstall Prepar3D through this interface to ensure you license is released. You can then reactivate Prepar3D on another computer without having to contact us.

Note: Clearing your registry will not release your activation. If you still get error 5013, please email with your License ID and a brief explanation.

Each Prepar3D license is for a single machine, therefore when this error is sent to the user when our licensing system determines the specific license is already installed on a device. While the licensing software does recognize that the installs are being done on the same computer, if enough of the computer’s information changes (operating system, external hardware, graphics cards, etc.), it will flag your setup as a different computer.

If you need your current activation released, first uninstall the software from other computers. If you are still having the error, please e-mail with your License ID and a very brief explanation of the reason you need your license reactivated. Your request will be fulfilled within two business days.

Error 5022 occurs when your system time does not match our server’s time. In order to activate Prepar3D, you will need to adjust your system time to the correct time for your region.

Error code 5010 means you may be trying to activate a different Prepar3D license type or Prepar3D license version than the Prepar3D license purchased. For example, a Prepar3D v5 license on a Prepar3D v4 installation or a Prepar3D Professional license on an Prepar3D Academic installation.

Please make sure that the license you have downloaded and installed is the correct type and version. Also make sure that you are typing in the correct license ID during activation.

Error 5008 means that the license ID or password was not correct. You can use our information recovery tool to retrieve your license.

The service can be found  here.

The 9000 activation errors received during Prepar3D activations are related to the inability to connect to the license server from your computer. We recommend you ensure that there is not a listing for inside the Windows hosts file. The host file will typically be located at %WINDIR%\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts.

If the host file was not the issue, you can reach out to your internet service provider (ISP) to see it they are blocking

There are many things that could be causing the issues. If you use software that allows downloads to be resumed, IE 8+ or Firefox for example, you might be able to resume your download and continue on if the download is interrupted.

The utilization of a Download Manager to download Prepar3D can also increase your chance of a successful download without ideal bandwidth.


You can purchase Prepar3D with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit card. We are unable to accept PayPal payments at this time, and have no plans to accept PayPal payments in the future.

Your best option is to go to the store and simply purchase a new license. Once a license is cancelled or expired, your credit card will not be charged again.

Your original invoice email contains a direct link to a website to cancel your subscription. It can also be canceled through our Customer Portal on the Recurring Payments page.

Our refund policy is available for viewing here. If you qualify for a refund, you can request a refund through Please send your license ID, invoice number along with your reason for a refund. Please allow 2 business days for confirmation and up to 2 weeks for the refund to process.

If your organization is tax-exempt, please contact the Prepar3D team at with your name, organization name, account email for and tax exemption number for assistance completing a tax exempt purchase. You must register with before we can process your tax exemption, so please create an account prior to putting in your request. We do not have the ability to reimburse tax on completed purchases.


No, your Prepar3D customer account and forum account are two separate accounts. If you would like to create a post on the forum, you can create an account by registering here.

Hard crashes of Prepar3D are typically associated with administrator rights and permission incompatibilities on the computer. Navigating to Prepar3D’s install directory, right clicking on Prepar3D.exe, and selected ‘run as administrator’ will allow Prepar3D to access and write in the locations required.

Each Prepar3D version will have a different set of system requirements. Please refer to the system requirements page for specific hardware requirements of your Prepar3D version.

Prepar3D is only compatible with Microsoft Windows operating systems and not supported on Apple or Linux operating systems.

Prepar3D can be properly uninstalled by ensuring you are connected to the internet, then navigating the Control Panel to the Add / Remove a Program section. Uninstalling Prepar3D through this interface will release the activation allowing you to then reactivate Prepar3D on another computer without having to contact us.