So to activate??

Tiegrsi Posts: 2 Just Starting Out

I've been using Hitfilm Express 2017 since 2017. I use it rarely; never had a problem. I've been working on a project for 3 days - one that needed a voiceover. I've never needed to do one before, so I didn't know the 2017 version doesn't offer that. When I realized, I went ahead and downloaded the 2021.3 version to finish the project, which worked fine...EXCEPT the huge watermark and background noise after export. I saw that I hadn't actually "activated" the new version, so I tried going through the pop-ups dice. I don't have a "serial number" associated with my account, according to the error message. Tried clicking the link for "get a free license here"; nope! Link broken. Try the other option on the menu, "GET A FREE LICENSE" in big, bold letters. Surprise - the link works, but the page it brings me to says "Page can't be found". "/

Looked through the "support" here and saw that, although I didn't want to, BUYING the "free" product should fix the issue. I caved and bought the monthly subscription. Logged out of everything and tried opening the software again to "activate and unlock" and I get THE SAME ERRORS. Log into my account, (which has said I have a "free perpetual license", since 2017, btw) and see that the purchase went through...yet still no serial number offered and I can't "activate" the [email protected]$!&@!! product to finish my project.

Please send help...I'm losing my mind.


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,201 Expert
    edited July 19

    @Tiegrsi Have you checked out this official video from FxHome:

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,271 Staff

    Hi @Tiegrsi - sorry to hear you're having issues! Because this is an error you're receiving across multiple products, I think it must be to do with your account. The best thing to do would be to contact support as they will be able to check your account details, find out what is causing the issue and walk you through the process. You can do so here by scrolling to the bottom of this page:

  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,623 Moderator

    @Tiegrsi If you were on Express 2017, you most likely did not have a HitFilm Express license that activates versions 6 - 2021.3 (18).

    As of last month, there is a new version of HitFilm that comes with a new licensing system. That version is 2022.1. If you are trying to activate your subscription on any earlier version, it will not work. The video linked by @tddavis will show you how to download the latest version.

    You do not need to purchase a plan to add voiceovers. Unless you happened to use any add-on effects in the 2017 version, you don’t need a paid plan for your current project. Because of the confusion about this situation, it would appear that you purchased a plan you didn’t actually need. If you would like, you can request a refund by contacting support within 14 days of purchase:

  • Tiegrsi
    Tiegrsi Posts: 2 Just Starting Out
    tddavis: Thank you all for your comments. I did see the video, but only after I had already downloaded the 2021.3 version. The order of operations the video describes neither suit my situation, nor are they even possible, unless your suggestion is to uninstall my current 2021.3 version and re-install it, trying to follow those steps as closely as which case, will I lose my project?

    KirstieT: Thanks; I did submit a ticket to support but have yet to hear back. I was hoping I might find a quicker solution here while I waited.

    triforcefx: I had the perpetual free license that came with the 2017 version, and an account which showed that license was linked to my email. I didn't attempt to use any new subscription to open the old software - that older software worked just fine. I did see in comments that in order to film and export VERTICAL video (the project was a TikTok for a non-profit), that I would have to pay for a subscription...that was the main deciding factor in going ahead with the purchase. The problem now is that I bought the subscription, but the software I had downloaded doesn't seem to be able to link to my account information. Each time I try to log in from the prompt after clicking "activate" on the software, I'm given an error message "You do not have HitFilm Express registered to your FXhome account. Click here to get your free license." The "click here" bit is a broken link. I am attempting the log-in with the same email and password as the one I both registered with the account originally, and used to make the purchase of the subscription.

    Anyway, I appreciate y'all's effort to help.
  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,623 Moderator

    The way I’ve interpreted your post, you have downloaded HitFilm Express 2021.3. This is the old version and it will not work with the new subscription plans.

    HitFilm has been combined into a single product where features unlock based on your subscription level, rather than separate programs for “HitFilm Express” and “HitFilm Pro” If you download and install the new version by following the “Download Free” procedure above, you will be able to activate your copy with the subscription you purchased.

    The new HitFilm should be compatible with project files from all previous versions, however you will want to save a backup copy of your project just in case there is a compatibility issue (especially since there have been a lot of changes in the 5 years since 2017). In the scenario that your project doesn’t convert successfully, there are options to record a voiceover that you can import into the 2017 version.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,201 Power User

    To build on what @triforcefx writes.

    There have been "three generations" of the Hitfilm software model.

    The first, Hitfilm 1-5 (2017) was the "all different programs" model. Each year a single version of Express and Pro were released. Each of these used different, unique system folders for OS data and were literally different programs in that you could install (example) Hitfilm 4 and 2017 side by side on your machine and run either one. HF 3-2017 had their own add ons. These add ons did NOT carry over to the next model, and licenses for these older versions are no longer avaialbkr6.

    Hitfilms 6-18 (2021.3) were the "separate Express/Pro, single install" models. There were different versions of Express and Pro, but each program just updated over itself. Each version shared system folders. It was possible to install Express and Pro on the same machine, but you couldn't install two revisions of either program. You could install HF Express 2021.1 OR 2021.3, not both. The activation license for these versions allowed you to install any version you chose from this model. These had their own add-on store and add-ons from these versions do not carry over to the current model. Activations for these versions are no longer being issued. Your HF 2017 license is not valid for these versions.

    The current model is "unified Hitfilm." There are no longer separate Installers for Express and Pro. There is a single program with varied features unlocked depending on if you have a Creator subscription or Pro subscription/Perpetual license. This is the only version of Hitfilm you can get activation keys for.

    You prior version - Hitfilm 2017 - is long deprecated, and, since it was literally a separate program than the current version, and versions 6-18 (2021.3) your HF 2017 license will not activate anything more recent. You'll have to create a new license, although you can use the same email attached to you HF 2017.

    Tddavis already linked the current installation video. Not certain where the issue is since you should be prompted to enter an email to download the installer, and on initial activation. You shouldn't need a serial code, just the email address.