Q100217: How to resolve the "Clock setback detected" error message



When installing a Nodelocked or Floating license, or when running a program you might encounter one of the following error message:

Clock setback detected

System clock has been set back ENT_STATUS_RLM_LICENSE_WINDBACK

This system date on this computer is invalid

System clock has been set back


In previous builds of the software the error message might look like:

License not yet valid, may be valid in the future

You may also see the following error when trying to install the license via the Foundry License Utility (FLU):

An unexpected error occurred

Sorry, one or more License Strings are corrupted

Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 14.29.34.png

These error messages will prevent you from installing the license and/or prevent the program from running. 


These error messages can happen if the system time of your computer has been changed by a large amount.  

To prevent temporary licenses from being used past their expiration date, the licensing code in our software looks to see if the system time has been changed, by checking the last-modified timestamp values of system files and directories.

Whilst this does prevent a user from winding back their computer clock to keep using an expired demo license, it can trip up users who have previously changed their system date for testing purposes.



To resolve this issue, there are a couple of steps to check on your computer and make sure it is valid to install/run your licenses.


Update the local date and time of your computer

The first step to fixing this issue is to make sure your computer has the correct setting for the local date and time. If possible, use the operating systems settings to automatically get the date and time from the internet.  


Apply any pending OS updates

After you correct the date/time setting, applying any pending OS updates and/or rebooting the machine may be enough to fix the issue.  Updating your OS may also automatically update the date/time to the correct setting on your machine as well as update any future modified files/folders.


NOTE: There is a known bug within macOS Sonoma 14.4 where users may experience the system clock errors on their machine when installing licenses. A solution has been implemented in the latest macOS Sonoma 14.5 version, and this can be accessed by updating to the latest version of macOS Sonoma via the macOS Software Update by following the steps listed here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/108382


Search and fix future dated files and folders on your computer

If the above suggestions don't fix the issue then you'll need to search your computer to locate any files or directories with the last modified timestamp ahead of today's date and update them to change the last modified timestamp to the current time.  

Once you've fixed all the problematic files and directories you should then be able to install your license and run the program.

Here are some recommended steps to locate these future files and folders on your machine.


1. Open a Command Prompt as Administrator

  • either by right clicking on the Windows Start button and selecting "Command Prompt (Admin)"
  • or entering "cmd" into the Windows search bar, right clicking on Command Prompt and selecting Run As Administrator

2. Run the following commands and note any future timestamped files

cd C:\Windows
dir /od /ta
dir /od /tw

This should show the files by access time and then write time.



Launch a Terminal session on your machine and run the following listed commands to check for access time: 

ls -ault /etc
ls -ault /var/adm
ls -ault /var/log

And to check for write time

ls -aclt /etc
ls -aclt /var/adm
ls -aclt /var/log

You can then update the timestamps with a touch command:
e.g if a file called /etc/someLog.txt has a future timestamp then you would run:

sudo touch /etc/someLog.txt

NOTE: if the files are symbolic links to another file you’ll need to use “touch - h /path/to/file” to update the timestamps.



Alternatively on macOS, you can search for any future dated files/folders within Finder following these steps:

  1. Launch Finder
    Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 09.28.38.png
  2. In the search bar, enter
    date modified: > 
    followed by today's date (for example) and search under "This Mac"
    date modified: >16/04/2024
    Any future dated files and folders should appear in the search results
    Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 10.05.54.png

If you discover any future dated files or folders on your machine, we recommend running the following steps to update the modified dates to the present date and time.



  1. Open the future dated file in a text editor application.
  2. Make a temporary edit to the file (such as adding a line or text) and save the file.
  3. Re-open the file, remove the temporary edit and save again.


  1. Create a temporary file in a text editor and save it in the future dated folder.
  2. Remove the temporary file from the folder and the folder's modified date should update.



If you are still experiencing difficulties please create a support ticket to let us know the exact issue encountered and the troubleshooting steps that have been taken so far.  For more information on how to open a support request, please refer to this article: Q100064: How to raise a support ticket

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