Kontakt 5 stuck in demo mode on M2 Mac.

Chartreuse Member Posts: 9 Member
edited July 2023 in Kontakt

On a new M2 Mac installation, Kontakt 5 is stuck in demo mode but K6 and K7 are not. I tried re-installing which didn't help. In Native Access it shows it as being registered. Replacing Native Access with the older version as detailed in other posts did not fix the issue. What can I do so that I can access the huge amounts of older sessions with K5 in them?

There's GOT to be a way to access Kontakt 5 with my older sessions or I will literally need to sell my new Mac Studio and go back to Windows because so many older sessions have tons of customized Kontakt 5. That simply can't happen.


Best Answer



  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,595 mod
    Answer ✓

    Hey @Chartreuse Kontakt 5 has been discontinued and not been updated for a long time and therefore still require Rosetta2.

    With Native Access version 3.3.0, the NTKDaemon service is running natively on Apple Silicon / M-Systems. As a result, the applications deem the activation invalid. There is a workaround here: GUITAR RIG 5, KONTAKT and SUPER 8 R2 Open as Demo Versions on Apple Silicon / M-Systems

  • Chartreuse
    Chartreuse Member Posts: 9 Member
    edited July 2023

    Thanks Jeremy. As I wrote in the post: I tried that but it doesn't work. It looks like it doesn't for many others either. There must be another way?

    We need to be able to open up older sessions that have K5 even though it's been discontinued -- for users like me our livelihood can sometimes depend on the ability to do that for longtime ongoing shows and projects. Right now I'm in a really bad place work-wise because of this...it's the only thing holding me back.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,595 mod
    edited July 2023

    @Chartreuse Try the following (after following the steps in the article):

    1. Navigate to the following directory:
    2. Macintosh HD > Users > Shared
    3. Delete the "Native Instruments" folder.
    4. Restart Native Access and press the refresh button

  • Chartreuse
    Chartreuse Member Posts: 9 Member
    edited July 2023

    Unfortunately that did not work either. I will go a different route, am paying a company to go into some .plist files and fix it. Should not have to do that, but I gotta work.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,595 mod

    @Chartreuse I am sorry to hear that. My colleagues also proposed another workaround. That didn't work either?

  • SCG
    SCG Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Exactly the same issues & situation @Chartreuse @Jeremy_NI any help?

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,595 mod

    @SCG Have you followed the steps in the article and the other step in the thread? I see you are in contact with my colleagues from support regarding Kontakt 5 not installing, is it for the same issue? In any case my coilleague got back to you, let him know if you still have issues, and please include this demo problem as well.

  • mufasa
    mufasa Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Hi - Had this issue today and KIND OF found a work around after a LOT of trial and error.

    So I clicked the "workaround link" they sent you earlier in this thread - GUITAR RIG 5, KONTAKT and SUPER 8 R2 Open as Demo Versions on Apple Silicon / M-Systems

    I downloaded and installed Native Access 3.2.3.

    I opened Native Access hit 'refresh'.

    Inside Native Access, I clicked "add serial" and manually added the serial to my Komplete 8, etc (I found them on the NI website in my account.

    The plugins still were in Demo mode but THEN...

    Inside Native Access, I "re-installed" EVERY single pack that was stuck in "demo" mode.

    Opened up Ableton and Kontakt 5 and now everything is working just fine.

    For some reason I can only open Kontakt 5 in AU format which I think has to do with me running Ableton natively on my M2 Macbook... but I can work with this.

    Hope this helps you or someone else out there!

  • ProfessorChaos
    ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor

    At least in macOS Sonoma, none of these solutions work. I tried every single one, but nothing worked.

    Kontakt 5 was working fine in Ventura, but the macOS version may have nothing to do with it. It's probably because it's a fresh install.

    I own Kontakt 5 full from having bought Komplete 9 in 2014, and then I bought Komplete 14 CE last year. So the only Kontakt I don't own in a full version is 6, so I didn't even install it this time, because it's rather pointless.

    My only reason to install Kontakt 5 is to open old Cubase projects that I find online, mostly from Lorne Balfe, who has posted lots of his projects. Not so much lately, so most of his projects are from around 2017 to 2020, and the older ones obviously use Kontakt 5. And there's also a lot of Ashton Gleckman projects that he did around that time as well.

    If you open these projects in Cubase using Kontakt 7, it doesn't open the instruments he used, even if you have some of those instruments. I already tried. The only thing that works is to set Cubase to Rosetta mode and open those projects, then Kontakt 5 will load, and if you have the same instruments they used, then they will open and play fine.

    But if you open that project in Apple Silicon native mode, it will load Kontakt 7 instead of 5, and it will be empty, even if you have the same instruments. This is something I tried several times.

    So are we supposed to just give up, and not be able to run any old projects that had Kontakt 5, when Apple is providing a perfectly usable layer like Rossetta 2 that works perfectly well?

  • WIngramMusic
    WIngramMusic Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Hello all, I'm so glad I found this thread. I know it was from a bit ago. I am helping a fellow composer do a whole new system upgrade to a new Mac Studio, with Sonoma installed, from a 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 running High Sierra, and I also ran into this same issue. I just wanted to add to this thread that I did the first two steps suggested:

    1. Replace Native Access with that older one
    2. Delete the Macintosh HD > Users > Shared > Native Instruments folder

    That solution worked for me. Kontakt 5 instruments no longer run in DEMO mode after those two steps. And also work properly in Kontakt 7. Upon refreshing Native Access, I saw in Finder create this new file path:

    Native Access > ras3

    Inside that "ras3" folder were a bunch of .jwt files. I read on a NI Knowledge Base article that a possible solution to solving any DEMO mode issue was to trash and create a new "ras3" folder, or simply create it yourself if it wasn't there. Then after refreshing Native Access it populates that folder with new activation files. So maybe you could try that step too.

    Anyway I figured it could be useful to you, but also future people, who might run into this issue on at Mac OS Sonoma that those steps worked for me. So maybe something in Rosetta2 got updated recently that allows this to work. Not sure, just speculation. Anyway, I hope you all found a way to get back to work!

  • PixOBC
    PixOBC Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Hi NI,

    I've just been contacted by one of my publishers requesting an edit to to a track from about three years ago for a TV show. Kontakt 5 is running in demo mode on my M2 mac. I have to agree that this is incredibly poor for native instruments to render their products so redundant after updates. Moreso because it's a licensing issue and not actually because of the product not working. I'm now phasing out NI products and moving to others because it's such a hassle . It wastes a huge amount of time. It's no good to just say, oh, it's been discontinued, buy the new version. I have. Please find a better way to handle your licenses.

  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 887 Guru
    edited March 16

    "I have to agree that this is incredibly poor for native instruments to render their products so redundant after updates."

    Redundant? Wow. If you seriously expecting a product introduced in 2011 to work "perfectly" here in 2024 - with who knows what Mac OS you are using - that is truly wishful thinking.

    Ironically - the only party playing the "redundant" card is the crew that makes your Mac quite frankly.

    Kontakt 5 was discontinued years ago and it is not on NI to "update" this ancient app to ensure everyone's older (Mac based) sessions open perfectly years after purchase - especially with Apples built in ability to almost ensure chaos every time they change hardware or software.

    If you want true backwards compatibility (and no redundancy) - use Windows


  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 2,541 mod
    edited March 16

    You could also try to get it to run !

    As far as I know then you can still download Legacy Installers for Native Instruments Software Products

    Also , reason for running in Demo could be more ! Are you running K5 in Rosetta (2) like you need to do ? (You may possibly have to also run your DAW under Rosetta) , Please check the Apple Silicon section here : Compatibility of Native Instruments Products on macOS , and you can not blame N.I. for changes to Apple OS also ?

    Else here are some knowledge base articles :

    My Products Are Showing As DEMO in Native Access

    How to Enable Full Disk Access on macOS (ALL NI apps including NTKDaemon must have full disk access)

    Notes on Network Drives and Disk Formats

    Otherwise then contact N.I. support and have them help you get it all sorted.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,595 mod

    @PixOBC Kontakt 5 has been discontinued, that's one part of it. Apple changed their processors, as you may have noticed as well. If you wish to open old projects made on an Intel Mac, you should run your DAW in Rosetta mode: How to Open Your DAW Using Rosetta

    Also, depending on the DAW you are using, there's an automigration for older Kontakt instruments to load in the newer version: Notes about Auto-Migration of Kontakt Versions in DAW Projects

  • angelguitarist
    angelguitarist Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    Regardless of any opinion in relationship to that Kontakt 5 or other plugins appear as DEMO I think that after to pay an important amount of money for this software it's not a satisfied solution of forcing the client to have to purchase another version and pay again for something that is supposed to offer the opportunity to be used for a long time. It should not occur. The fact of Apple changes the operation system every year no ought of represent none problem for those that have paid by the use of a software and the companies that sell these plugins should be responsible for offering an adequate update for each customer who has purchased one of their products with lifetime licenses.

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