Activating and deactivating ZBI (Zebra Basic Interpreter)

Article ID: 36137191

Issue / Question

How to move a ZBI Key in between computers so that the printers in varying locations can have the ZBI functionality?

Applicable To

ZBI enabled printers

Resolution / Answer


ZBI is a versatile tool that gives increased functionality and control to many of Zebra's printers.  To take advantage of ZBI, you must purchase a key, activate the key on the local computer, and then download the key's licenses to individual printers.  Each key is tied to a certain number of ZBI licenses.  You must activate the key at a given computer before you can download the licenses to an attached printer.  The ZBI keys are mobile - you can use a key on any number of computers (not simultaneously) so you can distribute the ZBI licenses to different printers at different locations.  The ZBI licenses themselves, however, are not mobile - once you download a license to a printer, it is permanently attached to that printer and cannot be reused.  Zebra's ZDownloader software is the tool used to accomplish the actual ZBI license download to the printer.

To download ZDownloader, navigate to Support and Downloads: ZDownloader

NOTE ZDownloader comes with a key manager that is used for ZBI key activation.


  • The version to activate licenses with format 3467xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (current valid licenses) is ZDownloader v4.0.0.38.
  • Starting from JAN 01 2021, it is no longer possible to activate ZBI licenses with the following format 733000-xxxxxx-xxxxxx.
  • The version to activate licenses with format 733000-xxxxxx-xxxxxx was ZDownloader v3.0.1.28.
  • Now ZBI licenses can be acquired FOC (free of charge), you can use the following link to get ZBI licenses: Obtain a ZBI License.

Procedure for Activating ZBI Keys:

  1. To begin, launch the key manager that comes with ZDownloader
  2. Run ZDownloader and choose the Launch Key Manager Option under the ZBI menu:

  1. Enter your key and click Activate. The program will respond noting that it has accepted the key.  

If it returns a message that the key could not be activated, the key may have already been activated on this computer. If this is the case, you can simply proceed. If alternatively, the key has already been activated on a different computer, then deactivate the key on that computer before it activating it on the current computer. See the bottom of this article for the deactivation steps:

Downloading ZBI Licenses to a Printer  

With the key activated on the current computer, you can now download the license to the printer.  

  1. Open ZDownloader.  If you do not see your printer currently listed, refresh the printer list by choosing the printer > auto-detect.  
  2. Right-click on the printer and select activate ZBI.

  1. If you wish to use your remaining ZBI licenses on printers connected to another computer, deactivate the key from the current computer through Key Manager before activating the key on the new computer.
  2. View the remaining ZBI licenses tied to a certain key by choosing the View Remaining Uses option in the ZBI menu.
  3. You can confirm a successful license download by printing a configuration label and examining the ZBI section:

Deactivating a ZBI Key

To deactivate a ZBI key that has been activated on a computer, follow the steps below:

  1. Run ZDownloader on that computer and then launch Key Manager.  
  2. At the top of the window, click the Internet De-activate option.
  3. Enter your key, and click De-Activate.

+ Product Codes

  • Zebra Basic Interpreter 2.0