Activating and deactivating ZBI (Zebra Basic Interpreter)

Activating and deactivating ZBI (Zebra Basic Interpreter)

Article ID: 36137191



This procedure details the process for activating ZBI on a ZBI enabled printer

Questions answered

How do I move a ZBI Key in between computers so printers in varying locations can have ZBI functionality

Applies To

ZBI enabled printers. 


The configuration label will identify if ZBI is enabled on the printer. Read More>>


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.

You can obtain ZDownloader for free Read More>>  

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



Activating ZBI Keys

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

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At this point, you will enter your key and hit activate.  The program will respond noting that it has accepted the key.  

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If it returns a message that the key could not be activated, it is possible that the key has already been activated on this computer.  If this is this case, you can simply proceed.  If, alternatively, the key has already been activated on a different computer, then it will have to be deactivated on that computer before it can be activated on the current computer.  See the bottom of this article for 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.  Return to ZDownloader.  If you do not see your printer currently listed, refresh the printer list by choosing the printer menu and then auto-detect.  At this point you can right-click on the printer and choose activate ZBI.

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

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Deactivating a ZBI Key

To deactivate a ZBI key that has been activated on a computer, you must run ZDownloader on that computer and then launch Key Manager.  There is an option near the top labeled 'Internet De-activate'.  Click on this option, enter your key, and hit de-activate towards the bottom.

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+ Product Codes

  • Zebra Basic Interpreter 2.0