MAXQDA – Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the differences between MAXQDA Standard, MAXQDA Plus and MAXQDA Analytics Pro?

    Learn more about the differences between all available MAXQDA products in our product overview. You can also find a detailed list of the features of each product in our feature comparison.

  • What’s the difference between single-user, portable, and network licenses?

    There are no differences in functionality or pricing between these three license types. They differ only in where they are installed:

    • Single-user licenses are installed on personal computers or laptops.
    • Portable licenses are installed on USB flash drives.
    • Network licenses are installed in a server-client environment and managed by a server admin using the MAXQDA license service and manager.

    Learn more about MAXQDA license options.

  • Is there a difference between student licenses and regular licenses?
    • Student licenses are fully functional licenses.
    • Student licenses are available for students and PhD candidates who verify their student status.
    • Student licenses are not available for purchase by institutions or non-students.
    • Student licenses are available as 6 month, 12 month or 24 month licenses.
    • Student licenses are available as MAXQDA Standard and MAXQDA Analytics Pro.
    • It is not possible to upgrade student licenses.

    Learn more about MAXQDA student licenses

  • What’s the difference between buying and leasing MAXQDA?

    Annual Subscription (available from 5 licenses)

    Our 365-day care-free package. This subscription lasts a full year and is available from 5 licenses. The subscription is renewed every year unless cancelled with 2 months notice.

    • New versions included
    • Premium online support
    • Software updates

    Perpetual License (available from 1 license)

    This one-time purchase lets you use MAXQDA for an unlimited time – the license never expires. One-time purchases include all the services listed here on our website.

    • New versions available with a discount
    • Regular support
    • Software updates

    You can find more details on purchase options in our license overview.

    License Overview

  • Can I switch from one MAXQDA product to another?

    Yes, you can extend your MAXQDA Standard or MAXQDA Plus license to a MAXQDA Analytics Pro license.

    • MAXQDA Standard can be extended to MAXQDA Analytics Pro
    • MAXQDA Plus can be extended to MAXQDA Analytics Pro
    • Extensions are not available for student licenses

    Visit our Analytics Pro extension webpage for more information.

    Upgrade to an up-to-date version of MAXQDA from an older version

    If you have a MAXQDA 11 or MAXQDA 12 license, you can upgrade your license to MAXQDA 2018.
    Visit our upgrade webpage for more information.

  • How do I know which price category to choose?

    You can choose from three price categories in the MAXQDA online shop: educational, reduced, and commercial. Educational prices are available for universities, technical schools, and other educational institutions including their employees. Reduced prices are available for NGOs and governmental institutions. The commercial pricing applies to everyone who does not belong to an educational or governmental institution or NGO.

  • Are there any special offers for universities and schools?

    Yes, we support educational institutions such as universities and technical colleges with several offers that promote excellence in qualitative methods training. Our offers include our reduced educational price category, our free Course License for research methods classes and our QDA Lab License for classrooms or computer labs.

    Learn more about MAXQDA offers for educational institutions.

  • What is the duration of a student license?

    Student licenses are available as 6 month, 12 month or 24 month licenses.

    Learn more about MAXQDA student licenses

  • How do I verify my student status?

    Please visit our student verification webpage to learn more about the verification process and which documents to submit.

  • Can PhD candidates purchase student liceneses?

    Yes. PhD candidates are eligible for a MAXQDA student license.

  • On how many computers can I install MAXQDA?

    That depends on which MAXQDA license you purchased.

    Single-user licenses can be installed on two machines. Both installations may not be used simultaneously or by different individuals.

    Student licenses can be installed on two machines. Both installations may not be used simultaneously or by different individuals.

    Semester licenses can be installed on one machine.

    Portable licenses can be installed on one USB flash drive.

    Network licenses can be installed on up to twice as many computers as licenses purchased, but can only be used simultaneously by one machine per license (installation is only possible in a client-server environment).

    Learn more about MAXQDA license options

  • How can I transfer my license to a new computer?

    In order to transfer your MAXQDA license to a new computer, please deactivate the license on your current computer first.

    The deactivation process disconnects your MAXQDA license from your computer, so that you can install and unlock MAXQDA on a new machine with your serial number. (Use the download link in the installation guide that you received when you purchased the license).

    Deactivate MAXQDA 2018 (Windows / Mac)

    Open MAXQDA and click “? > Deactivate license on this computer”.

    Deactivate MAXQDA 12 (Windows / Mac)

    Open MAXQDA and click “Help > Deactivate license on this computer”.

    Deactivate MAXQDA 11 (Mac)

    Open MAXQDA and click “Help > Deactivate license on this computer”.

    Deactivate MAXQDA 11 (Windows)

    Open MAXQDA and click “Help > Deactivate license on this computer”.

    • Due to technical reasons a deactivated license of MAXQDA 11 for Windows license can NOT be reactivated on the same computer.
    • If the “License Transfer” button is greyed out, please make sure to start MAXQDA with admin rights. You can do this by right-clicking on the MAXQDA icon (on your desktop or in the start menu) and choosing “Run as Administrator”.

    Deactivate MAXQDA 10 (Windows)

    Open MAXQDA and click “? > License > License transfer/return > Transfer license”.

    • Due to technical reasons a deactivated license of MAXQDA 11 for Windows license can NOT be reactivated on the same computer.
    • If the “License Transfer” button is greyed out, please make sure to start MAXQDA with admin rights. You can do this by right-clicking on the MAXQDA icon (on your desktop or in the start menu) and choosing “Run as Administrator”.

    Deactivate MAXQDA 2007 (Windows)

    Please contact our Support team as long as you still have access to the MAXQDA installation on the old computer. They will send you a step by step guide for the deactivation process on your old computer: https://www.maxqda.com/support/onlinesupport

  • I need to reinstall my operating system. How can I reactivate my license?

    MAXQDA 2018 (Windows / Mac)

    Download and install MAXQDA 2018 on your reinstalled operating system using the download link in the installation guide you received when you purchased the license. Activate MAXQDA with your serial number. MAXQDA will recognize that this is the same computer and reactivate your installation without using up an additional activation.

    MAXQDA 12 (Windows / Mac)

    Download and install MAXQDA 12 on your reinstalled operating system using the download link in the installation guide you received when you purchased the license. Activate MAXQDA with your serial number. MAXQDA will recognize that this is the same computer and reactivate your installation without using up an additional activation.

    MAXQDA 11 (Mac)

    Please contact our technical support to get assistance with the reinstallation of MAXQDA 11 for Mac and send along the Apple serial number of your Mac computer. You will usually find it by clicking on the Apple icon in the upper left corner and selecting “About this Mac”. The technical support can be contacted through this form: https://www.maxqda.com/support/onlinesupport

    MAXQDA 11 (Windows)

    Download and install MAXQDA 11 on your reinstalled operating system using the download link in the installation guide you received when you purchased the license. Activate MAXQDA with your serial number. MAXQDA will recognize that this is the same computer and reactivate your installation without using up an additional activation.

    MAXQDA 10 (Windows)

    Please deactivate MAXQDA before reinstalling your Windows system. Open MAXQDA (with administrator rights) and select „? > License > License transfer/return > Transfer license“. You can reactivate MAXQDA on the fresh operating system with your old product ID and serial number.

    MAXQDA 2007 (Windows)

    Please contact our support team as long as you still have access to the MAXQDA installation on the old operating system. They will send you a step by step guide for the deactivation process on your old system. The technical support can be contacted through this form: https://www.maxqda.com/support/onlinesupport

  • Can I open a project file created with an older MAXQDA version in MAXQDA 2018?

    Yes, you can open projects created with older MAXQDA versions in MAXQDA 2018.

    To open a project created with an earlier version of MAXQDA, follow these steps:

    1. Start MAXQDA and select Open Project in the start window.
    2. In the dialog window that appears change the file type to the desired version of MAXQDA.
    3. Select the project you wish to open and click "open"
    How to open MAXQDA 12 projects in MAXQDA 2018

    MAXQDA 2018 creates a copy of the project in the new MX18 format and saves the project in the same folder as the old project.

    View detailed instructions for this action in the "Starting the Program" chapter of the MAXQDA online manual.

    MAXQDA 2018 for Windows can read the following project file types:

    • MAXQDA 12 (extension: MX12)
    • MAXQDA 11 for Windows (MX5)
    • MAXQDA 10 (MX4)
    • MAXQDA 2007 (MX3)
    • MAXQDA 2 (MX2)
    • MAXQDA (M2K)
    • MAXQDA Exchange files (MEX), that were created with MAXQDA for Mac versions 11.2.2 or newer
    • MAXQDA Exchange files (MEX), that were created with MAXQDA for Windows.

    MAXQDA 2018 for Mac can read the following project file types:

    • MAXQDA 12 (extension: MX12)
    • MAXQDA 11 for Mac (MX11)
    • MAXQDA Exchange Files (MEX), that were created with MAXQDA for Mac version 11.2.2 or newer.
    • MAXQDA Exchange Files (MEX), that were created with MAXQDA for Windows version 11.1.0 or newer.
  • Can I open a MAXQDA 2018 project with an older MAXQDA?

    Yes, you open a MAXQDA 2018 project in MAXQDA 12. To do so, you first need to save your MAXQDA 2018 in the MAXQDA Exchange File format (.mex).

    You can find a detailed description of this process in the MAXQDA online manual.

    There are some parts of a MAXQDA 2018 project that MAXQDA 12 is not able to display:

    • Codes using the default MAXQDA 2018 code color (blue) will switch to the default MAXQDA 12 code color (grey)
    • MAXQDA 2018 allows longer comments. MAXQDA 12 only allows 127 characters in a comment. Additional characters will be deleted.
    • In MAXQDA 2018 you can import data from Twitter into "Twitter-Documents". These documents will be displayed as regular table documents in MAXQDA 12, that can not be edited.
    • Maps that were created with MAXQDA 2018 can not be displayed in MAXQDA 12.
  • Can I exchange projects between MAXQDA for Windows and MAXQDA for Mac?

    MAXQDA 2018 / MAXQDA 12

    Yes, you can open and work with the same MAXQDA project file on either Windows or Mac computers. Sharing your work with others and accessing your students' or teammates' project files is a vital part of your daily work. That's why MAXQDA works with a universal project files - .mx18 (MAXQDA 2018) or .mx12 (MAXQDA 12) - which can be opened and edited with both Windows or Mac.

    MAXQDA 11

    Yes, you can export MAXQDA projects from MAXQDA 11 (Mac or Windows) and import them into the other operating system by first exporting them as a "MAXQDA Exchange file".

    Open the project in MAXQDA 11, select "Project > Export MAXQDA exchange file" and save the MAXQDA exchange file to a convenient location (e.g. your desktop). Then, open MAXQDA 11 on another platform and choose "Open existing project > OK". At the bottom of the Finder window or Windows dialog window, select the MAX-Exchange file type (*.mex), select the MAXQDA exchange file and click "Open".

  • How can I save my project?

    MAXQDA is a database program, which means that almost all changes are automatically saved (e.g. data imports, the creation and application of codes etc.) in the project files. That's why MAXQDA does not have a “save” button. Once an action is performed, it's immediately saved. It's also why MAXQDA double-checks before deleting important project elements, such as codes.

    Documents and memos that are currently being edited, for example when you are writing notes in a text document or transcribing audio/video files, are automatically saved every 5 minutes. This time interval can be adjusted in the project settings. Open maps in MAXMAps are automatically saved every minute and also when they are closed. Logbook entries are saved when you close the logbook window.

  • Caution: Why you should not open MAXQDA projects from USB drives, network drives, or cloud services (Dropbox, iCloud etc.)

    MAXQDA is a database program and needs a stable and uninterrupted connection to the project file. While you are working with a project file MAXQDA is constantly reading and writing data directly into the database.

    Opening projects from external resources

    We strongly recommend against opening MAXQDA projects from external resources like a network drive, USB flash drive, external hard drive or any cloud synchronized folder.

    An interruption of the connection between MAXQDA and the project files due to a weak network connection or a background synchronization process can lead to the corruption of your project database. If a cloud based synchronization service like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Mega, Onecloud, Box, etc. starts a background synchronization process of your project while you are currently working with the project in MAXQDA it may effect the database consistency. It may also happen that you are reopening a recently closed MAXQDA project while your cloud service is still synchronizing the file, which also may lead to a damaged database.

    If you still decide or have to open your MAXQDA project from an external resource, we cannot guarantee that the project file will not be damaged through disrupted connection.

    Storing projects in external resources

    You can still use any of the above mentioned external storage resources to save backups to or to share projects with other users. Just copy the project file to your local computer before opening the project with MAXQDA.

  • Can I import NVivo or Atlas.ti projects into MAXQDA?

    You can import projects from NVivo 8 or NVivo 9 and import projects from Atlas.ti 6 into MAXQDA 10 or MAXQDA 11 (Windows only).

    Importing projects from NVivo 8 or 9 into MAXQDA 11 (Windows)

    Prerequisites

    1. MS Word and MS SQL Server 2008 must be installed (SQL Server 2008 is installed together with the NVivo 9 trial version and can be used without a time limit). To import NVivo 8 projects you only need SQL Server 2005, which is automatically installed with NVivo 8.

    2. You have admin rights on your Windows computer.

    3. The directory where the imported NVivo file will be saved, should have sufficient free space available. MAXQDA creates several temporary files during the import, which are deleted once the import is finished.

    Import NVivo into MAXQDA 11

    To import the project, start MAXQDA 11 and select "Open existing project". In the next file dialog, select "NVivo Project (*.nvp) from the file type menu and select the NVivo 8 or 9 project you wish to import.

    Importing projects from Atlas.ti 6 into MAXQDA 11 (Windows)

    Export your Atlas.ti project into the XML-Format using "Extras > Export to > XML". When prompted, select the option to "Include Primary Documents and Quotations (meta info only). In the dialog window "Send output to:" select "File" and click OK. Save the XML-File to the same folder where your HRP6 file is located.

    To import the project, start MAXQDA 11 and select "Open existing project". In the next file dialog, select "ATLAS.ti project (*.xml) from the file type menu and select the XML file you exported.

    MAXQDA imports text documents only. This process will ignore any possible PDF documents, images or audio and video files. Atlas.ti 7 projects may also be imported, if the documents were set up as linked documents.

  • How do I uninstall MAXQDA?

    Follow the instruction below to uninstall MAXQDA from your computer. If you want to deactivate your license or transfer your license to a different computer, please make sure to do so before you uninstall MAXQDA.

    Windows 7

    Open START > All programs > MAXQDA 12 > Uninstall.

    Windows 8

    Press the Windows button and start typing "Control Panel" to search and open your computers control panel. Under "Programs" you will find the option to "Uninstall a program". Select MAXQDA from your list of programs and click "Uninstall" at the top of the list.

    Windows 10

    Open START > Settings > System > Apps & features. Select MAXQDA and click "Uninstall" at the top of the list.

    Mac

    Open your applications folder and drag the MAXQDA icon into your trash can.

  • Which media file formats can I analyze with MAXQDA?

    MAXQDA supports the the following formats as standard:

    AudioWindows: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, M4A
    Mac: MP3, WAV, AAC, CAF, M4A
    VideoMP4, MOV, MPG, AVI, M4V, 3GP, 3GGP
    Windows: additionally WMV
    For video, a MP4 file with the video codec H.264 / AVC is recommended.

    You can find detailed descriptons about working with audio and video in MAXQDA in the "Audio and Video" chapter of the online manual.

  • How do I use the F4 key for transcription with MAXQDA for Mac?

    If you are using Mac, the F4 key is usually used for system features, like opening up the launchpad application or changing the brightness of the screen. If you want to use F4 to play and pause audio in MAXQDA for Mac, you can find an option to do so in "System Preferences > Keyboard".



    Open "Keyboard" and activate the option to "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard functions keys".



    With this option activated you can play and pause audio and video in MAXQDA - as long as the media player is turned on - with the F4 and F5 keys.

    You just need to remember to deactivate this setting again, should you want to use these keyboard keys for those they are usually assigned to when you're not working with MAXQDA.

  • Which foot switches are suitable for transcribing audio or video files?

    With MAXQDA you may transcribe audio and video files directly within the program. That means that you don’t need any additional transcription software. MAXQDA offers all the common features for transcribing: Variable playing speed, rewind interval, automatic timestamps, etc.

    To save time during transcription, you can also use a foot switch with MAXQDA. But please note: The foot switch should activate the F4 key when pushing and releasing it.

    The following foot switches can be used for your transcription with MAXQDA

    Science foot pedal
    Science II foot pedal

  • Is the trial version a full version of MAXQDA?

    Yes, the trial version is a fully functional version of MAXQDA Analytics Pro. You have access to all its functions and can create, edit, and save projects of any size. The trial version is valid for 14 days and will expire automatically.

  • Can I start my project with the trial and continue with the full version?

    Yes, you can. Your projects will be saved to your hard drive. You can continue your to work on projects you created with the trial version in the full version. You can also move your project to a different computer which has MAXQDA installed on it and continue working from there.

  • I didn't receive an email with my trial download link

    You should receive an email with the download link no later than an hour after you have made your request. Be sure to check your spam folder. If you still can't find the e-mail, please request it again while making sure your email address is typed correctly. If you still haven't received an email once you have tried this, please contact us at cs@maxqda.com.

  • Do I need to activate the trial version?

    No, you don't need to activate it. Simply click on Continue your free trial in the MAXQDA welcome window to continue using the trial version. The trial is valid for 14 days. You can unlock the trial at any time with either a serial number or connect to a network license.

  • Are there any differences between MAXQDA on Mac and Windows?

    MAXQDA 2018 - No differences between Windows and Mac

    MAXQDA 2018 is the same software product for both Windows and Mac. Any differences are owed to the operating system itself (i.e. the feel and look of system buttons or drop down menus, audio and video capabilities).

    MAXQDA 12 - No differences between Windows and Mac

    MAXQDA 12 is the same software product for both Windows and Mac. Any differences are owed to the operating system itself (i.e. the feel and look of system buttons or drop down menus, audio and video capabilities).

    MAXQDA 11 - Small differences between Windows and Mac

    In MAXQDA 11 you will notice minor differences between the Windows and the Mac OS X version of our software:


    for Windows

    for Mac
    file typemx5mx11
    Support foot pedals for transcriptionScience
    Science II
    Science
    Import from NVivo or Atlas.ti
    Contact our
    online support
    Printing PDF and images with code stripes-
    Complex retrieval of coded segments for
    audio and video clips
    -
    Intercoder agreement also for audio/video/images/tables
    Exclude word combinations in MAXDictio word frequencies-
    Intersection and proximity of codes for audio and video files-
    Import and Export OpenOffice files from ODT-Format-
  • Error message: “This license is NOT a portable license and can not be used on a USB stick.”

    If this message appears during the activation of a student/single user license, please make sure the MAXQDA application is installed in the program folder and not on an external hard drive or USB memory drive.

    Additional info for Mac users: If the error still occurs, please make sure you are starting MAXQDA from inside your application folder rather than from the MAXQDA Disk-Image-File on the desktop. If this is the case, please close MAXQDA and eject the MAXQDA-Installer “MAXQDA” (the white hard drive symbol with the MAXQDA icon on your desktop) by dragging it to the trash/eject icon. Now open your applications folder in your Finder and click on the MAXQDA icon to start the program and activate your license.

  • Error message: "MAXQDA is damaged. Move it to trash."

    If this message appears during the installation process of MAXQDA on a Mac, please allow Gatekeeper to accept applications downloaded from “Anywhere”.

    Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy

    Under the heading Allow apps downloaded from: select "Anywhere". (If you are logged in as a regular user (not an admin) you need to click the lock icon in the lower left corner and enter the administrator password to make this selection available.)

    Start the installation process again. After the successful installation of MAXQDA you can set your security options back to their original setting.

    faq_g8

    Important note when using OS Sierra: Apple's new operating system doesn't offer the option "Anywhere". When installing a portable MAXQDA license on a flash drive please follow these steps:

    1. Open the downloaded dmg file. The following window appears:

    2. Drag the app with the MAXQDA icon onto your Desktop.

    3. Eject the dmg file.

    4. Start MAXQDA from the Desktop and confirm that you want to open the downloaded file. Also confirm the Terms & Conditions and a MAXQDA error message. The program will automatically close afterwards.

    5. After you have done that you may now drag the app with the MAXQDA icon onto your flash drive and use MAXQDA from there.

  • I cannot see my codes anymore.

    You may have deselected specific coding stripes. Right-click the grey area where the coding stripes normally appear to open a window in which you can select which codings you would like displayed there. If you want to display all of them, make sure, all the boxes are checked.

  • When I try to open my project the message “Incompatible data format” appears.
    If you receive this message the project file you are trying to open was created with a newer release of MAXQDA and contains data that your installation cannot read. Please update MAXQDA before opening the file.
  • Error message "This is not a valid serial number for MAXQDA"

    Please check if the installed version of MAXQDA matches your license version. For example, you need to enter a MAXQDA 2018 license to unlock an MAXQDA 2018 installation. If the license is for MAXQDA 12, the license cannot be used to unlock an installation of MAXQDA 2018.

    Please also check your serial number for typing errors.

    If you still receive this message, please get in contact with our support team. Our technical support team can be contacted through this form: https://www.maxqda.com/support/onlinesupport

  • Error message "A problem with the hardware ID of the USB flash drive occured"
    MAXQDA cannot read the hardware ID of the USB flash drive.


    Solution 1: Please start the disk utility and format (“delete”) your USB flash drive with the exFAT format.

    Attention: Formatting your USB flash drive will automatically delete everything on it. Please save your data on another storage medium before formatting the stick. Afterwards, please activate your license with the same serial number (again). If the activation is not successful please contact our Support Team.

    Solution 2: If the problem still exists please try to use another USB flash drive. We recommend using USB 3.0 Hardware.

  • Does MAXQDA work with any language?

    Analyzing texts in different languages with MAXQDA

    The fact that MAXQDA supports Unicode makes it possible not only to import and analyze documents in any script, (from Japanese to Cyrillic to Arabic), but also to create codes and variables in these languages. This Unicode functionality is available in every MAXQDA function.

    Unicode is an international standard with the goal of standardizing all known languages and characters. This makes it possible to work with various languages in the same document. One sentence can be in English, the next in Mandarin, and the next in Arabic. This is possible because Unicode (unlike more common computer character systems like ASCII or ISO Latin) can deal with more than 128 or 256 different characters. In MAXQDA, even codes and variable names can be created with “foreign” characters, and searches and in-vivo coding can be conducted in any language.

    Using the MAXQDA interface in different languages

    We aim to offer you an excellent multilingual QDA software in your language, so you can concentrate on your research, not on translation. So far the MAXQDA user interface has been translated into more than 10 languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Thai, Polish and Czech).

  • Can MAXQDA be used in teams?

    Yes. We know that research is often done in teams and MAXQDA provides many functions for this purpose. You can work together on the same project or simply exchange documents, including their codes, and you can easily merge two projects into one.

    • Merge several projects into one project file.
    • Transfer project elements from one project file to another.
    • Intercoder agreement. Analyze and discuss how different team members coded the same data. Calculate kappa coefficient.
    • User roles. Assign user roles and permissions to team members.

    Teamwork with Windows & Mac

    MAXQDA is completely identical on Windows and MAC. Both versions share the same project file format which enables teams to work together seamlessly even when using different operating systems.

    Detailed information about the MAXQDA teamwork features can be found in the teamwork chapter of the online manual.

  • How do I cite MAXQDA?

    For a detailed description and examples please visit the following MAXQDA Blog entry: How to cite MAXQDA