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I encounter the error code -1 when attempting to activate Xara

Please note this is when attempting to Activate Xara, if you received this error code on installation, please see this article.

The online activation can result in the error code -1 being returned when attempting to register and activate Xara. The following solutions will resolve the problem in the majority of cases.

A) Please initially ensure you are connected to the Internet.  An online connection is required to activate the software.  Check your firewall settings to ensure it is not preventing the Xara program from accessing the Internet.  

The program uses port 443 ssl.  This is the default port for HTTPS/SSL ( the default port which is used when you complete online purchases via a secure server).

B)  Customers on Windows 7 have reported this error when MS Windows 7 Speech Recognition is enabled. Disabling this will prevent the problem from occurring.

C) The program uses the Internet Explorer API for the online communication modules.

Please go to the system's Control Panel and proceed to "Internet Options". Switch to the "Advanced" tab and find the "Security" section in the long list of checkboxes. Among other things you will find entries for the different Internet communication protocols here.

Please check whether the options TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 are ticked. If that is not the case, please enable/tick these options and confirm your settings.

D) A crucial operating system service that should be running by default may have been disabled. In order to check this, please bring up the Windows "Computer Management", e.g. by opening the Windows Start menu, right-clicking on "Computer" and choosing "Manage". In the Computer Management screen, navigate to the "Services and Applications" section on the left-hand side and proceed to the "Services" sub section. Find the "Background Intelligent Transfer Service" in the alphabetic list of services and check whether the status for this service is "started". If not, right-click on this entry and start/resume it. Then try the program activation again.

E) Go to start > Control Panel > Internet Options > Advanced > Reset. Try activating now. As mentioned before, Xara uses IE protocols to activate so if anything is mis-configured it might cause this error.

F) if the above solutions do not help then please try reinstalling the program.  Ensure you disable any security based software prior to reinstalling. 

Please contact support if difficulties continue. You can submit a ticket from our support home page

Customers using versions prior to version 11

Activate the program using the 'Activate via support ticket' or 'Activate by telephone' options. 


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  1. Robert Turner

  2. Posted
  3. Updated