I bought a Lion OS X license for my home Mac. Can I use this same license to install Lion on my work computer?

The Can I use the new Lion OS X license on two machines, or do I have to buy one for each? question is similar, but that question is about installing on two home machines. My doubt is caused by this excerpt from the App Store license (emphasis mine):

(i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use [...]

If the moderators feel it's more appropriate to complement that question instead of opening a new one, please say so.

3 Answers 3


Since you purchase it from the Mac app store the licensing is the same as other Mac App store purchases. I can't find the exact resource but I believe you can install it on up to 5 Macs.

Here is an article with some information about licensing in Lion. http://osxdaily.com/2011/06/07/single-purchase-of-lion-installs-on-all-macs/

Update: I found some clear language from Apple's Lion press release

The Lion upgrade can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs

  • Hardware and software companies traditionally use wording like "personal" to imply home use only. The way I read the line above is that he would not be able to use it at work. The safer bet would be for his job to get him a license, too. If he is using his personal laptop and bringing it to work, then the lines get blurry. Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 14:06
  • 2
    Good point. I think he would be fine if he owned the machine and used it for work but if work owns the machine and he leaves and reauthorizes the machine then it gets complicated. Nothing would happen (Lion doesn't check to see if it is authorized) but legally things get messy. Also, Lion is just $30, so if you want to play it safe have your work get a license.
    – Nate Bird
    Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 14:13

I believe if you want to follow the letter of the EULA you will need to buy it twice.

With respect to installing a single purchase of Lion on multiple machines, your options are: all the machines you personally own or all the machines that your employer owns and you exclusively use.[1]

From the Lion EULA:

  • install for personal, non-commercial use... on each Apple-branded computer...that you own or control;

  • If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, to download, install, use, and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software for use either: (a) by a single individual on each of the Mac Computer(s) that you own or control

Basically all machines that are your property you can install it on. If you'd take your work computer home if you got fired then you only need one license, otherwise two.

[1] - there is also some provision for machines used by multiple people.

  • The "personal, non-commercial" clause in the license has always bothered me when I see all the apple.com/business marketing material. Perhaps I should ask if anyone knows why lawyers add that clause in a different question.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 13:47

Please refer my answer here for your question:

Can I use the new Lion OS X license on two machines, or do I have to buy one for each?

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