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How do I install Stata 18 for Windows on a network drive?

Title   Installing Stata 18 for Windows on a network drive
Author Hua Peng, StataCorp

This FAQ explains how to install Stata or StataNow on a network drive. Below we will refer to Stata, but we really mean either Stata or StataNow. We will be explicit if you need to do something different for one vs. the other.


You will need a network license before you can install Stata on a network drive. Once you have your network license, you can install Stata directly from the server itself. If you have the appropriate privileges, you can install Stata onto a mapped drive.

The installation procedure is the same as it is on a standalone workstation, except you select the appropriate drive. The default working directory (where Stata will store files and look for any files it is asked to read) will default to the user’s Documents directory on the server you install Stata. You will need to override this with the shortcut on the local machine.

Installing the right executable

Stata 18 does not support 32-bit Windows. You must install Stata 18 on a 64-bit Windows server, and all workstations running Stata must use 64-bit Windows.

See a list of compatible Windows operating systems for Stata 18.

License initialization

Once Stata is installed, you will need to run it once to initialize the license.

When you have done that, you can mount the Windows share on which you installed Stata and run Stata from there. If the network share will be mounted as the same drive from all workstations, it may be easiest to create a shortcut to it.

Creating shortcuts on workstations

Let's say you mount the share as the S: drive, and the Stata/SE executable is at S:\Stata18\StataSE-64.exe. Right-click on the background to bring up the menu, point to New, and then select Shortcut from the list. Type the path into the box, or Browse to the executable. Enter Stata for the name of the shortcut. If you are using StataNow, the directory might be S:\StataNow18 but the executable name would still be StataSE-64.exe for StataNow/SE.

Once the shortcut has been created, right-click on it and select Properties. Change the Start in: field to a local drive to which users will have write access. This is where Stata will attempt to store files. If the machine will be used by more than one user, you will probably wish to use a local directory to which all users can write or use the home directory specified using the environment variables %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%.

License renewal or changes

There will be times when your license needs to be changed: sites with an annual license will need to renew the license, or the numbers of users may change. The procedure is the same in all of these circumstances.

You will be making changes in the directory in which Stata is installed, and you will need the license and authorization information that is on your License and Authorization sheet or in the email you received from StataCorp.

  • Change to the directory in which Stata is installed.
  • Right-click on the STATA.LIC file, and select Rename from the menu.
  • Change the name of the file to STATA.LIC.OLD.
  • Run Stata, which will prompt you for your license information and re-create the STATA.LIC file.
  • Once you have entered the license information, it is always a good idea to run Stata as an unprivileged user to ensure that it runs correctly. If Stata runs for the privileged user but does not run for the unprivileged user, check the permissions on the STATA.LIC file.

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