The FlowJo dongle has been a longstanding license type utilized by users to access FlowJo. A dongle is a USB loaded with a license.key file that grants access to the FlowJo desktop application. A user can plug their Dongle into a computer and open a fully authenticated FlowJo session. Dongles can be used by multiple users on multiple computers, one computer per Dongle at a time because this is a transportable license.

In the past, FlowJo has sold purple, older black, and the red/black switchblade dongle models. FlowJo currently sells a newer all black with black cap dongle. Generally speaking, purple dongles allowed access to FlowJo version 6 (<2006) and earlier versions of FlowJo, the older black dongle allowed access to FlowJo versions 7 and 8 (<2009), the red/black switchblade dongle allowed access to versions 7,8,9 and 10 (>=2009) and our newest all black dongle with black cap allows access to versions 9 and 10 (>2023).

Replacement/General Dongle Policies

  • If a dongle is misplaced, lost or missing, the customer will need to purchase a new one at the regular rates*
  • If a customer’s dongle is stolen and there is an official police report documenting the theft, a new dongle will be sold to the customer for a replacement fee + shipping*
  • If a customer breaks their dongle, FlowJo will replace the dongle for a replacement fee + shipping*
  • If a dongle malfunctions, it is as the discretion of our dongle support team to replace or charge a replacement fee. If the dongle is 3+ years old, there will most likely be a replacement fee, because the dongle has probably used extensively.

*We need to know which dongle is missing, needs to be replaced, or was stolen so that we can annotate the original dongle order and/or arrange to get it returned to the customer if the missing dongle is found.

*For international customers in the EU, most countries charge several hundred Euros to have the dongle imported into their country, so this is something to think about if you plan on buying a dongle. FlowJo is not responsible for taxes, duties and tariffs associated with dongle shipments.


FlowJo sells dongle upgrades, which offer customers the ability to either physically or electronically upgrade their dongle if they are using a dongle that only allows access to version 6, 7 or 8.

FlowJo Dongles will not allow access to FlowJo version 11, which is slated for release in 2025. The only licensing option that will allow access to version 11 is our user-based licensing system, FlowJo Portal.

Conversion to FlowJo Portal Trade In Credit

FlowJo currently offers a dongle trade-in credit program and based on the age of the dongle will offer credit to a customer who wishes to trade-in their dongle for a FlowJo Portal annual subscription license. For more information of dongle trade-in credit, contact

Basic Troubleshooting

  • If a user loads other files onto the dongle, FlowJo will not be able to recognize the dongle.
  • If the dongle is renamed different than FJTHUMB, FlowJo will not be able to to recognize the dongle.
  • If the dongle is not recognized by the computer, FlowJo will not be able to recognize the dongle.
  • We recommend that you remove the dongle from the computer after every use so that the dongle does not overheat in your computer’s USB port.
  • If a dongle is corrupt, a user will need to reformat their dongle and contact us for a replacement license.key file. Please see below links on how to obtain your Dongle ID for this purpose.

Finding Dongle ID (Newer Dongles – Black with cap – Delivered starting March 2023)

Finding Dongle ID (Older Dongles – Red/Black Switchblade 2009-2023)

Finding Dongle ID (Legacy Black Dongles <2009)

MacOS 10-13 Permissions

MacOS’s 10-13 Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey and Ventura require special permissions to allow FlowJo to detect the dongle. Please give FlowJo “Full Disk Access” permissions in Apple’s Security and Privacy Settings for FlowJo to properly detect the Dongle and access files. Please see below links for MacOS version-specific permissions instructions. Quit and restart FlowJo for the permissions changes to apply.

MacOS13 Permissions (Ventura)

MacOS10-12 Permissions (Catalina, Big Sur and Monterey)