NVivo- Qualitative Data Analysis Software for Researchers software is used by all faculties at the University of Waterloo. It is intended to help qualitative researchers organize and analyze non-numerical or unstructured data. It allows users to classify, sort and arrange information; examine relationships in the data; and combine analysis with linking, shaping, searching and modelling.

NVivo is available upon request to faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo for learning, teaching or research purposes at no cost. Information on how to request the software is outlined below.

Note: The newest version of NVivo, NVivo 14, was made available to users at the University, in late April 2023. Users assigned a license before NVivo 14 was available, have the previous version, NVivo 20 (Release 1).

If you are on the previous version and would like to use NVivo 14 please submit a new request.

User will be assigned NVivo 14 by default. If you need access to NVivo 20 (Release 1), please indicate in this in the ticket.

Projects created in older versions of NVivo, will need to be converted. If you open a project from an older version of NVivo, you will be prompted to convert it. For more information see (link to section about version compatibility).

NVivo license notes:

  • Undergraduate student licenses are valid per term. Faculty, staff and graduate student licenses are perpetual.

  • Each user who has been assigned an NVivo license can activate NVivo on 2 computers. (Note that it can only be used on one device at a time.)

  • The Faculties of Arts and Health offer NVivo on a virtual computer - see Using NVivo on a virtual machine (below). Contact your Faculty IT group for more information

  • NVivo will no longer be sold on the IST Webstore

Included in this article:

Request an NVivo License

  • To obtain an Nvivo license, all Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students and Undergraduate students, please submit the NVivo Request form; please select ‘NVivo License Request’ for the topic you require assistance with and complete the form.

Note for undergraduate students submitting via the form

  • Undergraduate students are required to provide a rationale for their use of NVivo when requesting a license.

  • The license will expire at the start of the following term. If they still require a license, they will need to submit a new form if they still need access.

System Requirements

To install NVivo your computer must meet the minimum installation requirements below.
Note: if your machine does not meet the minimum system requirements, please see Using NVivo on a virtual machine (below)

Note: you will need administrative privileges on the computer to be able to install the software. If you don’t have administrative privileges, contact your IST account representative or Faculty account representative for help.


See Minimum and recommended system requirements to run NVivo Windows


See Minimum and recommended system requirements to run NVivo Mac


Windows and Mac Compatibility

  • NVivo on Windows and Mac are separate software applications with different project file formats. It is possible to convert projects between the platforms however, it is recommended that you do not convert between the formats regularly.

  • For more details, best practices, and information on how to convert projects please see Windows & Mac (qsrinternational.com)

Version Compatibility

NVivo 14 is the newest version of NVivo and was made available to the University in late April 2023. The previous version of NVivo, NVivo 20 (Release 1) is still available upon request.

If you created projects in an older version of NVivo, you will be prompted to convert any older project files that you open because the new version project files have a different format than the previous version. You will need to convert your current files to the new format. It is recommended that you rename the converted files to a new name to the. Be sure to save the converted file to the correct location using the “Browse…” option. If the project file is shared with others, have one person do the conversion and then be sure that everyone switches to using that converted file.

For more information see Version compatibility (qsrinternational.com)

Creating myNVivo account

Once you have been assigned a license, you will receive a welcome email* from Team NVivo (noreply@mynvivo.com) instructing you to create or sign into your myNVivo profile. You must have a profile in order to use the software. A sample welcome email is below.
* If you do not see the welcome email in your inbox, please check your spam/junk folder.
If you already have a myNvivo account login to portal.mynvivo.com with your 8-character UWaterloo username

If you do not already have a myNVivo account please follow the steps below to create your account.

  1. Click on the myNVivo profile link provided in the welcome email to complete your profile.


  2. You will be brought to a webpage where you will need to enter your email. Make sure you enter your 8-character UWaterloo username@uwaterloo.ca (e.g. myuserna@uwaterloo.ca) not your friendly email address. After entering your email, click Send verification code.

  3. You will then receive an email from no-reply@qsrinternational.com containing a verification code.


  4. Return to the webpage and enter the verification code. Click Verify code. Click Continue.

  5. Create your password and click Continue.
    Important! : Please ensure that your password is unique and different than your @uwaterloo.ca password.

  6. Enter your email address, click Next and then enter your password and click Next.

  7. Enter your first and last name, accept the terms of use and privacy policy, then click Continue

  8. You will then be brought to the myNVivo portal homepage.

How to install and activate NVivo


Installing NVivo for Windows

Activate NVivo for Windows


Installing NVivo for Mac

Activate NVivo for Mac

To resolve the error, try the following steps:

  1. Delete the NVivo file you downloaded.

  2. Restart your Mac.

  3. Download NVivo again using Safari.

  4. Try to run the NVivo.

  5. After opening the installer and getting the error click ‘cancel’.

  6. Open system preferences and go to privacy and security.

  7. Scroll down and under security, there should be a notice about NVivo being blocked, click open anyways.

  8. Try to open NVivo again.

Using NVivo on a virtual machine (AVD)

Once you have been granted access, you can access NVivo as follows:

  1. Ensure you are on campus or connected to the VPN.

  2. Visit the link provided to you by your faculty

  3. Log in using nexus\username and password (e.g. nexus\myuserna) Note your username is your 8-character UWaterloo username

  4. Click the NVivo 20 folder

  5. Click NVivo

  6. In your downloads folder, open the file called ‘cpub-NVivo-NVivo-122-CmsRdsh.rdp’

  7. If prompted click Connect


  8. In the Windows Security window, enter your password and click OK.

  9. In the NVivo Setup window, enter your name and initials then click OK.

  10. When you see the icon below, it indicates that you are running NVivo.

  11. From there you can use the Software as needed. Note: you do not need to log in when accessing NVivo via AVD.


How to get Support

Help for NVivo on Mac

NVivo Mac Help

Help for NVivo on Windows

NVivo Windows Help