Activating Your Autodesk Subscription Software

By John Semel | IT, Subscription

As Autodesk’s subscription model matures, over time the activation process has changed. In addition, there are some variations in the activation process, depending on how you have licensed your software. We’ll keep this post updated with the latest methods used to activate your software.

With multi-user licenses, almost no changes are required; all you need is a new license file. The license server will manage usage and compliance. Your Autodesk software should not require re-installation and previous versions should not be an issue.

You can review the following Autodesk Knowledgebase article for creating your license file:
Generate a Network License File in Autodesk Account

You can also contact your reseller to generate the license file, if you have unique requirements such as requesting earlier versions of your software.

SINGLE USER – Purchased from a Reseller:
For single user on 2017 and 2018 software, activating the software is a bit more involved. Please note the following steps carefully, and make sure to follow the sequence.

  1. The Contract Manager or Software Coordinator assigns the license to the user. Instructions are here:
  2. Verify that the workstation in question is connected to the Internet. Otherwise, it will not activate.
  3. Download your software. We recommend you use the Virtual Agent ( Please note that the installer you use must match your license; e.g. if you are licensed for a Building Design Suite Premium suite, you are required to use that specific installer. If you are licensed for the AEC Collection or a single title, you download the installer specifically for that application. If you use the wrong installer, your software will not activate.
  4. Install your software on the user’s computer.
  5. Once the installation is complete, we recommend you install updates before opening the application, as some updates will fix known issues with the application.
  6. Open the application.
  7. You will be presented with the Let’s Get Started screen. Select Enter a Serial Number. 
  8. Enter your Serial Number and (if requested) Product Key.
  9. The application will now ask you to sign into your Autodesk Account.  Once entered, the application will open, and the software is activated.

SINGLE USER – Purchased from the Autodesk eStore:
If purchasing from the eStore, at this time it is not required to enter your serial number. On the Let’s Get Started window, you will select Sign In.

Each seat of a subscription license includes two activations; one for office use, and another for outside the office. This can include laptops that are used for travel. The secondary installations function as single user.

For single-user, the individual simply activates the software that is installed on the home computer, or on the laptop. Follow the same instructions as above.

For multi-user, you request the Home Use via an automated system, available here: Autodesk AVA

If you want to generate a new Home Use license, enter New. If you want to extend an existing Home Use license, enter renew or extend.

If you have additional questions regarding this topic, please reach out to us at


Published on August 9, 2017 in IT, Subscription.

About the Author

John has been the Director of IT at Microsol since 2014. Prior to that, he worked with architecture firms. He is an expert in multi-site collaboration technologies, licensing, subscription software, CAD & BIM specific hardware & digital imaging.