Best Practices for Autodesk’s Transition to Named User

By John Semel | Subscription

In early 2020, Autodesk announced that it is changing its licensing policies, and transitioning its Multi-User customers to the “Named User” model. This will improve the customer experience, by offering better management across locations, more flexible options, and improved reporting on usage.

Changes to license structures benefit from advance planning, so we have prepared a guide to help you through the transition.


Named User subscriptions are first available for use after the previous contract expires. For multi-user licenses, the license file already includes a 30-day grace period, which gives you time to migrate your licenses. However, we recommend that you do as much of the transition as possible before your deadline.

If you purchase your renewal early, Autodesk may make the licenses visible in your Autodesk Account prior to the end of the contract. You can use that time to assign the licenses, but please note that the single-user version will not activate users until the end of the prior contract.


It is always beneficial to keep track of your users and software. With smaller firms, this can be done manually; with medium or large-size firms, we recommend you use software management applications such as SCCM, PDQ Inventory or ManageEngine.

Normally, these types of management apps do not tell you which installations are Single-User and which are Multi-User. Fortunately, this is not important for the Named User transition, as you can run Autodesk’s transition script (discussed below) on your workstations no matter how they are currently configured. If they are Multi-User installations, they will be switched over; if they are already Single-User installations, the scripts won’t make any changes.

Another option is to check the Status Enquiry or Debug Log on LMTOOLS and parse the log for the names of users and computers. Keep in mind that the Status Enquiry report only tells you the list of current users, so you may need to repeatedly check to get a better idea of your users. The Debug Log keeps a list since the service last started, so it will cover a longer period of time.


Update Your Projects

The Transition to Named User officially supports the five most recent versions; at the time of writing, that is 2016 and later. As a result, we recommend you work on moving your projects to 2016 or later versions as soon as possible.

This can be a time-consuming process, but you can start long before your licensing changes. There are batch upgraders available for some products, notably AutoCAD and Revit, which can upgrade entire projects to newer versions. Please note that you should carefully check any files that are upgraded using those types of tools, and of course, you should make sure to back up your original files before running the batch tools.

For AutoCAD and related software that uses the DWG format, please note that the DWG format changes every few years; for example, the 2013 format was used for AutoCAD 2013 through 2017, and the current 2018 format is used for years 2018 through 2021.

For Revit, each year is a separate version. You can review our blog on upgrading models here:


Update Users in Your Firm’s Autodesk Account

The next step is to add users to your firm’s account. Autodesk now uses the “New View” to assign software, and as of the time of writing, users can be added either via the interface, or by uploading a CSV.

Once the users are listed, you can add the licenses to the individual users per your requirements. The users should shortly receive an email notifying them of the changes to their account.

We have a blog on bulk adding users:


Update Activations on the Workstations

Autodesk has provided a script that you can use to switch all of the Autodesk licenses on your workstations to Single-User.

The Autodesk licensing tool and instructions can be downloaded here:

This can be run either directly on the workstation, or remotely via management tools such as SCCM, PDQ Deploy, or ManageEngine.

When first opening the software after running the script, users will be prompted to Sign in with their Autodesk ID, and this activates the software.

Almost all previous software packages are compatible with the tool. However, users of the AutoCAD Design Suite may need to reinstall their software.

With single-user, licenses are activated via an active internet connection. To ensure that the licensing service can function properly, please review the following links for Firewall Exceptions and Proxy Configuration:

Note: Installation files for the current and previous three (3) versions can be downloaded from the Autodesk Account at All versions included back to the previous five (5) versions can be downloaded from the Autodesk Virtual Assistant (AVA) at

Check and Decommission LMTOOLS

Once users are switched to single user, I recommend you check LMTOOLS for any workstations you may have missed. A good tip is to restart the LMTOOLS service, as this will reset the Debug Log. You can then review the log to see if any users are checking out licenses.

Please note that sometimes, older license servers may still be active. I recommend you check older servers for any instances of LMTOOLS.

Once you are ready, you can uninstall LMTOOLS from the server(s). This will not require a reboot, so you can do this at any time.


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at


Additional Resources:

INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Civil Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, Construction, Media & Entertainment, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering

Published on October 29, 2020 in 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.