How to Install AutoCAD

By Microsol Resources | CAD

When Autodesk first released its new design and drafting software AutoCAD in 1982, no one expected it would become as big as it did. Yet, several decades and many versions later, AutoCAD is still every designer’s and architect’s favorite program. And by the looks of it, it will be a while before some other software takes its place.


So, what makes AutoCAD software so special? When it first appeared, it was nothing short of revolutionary. Using a computer program to create 2D and 3D models and draft blueprints instead of doing everything with pen and paper? To engineers, architects, and designers, it sounded like a dream come true.


And the truly impressive part is the level of commitment Autodesk has to this project. AutoCAD has come a long way since that original software in 1982 — in fact, improved versions are released almost every year. Some of these versions come with revolutionary new features that make the user’s job far easier, while others only contain minor changes and fixes. Still, just the fact that they’ve been working on the software for nearly 40 years shows how much they care for their customers.


Thus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in the design, engineering, or construction industry who hasn’t heard of or used AutoCAD. In fact, most universities in these fields use precisely this software to teach their students.


Introduction to Installation of AutoCAD

If you’re a designer, architect, or engineer, AutoCAD is an absolute must-have. This software will make your life so much easier and your designing process smoother and quicker. However, you may be a little hesitant about downloading such an advanced program. For that reason, we have decided to make tutorials for installing it on both Windows and Mac.


How to Download AutoCAD for Windows

Before you can install any program, you need to download it, and AutoCAD is no exception. Downloading this software isn’t particularly difficult, but you should know that there are several ways to do it. Those include:

  • Downloading the program from your Autodesk Account
  • Downloading and installing the software using the Autodesk desktop app (only available for Windows)
  • Using Autodesk Virtual Agent (AVA) for downloading

All of these methods are fairly simple, and you should have no trouble getting your software. But just in case, we will cover all three of them:


With Autodesk Account

To use this method, you need to first create an account on the Autodesk website. This part is no different than registering your account anywhere else — simply fill out the form with your first and last name, email ID, and password. If you already have an Autodesk account, skip this step and just sign in.


Once you’ve signed in, go into the Products tab on Autodesk’s main menu. There you’ll see a list of Autodesk products such as Revit, Maya, 3ds Max, Civil 3D, and, of course, AutoCAD. Choose AutoCAD from the available options, and you’ll be redirected to its product page.


On this product page, you can choose to download a free trial or buy a subscription to this Autodesk software. The current version you access automatically is AutoCAD 2022, but you can purchase AutoCAD 2021 and earlier versions as well. To do that, click on the System Requirements link on the product page and then to the Downloads section of the menu that opens next. There you’ll see a drop-down menu with available AutoCAD versions.


Once you select your version and subscription plan, you’ll get a dialog box with information on the product you’re buying. Copy the serial number and product key from the box and then click on “Download Now.”


We should also mention that educators can get a special license type for using AutoCAD. If you are one, go to the Product section of the main menu and choose “Educational Access.” Then, click on the Educators tab in the new menu and follow the instructions there.


With Autodesk Desktop App

Downloading AutoCAD with the Autodesk desktop app is even easier — you simply need to find the software on the app and click on the download link there. And getting the app is just as easy. All you have to do is visit this link and click on Install Now. Then, read and accept the license agreement, and you can begin your download and installation process.


With Autodesk Virtual Agent (AVA)

Finally, you can get AutoCAD for Windows using the Autodesk Virtual Assistant. Simply launch AVA, go to the Quick Links tab, and select Download Autodesk Products from the drop-down menu. AVA will ask you to sign in to your account first, and then you’ll just have to follow its instructions to successfully download the software.


Installing AutoCAD on Windows

When you begin the installation process, first you’ll have to read the “License and Services Agreement.” Once you have, click on the “I accept” option to proceed.


Next, you’ll have to install the AutoCAD Download Manager. This part is simple, as you’ll just need to specify which folder you want to save it in and then click OK. The manager will then extract the necessary files and start the AutoCAD installer.


In this installer, you’ll once again need to specify where the software should be installed. Then click on the Install button, and a new window will open, allowing you to configure the installation process further. Make sure to select the custom installation type and then check all the features in the drop-down menu below.


Finally, the installation will begin, and you’ll have to wait for it to finish. That may take some time, but once it’s done, click on Finish. Then, double-click on the .exe file to launch the program. At this stage, it might ask you to provide the activation code before you use it, so just paste the product key that you copied earlier.


If you forgot to save the product key, don’t worry — your Autodesk account definitely still has it. Sign in and go to the All Products and Services tab, where you’ll find all the software you purchased. Find AutoCAD on the list and click on More Actions drop-down menu, and then select Serial Numbers. You’ll find the code you need there, so just copy it to activate your program.


How to Download AutoCAD for Mac

Luckily, AutoCAD isn’t limited to just one operating system, so even if you own a Mac, you can still install it. However, you’ll have fewer downloading options — namely, you won’t be able to get the program through the Autodesk desktop app.


The downloading process for Mac is fairly similar to the one for Windows, but you’ll need to specify what OS you’re using. To avoid any confusion, let’s quickly go over the steps you need to take.


First, visit the official Autodesk website and click on the Sign In option. Once you complete your registration or logging in, go to the main menu and the Support section. Choose the Downloads option from the drop-down, and then Download Your Software.


On the next page that opens, you’ll notice the Get AutoCAD for Mac option. Click on it, and then choose the version of AutoCAD you want from the available ones. Also, make sure to double-check if the selected operating system is Mac OS, and then pick the language you wish to use.


Under these options, you’ll see the serial and product keys, which you should copy before you start the installation. Finally, if everything else is in order, go ahead and download the program.


Installing AutoCAD on Mac

Downloading may take a while, but once it’s finished, you’ll be ready to install your software. You’ll find it in the form of a DMG file in your download manager. Open it and select Install Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac. The installer will launch, and you’ll need to read and agree to the licensing agreement.


After that, you’ll be asked to enter the product key and serial number into two boxes. You copied them before, so just paste them here and click Continue. However, you can also choose a 30-day free trial version which will allow you to use the program without these two numbers.


The installation shouldn’t take too long — perhaps around ten to fifteen minutes. Click Close and give AutoCAD a try afterward. If you’ve done everything correctly, it should work perfectly well. But if not, you might need to uninstall and try again.


Using AutoCAD

While downloading and installing AutoCAD isn’t too difficult, learning how to use it certainly can be. The software is famous for its array of tools and fantastic options, but that’s exactly what makes it so intimidating for beginners. And while it’s possible to master it all on your own, it can take many months, which you may be better off using in a more productive way.


Luckily, there are countless AutoCAD courses online — some available on LinkedIn, some on our own website, and some on Autodesk’s. Autodesk also has its own vast community that’s willing to help and answer questions whenever you find yourself stuck. Ultimately, if you want to learn, you’ll find that there is no shortage of resources.


In Conclusion

AutoCAD has undoubtedly made countless designers’, architects’, and engineers’ lives easier by allowing them to digitally make 2D and 3D models, design buildings, and play with ideas. Thanks to its numerous functionalities and tools, the software has become almost indispensable now, and most people working in the designing and engineering fields are expected to know how to use it. But before you can use it, you need to download and install it.


Luckily, with this guide, you shouldn’t have any issues getting this program. In fact, once you purchase the subscription, it should be yours in less than half an hour. Then you can finally begin designing various models and building plans in AutoCAD. You’ll be surprised at how much difference this software can make!


INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Civil Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, Construction, Manufacturing, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering

Published on August 11, 2021 in CAD.

About the Author

Microsol Resources delivers integrated solutions that help customers design, simulate and analyze their ideas, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on investment in their technology solutions. As a team, we are passionate about helping customers improve their productivity and overall business processes. How can we help? Just reach out.