Quick Start Guide to Get Autodesk Subscription License with Single-User Access Up and Running

By Rowena Harry | Subscription

The Autodesk subscription offering (formerly named Autodesk Desktop Subscription) is based on a Software-as-a-Subscription; Named User model and is available for just about Autodesk’s entire product portfolio with both single-user (formerly referred to as standalone) and multi-user (formerly referred to as network) access types. Autodesk subscription licenses with multi-user access works very much the same as perpetual licenses but getting your single-user subscription license up and running requires assigning the software to an individual user identified by their first and last name and unique email address. To avoid Autodesk single-user subscription licenses from being a pain in the SaaS here are the initial steps required to get you and/or your users up and running:

You’ve Got Mail: Shortly after a purchase of Autodesk subscription license(s) Autodesk will forward an email to the person assigned as the Contract Manager. For those who don’t currently have an Autodesk Account profile this email will contain temporary login credentials. It’s important to note that upon receipt of this email the Autodesk subscription license(s) may not yet be available for use. Once your Autodesk subscription license(s) are able to be accessed; Autodesk will forward another email indicating the license(s) are now available.

Tip: If you think you may have missed the Autodesk notification emails or just want to check if the licenses are available for user assignment you can gain access to Autodesk Account by choosing the forgot password option and enter your email address to have a password reset email generated and sent immediately to reset password and gain instant access. Your Autodesk ID is, by default, your email address unless changed. This tip will only work if Autodesk has processed your subscription order and the licenses have been made available. Otherwise you will need to wait for Autodesk email or try to access Autodesk Account using this tip later.

Assigning User:

Unlike perpetual licenses of Autodesk software or Autodesk multi-user subscription licenses; Autodesk single-user subscription licenses institute a Named User model and require user assignment in order to be functional. This assignment needs to be done within Autodesk Account by the administrator.  By default; Autodesk assigns the first license(s) to the Contract Manager/Software Coordinator with subsequent licenses showing as available for allocation.

If you purchased the Autodesk single-user subscription license for yourself then you are the Contract Manager who the seat has, by default, been assigned to and can proceed to completing your Autodesk Account profile and downloading your software.

If you purchased the Autodesk single-user subscription license for a user(s); you will need to un-assign yourself from the first seat and then assign to the appropriate user(s). Once you assign the software to a particular user, Autodesk will send new/existing users an email advising them to visit Autodesk Account to access their software.

New Named Users: Locate the User ID and Password listed in the email invitation to sign in to Autodesk Account to complete your Autodesk Account profile and then unlock access to your software.

Existing Named Users: Use your existing login credentials to sign in to Autodesk Account to locate and access your software.

Tip: To reassign an existing Autodesk single-user subscription license from one user to another the Contract Manager (or secondary administrator; the Software Coordinator) should visit Autodesk Account and, scrolling to the Users section under the Management tab; locate the existing user to be removed. Click Edit Access to un-assign any software/benefits before deleting the user. That will prevent seats from going MIA and free up the license to be available for another user.

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

Reassigning the Named User is permitted, subject to Autodesk Subscription Terms and Conditions. If you need more information specifically on how to add, edit, or remove users please review blog post:

Downloading Software:

Within Autodesk Account; from the Management tab, scroll and click on the All Products & Services section.

All Autodesk software and services are listed alphabetically. Locate the software you wish to download from the list of available products and services by scrolling or using the search bar option as illustrated in image below:

PRODUCT DOWNLOAD: Click on Image to Enlarge
PRODUCT DOWNLOAD: Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on the arrow icon to reveal your Autodesk subscription license information and downloading options as illustrated in image below. Admins can also click the More actions to be redirected to the Manage Users area to assign seats to users:


Record the Serial Number and Product Key listed in case it is not automatically populated during download/installation.

Note that Autodesk subscription users have access to the current version along with several versions prior. While the Serial Number for all versions remain unchanged the product key will be according to the version. If you need to locate an Autodesk product key for your software, visit our blog posts with current and previous Autodesk product keys.

Install your software either by downloading via the Browser DownloadDownload Now, or Install Now option. You can also install via physical media.

Tip: Because Autodesk subscription licenses are exactly the same software as Autodesk perpetual licenses; you have the option to either download from an alternate Autodesk website, should you for some reason not have access to Autodesk Account, as well as purchase and install using physical media of the product. You can learn more by reviewing our blog posts detailing how to download via Autodesk Virtual Agent as well as how to purchase Autodesk physical media within Autodesk Account.

Note that for Autodesk single-user subscription licenses; an internet connection is required to run your Autodesk single-user subscription license when you launch your software for the first time and then at a minimum; every thirty days.

Tip: (Desktop) Subscription: First Time Login Fail for Windows & Mac 2014/2015 products – please review our blog post on: AUTODESK LICENSING HOTFIX – POODLE SSL V3

If you still have unanswered questions or are having trouble, do not hesitate to contact us! Call us at 888-768-7568 or shoot us an email For troubleshooting technical support you may also email


Published on August 25, 2015 in Subscription.

About the Author

Rowena Harry is the Senior Subscription Specialist at Microsol Resources. Rowena’s role focuses on Autodesk’s subscription product portfolio related to subscription retention, administrator management, and user access. Rowena works closely with Autodesk and Micrsool Resources' sales and support colleagues to facilitate customer familiarity with Autodesk change-management processes for product access as well as updates within the Autodesk Account interface.