Welcome to the Autodesk Installation Guide!

Autodesk is a software provider for a wide variety of CAD applications, many of which are used within the department and will be required in your classes. Fortunately, Autodesk allows students access to their software for FREE – unfortunately, the process can be a little confusing…

We in the A&E CAD Technical Support Team have compiled this guide to help students like yourself get access to the software you need in the simplest way possible. Please take the time to read and follow the instructions below carefully in order to get up and running as quickly as possible.

A Note Concerning Autodesk’s Educational Program Accounts

As of March 25, 2020, the license term for all educational licenses for all versions of Autodesk software is now 1 year. When the 1 year license expires, you can either renew for the current version or get the current release version. If your student access is ready to expire, please follow the renewal instructions posted to Autodesk’s website here.

Additionally, Autodesk has increased validation of educational eligibility through a new verification process. If you already have an account, you may be asked to provide additional information at your next sign in.

For more information, please visit Autodesk’s Educational Programs Account Management page.

Instructions

Register with the Autodesk Education Community. Only after registering will you be able to download and activate your free license of CAD software.

To register with the community read and follow the steps below.

  1. Click here to open the Educational Registration page.
  2. Choose your Country.
  3. Select Student as your Educational Role
  4. Select University/Post-Secondary as your Institution Type
  5. Enter your Date of Birth
  6. Click Next to advance to the Account Creation page.

  1. Enter your First and Last name.
  2. Enter your ACC student email address (ending in @g.austincc.edu).
  3. Create a password for your new account and record it somewhere safe.
  4. Click the checkbox to agree to Autodesk’s terms and conditions, then click Create Account.

  1. Afterwards, you will receive an email asking you to to confirm your account creation.
  2. Continue with the steps below in the Account Verification section to complete the setup of your new account and verify that you are student at a valid educational institution.

Verify your newly created account and/or verify that you are a student. If you already had an account, and just need to verify that you are a student, please skip to the “Verify You are a Student” section below.

Verify New Account

After you have verified your email address for your newly created account, you will be redirected to a page titled “Just one more step” where it asks for information about the educational institution you are attending and the dates you are attending (click image to the right for more details).

  1. For the Name of educational Institution field, start typing “Austin Comm…” and choose “Austin Community College District (Austin, TX)” from the list that appears.
  2. Choose the Area of Study that you are interested in (choose all that apply).
  3. Choose the Month and Year that you started classes at ACC.
  4. Choose the Month and Year you are expecting to graduate (estimate if unsure), then click Next.

Verify You are a Student

You have now verified and completed setting up your account with Autodesk, or you already had an account, and now you need to verify that you are a student with a valid educational institution. To verify that you are a student follow the steps below:

  1.  If you just verified that you just created an account and are continuing from the previous section, you will automatically be redirected to the page where you can verify your account. Click on the Verify button (see left image below, click to enlarge).
  2. This will ultimately fail, but it is required in order to get the link (highlighted in middle image below, click to enlarge) where you can upload documentation to prove you are a student (see right image below, click to enlarge).

  1. If you already have an Autodesk account, and you are just verifying that you are a student, you will see similar images to the ones shown below either when you log in, or when you attempt to download any of the free software.


  1. Once you have gotten to the “Additional documentation needed” screen where you can upload documents to prove you are a student, you will need to get a signed copy of the Autodesk Verification Letter from us, which you can do by clicking the button to the right and filling out the form.
  2. After you have received the signed Autodesk Verification Letter from us, upload it to the Autodesk Educational Community site where it says “Drag documents here, or browse”, then click Submit.

  1. Following the submittal of your documentation, you will receive a “Thank you” screen letting you know that the verification process can take up to 20 minutes (see left image, click to enlarge). We have found that it usually takes no more than a minute to receive a notification that you have been verified (see middle image, click to enlarge) and an email that also lets you know the same thing (see right image, click to enlarge).

  1. Now that you have been verified as a student, proceed to the Download section below to continue downloading the software you need for your class.

Download the software you need.

  1. Visit the Autodesk Education Community
    • If you are not already signed in to Autodesk’s website, click on the SIGN IN button in the top ribbon and sign in using the credentials you created during Registration. The SIGN IN button will be replaced with blue circle contianing your initials when you are signed in.


  1. Click on “Get Products” in the main viewing pane – currently located next to the blue WATCH VIDEO button.
    • If the page reloads and you do not see your name in the banner area (or ‘Get Product’ links in the software tiles), you may need to click the ‘Sign In’ link in the main pane near the blue GET STARTED button – this will reload the page (or require you to sign in again) and you should then see your name in the banner after the page reloads.
  2. Find the software you wish to install using the filters provided or by scrolling down the page and viewing all available software.
  3. Once you have found the application you need, click “Get Product” link inside the software’s tile.
  4. The tile will update to allow you to select your preferences and will reveal the Install button:
    1. Your operating system
    2. Required product version (select the 2021 version)
    3. Your preferred language

  1. Once your selections in step #5 are complete, click on the down arrow to the right of the Install button and select ‘Download’ from the fly-out menu.
    • NOTE: The Install option attempts to download and install the application at the same time, which often causes issues.
    • NOTE: If installing Civil 3D, Inventor, or Revit, there are multiple install files that need to be downloaded – your browser may identify these additional downloads as pop-ups and block them. Please make sure that Autodesk.com is on your browser’s list of trusted websites so that all install files are downloaded.

  1. Once all downloads are complete, open your Downloads folder and double-click the install file to launch the self-extractor (any install file, if multiple downloaded).
  1. A small window will appear and ask you for location where files will be extracted (defaults to C:\Autodesk). Click OK to proceed.

Follow the steps in the Installation section below to install your Autodesk product.

Students enrolled in electronic CAD classes requiring AutoCAD Electrical and AutoCAD Plant will require additional instruction in order to obtain their software. Before beginning this section, please work through the guide to download and install AutoCAD, first.

  1. Return to the Autodesk Education page and sign in the same way detailed in the Download section of the guide.
  2. Click on the same location you used to sign in – it should now be a blue icon with a silhouette inside a circle.
  3. Click on the ‘Manage products & downloads’ option from the fly-out menu.
  4. Click on the ‘All Products and Services’ option in the left navigation column.

  1. Here you will see all the products to which you currently have access. Find the AutoCAD tile and click on the View Items button to the right.
  1. All available features for AutoCAD will appear – expand the tile corresponding to the application package you wish to install by clicking on the caret (^) to the left.
  2. Click on the ‘View Downloads’ link next to the version you wish to install.
  3. From the pop-up menu that appears, click on the Download Now button to begin downloading the install file(s).
    • NOTE: You may be presented with a pop-up asking if you want to open Autodesk Download Manager – click the open button to allow the application to launch and commence with the download.

Once your download is complete, you will be able to install your new software following the same steps outlined in the Installation and Activation sections.

Once the application has finished downloading:

  1. If the installer did not launch after extraction, navigate to the C:\Autodesk folder for a folder named “Autodesk_[your software name]_[YEAR]_ML_Windows_64bit_dlm” and open it. Inside that folder locate the Setup.exe file and double-click it to begin the installation.
  2. Follow the prompts in the installation window to complete the installation of your Autodesk application.

Follow the steps in the Activation section below to activate your Autodesk product.

Sign in to activate your product.

  1. Once installation is complete, click the Launch Now button from the installer or find your new application from the Start menu and click to launch it.
    • You will be presented with the splash screen pictured to the right.
  2. Click on the Sign in with your Autodesk ID button to activate your product.
  1. You will be presented with a sign in window from Autodesk; enter the credentials you created during Registration.
  2. Once signed in, your product will be activated and ready for you to use.

Congratulations! You have completed the activation process and are now ready to use your selected software.

Educational access to Autodesk software is managed on an annual basis; 30 days prior to your access expiration, Autodesk will send an email notifying you that your annual access is coming to an end. To renew your educational access, please follow the instructions provided below:

  1. Ensure you are still eligible for educational access by reviewing Autodesk’s eligibility requirements.
  2. Navigate to the Autodesk Education Community website and sign in to your account.
  3. Click Renew Now link in the personalized banner notification.
  4. Once you confirm your eligibility, your access will be automatically extended for another year.

If your access has already expired, you can restart your educational access by following the steps below:

  1. Ensure you are still eligible for educational access by reviewing Autodesk’s eligibility requirements.
  2. Navigate to the Autodesk Education Community website, sign in to your account.
  3. Click Restart Access link in the personalized banner notification.
  4. Once you confirm your eligibility, your access will be automatically extended for another year.

Any product subscriptions that you hold will also be automatically extended for another year.

Verification Issues

Autodesk’s new verification process is not without shortcomings and pitfalls – sometimes, this verification process does not go smoothly. Some students have been required to submit additional documentation, many have reported receiving expired links, and others have been subjected to an export screening process. If you are having any of the issues mentioned, don’t worry – you’re not alone and we’re here to help.

Please see the directions below based on the verification issue you’re experiencing.

Additional Documentation Requested

If you are asked to submit additional documentation, the easiest support documentation you can provide is your ACC student ID. If you are able to, please scan or take pictures of your ACC student ID card and attach them to an email and send it to cad-techsupport-group@austincc.edu.

If you are unable to complete the first form of supplemental identification, you can provide them with a secondary form of identification based on your ACC profile. Please follow the instructions below to obtain a screenshot of the relevant information:

  • Go to austincc.edu and click on Students from the top banner.
  • Click on Online Services in the table lower right.
  • Click on Student Login – My ACC button (purple) and login when the ACC Okta sign in screen appears.
  • Click on My Profile in the lower right table.
  • Screenshot your personal information (name) with the ACC header, the URL, AND your ACCeID.
  • Add as a screenshot to an email and send it to cad-techsupport-group@austincc.edu.
Expired Link

This issue has become much more common and there are ways to resolve the situation; unfortunately, the issue can only be resolved by Autodesk. That having been said, Autodesk does have a walkthrough for resolving the issue posted here.

If after trying the steps prescribed by the Autodesk agent do not resolve the issue, you may need to contact Autodesk’s Education Customer Support using this link – click here. The link will take you to a chatbot – once you click the help with student verification link and then enter something to the effect of email verification expiration, you should be given the opportunity to enter a ‘case’ with their support team. They should be able to provide you with a new verification email, if all else fails.

Export Screening Process

If you receive this notification from Autodesk, please inform us by forwarding the email to cad-techsupport-group@austincc.edu so that we can monitor the situation. Autodesk is sometimes very quick in resolving the screening process, but has also been known to take several days. At the moment, we don’t have a solution to expedite the process, but we can develop contingency plans for you to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

Download and Installation Issues

As pointed out in the notes in step #6 of the Downloads section, students should not attempt to install directly from the website and should check to ensure pop-ups are enabled for Autodesk.com on their browser of choice. To add an exception for Autodesk.com, please follow the directions below for your browser of choice.

  • NOTE: If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, we recommend that you select a new preferred browser (preferably from the list below) to download and install.
  • NOTE: If you are a Mac user and wondering why Safari is not listed, it is because you will download and install Autodesk software to the Windows operating system installed on your machine via Boot Camp or Parallels.
Google Chrome
  1. Click the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your browser window and select Settings from the fly-out menu
  2. In the left navigation column, click Privacy and security
  3. Click on the Site Settings tile (bottom of section)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Pop-ups and redirects tile
  5. Next to Allow (bottom option), click the Add button to the right
  6. Enter Autodesk.com and click the Add button
  7. Proceed with instructions in the Download section
Microsoft Edge
  1. Click the three horizontal dots in the upper-right corner of your browser window and select Settings from the fly-out menu
  2. In the left navigation column, click Cookies and site permissions
  3. Scroll down to the permissions section and click on the Pop-ups and redirects tile
  4. Next to Allow (bottom option), click the Add button to the right
  5. Enter Autodesk.com and click the Add button
  6. Proceed with instructions in the Download section
Mozilla Firefox
  1. Click the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your browser window and select Options from the fly-out menu
  2. In the left navigation column, click Privacy & Security
  3. Scroll down to the permissions section and click the Exceptions… button next to Block pop-up windows entry
  4. Enter Autodesk.com and click the Allow button
  5. Click the Save Changes button
  6. Proceed with instructions in the Download section

Missing Revit Family Templates and Libraries

Autodesk has changed the installation process regarding Revit’s libraries and family templates – only a small subset of files are included in the application installation files. In order to get the complete set of files, you will need to download and extract the files separately.

Autodesk has published a website here with an explanation of the changes as well as a guide to obtaining your files via their new in-application service. If the service in Autodesk’s guide is unavailable, there is an alternate manual method outlined below:

  1. First, ensure Revit is closed
  2. Click the link here to navigate to Autodesk’s download page
  3. Click the link for the installer you want to download (US English filenames listed below):
    • For Family Templates: RVT20XX_ENU_Imperial_FamTemplates_Templates.exe
    • For Libraries: RVT20XX_ENU_Imperial_Libraries.exe
  4. Once the download is complete, run the installer file downloaded in the previous step either…
    • from your browser’s download tray OR
    • by double-clicking on the file from its download location
  5. You’ll be asked if you want to run the file – click the Run button
  6. Specify the location to extract your files (accept the default C:\ProgramData\Autodesk)
  7. Once complete, restart your machine and then launch Revit – your extracted template/library files will now be available

Resolve DLL Load Issues

A common issue with Autodesk applications is a failure to launch because a particular DLL file will not load. The issue typically appears in an error message stating “[Application] could not load C:\Program Files\Autodesk\[Application]\[Filename].dll”. This issue is typically a conflict between Microsoft Visual C++ packages and Autodesk DLLs; the issue is actually a missing dependency the DLL needs in order to ‘load’ properly. To resolve this issue, please follow the instructions below to reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ packages:

  1. Click on your Start menu or the search field on the taskbar
  2. Type cmd to find your Command Prompt application
  3. Right-click on the Command Prompt tile in your Start menu and select ‘Run as Administrator’
  4. Copy-and-paste or type: WMIC Product Where “Name Like ‘%Visual C++%'” Call Reinstall 
  5. Hit the ‘Enter’ key and await the command to complete
  6. Attempt to re-launch your Autodesk application

Resetting Your Profile

A common issue with Autodesk applications is the user profile becoming lost or corrupt; this issue manifests itself in two ways:

  • as FATAL ERRORs, which appear when attempting to launch your application, OR
  • as irretrievable, undocked toolbars and workspaces, orphaned in previous work sessions

Both of these issues may be resolved by restoring your profile settings to defaults. In order to do so, please navigate to your chosen Autodesk application below and follow the directions provided.

Reset AutoCAD Profile
  1. Ensure all Autodesk applications are closed
  2. From the Start menu, click on the AutoCAD 20XX – English tile to expand it
  3. Click on the Reset Settings to Default tile to launch the service
  4. Click on the first option link “Back up and reset custom settings”
  5. Select a location to save your current settings and click the Save button
  6. The service will save your current profile settings, reset AutoCAD settings to default, and launch the application
Reset Civil 3D Profile
  1. Ensure all Autodesk applications are closed
  2. Launch the Registry Editor by entering regedit into the search field in the taskbar
  3. Browse to the following key and rename it by appending .bak to the end of the key name (ie. ACAD-4100:409.bak):
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\[release version]\ACAD-[product version]:[language version]
  4. Close the Registry Editor and open an instance of Windows File Explorer
  5. Browse to the following folder and rename it by appending .bak to the end of the folder name (ie. C3D 2021.bak):
    • C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\C3D 20XX
    • C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Autodesk\C3D 20XX
  6. Relaunch Civil 3D to initiate the secondary installer, re-creating the keys and files previously .bak updated
Reset Inventor Profile
  1. Ensure all Autodesk applications are closed
  2. From the Start menu, click on the Autodesk Inventor 20XX tile to expand it
  3. Click on the Inventor Reset Utility tile to launch the service
  4. Select your version in the right selection pane and click on the Reset button
  5. Click the OK button to complete the reset
  6. You may exit the service and relaunch Inventor
Reset Revit Profile
  1. Ensure all Autodesk applications are closed
  2. Browse to the following folder and rename it by appending .bak to the end of the folder name (ie. Autodesk Revit 2021.bak):
    • C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 20XX
  3. Launch the Registry Editor by entering regedit into the search field in the taskbar
  4. Browse to the following key and rename it by appending .bak to the end of the key name (ie. Autodesk Revit 2021.bak):
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 20XX
  5. Relaunch Revit to initiate the secondary installer, re-creating the keys and files previously .bak updated

Autodesk applications download and install a variety of support software and services that your primary application requires to run. Due to overlapping dependencies, uninstalling an Autodesk application is not as straightforward as uninstalling other applications – most need to be uninstalled in a very specific order or components of your software may become unresponsive and won’t be able to be uninstalled or repaired without their dependencies being reinstalled first. Because of this, Autodesk developed an Uninstall Tool that will uninstall applications and all dependent software in the correct order.

If you wish to uninstall an Autodesk application, please follow the directions provided below.

First, click on your Start menu and scroll down to the Autodesk folder. Click on the folder to expand the options underneath it. You should see an option for the “Uninstall Tool” – click on it to open the application.

The location on the Start menu will look like this:




Select the checkbox next to the application you wish to remove – you will notice each application name slightly left of the indented software dependencies beneath it. By selecting the top-most, non-indented checkbox, all dependent features will be automatically selected.

Click the Uninstall button in the lower right of the window to uninstall your selected application(s) in the proper order.

When the uninstallation is complete, you will not receive any notification other than the status bar (in blue at bottom). Simply click the Exit button when complete to finish the uninstallation.