Licensing, Registration & Activation

Autodesk Product Activation FAQ

1. What is product activation?

Product activation is a software-based license management technology used by most Autodesk® software products. It is a secure, easy process that allows users who have purchased legitimate software licenses to run their Autodesk software. The process verifies that the serial number is valid and that the software has been activated only on eligible computers. Product activation does not change the way the software works for licensed users. It is similar to activation mechanisms previously used in Autodesk products but improves security and license management.

2. What happens during product activation?

Product activation occurs the first time you run your Autodesk software (except for product trials). You transmit the product serial number, a request code, and your registration data to Autodesk. We validate the serial number, and an activation code is created and returned to your computer to enable your software. Activation is quick and easy. Most users will have to activate their software only once.

3. Do I require an activation code for each software seat (license)?

Yes. Each software seat (except those managed with a network license server) requires a unique activation code, regardless of how it is deployed. You cannot use an activation code from one machine on another machine.

Please note that the activation process can be highly automated, especially if you purchase multi-seat stand-alone licenses and deploy them using the Deployment Wizard.

4. How does product activation work?

An activation request includes the product information (such as product name, serial number, and product code) and a request code. The request code is displayed next to the serial number in the Register Today screen. This code identifies each activation request and contains no other information about the product or hardware. It consists of a machine ID and a set of values, such as the type and date of the request.

The machine ID is a randomly computed value which cannot be used to identify the make or model of your computer or any of its components. It simply ensures that the software is not activated on any ineligible computers. You send your activation request to Autodesk through a secure Internet connection or by email. If the request is valid, you receive an activation code, and your product is immediately available for use.

5. What if I use more than one computer to do my work? How many activations are permitted per license?

Autodesk understands that you may need to use the software when you are away from your usual work location—for example, while working from home. To accommodate this need, product activation for most Autodesk products lets you install and activate stand-alone software on a second computer owned or controlled by you (the software license owner). Note that the software may only be used by the same person and that only one of the two copies may be used at a time. Consult your Autodesk Software License Agreement for complete details about using the software on a second computer.

6. I usually buy multiple copies of Autodesk software, but use just one of the serial numbers from the media for all the installations. Will this deployment method work with product activation?

No. For these situations, Autodesk recommends purchasing a multi-seat stand-alone license. You will then receive a single version of the media and a single serial number good for a specified number of licensed computers. Contact your reseller for details.

7. What if I want to use the software on a new computer?

If you upgrade or replace your computer, you can simply transfer your license using the License Transfer Utility for most Autodesk products. Or, in many cases, you will be able to reactivate your software on the new computer.

8. I reformat my hard drive often. What impact does activation have in this situation?

You may need to reactivate your software license if you reformat your primary boot disk, although reactivation can be avoided. Use OLT to export the license prior to formatting the drive and import it once your Autodesk product had been reinstalled. The Autodesk Stand-Alone Licensing Guide (available in the help system) provides a few simple steps that help prevent reactivation when you reformat the hard drive.

9. What common changes can trigger the need for reactivation?

The following activities can prompt a reactivation:

  • Significantly changing the primary boot disk
  • Tampering with the activation services or the software license files
  • Modifying the system date or time properties on a computer that has a time-limited software license
  • Reinstalling your operating system

10. Does the activation process ever send data to Autodesk after I activate my product?

No. No data is transmitted unless reactivation of your software license is required. If your software license becomes invalid, reactivation will be required.

11. I use a network license server to manage my Autodesk software licenses. How does product activation affect my licenses?

Product activation only applies to stand-alone and multi-seat stand-alone licenses for certain Autodesk products and is not required for network licenses. However, product activation can affect a network license if the wrong license type is selected during installation. Selecting the wrong license type during installation, such as “Stand-Alone”, can prevent you from installing your network license on multiple computers.