With Autodesk making a switch from Network licenses to a subscription based model, many companies are transitioning between the two. This article will explain the differences, give helpful tips to ensure a smooth transition and cover common problems encountered during the switch.

With a network license model, licenses would be placed in a pool for users to grab from. This license file would be stored on the local drive or separate server for users to access. As long as there were licenses available to grab from, the users would be able to access the software. With the single user subscription, users are assigned their software and access their software from a cloud based server. Because it is cloud based, there is no more need to have the license manager or license file. They can be assigned and reassigned to access software through the Autodesk portal. 

The account license manager is run by a primary administrator and secondary administrators. They assign seats for software through the portal. This portal is also where users can view and download their assigned software. A quick walkthrough of the Autodesk Account portal can be seen in the following video located on the home screen(this is different depending on if you are an administrator or not):

From the Autodesk primary administrators end, they should ensure that everyone is assigned the correct seats prior to shutting down the license server. This will prevent users from having any downtime when the server is shut down. 


  • Users will have an Autodesk account that they will be signing on with to "get" their license. If it is a new Autodesk account, they will be sent an activation email to create a password and log into their portal. This will be the same account they log in to access their license when starting up the software. 

  • If you find yourself missing a license, it could be that it was assigned to the primary admin. New purchased products are automatically assigned to the primary administrator after purchasing. 

  • It is good practice to keep a running spreadsheet of who is assigned a license and where. Keeping a spreadsheet will help keep track of who should be assigned which license and is helpful when reassigning. This is especially helpful with remote workers or working with offices in different locations.

  • If your log in is not allowing you to use the software make sure that the correct Autodesk account was assigned to the seat in the manage Autodesk Portal. 

  • Assigning a secondary admin is also a helpful tool. They will have the same features as the primary administrator and can step in when the primary administrator is unavailable.

  • If you are updating versions at the same time, is best to use the browser download when installing the new software instead of the install now button. Using the browser download gets all the necessary files needed to install the software. The install now button does not and can cause some issues switching the license type after installing. 

  • Notify team members to change the license type in the different apps prior to making the switch. By going in each app and changing the license type, this will prevent common problems that come up when the license type switches from network. This can be done by going to manage license at the top right of the program under the user the selecting "change license type" on the License Manager window.