Using Autodesk Software During Covid-19

Using Autodesk Software During Covid-19

As Covid-19 has many companies working remotely, customers are asking how to use Autodesk software at home. ATG Senior Technical Support Specialist, Angela helps you navigate these waters in the following post.


The Corona virus, COVID-19, has caused many companies to move their workforce to home offices on a temporary basis. We are seeing a rise in technical support cases where clients are asking how they can use their Autodesk software at home. The good news is that anyone who has a current maintenance and/or subscription plan with Autodesk has access to “home use rights”. Below we will cover the various license types and the options that are available for each.


Available for everyone:

If the home license is only needed temporarily, you can download, install and run any Autodesk software as a free trial for 30 days. All install files come with a 30 day trial period with full functionality before it has to be activated. You can download any of the last four versions from the Virtual Agent without signing in. The only catch with this option is that the machine you are installing it on has to be free/clear of that version/release year. In other words, you cannot use it as a free trial on a machine that has already used that particular product/version/release year before.

Single-user aka Standalone – Term-based Licenses on Subscription:

If you have a single-user term-based subscription, you can install and activate the software on up to 3 machines (as long as the assigned user is only using Autodesk software on 1 machine at a time). Just install and open the software, click “single user” and “sign in” to activate it. You can verify that it is activated on the “manage license” screen. Here is a link to the terms and conditions with information about this option for term-based subscription license holders. The additional computer allowance for term-based subscription licenses is listed under the “home use rights” section.

Single-user aka Standalone – Perpetual Licenses on Maintenance:

If you have a perpetual single user license that is on an active maintenance plan, you can install and activate each license on up to 2 computers (as long as only one user is accessing them and they are only using Autodesk software on 1 machine at a time). Just install the software and follow the prompts to activate it with your existing serial number found in your Autodesk account. If you are out of automatic activation’s, you can click the button that says “I have an activation code from Autodesk”, then just copy the request code, go to the Virtual Agent online, and follow the prompts on the screen to get a manual activation code. Once you have the activation code, just copy it and paste it into the open boxes on the manual activation window. Then you should be able to activate the program by following the remaining prompts on the screen. Here is a link to the terms and conditions with information about this option for perpetual maintenance license holders.

Multi-user aka Network – Term-based Licenses on Subscription and/or Perpetual Licenses on Maintenance:  


  • VPN into the network and “checkout” a license. This works the same way as being in the office, Just connect to the network via VPN and open the software. This option requires a decent internet connection, so the options below may be preferred in areas that do not have that luxury.
  • “Borrow” a network license from the server, which does not require a network connection at home, as the software functions as a standalone license when “borrowed”. Please find more information below.
  • Request a temporary standalone home use serial number, for use on a second machine. Please find more information below.

Unfortunately, home use rights are only available for those with an active contract with Autodesk. However, if you have a perpetual multi-user license that not on maintenance, you can at least use the VPN and/or “borrowing” options. If you have a perpetual single-user license that is not on maintenance, you can only install each license on 1 computer. The only option for this situation is to deactivate the work license using the “License Transfer Utility”, then install the software at home and use the “License Transfer Utility” to activate the license at home.


Request a temporary standalone home use serial number from Autodesk for use with a second machine:

Here is a link where you can make that request to Autodesk. When it asks for a serial number, enter or select the right one, and let them know what products and versions you would like home use serial numbers for. Please note that each product and version will have to be requested separately (if you have a Design Suite, Industry Collection and/or multiple products). Here are step by step instructions:

  • Go to the “request” page: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/customer-service/account-management/users-software/home-use/request-home-use-license
  • Click “Get Started”
  • Sign in to your Autodesk account (and/or hit “next” if you are already signed in)
  • Enter your serial number
  • Select the product that you want a home use license for
  • Select the version that you want a home use license for
  • Submit the final request. Once that is done, Autodesk will send you the serial numbers, which you can use to activate your home use licenses
  • Repeat the process for any additional products, versions and/or release years needed

License Borrowing:

Here is more information about how to “borrow” a license from the server, so that the user can work remotely without being connected to the VPN:

  • Unplug your PC from the docking station (if a dock is used at work but not at home)
  • Open your Autodesk software
  • Pull down the drop down next to the user name in the upper right corner of the software, and go to “Manage License”
  • Click the button to “borrow” the license and follow the prompts on the screen. Here is a print screen showing where the user can locate the “borrow” button (below)

Please note that the default max borrow period is 6 months, which may be too long for some companies. You can limit the maximum borrowing period with an options file.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, are in need of assistance and/or if you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact ATG technical support at 1-888-615-0677. Thank you for reading!

Applied Technology Group is a Platinum Autodesk Business Partner. Founded in North Little Rock, Ark., in 1992 as a local computer services company, ATG has grown to become a leading design technology partner with the purpose of assisting customers in maximizing the value and adoption of advanced technologies so they can perform competitively in the AEC sector. ATG collaborates with customers across the Gulf South, Midwest and Southwest through partnerships with 3DR, Autodesk, Leica, Microsoft and Panzura. Learn more about our company at www.atgusa.com. Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

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