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.

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.


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 icon of a silhouette inside a circle when you are signed in.

  1. Click on “Get Products” in the main menu bar, just below the top ribbon.
  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.