Support to AutoCAD licensing has become incredibly confusing if you are not already utilizing best practices to manage your licenses.  Please note:  Adobe is going the same route for managing their licenses so it’s to your benefit to learn this now.

Perpetual Licenses AKA Owned Licensed or Legacy Option:  This is how most productivity software has been purchased until now.  This is an initial cost, plus the annual subscription that includes updates and support.  This license costs less over time but if you fail to renew your perpetual license, it will not work.  However,  you will not receive updates or upgrade to a later release if the subscription is not maintained.

Perpertual License of  AutoCAD $8125
Yearly subscription $1220

Desktop Subscriptions:  It’s the same old Autodesk but can be thought as renting a software license year to year.  There’s the benefit of lower cost per entry ($3600) However, it does cost more over time.  Startups prefer this route for conserving money for maintaining strong cash flows.

Larger businesses prefer Perpetual licenses because while it costs more up front, it costs less over time, and it never expires.

Helpful Tips and Updates

  • Autodesk is not perpetual. They only sell term based license now.
  • AutoCAD subscription means Term based or rental. This is helpful when viewing licenses under Please see the picture below.
  • Each AutoCAD software should be assigned to the user. Subscription licenses must be assigned to the end user. The user must access their account through and reset their password if they don’t recall it.  ***You cannot resend invitations to the management site or send a reset for user’s password through there as well.
  • AutoCAD Design Suite Standard contain more than just AutoCAD. Some users need more features.  Make sure you clarify their CAD needs.
  • Open AutoCAD and view about, product information. Then compare serial number or product name to understand who has perpetual vs term based
  • Starting now there is an option to switch from maintenance to subscription or M to S.  This will come up during the maintenance renewal cycle.

Additional Resources:

AutoCAD Support

Downloads and License Management Console

AutoCAD Support for Term Based vs Perpetual Summary

AutoCAD licensing can be complicated if you don’t under the basics.  Hopefully, we helped filled in the management of AutoCAD licensing  gaps.  There are plenty of additional articles to help you further along if you need additional user management assistance.

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