AutoCAD Installation Troubleshooting

February 25, 2019

With many clients in the architecture industry, we’ve installed Autodesk AutoCAD countless times. One of the most common issues we’ve encountered when installing the software is an error with the license manager:

The license manager is not functioning or is improperly installed.

The most basic explanation is that AutoCAD is unable to communicate with the software that tells it that this copy is legit, and this could be for a variety of reasons...

Before getting to our troubleshooting guide, you should ask yourself...

Did I install AutoCAD correctly?

Yes, installation is pretty straightforward with the AutoCAD Desktop App and Installer, however, we've found through research and many-a-conversation with Autodesk support, that there's a couple best practices to avoid issues with the installation:

Make sure you've installed using the "Download Now" option:

  1. Sign in using the appropriate credentials to manage.autodesk.com
  2. Expand the left side pane and click Products & Services > All Products & Services.
  3. Find, then expand AutoCAD and click View all included items
  4. Click View Downloads for AutoCAD.
  5. In the window that pops up, select the appropriate version/platform/language, click View all, then select Download now
  6. Click the blue Download now button and follow through. Before actually installing though, check the section below and ensure that you've turned off anti-virus software.

Make sure that you've turned off anti-virus software!

This step will vary depending on the program that you're using, but it's always recommended to turn off anti-virus software before installing anything, especially a large program like AutoCAD. If you've already installed AutoCAD and you're on a Windows machine, we've seen it where you have an option to reinstall using the AutoCAD App Manager. You can access this by going to Add/Remove Programs from the Start menu, finding AutoCAD, and then clicking uninstall. Allow the program to make changes to your computer and then select the repair/reinstall option.

Now, if installation has gone smoothly and you're getting the license manager error...

Here’s a list of fixes, in order from least invasive to more time consuming.

Happy troubleshooting!

Make sure that the licensing service is running.

  1. Go to the start menu, type “run”, then hit Enter.
  2. In the Open field, type “services.msc”then click “OK”.
  3. Scroll down and find “FlexNet Licensing Service 64”
    -If it’s Disabled, right click and go to Properties.
            Go to the Startup type dropdown and select “Automatic”
    -If it’s Automatic, right click and select Restart.
  4. Attempt to open the AutoCAD application.
    -If it opens, SUCCESS!
    -If error persists, continue to the next troubleshoot

Make sure that ActiveX is enabled.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Internet Options.
  3. On the security tab, click the Custom level button.
  4. Scroll down the Security Settings list until you see ActiveX controls and plug-ins.
  5. Change your settings to:
    -Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Enable
    -Run antimalware software on ActiveX controls: Enable
    -Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting: Enable
  6. Click OK and try running AutoCAD.
    -If you are still having problems, you might need to reboot for the ActiveX changes to kick in.
    -If you’re not getting the “Let’s Get it Started” page, try disconnecting from the internet and run AutoCAD. Once you get the “Let’s Get it Started” page, reconnect to the internet.

Recreate the licensing data file.

  1. Browse to the folder for the installed product version:
    For 2017 products: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\CLM\LGS\<Product_Key>_2017.0.0.F
    For 2018 products: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\CLM\LGS\<Product_Key>_2018.0.0.F
    For 2019 products: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\CLM\LGS\<Product_Key>_2019.0.0.F
    If the folder isn’t there, be sure that it’s not hidden.
    If the folder doesn’t exist, create it.
    Note: Replace <Product Key> with the product key for the installed product. This product key can be found in the Autodesk Account at manage.autodesk.com.​
  2. ​If an LGS.data file is in the folder, delete it.
  3. Use a text editor such as Notepad to create a text file named LGS.data file in the folder.
  4. Open LGS.data in the text editor and type one of the following based on the Autodesk software license type in capital letters on the first line of the file:
    _STANDALONE (if the product license has a serial number)
    _NETWORK (if a Multi-User license is used)
    _USER (if the license is based on a specific Autodesk ID and does not have a serial number)

    Note: If a network license is being used, create LICPATH.lic file in the same folder.
    LICPATH.lic file content is as following format:

    SERVER yourServerName 000000000000
    USE_SERVER
    (Replace yourServerName with the license server or its IP address.)
  5. Save LGS.data and close the text editor.
    Important: Verify that the text editor did not save LGS.data with a hidden “.txt” extension. See these instructions to be sure that extensions are not hidden.
  6. ​Go to C:\Users\%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk and delete the ADUT folder if exists.
  7. If the Autodesk Desktop App installed, launch it and sign in with the relevant Autodesk account credentials.
  8. Try starting the product again.

In our experience, this is typically the furthest we’ve needed to go before getting the application to run, however, should you require more troubleshooting, Autodesk details more steps you can take to get AutoCAD up and running. If you’ve followed us this far, start with option 5 in Autodesk’s knowledge-base article.


AutoCAD has another knowledge base article that states that the license manager error may occur when systems have LogMeIn installed. This is a nightmare if you’re an MSP like us, performing the installation through this remote connection. However, in our experience, it’s never come to this... but if you’ve exhausted all other options OR if being onsite with that computer isn’t a major hassle, check out this article.

There's another error that we've seen much less frequently but is equally as frustrating...

Error 1324. "The folder path "My Documents" contains an invalid character"

In this particular case, the client's GPO automated pointing the User folder path to a location on the server.
It looked something like this:
\\SERVER\users$\username\folder
Folder could mean any of the below:

  • My Documents
  • My Music
  • My Videos
  • My Pictures
  • Desktop

The invalid character that the error is referring to is the $ in the path leading to the Users folder.

Map the username folder so that it has a drive letter rather than a path that starts with \\server\users$.

  • Using our previous example, \\SERVER\users$\username\folder would turn into something like U:\folder.
  • If you're working in an environment that has GPO, you'll need to update the policy so that it pushes out the mapping. If you're working in an environment without GPO, you can map this manually.

Next, update the reg key path to reflect the mapped drive.

  1. Start by opening regedit.exe and then navigate to both:
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft
    \Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell
         AND
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft
    \Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  2. Look through the names or data to find the affected "My Documents" folder.
  3. Right click the name and Modify, then update the value data to reflect the mapped folder. Don't forget to modify this for both Shell AND User Shell Folder.

After the mapping has been completed and the reg path key has been updated, the machine should be restarted and an attempt to open AutoCAD should be made. With any luck, the error will have disappeared and AutoCAD will be ready to use!

Should you require any assistance, feel free to start a chat with us in the bottom right of your browser screen!

Take our free assessment

This one-of-a-kind digital analysis goes deep into diagnosing your actual status, strengths, opportunities and threats (did we mention its FREE?)