Using the AutoCAD License Transfer Utility

Starting with AutoCAD 2010, the old Portable License Utility (PLU) has been replaced by the License Transfer Utility (LTU). The old PLU essentially created a "license file" that you could move from one computer to another using a network, flash drive or any other method. If you bought a new computer for example, you could install AutoCAD on the new computer, and use the PLU to transfer the activation from the old machine to the new one.

The only problem with this is that the PLU failure rate was about 50%, and because you had to define the target machine when you exported, you could not re-import back onto the same machine.

So along comes the LTU. So what is the difference? The LTU copies your activation up to the Autodesk servers where it can sit until you are ready to import it. So far in my testing, it has not failed once. Of course you will need an internet connection on both machines, and you will need an Autodesk UserID and password. If you don't have one, you can create one.

Exporting a license

The first step is to launch the LTU. It's on the Start Menu in the same program group as your application. The initial dialog will look like this

Click the Sign In button. After you have signed in (or created a new account and signed in), the next dialog will look like this:

By default, you will only be able to import this license to a machine with the same serial number and the same Autodesk account. If you check the "Make the license available as a public import", then anyone can import the license. The AutoCAD install will still need to be done with the same serial number as the install from which the license was exported.

This next screen is confirming that the license was exported successfully.

Importing a license

Now you are ready to import on a different machine. Remember, the second install must use the same serial number. Start the same application (LTU) on the second machine, and after you log in, the license importing process will begin.

After this has completed, a confirmation dialog will appear letting you know that the license was imported successfully.

I have only tested with multi-seat standalone licensed AutoCAD based products, but it should work the same way with single seat licenses also. Of course there is no need for this utility with network licensed AutoCAD.

Update (2009-09-21): Autodesk has uploaded a how-to video to Youtube on this same topic. I have not watched it all the way through, but if you have 15 minutes, I'm sure it's good.



Licence exporting and importing is always a difficult procedure at any computing application. Usually something goes wrong and often the software vendor’s helpdesk are not able to solve the problem. With this explanatory posting everyone should be more confident on handling licence transfers in AutoCAD.

Thank you for this Cad Panacea!

Thanks a lot for posting this. As a application engineer , I have done this a couple of times in previous versions.
I think this will be the best way to transfer the license.

This is the scenario then:
I loaded the 30 day Inventor 2008 trial at home , not to have to install off the Company server, due to a painfully slow connection. After the 30 days were up, the activation screen that pops up won't allow me to redirect the search for a license/server but on the contrary will ask me the info that 'd normally have if I had the jewel case on hand. can I tell Inv 2008 to validate the license at the Co server?. Thanks in advance.

I can't speak for Inventor, but with AutoCAD you can only install a network licensed version via a network deployment, not an install off removable media. There are (unsupported) ways of converting a standalone copy to network licensed and vice-versa for AutoCAD, but again, I can't speak for Inventor.

LTU worked fine the first day I used it. I signed off when finished. No problems. The next day... CAD 11 came up, simply flashed and went away. The LTU window never appears, but when I view what is happening on the task manager screen, LTU and LMU come up. LTU and CAD go away. LMU stays running. What is shutting down my LTU and CAD????? We've been trying to sort this out for over a week now with now success. Firewalls turned off, etc... nothing has helped. Reloaded... didn't help.

Thx. Shar


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