Transferring a License

Many times this year I have received phone calls from clients who have in some way or another “lost” their license activation. This can happen in several ways, some more obvious than others. To set your mind at ease I will be outlining what can cause this and also how to prevent it from happening or, if it’s too late, how to fix it. So if you have had activation problems in the past and want to know how to avoid it again, continue reading.

I’ll start off by listing some of unavoidable ways of losing your license activation.

  1. Your PC is stolen
  2. The hard drive crashes

Now in the unfortunate event of any of these happening you have a problem from the word go. Other more avoidable ways of losing the license activation are as follows.

  1. Your PC is formatted for some reason
  2. Hardware changes are made that invalidate the license activation
  3. The license was exported to another pc

In some cases it is unfortunately not possible to retrieve your activation due to the fact that those files are no longer accessible (Case 1 and 2). You will need to find your install media and serial number to start a fresh install of your Autodesk product, as with most of these cases you will be reinstalling on either a new pc or at least a formatted hard drive. If you have had this issue before or have installed the product more than once you may run into an “Activation Limit Reached” error, in this case please refer to our blog “Activating your Autodesk Product”.

For pre-planned events Autodesk have created a mechanism that allows you to conserve your license. This mechanism is the License Transfer Utility (LTU), it allows you to export your license for temporary storage in the cloud and then to import it back when needed. This is most useful when an operating system or hardware upgrade is planned or when moving a designer and license to a new pc.

There are a few requirements to be able to use the LTU. You need a valid Autodesk license, the LTU (installed with your software), an internet connection and the same software installed on both computers and lastly an Autodesk User ID.

To export a license:

  1. Launch the LTU on the computer with the license (Start > All Programs > Autodesk > Autodesk Product > License Transfer Utility).LTU Start
  2. The LTU will pick up the serial key for the product and want to export it. Confirm this and click “Sign in”Export1
  3. Use your Autodesk User ID to sign in.Export2 Sign in
  4. Select “Export” if you are going to use the same Autodesk User ID to import the license or select “Make the license available as a public import” to make it available for imported with any other Autodesk User ID and click “Export”.Export3 options
  5. A final screen will appear to confirm the license export, this can be closed by clicking “Finish”.Export4 success

After exporting you may format the hard drive or make the hardware changes then import the license. Alternatively you can import the license onto another computer.


To import the license follow the steps below

  1. Install the same product with the serial number that was exported (DO NOT LAUNCH THE PROGRAM this will attempt to activate it).
  2. Launch the LTU on the computer you wish to license (Start > All Programs > Autodesk > Autodesk Product > License Transfer Utility).
  3. It will detect the serial number used during the install or prompt you to input a serial number. Make sure this matches the serial number used to export the license. To continue click “Sign In”.Import1
  4. Fill in your Autodesk User ID and click “Log In”
  5. If the license is imported successfully a screen will show stating “Import Success”Import2
  6. You can click “Finish” to exit the LTU.

This is a simple process to follow but as with any software there may be some troubleshooting required.

When exporting a license you may receive an “Export Request Failed” message. This happens if the software does not have a valid serial number, ensure that the software is installed with a valid and activated serial number.

If you are importing a license to a demo installation (30 day trial) you will be prompted to insert the serial number and product key for the license to be imported. Once entered you can import the license as normal.Demo Import

By following these steps you can easily export and import licenses without having to go through the activation process and over activating your licenses. This saves time and effort in the long run.

By | 2017-05-24T12:12:56+00:00 August 20th, 2013|

About the Author:

I’m an Architectural Technologist (B.Tech.Arch) that has experience on the technical side of IT especially PCs, Large Format printers and Autodesk software. I am working as an AEC Application Engineer for a Gold Autodesk Reseller in South Africa called Micrographics. My role is focussing on support and training on software applications like Revit ( Arch,MEP and Str), Civil3D, AutoCAD, SANSCalc and Lumion.