Product activation verifies that a product license is valid so that you can access the software. The verification method depends on what license type you have, and where and how you download the software. In some cases, you don't need to activate at all. You just sign in.

Note: Autodesk no longer supports offline activation for 2021 products and later. If you have a perpetual license, you can activate your software by going online only once. After you activate online, you can continue to use 2021 software and later offline. This change doesn't apply to subscription network licenses or previous versions that you already activated offline. You can continue to use them as before. 

If your Autodesk Account shows that you have a serial number and product key associated with a product, these codes need to be entered for your software to run on your computer.  Sometimes this process happens automatically in the background (through the Install Now download method), and you just need to sign into your account to use the software.  Sometimes you need to enter the serial number and product key when you start your software for the first time. 

Note: Activation codes are not needed for subscription licenses.

Image of Autodesk Account showing product with serial number activation on a single-user license.

To access your software with a serial number and product key:

  1. Launch your Autodesk product. 

  2. On the Let's Get Started screen, click the Enter a Serial Number link.

    The screen may differ depending on product version and other factors.

    Let's Get Started screen for versions 2019 and after

    Let's Get Started screen for versions 2018 and earlier

  3. On the Product License Activation screen, click Activate.

  4. Enter the serial number and product key, which you'll find displayed in your Autodesk Account on the Manage tab, next to the name of the product and click Next