How to Recover an AutoCAD License File

By Silvania Cochrine

Updated February 10, 2017

Finding a key does not require editing the Windows Registry.
i Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

Like most software programs, AutoCAD, the 3D engineering modeling program by AutoDesk, requires a unique license key to activate it. If you can't find your license serial number, you may be able to find it in the Windows Registry. This will only work, however, if you did not delete the Registry information during an uninstall process.

Open the Registry Editor by typing "regedit" in the Windows 8 Search charm and selecting "regedit" from the Apps section of the search results.

Navigate to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R15.0\ACAD-1:405\AdLM\Type" registry key.

Right-click on the registry key and click "Export."

Choose a name to save the license registry key file as, along with a location where you want to save it, and then click the "Save" button.


There are a variety of key finder tools that can scan your computer for AutoCad license keys, including free tools like Magical Jelly Bean.


Key generation programs or cracked license keys are not a legal means of accessing AutoCad.

Do not edit any information found in your Windows Registry unless you know specifically what you are editing. Doing so can harm your computer. Always back up the Registry before making edits.