Each spring, Autodesk releases new versions of its software. With March’s release of AutoCAD 2022, this year was no exception. While there’s understandable excitement around each release, a more pervasive question remains.
What do you do with the old software versions you no longer plan to use?
The simple answer to this question is to uninstall the old version(s) you will no longer use. If only things were that simple.
Chances are your Autodesk subscription includes access to more than one software product. For example, an AutoCAD subscription provides access to industry toolsets like AutoCAD Architecture. Similarly, the AEC Collection provides access to more than a dozen software tools.
This extended access is excellent, but it means we tend to install more Autodesk software on our machines. Some might say we over-install Autodesk software. Beyond that, we also tend to install new versions every year.
To keep everything under control, it’s best to uninstall old and unused versions each year. While a best practice, uninstalling old versions can be cumbersome.
Using the Autodesk Uninstall Tool
The typical way to uninstall Windows software is with the Add or Remove Programs interface. While it gets the job done and technically works for Autodesk software, it’s a tedious process.
With the Windows Add or Remove Programs, you must uninstall applications one at a time. This isn’t the end of the world, but it makes one question if there’s a better way?
Good news! There is a better way.
That better way is the Autodesk Uninstall Tool. Its purpose is to let you uninstall multiple Autodesk applications at once. With it, there’s no need to babysit the uninstall of individual applications. Instead, you can batch uninstall many applications at once.
Despite the efficiencies it offers, I find few know about the tool. You’ll find the Autodesk Uninstall Tool under Start > Autodesk > Autodesk Uninstall Tool.
Once opened, you’ll see a list of all installed Autodesk applications. Select the checkbox next to each application you want to uninstall, click Uninstall, and let the tool do the rest. It’s that simple!
How long it takes to complete the uninstall will vary. A complex application like AutoCAD will take longer to uninstall than a small add-in. Likewise, the number of chosen applications will impact your net uninstall time.
Post-Uninstall Clean Up
No matter your chosen method, your selected Autodesk applications are now uninstalled. Although uninstalled, some traces of your uninstalled applications remain. In fact, most Autodesk applications include residual files that remain post-uninstall.
Important to note, both uninstall methods leave the same residual files behind. While the Autodesk Uninstall Tool automates the uninstall process, its uninstall process is the same as using the Add or Remove Programs functionality built into Windows.
Check the following directories for residual files after successfully uninstalling your software:
- C:\Program Files\Autodesk\
IMPORTANT: Do not empty the above directories. Instead, only delete the directories associated with the applications you uninstalled.
So far as uninstalls go, that’s about it. For me, the Autodesk Uninstall Tool is my go-to method for uninstalling Autodesk software. Although my experience has been positive, how was your experience with the Autodesk Uninstall Tool? Share your experience with it, and any other uninstall tips you might have in the comments below.
As a premium user, I always uninstall the obsolete software with the provided Uninstall manager and then manually delete the residual folders, which makes the task less cumbersome and doesn’t require any external tool. Being an ancient AutoCAD user, I know almost every folder where AutoCAD keep its data. A thorough broken registry key scanning is also advised after the uninstallation.
This time it’s difficult, that’s why still our team working on older versions.
Just used it to install old versions now I’ve installed the 2022 software – however I notice the uninstall tool isn’t showing the 2022 software, so where does this leave me when the 2023 software comes along?
I meant to add that besides the shortcomings, it does a great “one-click” job. You can literally do 2 or 3 clicks and install a couple of old versions with no further interaction.
For Civil 3D, the Uninstall Tool always leaves things that have to be manually removed. Such as “Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 v1 Enhancements”, and “Autodesk Material Library Base Resolution Image Library 2018”, and so on.
I’m not sure why they can’t just have the Uninstall tool offer to uninstall all of these parts too.
@ R.K. McSwain, I assume it’s a little more difficult for some of the “common” libraries and tools that span products but if anyone knows that dependency chain, it would be Autodesk.
What I’d prefer is this…
1) Show ALL products…not just those currently installed.
2) Export a Powershell/Batch script I can take to any workstation or push to uninstall on all my systems.
That’s what I’m looking for as well. It’s not reasonable to expect to manually run a tool on 1000 systems, but my automation seems to leave 1.81GB of stuff behind, whether I use the .bat files or write it into Powershell.