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.