How to Transition to Named User | Autodesk 2021

 With a new year upon us, there are many changes happening, not only in Autodesk software, but in Autodesk account and license management. These changes have been announced and talked about a lot recently, but some of the details may be hard to navigate, so here are a few clarifications:

Transition to Named User

Autodesk is retiring plans based on serial numbers and assigning each subscription to a named user. No need to plug in new serial numbers and product keys every year! All software activation will now happen through your login. These new, simplified plans provide benefits now, and in the future, at a cost consistent with what you pay today. 

Multi-User Trade-In

As part of this Transition to Named User Program, Autodesk will be phasing out their multi-user (formerly known as network) access licensing. At your next renewal after August 7, 2020 (or any future renewal until August 6, 2023), trade in one multi-user license for two single-user licenses at a price similar to what you pay now. But take note that this multi-user trade-in offer price will increase by 5% on May 7, 2021. (This 5% increase does not apply to customers trading in full-priced multi-user subscriptions. The trade-in price will be lower than renewing their multi-user subscription.)

PRO TIP: Purchase, renew and trade-in your Autodesk licenses through an authorized Autodesk reseller, like ProSoft, to get better prices.

How do I make this transition?

Once your multi-user licenses have been traded in, the best practice workflow for making this transition to the Named User Program is as follows: 

If you're an admin, it's good to be aware of a few changes in your Autodesk account. Previously, in the classic Autodesk user management system, there was a Contract Manager and a Software Coordinator assigned in your account. It was a little tricky figuring out who was who and you could only assign one software coordinator over each serial number and one single account admin. Now, there is a primary admin and you're able to create as many secondary admins as you'd like. Your secondary admins are able to create users in your account and assign them licenses.

With that being understood, the first thing to do to transition to the Named User Program is to add users to your Autodesk account. Since all of Autodesk licensing is now based on the user, you will need to add all of your users to a list and assign them licenses. You can assign your licenses by user or by product.

Import to Assign Tool

If you have many users that you need to add to your Autodesk account, Autodesk has introduced the "Import to assign" tool. This allows you to bring in a large number of users and assign them at the same time. Here's how to use it:

  1. In your Autodesk account, simply select the "By Product" tab under the "User Management" list.
  2. Select the product you want to assign a large amount of users to.
  3. Click the "Assign users" button. 
  4. The "Assign users" window will appear. Click on "Import to assign". 
  5. Upload your CSV file. Everyone in that list will be imported and assign to the license that you're in.

This tool helps save a lot of time, especially if you're transitioning from multi-user licenses into single-user licenses. 

Changing License Type for Installed Software

From this point on, every user will need an Autodesk ID.  Once you have added users and they've been assigned a license, they'll received an email notification. If they already have an account, they will receive an email saying their access has changed and they can login and see the changes. If they don't already have an account, they will receive an email instructing them to create an account.

Once all of your users are set up and assigned, we've actually got to change what's installed in our Autodesk account. This is very important for migrating from multi-user to single-user licenses or maintenance to subscription licenses. Multi-user license files have a 30-day window built in. Use that window to transition all users. There are two options:
  1. Automated Tool: Admin updates all devices for all users
    • Admins update all devices for all users with the automated tool that changes the license type for 2017 and newer products. You can have the tool list all of your licensed products, perform a global license reset or perform a reset per product.
    • This command line tool can be executed manually on each computer or rolled out through a software deployment tool such as Microsoft System Center.
    • Suites: Suites cannot be converted using this tool. You will need to manually convert suites for each user device. 
  2. Users update their desktop device
    • Users go into their account and use the Manage License function in the software to change the license type. 
    • Help --> About --> Manage License --> Change License Type
    • The software will restart and bring up a window asking how you'd like to activate the software. Sign in, and you're there!
    • The software still needs to be functional (not expired) in order to do this. 
      • If the software will no longer run:
        • 2017 - 2019: 
          • Change the license type manually with file
          • Change _NETWORK to _USER
        • 2020 - 2021: 


Once your license types have been changed, kill your license server before the built-in 30-day multi-user window. During that period, you'll be able to see which licenses have not been migrated yet. If you find licenses that haven't been migrated, turn your license server back on and change the license type. 
When you know all of your licenses have been migrated, decommission the license server again and move on to single-user access!