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Student Software & Downloads


Autodesk Educational Individually-Licensed free software download walk-through.  This includes AutoCAD, Revit and others.

  1. Direct a web browser to Autodesk’s Educational Community Free Software page at
  2. If you already have login credentials, you may sign in at the top right corner of the screen.
    • If you have not yet registered login credentials, you will need to register, which is free of charge, with your ‘_@IASTATE.EDU’ email address and a secure password of your choice, and answers to the other web-form questions. The EDU email address qualifier is required to participate in Autodesk’s Education Community.
    • If you are newly registering your login credentials, Autodesk’s system will send a verification e-mail to your ‘_@IASTATE.EDU’ email address, with a web link that will respond back to Autodesk to confirm your email address is valid and active. You will not be able to fully log in to the Education Community site until that confirmation is completed. The verification email may take minutes to hours to arrive in your email inbox. Make sure that it hasn’t been filed into your spam or junk email folder.
    • If you don’t receive a verification email in that time frame, re-attempt to log in to the Autodesk website, and it will notify you that you are not yet verified, and will give you the option to re-send the verification e-mail again.
  3. Select Student or Educator software for the ‘College & University’ level, as applicable, which is signified on the Education Community Free Software webpage.
  4. On the next software selection webpage, scroll down to browse or filter for the application title you wish to download, and click on that application title directly. The icons are not links, and won’t take you to the next stage.
  5. Click “All Products” in the filtering list if you don’t see the title you are looking for, then scroll down again
    • A NOTE on Autodesk titles:
    • Autodesk AutoCAD is the core application program, without including any additional libraries. AutoCAD for Mac is used with Mac OS on Apple computers, and otherwise application titles like AutCAD Architecture (commonly used in the College of Design), or AutoCAD Mechanical, MEP for Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing, are each specific sets of additional libraries that build on top of the AutoCAD core program.
    • Autodesk Revit uses the opposite naming scheme. Revit, without any title modifier, is the complete set of libraries, in addition to the core program. Revit Architecture, MEP, or Structure only contains those libraries specified.
    • Revit, without a title modifier, including all of the libraries, is the most commonly used title in the College of Design.
    • 3ds Max Design (aka 3D Studio Max Design) is the commonly used variant for the College of Design, rather than the non-Design version for games, film, and video content.
    • Each different specific title will use a different Product Key, so it is important to be specific about which title you wish to claim, download, and use, especially if you are looking to claim a serial number and Product Key for software that is already present on your system that needs to be authorized. Mismatching a different title’s product key will not authenticate properly.
  6. On the application software download page for the software title that you have selected, there are three main steps, as well as links to revision updates, extensions, and coordinating applications, if they apply.
  7. Download steps:
    • Sign in or Register. Same as Step B listed above. Sign in with your created login credentials, or register to create them, and make sure you have verified your email address.
    • If cookies are enabled in your browser, you may be automatically logged by your browser.
    • Select the free software you want:
      • Choose the version of the software that you wish to use. If you are authenticating demo-mode software that is already on your system, make sure the version year number matches the version you currently have, or you can download newer software instead.
      • Choose English, or other available language, if you prefer that.
      • Operating System should be Windows 64-bit, or Windows 32/64-bit that is compatible with both versions.
      • Most computer systems built within the last 5 years use 64-bit processors, and more than 4GB of RAM, and require 64-bit compatible versions of Autodesk software titles. Mac OS would apply if you are downloading AutoCAD for Mac OS, but most Autodesk titles require Windows OS.
    • When Steps 1 and 2 are complete, Step 3 will illuminate, and retrieve your serial number, and product key. It is likely that the Serial Number issued to may be valid for all of the Autodesk titles you choose to download, although that is not a certainty. The product key, as mentioned above, is very specific to the software title, version number, and interface language, and cannot be used with a different title or configuration.
    • If you are looking for the Serial Number and Product Key to authorize software that is already present on your system in Demo mode, as most Design Laptop Program units have, you can use the information and enter it into the software you already have in order to activate it, and the process for that software title will be complete. Re-downloading the software is not necessary if it is already present on your system.
    • To proceed and download the selected software and install it on your system, continue to the next step.
  8. Software Download:  Do Not Automatically Click “Install Now” Read this first:
    • The default Autodesk option for downloading free application titles is called “Install Now”, also known as Web Install. This option will attempt to install the software from Autodesk’s web servers, directly to your computer, through your open web browser. This option is not recommended due to the likelihood of the network connection having an intermittent interruption, and even the slightest interruption will break the Web Install process, and cause an error.It is more recommended to use an alternate method, called “Browser Download”.On the Autodesk download page, instead of clicking the “Install Now” Button, click on the side arrow to the right side of that button, to extend an alternate menu.  In that alternate menu, Select “Browser Download”, and confirm the download, if the browser asks for confirmation.The web browser you are using will then proceed to download a compressed file from Autodesk, to your Downloads folder, or an alternate location if you specified that with your browser. The downloading compressed file is usually several gigabytes, and may take some time. Web browsers are fault tolerant, and will usually resume an interrupted download, and verify the completed file to make sure it matches the source of the download.
  9. Software Installation:
    • Once completed, the downloaded file will automatically run, and try to expand itself to a directory located on your system’s hard drive, likely C:Autodesk. It will create a new folder bearing the name of the software application title that you have downloaded and are preparing to install. That folder will hold the installation materials for that program, to install or re-install the application title in the future.
    • The Application installer should automatically start once the decompression is complete. The installer will ask you to enter your serial number and product key from download step 3 above, and it may have also been sent to your email address, as well. You can use the Stand Alone Demo Mode selection to side-step, and enter the serial number and product key up to 30 days later, if necessary.
    • The installation process should be self explanatory from that point on, and walk you through the steps to setup the application title and associated libraries on your system. Once the installation process is complete, there should be icons for starting the application program as you would with any software application on your system.
    • For future reference, you should be able to repair, re-install, or uninstall the software from the Windows ‘Uninstall a Program’ control panel, as with any application installed on Windows Operating System.