You may need a serial number and product key to activate someAutodesk software.
Note: If you are on subscription, you may no longer need toenter a serial number or product key; you just need to signin. Serial numbers are never required for launching productswith network licenses.
Serial Number Locations
Serial numbers are unique codes associated with your AutodeskAccount and a particular product that you have purchased or isotherwise available to you. For 2014 versions and later, you canfind them in Autodesk Account, on the Management tab. Depending onyour license type, you may not need a serial number to launch yourproduct.
The Management tab of your Autodesk Account page stores theserial numbers and product keys for each licensed product.
Note about serial number visibility in AutodeskAccount: Only account administrators, such as ContractManagers and Software Coordinators, and Named Users with assignedsoftware benefits will see serial numbers in Autodesk Account.You are the account administrator if you purchased a softwaresubscription using your Autodesk Account or were assigned the roleof Contract Manager or Software Coordinator by your company. If youdo not see the software you wish to activate in your Autodeskaccount or see the message 'Contact your admin for serial numbers,'you need to contact the account administrator. Only anadministrator can assign you as a Named User or End User and giveyou permissions to download and activate the software.
When students, educators, and educational institutions downloadproducts from the Education Community,the product serial numbers are found in the followinglocations:
- Displayed at the time of download
- Sent by email
- On the Management tab in Autodesk Account
See:FindSerial Numbers & Product Keys for Educational Licenses Yahoo deleted email recovery software.
Serial Numbers do not appear on software packaging forAutodesk software versions 2014 and newer. Serial numbers for theseversions are emailed to you after you place an order or can befound in AutodeskAccount.
If you have physical media (a DVD or USB key) for a 2013or earlier product, your serial number and productkey will be printed on the label of the productpackaging.
Example of label from 2011 version. Format is similar for 2010- 2013 product releases.
Product Key Locations
Product keys are codes that identify each productversion.
You can find product keys for recent versions of your productin Autodesk Account, on the Management tab.
To look up a product key for a particular product version (2010and later), you can also go to: Look UpProduct Keys.
Older product keys
If you can't find the product key for older versions ofAutodesk software (2013 and later), you may be able to findit in a text file in the installation folder.
To determine if your product key is available inyour installation folder:
- Using your installation media, (USB key, DVD, download folder,etc.) navigate to the folder that contains the setup.exefile for your Autodesk product.
- In that folder, look for a file named MID.txt,MID01.txt, MID02.txt or some variation on thatname.
- Open this file in Notepad and verify that the product name iscorrect.
- The first five characters of the part number should also be theproduct key for that product.
Product Name: Autodesk Design Suite Ultimate 2012
Platform: Windows XP/Vista/Win7
Part Number: 769D1-05Y001-P503E,769D1-05Y001-P504E
A serial number is a unique, identifying number or group of numbers and letters assigned to an individual piece of hardware or software. Other things have serial numbers as well, though, including banknotes and other similar documents.
The idea behind serial numbers is to identify a specific item, much like how a fingerprint identifies a specific person. Instead of some names or numbers that specify a whole range of products, a serial number is intended to provide a unique number to one device at a time.
Hardware serial numbers are embedded in the device, while software or virtual serial numbers are sometimes applied to the user who will be using the software. In other words, a serial number used for software programs are tied to the purchaser, not that specific copy of the program.
The term serial number is often shortened to just S/N or SN, especially when the word precedes an actual serial number on something. Serial numbers are also sometimes, but not often, referred to as serial codes.
Serial Numbers Are Unique
It's important to distinguish serial numbers from other identifying codes or numbers. In short, serial numbers are unique.
For example, a model number for a router might be EA2700 but that's true for every single Linksys EA2700 router; the model numbers are identical while each of their serial numbers is unique to each particular component.
As an example, if Linksys sold 100 EA2700 routers in one day from their website, every one of those devices would have 'EA2700' somewhere on them and they would look identical to the naked eye. However, each device, when first built, had serial numbers printed on most of the components that are not the same as the others bought that day (or any day).
UPC Codes are common as well but are actually not unique like serial numbers. UPC Codes are different than serial numbers because UPC Codes are not unique to each individual piece of hardware or software, as serial numbers are.
The ISSN used for magazines and ISBN for books is different as well because they're used for whole issues or periodicals and aren't unique for every instance of the copy.
Hardware Serial Numbers
You've probably seen serial numbers many times before. Nearly every piece of the computer has a serial number including your monitor, keyboard, mouse and sometimes even your entire computer system as a whole. Internal computer components like hard drives, optical drives, and motherboards also feature serial numbers.
Serial numbers are used by hardware manufacturers to track individual items, usually for quality control.
For example, if a piece of hardware is recalled for some reason, customers are usually made aware of which particular devices need service by being provided a range of serial numbers.
Serial numbers are also used in non-tech environments like when keeping an inventory of tools borrowed in a lab or shop floor. It's easy to identify which devices need to be returned or which ones have been misplaced because each of them can be identified by their unique serial number.
Software Serial Numbers
Serial numbers for software programs are usually used to help ensure that the program's installation is only performed one time and only on the purchaser's computer. Once the serial number is used and registered with the manufacturer, any future attempt to use that same serial number can raise a red flag since no two serial numbers (from the same software) are alike.
If you're planning on reinstalling a software program you've purchased, you'll sometimes need the serial number to do so. See our guide on how to find a serial key if you need to reinstall some software.
Sometimes, you might find that a software program can attempt to make a serial number for you that you can use to activate a program illegally (since the code wasn't legally purchased). These programs are called keygens (key generators) and should be avoided.
A serial number for a piece of software is not usually the same as a product key but they are sometimes used interchangeably.