Troubleshooting the Autodesk Desktop Application.

The Autodesk Desktop Application (ADA) is a useful Windows application that sits in the corner of your Windows taskbar and it checks on your software to see what updates are available and what software you are entitled to download – depending on what software you have been assigned to use in the Autodesk Account Center.

There are some cases where this is not happening for some users. It can seem quite “random” in that some users in one office can get the App’ to work but others can’t. One common issue is that it simply shows a white screen when you check on software inside the app’ and the other issue is that app’ looks like it’s working normally but it does not show the expected software and updates. Let’s look at these issues in turn – get ready for bit of reading 😉

White Screen and/or frozen screen in the Autodesk Desktop Application:

There are some fairly technical steps below so if you have a fairly restrictive IT setup you’ll need to get your IT people to look at this:

First start by downloading the MSfixit tool.

1. Launch the software once the download has completed.
2. Click Next then when prompted click “Uninstalling”.
3. In the programs list scroll down until you see an entry for your software select it then click next.

The program will begin removing any residual registry items from the installation.

You will need to repeat these steps until all entries of your software have been removed.

If the updates are still not showing; or if you do not see your program listed in the MSfixit tool. You will have to manually remove the registry keys from the desktop app.

Uninstall ADA from the Control > Panels > Programs and Features. Next:

  1. Open the registry editor by pressing the Windows key + R
  2. Type regedit into the text field then click okay.
  3. Navigate to the following directory computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\UPI2.4.

In the listed directory will be a list of keys.

5. Left click on each key and it’s contents will be displayed on the right.
6. Verify if the selected key matches the name of the software. If it does delete it.
7. Navigate through each key and verify that all matching keys have been removed

Now you need to:

Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. Use the Microsoft Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft article How to back up and restore the registry in Windows and in the related solution How to backup the system registry. Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor.

Autodesk Desktop Application looks normal but no updates or software appears:

This issue is usually caused by the software being incorrectly installed or being corrupted but it can also be caused by Firewalls or Group Policies (I.T. restrictions on user’s permissions).

First, as a sanity check, make sure the user isn’t expecting to see software and updates in the Desktop App’ that they have not been assigned inside the Autodesk Account Center! They will not see anything relating to your software that  has not been assigned to them specifically. Once you’ve checked that, here are some things to try:

To check if this is a Group Policy issue:

  1. Restart the PC but this time log in as another user. Preferably log in as a network Administrator so that you will have all necessary permissions in the Windows session.
  2. Launch the Desktop Application if it is not already running by going to the start menu in Windows.
  3. Check the Desktop Application by launching it from the taskbar. Get the user of the PC to log in using their credentials. If you can see software then you know that there is an issue with Group Policies inside Windows. If this is the case then your IT support people will have to see if they can adjust permissions so that the person can get access to the software. In some unusual circumstances, the user profile might need to be totally rebuilt.
  4. You’ll want to log off from the Windows session and log in again under the normal user’s Windows credentials.

Firewall Issues:

If the above didn’t reveal it was Group Policies then you’ll need to look at Firewall / Antivirus (AV) as a cause:

You may be using the Windows build-in Firewall or you may be using an Enterprise level anti-virus / Firewall solution. In either case, you need to make an exception for ADA so that it can get to the outside world.

Enterprise Antivirus / Firewall (managed by I.T.)

If you have managed IT or an internal IT person then hit them up to get them to look at this for you. Some examples of Enterprise Anti Virus / Firewall are Avast & Norton.

  1. In Enterprise Firewall programs this will require elevated rights and will be password protected and the IT person will know where to go to make these adjustments.
  2. In the firewall software create exceptions to the following servers:
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Windows Firewall:

You can of course adjust this yourself if you don’t have an IT company or person.

  1. If you are running Windows Firewall then  you can go to the Control Panel > Security and Maintenance.
  2. Click on the test labelled “Advanced Settings”:

3. Click on Outbound Rules and pick “Program: from the list. Now click on the “Customise” button. Select Service from the List. And click OK.

Now select “Only selected service” and find the “desktop Application Service” from the list. Click OK.

4. Select the options as shown and click OK.

6. Select the options as shown and click OK

5. Most importantly, click on “Allow the connection” option! Click Next.Now select the Domain Types that this connection will be allowed in – we recommend not selecting Public as these sorts of            domains (free WIFI networks for example) are generally not secure.

6. Click Next and give the Rule a name and if you like, a description.

Once you’ve done this, you might need to restart your PC to affect the changes. The ADA service will now be able to get through the Windows firewall.

If the issue still persists then an uninstall of ADA and a reinstall will be required (see instructions above).


So that’s the wrap up on the various issues and ways to combat them. Thankfully these issues are isolated. Autodesk works towards resolving any issues that they identify in the software too so a reinstall with the latest version often resolves issues too.