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How to Reset AutoCAD Defaults

Most AutoCAD functions are a result of values loaded from settings files and registry keys. Resetting the program to defaults restores the program to its original settings.

Solution:
Each user account on a system has its own AutoCAD settings. Resetting to defaults only affects the currently active user account. To reset in a different account, you must first log in as that user. 

For most versions of AutoCAD 2012 and later (including AutoCAD-based products), the reset utility is in the AutoCAD program group located in the Windows Start menu. The reset utility gives you the option to back up your settings first. Once the reset is complete, AutoCAD automatically opens and initiates a secondary installer. 

Windows 7:

  • Start menu > All Programs > Autodesk > AutoCAD 201x > Reset Settings To Default.
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Windows 8:

  1. Click the Windows button to access the Start Screen.
  2. Right-click the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click the down arrow to access all the installed apps.
  4. In the AutoCAD section, click  Reset Settings to Default. 

Windows 8.1:

  1. Click the Windows button to access the Start Screen.
  2. Move your cursor down and click the down arrow to access all the installed apps.
  3. In the AutoCAD section, click  Reset Settings to Default. 

Windows 10:

  • Click Start menu > All Apps > AutoCAD 201x > Reset Settings to Default.

Note: The reset utility for AutoCAD 2016 is found under Start menu > Autodesk.


Mac OS:
There are multiple ways to get to the reset option in AutoCAD for Mac.To reset only the palettes in AutoCAD:

  • In AutoCAD for Mac, click the Window menu and choose Reset Palettes or enter RESETPALETTES on the command line.

To reset the entire program:

  • In AutoCAD for Mac 2014 SP1 and newer, hold down the Shift key while starting AutoCAD for Mac.
  • In AutoCAD for Mac 2015 and newer, click the AutoCAD menu and choose the reset option.
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  • For all versions of AutoCAD for Mac:
  1. Click Preferences under the AutoCAD menu.
  2. Click the Application tab.
  3. Click the Reset Application Options button.
  4. Click  Reset AutoCAD.
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Note: Resetting AutoCAD for Mac automatically creates a backup of the current settings and stores the file in a .tgz archive here:
~home/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/Settings Backup <date/time>.tgz


Manually resetting AutoCAD for Windows:
Manually resetting AutoCAD (also known as "reinitializing the secondary installer") is needed for AutoCAD 2011 and earlier and for AutoCAD-based products that do not have a reset utility. It is also the process for any version of AutoCAD if the reset utility fails to work. Manually resetting AutoCAD involves deleting two folders and a registry path. Here are the steps:

  1. Exit out of AutoCAD.
  2. If available, export your current settings to save them as a back-up. Do this by going to Start > All Programs > Autodesk > AutoCAD 20xx > Migrate Custom Settings > Export AutoCAD 20xx Settings. If there is no export utility, manually save a copy of the folders mentioned below.
  3. Delete the following folders:
    For Windows Vista and newer:
    C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx
    C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx
    For Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx
    Note: These paths contain hidden folders (see How to enable hidden files and folders)..
  4. Press WINDOWS-R on the keyboard to bring up the Run window, enter REGEDITand click OK.
  5. Delete the following registry key (see warning below) (to manually save a backup, right-click > Export):
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\Rxx.x\ACAD-xxxx:40x
    This path is unique for each version of AutoCAD. You can see what 'ACAD-xxxx' refers to by selecting the path and then looking at the keys on the right pane of the Registry Editor. One of the keys will show the install path to the associated version of AutoCAD. The '40x' number signifies the language version of AutoCAD.
  6. Launch AutoCAD 20xx to have it rebuild its settings files.

Warning!
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.


Manually resetting AutoCAD for Mac:
To reset AutoCAD for Mac, there is a main settings folder and some preferences files:

  1. Quit out of AutoCAD for Mac.
  2. Delete the following folder (AutoCAD 2016 and newer use the first location):
    ~home/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/AutoCAD 201x Standalone/Rxx.x/roaming
        or
    ~home/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/roaming/AutoCAD 201x Standalone
    Note: The Library folder can be accessed by holding down the Option key while clicking on the Go menu within the Finder.
  3. Navigate to this folder:
    ~home/Library/Preferences
  4. Within the Preferences folder, delete all files that start with 'com.autodesk.AutoCAD'.
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